BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad is a healthy party on a plate!
Have you ever come up with a fabulous idea for a recipe
and thought to yourself, I’m a frickin’ genius!, only to realize after Googling said idea that you’re about the 4 millionth person to the party?
Yeah, me too. ;)
Always looking for a new way to use quinoa in my cooking, as it’s a food Ben and I can both agree on (unlike onions, fruit, cream cheese, eel, squash, bacon wrapped giblets, cool whip, ham, chevre, eggs, peanut noodles, or mushrooms) and can’t be beat in the nutritional department, I thought –
What if – just WHAT IF – I paired fluffy quinoa with summer staples like grilled chicken & corn, then drizzled it with a cool dressing of sweet BBQ sauce and creamy Greek yogurt, and called it thebestthingeverrrr?!
Well, I can tell you why it’s a popular idea, because BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad is seriously unreal!
Full of over-the-top flavors like smoky grilled corn and sassy BBQ sauce, and protein-packed ingredients like grilled chicken, creamy black beans, and fluffy quinoa, BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad is pretty much a healthy and delicious party on a plate.
Use leftover grilled chicken and corn from your last BBQ, or even rotisserie chicken and frozen corn, to get BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad to your table even faster. No matter the method, the fresh and satisfying flavors will still shine through!
Start by rinsing 1 cup quinoa in a fine mesh sieve under cold, running water. Do not skip this step! Quinoa has a naturally bitter coating called saponin which will ruin the final dish if it’s not rinsed off, mmkay?
After rinsing the quinoa, combine it with 2 cups chicken broth in a small saucepan, then bring it to a boil on the stovetop.
Place a lid on top, lower the heat to medium low, then cook the quinoa for 20 minutes or so, until it’s light, fluffy, and springy. You don’t have to cook it in chicken broth, btw. I just think it adds SO much flavor.
Meanwhile, grill 2 chicken breasts seasoned with salt & pepper, and 2 ears shucked corn, over medium-high heat. The chicken should take about 4-5 minutes a side, and the corn will take just as long. A match made in grilling heaven!
Also, as I mentioned, you could totally use rotisserie or leftover chicken, and frozen –> thawed or canned corn kernels to make the dish come together even faster. Your call!
Let the chicken cool off the grill for a few minutes, then shred or chop it up, and toss with enough of your favorite BBQ sauce to coat.
Then slice the charred kernels off the corn cob (drool.)
To make the BBQ sauce drizzle that goes on top of the dish, simply stir together 1/4 cup each BBQ sauce and plain Greek yogurt.
I have to share that this GIANT tub of Chobani was only $.88 at the grocery store the other day. $.88! I nearly fell over my shopping cart! Ok, it was going to expire in 4 days…but still!
Top the cooked quinoa with shredded BBQ chicken and grilled corn, then add black beans and shredded cheddar cheese. Pop the dish in the microwave for 20 seconds to melt the cheese (if you want) then drizzle with the BBQ sauce dressing, and top with chopped cilantro. Finally, faceplant!
BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad
1 cup quinoa, rinsed very well
2 cups chicken broth
2 chicken breasts
salt & pepper
2 ears corn, shucked (or 1 cup corn kernels)
1/2 cup black beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup BBQ sauce (plus more for chicken)
- Rinse quinoa very well in a fine mesh sieve under cold running water. Combine with the chicken broth in a saucepan then bring to a boil. Place a lid on top, lower heat to medium-low, and cook until quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt & pepper, then grill over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes a side, or until no longer pink in the center. (Alternatively you could poach the chicken, or use leftover or rotisserie chicken.) Add corn to the grill at the same time, and rotate every couple of minutes to evenly char on all sides. Remove chicken and corn to a plate and let cool slightly. Shred or cut chicken into cubes, then mix with enough BBQ sauce to coat. Slice kernels off the cob.
- Mix together Greek yogurt and BBQ sauce in a bowl. Evenly divide the cooked quinoa, shredded BBQ chicken, grilled corn, black beans, and shredded cheese between four plates. Drizzle with yogurt and BBQ sauce mixture, then garnish with chopped cilantro.
I don’t know what I’m more tickled about – how filling or how flavorful this dish is!
The BBQ sauce + Greek yogurt drizzle totally put it over the top.
Enjoy for lunch, dinner, 4th meal – or heck, even breakfast, if you’re into that sorta thing!
I tried savory oatmeal once and nearly puked. This, I could probably go for, but then lunchtime would come around and I’d be ticked I ate all the leftovers.