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Chicken Quinoa Bowl

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


Chicken (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 oil
  • 1/4 cup regular soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken broth (can use water)
  • Optional: fresh lime and 1/4 cup diced cilantro

Mango Salsa

  • 1/2 cup frozen corn thawed
  • 1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup red onion finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup red pepper, diced
  • 2 ripe honey (Ataulfo) mangoes, peeled and diced (OR 1 large mango)
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon diced jalapeño
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Optional toppings: extra cilantro, an avocado, squeeze of fresh lime


  • MARINATE 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.


Note 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.


Serving: 4servings | Calories: 544kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 36.4g | Fat: 20.8g | Cholesterol: 91.3mg | Sodium: 597.9mg | Fiber: 7.1g | Sugar: 31g