One Pot Quinoa & Vegetable Dish

An easy and healthy dish – everything is combined in one pot, simmers, and is ready to eat in under 30 minutes. This dish includes tri-colored quinoa, yellow and orange bell peppers, zucchini, shredded chicken, and a cilantro-lime flavoring. Lots of options for vegetable substitutions included.

One pot Quinoa and Vegetable Dish

That’s right everyone. I’ve got another meal that is under 30 minutes and only uses one pot!

I love when dinner comes together like that. Super easy, and no fuss. Plus minimal dishes. I mean – one pot and a cutting board + a few measuring cups is what you’re looking at if you make this meal.

Oh and did I mention how healthy it is? Last selling point on this dish: if you aren’t a fan of some of the vegetables listed above (or the meat) read on, because I have plenty of substitutions for you to try out!


Tri-colored quinoa – have you tried this stuff? When I saw it in the store I was intrigued and now I’m totally a new fan of this healthy lil’ grain. Plus the colors – so. much. fun. And the different colors look so pretty when this dish is all finished.

Regular quinoa will work just fine as a substitution if that’s what you have around. Just make sure to thoroughly wash out your quinoa before using it. I wash mine out in a round mesh sifter sieve. None of the quinoa gets lost that way and it’s so easy to throw it in the mesh sifter and rinse it. I usually scrub it a bit by rubbing the quinoa in my hand as it’s getting rinsed under the water. Quinoa will taste much better (and cook better too) if you wash it really well first.

Quinoa Dish

Next…the vegetables. And there are plenty of substitutions you can make. In this dish I used some onion, shredded zucchini, and two bell peppers (red and orange). You could substitute in corn, red pepper, snap peas, asparagus, eggplant, or whatever else you think goes well together. Just make sure to have the same amounts as listed in the recipe and to chop them up into small-ish pieces.

I chopped up the peppers, but you could cut them in thin strips if that’s quicker. Also shredding the zucchini was super quick since you don’t even need to peel it. I chopped up a small onion which adds a lot of flavor to this dish.

Quinoa and vegetable with chicken ONE POT dish!

And finally, if you were hoping for a vegetarian or vegan option, you can replace the chicken with beans. I’d recommend black beans, but you can definitely experiment with other ideas.

Also I cooked this in chicken broth, but also tried it in a tomato broth which I loved. I get tomato bouillon and add two teaspoons to two cups of boiling water for an easy tomato broth that is vegetarian/vegan.

The last step is the “seasoning” which includes salt, pepper, finely chopped cilantro, and lime juice. No cream or unhealthy ingredients and so much flavor!

One Pot Quinoa and Vegetable Dish with Chicken

One Pot Quinoa & Vegetable Dish
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves (1 tsp.) minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup (1 small) onion, chopped
  • 1 cup zucchini, shredded
  • 2 bell peppers (I used an orange and yellow one), chopped
  • 1 cup tri-colored quinoa
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) chicken broth
  • 1 can (12.5 ounces) pre-cooked chicken breast OR 1 and 1/2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp. cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp. lime juice
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, heat up the olive oil and add in the garlic and onion. Cook until fragrant and tender or about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add in the shredded zucchini and chopped bell peppers. Stir for about 1 minute.
  3. Add in the quinoa and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then turn to low and cover with a lid.
  4. Let cook until all of the broth is evaporated into the quinoa about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Stir in a drained can of chicken chunks* and add in salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Let cool for a minute and then stir in cilantro and lime juice to taste. (Add 2 tbsp. of each and then more if desired)
  7. Serve immediately.
*If you don't want to use canned chicken and still want this to be a one-pot meal, Cook 1 chicken breast in boiling water until cooked through. Drain and let cool. Shred the chicken. Quickly rinse out the pot and continue with the first step.
Check the post for lots of substitutions and ideas to make this dish vegetarian

 Hungry for more quinoa?

Detox Quinoa Salad
Detox Quinoa & Vegetable Salad

Crockpot Quinoa Fajitas with Sweet Potatoes, Sweet Peppers, and More!
Crockpot Quinoa Fajitas

Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad with a lemon-honey vinagrette
Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad


  1. says

    totally random but I LOVE those bowls!! such a beautiful blue color, please share where you found them :)

    and one pot dinner dishes are everything! I love how this recipe is so customizable and you can easily add shrimp or chicken into the mix – great dish!

    • chelseamessyapron says

      Thanks Christine! Honestly most of my dishes are from goodwill or salvation army. However the blue bowl in this shoot and my little yellow one are both from Burlington coat factory (random right) they were a couple of dollars and I fell in love with them!

  2. says

    Totally just saw this on instagram Chelsea! Quinoa is just so versatile….kind of my favorite side item right now! Great replacement for rice. I like that you added a bunch of veggies to it…great way to sneak them in! So healthy for you. Thanks for the recipe :) Have a wonderful day!

  3. Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner says

    I’ve never tried the multi color quinoa, but I’d love to now. Dinner in 30 min?! Yes please. :) This looks so delicious and refreshing!
    PS I think my comments are going to your spam. :(

    • chelseamessyapron says

      Hmmm. It shows up in my comment section and on my posts, but your website isn’t showing up. I’m not sure how to fix that…?

  4. says

    Oh wow! The colours in your photos really pop out! Gorgeous! I’ve never seen tri-coloured quinoa before but am going to keep an eye out for it. I love how there’s minimal washing up to do :-)

  5. says

    I could use all the one-pot quick dinners I can get at this point! This looks delicious Chelsea! And I love that photo of the onions – it’s gorgeous!

  6. says

    Yum, I’ve never tried the tri-colored quinoa either – looks so fun and colorful in this dish! One-pot quick dinners are always a good thing and I love all the veggies in here – looks delicious :)

  7. says

    I’m loving this dish, Chelsea! I love quinoa and it’s packed with so many fresh veggies and chicken. I would eat this any day of the week. Pinning!

  8. Amy says

    This dish is so delicious I made it two nights in a row!! I’ve gone from never having used quinoa to loving it in one super easy meal. I definitely think that this is going to be my go-to easy meal in the future. Thank you so much!

  9. Laura says

    My husband has asked me to start cooking with black beans and I love the look of this recipe (we eat quinoa All. The. Time) but at what point do I add black beans? With the quinoa, at the end, or…? Thanks!!

    • chelseamessyapron says

      If you are talking about black beans from a can, I would probably stir them in near the end (drained and rinsed) when you add in the chicken. Hope that helps :)

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