Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowls are fresh and flavorful grain bowls with quinoa, lemon-oregano marinated chicken and a fresh cucumber-tomato salad. Set everything out and let everyone assemble their own bowls at the table!
I want to pause here to send love out to all of you who are, like us, finding ways to cope during this uncertain time. To those of you who are out there working to keep stores stocked, provide medical care, deliver packages, and generally keep the world turning and keep us all safe – from the bottom of our hearts, thank you. To those of you who are staying home in the interest of the greater good, we’re right here with you. We’re spending our time at home watching movies, learning to bake bread and pasta and the perfect chocolate chip cookie, and doing crafts, and eating too many cookies, and exhausting every board game we own. This is a historic moment we are living through, and there are few clear truths, but we will be here celebrating home cooking, as always. And feeling incredibly grateful for this community and for the shared spirit of people trying to get dinner on the table on even the most unusual of days.
I originally wrote about this recipe as an ode to the changing seasons, but these past few days have shifted my thoughts to the here and now rather than dreaming of summer. Nevertheless, this meal is the sort that always goes over well in my house. With three kids around the table (and their ever-changing food whims), a bar-style meal where everyone can combine and eat whatever they like is an easy win. Much like Sheet Pan Chicken Shawarma, this meal also makes a great place to set out some extra raw vegetables for dipping in hummus and creamy tzatziki. With all these dips, veggies, quinoa, and flavorful chicken, this i a great meal for pleasing all tastes. And that chicken marinated in lemon and oregano? Well…it would be good with just about anything.
Ingredients for Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowls
- Lemon-Oregano Chicken – Use chicken tenderloins which come in small thin strips that don’t require any prep or slice chicken breast into strips. Marinate them in olive oil, lemon juice, and dried oregano for amazing, fresh Mediterranean flavor.
- Quinoa – Although I like quinoa in these bowls, any cooked grain will work here. These are great with brown rice, Farro, barley, pasta, or couscous.
- Tomatoes – Cherry or grape tomatoes are prevalent and pretty darn good year round, so use those unless you can get your hands on some really good, in season larger tomatoes.
- Cucumbers – Chop them to combine with tomatoes for an easy, fresh salad, but save a small amount to grate and put in the tzatziki. I love to use the mini cucumbers that aren’t as watery as the larger versions and usually don’t contain any seeds.
- Tzatziki – This is a yogurt-based dip with cucumbers, garlic, and lemon juice. See below for my go-to recipe.
- Pita Bread and Hummus – These are great to serve with the bowls if you want, but not necessary.
How to Make Tzatziki
Tzatziki is a tangy, fresh yogurt-based sauce with lemon that is great with pita bread, as a salad dressing, topping for grilled chicken, or for dipping vegetables. To make it, grate ¼ cup of cucumbers onto a paper towel or clean kitchen towel and then squeeze gently to remove as much moisture as possible from the cucumbers. Whisk together grated cucumber, yogurt, garlic, and lemon juice. Season with a pinch of salt and add some more lemon juice if you’d like.
More DIY / Bar-Style Family Meals
- Sheet Pan Chicken Shawarma – An easy marinade made with Moroccan spices and lemon juice gives this sheet pan chicken all the bold, fresh, fragrant flavors of the best chicken shawarma in only 30 minutes (plus time to marinate). Serve it family style with pita bread, hummus, fresh vegetables, and yogurt dipping sauce.
- Taco Soup with Ground Beef – With savory spices, seasoned ground beef, corn, beans, and fire-roasted tomatoes, Taco Soup with Ground Beef is a soupy twist on taco night. Add your favorite toppings to finish these colorful bowls.
- Korean Chicken Lettuce Wraps – No chopping or lengthy prep required for this easy weeknight meal of crisp lettuce wraps filled with saucy Korean ground chicken. The sauce is sweet and savory – spice it up as much as you’d like!
- Slow Cooker Taco Meat – Slow Cooker Taco Meat is made using lean beef and, thanks to cooking low and slow, comes out super tender with absolutely incredible flavor. In this super simple recipe that uses only two ingredients, it’s the method that matters.
- Lodge Cast Iron Skillet – Cast iron skillets are my favorite and give the chicken a golden crust. Any skillet or saucepan will work just fine here.
- Saucepan – A pan this size is great for cooking grains like quinoa.
- Box Grater – Use a box grater to grate the cucumbers for tzatziki.
Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl
- Box Grater
Lemon Oregano Chicken
- 1 1/2 lbs Chicken Breast Tenders (sub boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into strips)
- Juice from 2 Lemons
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 tsp Dried Oregano
- 1 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/4 cup Grated Cucumber (use the small holes of a box grater for this)
- 1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
- 1 clove Garlic, diced
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice
To Finish the Bowls
- 1 cup Quinoa
- 2 cups Stock
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 8 oz Cucumbers, chopped
- 8 oz Tomatoes, chopped (I like to use halved cherry or grape tomatoes)
- 2 tsp Red Wine Vinegar
- Fresh Dill, chopped (optional)
- Hummus, for serving (optional)
- Pita Bread, for serving (optional)
- Combine chicken with lemon juice, ¼ cup oil, dried oregano, salt, and black pepper.
- Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
- Grate the cucumber onto a paper towel and then squeeze gently to remove as much moisture as possible from the cucumbers.
- Whisk together cucumber, yogurt, garlic, and lemon juice.
- Season with a pinch of salt.
Make cucumber, tomato salad
- Combine chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, and red wine vinegar.
- Season with a pinch of salt.
- Add some fresh dill, if you’d like.
- Combine quinoa, stock, and salt in a saucepan.
- Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
- When liquid is boiling, lower heat to low-medium and cover.
- Cook, covered, until liquid is absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes.
- When quinoa is done, fluff it with a fork.
- Remove chicken from marinade (discard marinade).
- Heat a skillet with 1 Tbsp oil over medium heat.
- When the oil is hot, add chicken and sear on both sides until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes total.
- Set out all of the ingredients for the bowls - chicken, tzatziki, cucumber-tomato salad, quinoa, hummus, and tzatziki.
- Assemble the bowls however you’d like at the table!
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