Home > Dinner > Chicken Quinoa Bowl Chicken Quinoa Bowl April 10, 2020 | 45 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. Easy and nutritious Chicken Quinoa Bowl brings together cilantro lime quinoa, marinated chicken, and a fresh mango black bean salsa. Love bowl type meals? Us too! Try these banh mi bowls, sweet potato couscous bowls, or taco bowls next! Chicken Quinoa Bowl Marinate some chicken, prep some quinoa, and toss together a simple mango salsa for a seriously flavorful meal! Chicken Quinoa Bowls are one of my family’s favorite meals. They’re fresh, tasty, and packed with good-for-you ingredients. They’ve also got tons of protein, thanks to the chicken, black beans, and quinoa! While there are a few steps to this meal, these bowls come together nicely since you’ll do half the work in advance by marinating the chicken. The rest of the meal can be prepared right before dinnertime. For me, breaking up dinner time prep always feels like it makes things easier. How to make Chicken Quinoa Bowls Whisk together the marinade ingredients. This marinade is delicious and so quick to whip together! It has Sprite® (or any lemon lime soda), soy sauce, olive oil, lime juice, garlic powder, honey, and salt. Don’t forget to reserve some of the marinade to brush on top of the chicken later as it grills. Marinate. Place the chicken in the marinade mixture and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to 6 hours. Why not longer? The acidity from the lime can begin to “cook” and dry out the chicken. Cook. Grill, bake, or saute the chicken until it reaches 165 degrees F. (I like to take the guesswork out by using a digital meat thermometer.) Cooking times will vary, depending on several factors so I always recommend using a thermometer to test your chicken as it cooks. Aim to hit 165 degrees Fahrenheit. (Under-cooked = unsafe; Over-cooked = dry chicken) Baste. As you grill the chicken, brush it occasionally with the reserved marinade. This is going to amp up the flavor and make sure you get to taste all those delicious flavors. Make the mango salsa. While the chicken is cooking, it’s the perfect time to get the rice going and start on the salsa. More on the salsa below. Mango salsa There are few things I love as much as mango salsa, and it’s the best possible addition to these chicken quinoa bowls. This salsa is a bit different from my usual mango salsa recipe, since it’s got some corn and black beans in it and no avocado (although feel free to add one if you’d like). Below are a few salsa tips: Make sure the mango is fully ripe. This ensures peak flavor, texture, and sweetness. We want a good sweet mango to complement the chicken. I recommend honey mangoes for these chicken quinoa bowls (also called Ataulfo mangoes). They’re sweeter and creamier than regular mangoes and don’t have the typical fibers throughout. Chop the ingredients into even sizes for a congruent salsa. The more even the sizes of everything, the more coherent the salsa is. Check out this guide for how to cut a mango! If you like a little more spice in your salsa, add a bit more jalapeño and/or sprinkle of red pepper flakes. If you’d prefer the salsa to stay on the mild side, reduce or leave out the jalapeño. Juicer: This recipe calls for fresh lime and lemon juice in the marinade and salsa, which can be a pain to juice by hand. I recommend a small juicer or citrus reamer — you don’t need anything special or crazy expensive. This one is inexpensive and a great investment if you juice a lot of citrus. Chicken Quinoa Bowl tips If you have extra thick/large chicken breasts, slice the chicken in half, and/or pound the breasts (this is best accomplished by a meat mallet). Aim to have the chicken into an even thickness before marinating. This allows the chicken to soak up more flavor from the marinade, improving taste. The even thickness will allow them to cook evenly and quicker. As the chicken is cooking, brush the reserved marinade on the meat. This will enhance the flavor. You can even leave some marinade (untouched by the meat) to drizzle over everything after it’s finished, as a sort of dressing. Once it’s finished, let the cooked chicken rest, tented with foil, for 5-10 minutes before cutting in. This allows for the juices to redistribute (here’s the science on that. More quinoa recipes Quinoa Enchilada Crockpot reader favorite recipe Crockpot quinoa minestrone Quinoa Chili with sweet potatoes Greek Quinoa Salad with a Greek-inspired vinaigrette Roasted Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad with a lemon vinaigrette FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Quinoa Chicken Bowls 5 from 1 vote - Review this recipe Easy and nutritious Chicken