Thai Peanut Chicken Quinoa Bowls is a filling quinoa recipe with the signature flavors of Chicken Pad Thai. Quick, easy, and delicious!
Hi everyone! Gosh this weekend went by in the blink of an eye, didn’t it?! The Midwest is facing a serious arctic blast. Schools and business are closed today – I think the entire state of Minnesota is cancelled – so I spent the past few days indoors working, playing with my sweet babe, and laying low. It was fabulous!
Oh, we rented The Heat with Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock on Saturday night. I laughed out loud the entire two hours while Ben proclaimed it to be one of the worst movies he’s ever seen. What?! I’m calling shenanigans. If you’re in need of a laugh, definitely rent it. You’re welcome.
Anyway, the frigid temps are supposed to continue this week (today’s high is negative two. Yes. High.) making leaving the house, even to go to the grocery store, very unappealing. If you’re in the same boat I’ve got an awesome recipe for you to try: Thai Peanut Chicken Quinoa Bowls!
Made with nearly all fridge, freezer and pantry staples, Thai Peanut Chicken Quinoa Bowls channel my favorite recipe for Chicken Pad Thai, swapping rice noodles for quinoa. This recipe is fantastic!
I’ve professed that in the past I made a TON of bad Pad Thai. Like, really, really bad. It was thick, gloopy, and the furthest thing from appetizing. After Ben politely put the kibosh on my peanut noodle problem, I went back to the kitchen and re-mastered the sauce once and for all. The result was a perfectly peanutty, savory sauce that doesn’t coat the noodles, rather, gets absorbed by them. So, so delicious.
Since I’m on a quinoa kick right now (see Quinoa with Caramelized Butternut Squash and Roasted Brussels Sprouts, California Crab and Quinoa Salad, and Crunchy Quinoa Granola!) I thought I’d re-make the dish using my favorite superfood instead of rice noodles, and it turned out awesome. Really hope you’ll give this filling, fast, and flavorful dish a try – no special grocery store run required!
Start by rinsing 1 cup quinoa under cold running water.
Quinoa is actually a seed and is very healthy. In addition to cooking it in chicken broth with a hit of garlic and parmesan cheese as a side dish for dinner, I like to occasionally use it in place of rice or pasta, like in this dish, since it’s high in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Quinoa is very easy to cook, too, and is ready in 15 minutes.
Quinoa is naturally coated in a bitter substance called saponin which needs to be rinsed off. Just add the quinoa to a fine mesh sieve and rinse under cold running water. I go an extra step and line my sieve with cheesecloth because I’m insane and hate to lose even a single seed through the mesh!
After rinsing the quinoa, add it to 1-3/4 cup boiling chicken broth then place a lid on top, turn the heat down to medium-low, and then simmer until all the broth is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork then set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile get the Thai Peanut Sauce ready. Simply combine 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce, 3 Tablespoons rice vinegar, 2 Tablespoons water, 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon each sugar and peanut butter, and 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce in a bowl then microwave for 20 seconds and stir with a fork until smooth.
This is chili garlic sauce, by the way, which you can find next to the soy sauce in the grocery store. It’s a staple in all my Thai and Chinese cooking. I put it in every stir fry I make. It’s not too spicy…just a little. Helpful!
Now get the rest of the ingredients ready including 1 large chicken breast thinly sliced, 1 cup coleslaw mix, 1/2 cup frozen shelled edamame (not thawed,) 2 chopped green onions, 1 egg whisked with 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, and 1/4 cup chopped salted peanuts.
My #1 rule for stir frying is to make sure all your ingredients are prepped and ready to go before you start cooking. The actual stir fry process goes too quickly to be chopping or measuring in the middle of it!
Time to start cookin’! Heat 1 teaspoon peanut oil (or vegetable or coconut oil) in a large wok or skillet over high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper then add to the wok and stir fry until no longer pink. Remove to a place then set aside.
Heat another teaspoon peanut oil in the wok then add the coleslaw mix, shelled frozen edamame, and green onions. Stir fry until just becoming tender then push to the outsides of the wok.
In the center of the wok add the egg whisked with sesame oil then stir until just barely scrambled.
Finally, add the cooked quinoa and chicken back into the wok along with the chopped peanuts and sauce.
Toss to combine, then serve topped with (LOTS of) extra chopped peanuts!
Thai Peanut Chicken Quinoa Bowls
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1-3/4 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons peanut oil, divided
1 large chicken breast (6oz), thinly sliced
salt and pepper
1 cup coleslaw mix
1/2 cup frozen shelled edamame
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 cup salted peanuts, chopped and divided
For the Thai Peanut Sauce:
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce or GF Tamari
3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon peanut butter
2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
- Bring chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan then add rinsed quinoa. Place a lid on top then lower heat and cook until quinoa has absorbed chicken broth, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork then set aside. (Can be done ahead of time.)
- Combine all sauce ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl then microwave for 20 seconds.Stir until smooth then set aside. Whisk together egg and sesame oil in a small bowl then set aside.
- Heat 1 teaspoon peanut oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper then add to wok and stir fry until no longer pink. Remove to a plate then set aside.
- Heat remaining teaspoon peanut oil in wok then add coleslaw mix, frozen edamame, and green onions. Stir fry until tender, 2-3 minutes, then push to outsides of wok, creating a clear space in the center. Add egg whisked with sesame oil to center of wok then stir fry until soft scrambled.
- Add cooked chicken, quinoa, sauce, and half the chopped peanuts to wok then toss to combine. Serve with remaining chopped peanuts.
If you’re as cold as we are, add a few dashes of red chili pepper flakes for some heat. Stay warm, and enjoy!