Quinoa Bowl brings together cilantro lime quinoa, marinated chicken, and a fresh mango black bean salsa! SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Quinoa Chicken Bowls 5 from 1 vote - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Easy and nutritious Chicken Quinoa Bowl brings together cilantro lime quinoa, marinated chicken, and a fresh mango black bean salsa! Course Dinner, Main Course Cuisine American Keyword chicken quinoa bowl Prep Time 35 minutes Cook Time 10 minutes Marinating Time 1 hour Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes Servings 4 servings Calories 544kcal Cost $10.64 IngredientsChicken (See Note 1)2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (~1.5 pounds)3/4 cup Sprite or lemon lime soda (not diet soda)1/4 cup olive oil1/4 cup regular soy sauce2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice1/8 teaspoon garlic powder1 tablespoon honey1/4 teaspoon fine sea saltQuinoa1 cup quinoa2 cups chicken broth (can use water)Optional: fresh lime and 1/4 cup diced cilantroMango Salsa1/2 cup frozen corn thawed1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed1/4 cup red onion finely chopped1/4 cup red pepper, diced2 ripe honey (Ataulfo) mangoes, peeled and diced (OR 1 large mango)3 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped2 tablespoons fresh lime juice1 teaspoon olive oil1 tablespoon diced jalapeño1/8 teaspoon ground cuminOptional toppings: extra cilantro, an avocado, squeeze of fresh lime InstructionsMARINATE THE CHICKEN: Prepare the chicken breasts by halving thick/large breasts horizontally. Cover chicken breasts with plastic wrap (to avoid splatter). Using a meat mallet or the bottom of your frying pan, pound breasts to even thickness (you don't want to flatten the meat, just even the thickness throughout). If you don't have super-thick chicken breasts, simply pound breasts to even thickness. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel. Place in a large zipper bag. Combine the Sprite, olive oil, soy sauce, lime juice, garlic powder, honey, and salt. Stir together and pour the marinade into the bag, reserving 1/2 cup of the marinade. Knead chicken to ensure it's well covered in the marinade. Let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes up to 6 hours; avoid longer marinating time as the acid from the marinade will start to dry out the chicken.GRILL: Preheat grill to medium heat (400 degrees F). Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard any remaining marinade. Prepare the grill by cleaning, and then generously oil the grill (I drench a rolled-up paper towel in vegetable oil and, holding it with tongs, rub it over the grill grates). Heat grill to 400 degrees F. Add the chicken to the grill. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side or until it registers 160 degrees F (carryover heat will take it to the safe temperature of 165 degrees F). Remove grilled chicken to a plate and cover with foil. While grilling, brush most of the reserved marinade over the chicken. Leave about 3 tablespoons marinade to "dress" the chicken once it's grilled.QUINOA: Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve. Add the quinoa and chicken broth(or water) and salt to a small pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, and cover the pot. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed. Remove the pot from the heat, and keeping the pot still covered, let the quinoa stand and steam for 10-15 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork. If desired, add in some fresh lime juice to taste (1-2 tablespoons) and diced cilantro.MANGO SALSA: Place the thawed corn, drained and rinsed black beans, finely diced red onion, finely diced red pepper, diced mangoes, finely chopped cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, diced jalapeño, and cumin in a large bowl. Salt and pepper the salsa to taste. Stir the salsa and then taste and adjust any flavors to personal preference.SERVE: Divide the quinoa evenly onto 4 plates. Chop or thinly slice the chicken and add on top. Drizzle reserved 3 tablespoons marinade over the chicken. Divide salsa evenly onto plates. Optionally, garnish with cilantro and sliced avocado. Squeeze a wedge of fresh lime over the dish. Recipe NotesNote 1: The marinade is separated into three parts, so don't add it all to the raw chicken or you won't be able to use it later on. We use the mixture to marinate the chicken in, then as the chicken is cooking, we brush the reserved marinade on the meat. We'll also leave out some marinade to drizzle over everything after it's finished as a sort of dressing. Nutrition FactsCalories: 544kcal DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.