Thai Peanut Chicken Quinoa Bowls


Gluten-free Thai Peanut Chicken Quinoa Bowls have the signature flavors of Chicken Pad Thai. Quick, easy, and delicious! 

Thai Peanut Chicken Quinoa Bowls #quinoa #dinner #Thai #recipe @IowaGirlEats |

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! 

Thai Peanut Chicken Quinoa Bowls #quinoa #dinner #Thai #recipe @IowaGirlEats |

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 SproutsCalifornia Crab and Quinoa Saladand 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!

Thai Peanut Chicken Quinoa Bowls #quinoa #dinner #Thai #recipe @IowaGirlEats |

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 gluten-free tamari or soy sauce, 3 Tablespoons rice vinegar, 2 Tablespoons water, 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon each sugar and peanut butter, and 2 teaspoons gluten-free chili garlic sauce in a bowl then microwave for 20 seconds and stir with a fork until smooth.


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 #quinoa #dinner #Thai #recipe @IowaGirlEats |

Thai Peanut Chicken Quinoa Bowls

serves 4


Gluten-free Thai Peanut Chicken Quinoa Bowls have the signature flavors of Chicken Pad Thai. Quick, easy, and delicious!


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1-3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil, divided
  • 1 large chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup coleslaw mix
  • 1/2 cup frozen shelled edamame
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup salted peanuts, chopped and divided
  • For the Thai Peanut Sauce:
    • 1/4 cup gluten-free tamari or soy sauce
    • 3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
    • 2 Tablespoons water
    • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon peanut butter
    • 2 teaspoons gluten-free chili garlic sauce


  1. 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.)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Add cooked chicken, quinoa, sauce, and half the chopped peanuts to wok then toss to combine. Serve with remaining chopped peanuts.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,


If you’re as cold as we are, add a few dashes of red chili pepper flakes for some heat. Stay warm, and enjoy!

Thai Peanut Chicken Quinoa Bowls #quinoa #dinner #Thai #recipe @IowaGirlEats |

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  1. Rainey 01.06.2014

    Oh my goodness, The Heat is seriously awesome. You can’t go wrong with those two fantastic actresses, methinks.

  2. “The Heat” is SO funny! Love that movie!
    But, I love this Thai Peanut Quinoa Bowl more! Swapping out noodles with quinoa is such a genius idea! I can only imagine how good it is with a little crunch from the peanuts with the creamy peanut sauce. Hello yummy!

  3. The Heat was *hilarious*! Ben obviously has bad taste in movies (JK)…but even my husband laughed with me. I LOVE chicken pad thai, so I will definitely have to make this next week!

  4. Haha…my husband and I had very similar reactions to that movie. :-) These bowls look awesome!

  5. Now this is my kind of dinner!! Loving all the flavors going on here!

  6. C. 01.06.2014

    This looks delicious! I haven’t had much luck making Thai food myself before, but my fails have been in the slow cooker… looking forward to trying this out instead.

  7. Katy 01.06.2014

    Ha, I definitely don’t have any of those ingredients in my kitchen right now, but it looks delicious enough to go to the store for…when it gets above zero again. :)

  8. I love that you switched out quinoa for noodles! This sounds so yummy and your photos are beautiful Kristin!

  9. Pad thai is my absolute favorite Thai food and up there as one of my favorite foods. I’ll definitely try combining this favorite “classic” since it subs my boyfriend’s favorite grain/starch…win-win recipe for our house.

  10. Ali 01.06.2014

    I’ve heard The Heat is really funny. I need to watch it soon. I also need to make this dish ASAP. I made a rice noodle thai peanut dish this past weekend. I can’t get enough of that flavor.

  11. this is one of the first dishes that has looked appealing to me in days! i haven’t had quinoa in the house forever, i can’t believe i keep forgetting to pick it up!

  12. Tracy 01.06.2014

    Pretty sure I could drink that peanut sauce!

    Stay warm! It’s freaking cold here in KC too!

  13. Monica 01.06.2014

    This recipe looks fantastic! My mouth is watering.

    I live in the Twin Cities where it is currently -16 but feels like -38. I’m wishing I would have booked a tropical vacation this month!

  14. Hannah 01.06.2014

    Oh Kristin!

    Thanks so much for explaining how to cook quinoa properly!
    Tonight, we have the Skinny Chicken and Rice Casserole, but I have to squeeze this delicious dinner into this week as well!

  15. Elyse 01.06.2014

    These are the times I wish my fork could go through the screen. That looks SO good! My husband and I actually just moved to Chicago from Dallas and it is a whopping -15 outside today with a -40 windchill. Seriously. Being a Texan this cold just feels evil to me. Of course our first winter would be the worst they have had in years LOL I’m glad I have healthy recipes like these when all I want to warm up is macaroni and cheese

  16. Yep. Minnesota is cancelled. Except for the gym I work at. It’s January, so you better believe people made it to the gym…even though my phone told me it was -26 with a windchill of -49 when I drove into work. #crazy

    This recipe looks amazing! I love me some thai food and I’d love to try to make my own at home! Pinning and adding this to my weekly favorites! :)

  17. yes, I would like a bowl full of this in front of me now. i always make burrito bowls with quinoa but never asian themed bowls. this is so delicious looking.

  18. I am oh so excited to make this! Adore anything with quinoa!

  19. Kacie 01.06.2014

    Oh my word…this looks so yummy! Can’t wait to try it! Came at the best time…right before I headed to the grocery store for dinner items. And I’ll have to check out “The Heat”. I like Melissa McCarthy! She’s always good for a laugh!

  20. em@simplypresent 01.06.2014

    I shouldn’t have looked at this while I was hungry…

  21. robin 01.06.2014

    so so yummy looking! I am so pumped I just bought a huge organic Bolivian quinoa at Costco. Super cool. Yep.

  22. Ruth 01.06.2014

    I have a soy allergy. What would you suggest using in place of the edamame?

  23. Michelle 01.06.2014

    I can’t wait to make this! It looks amazing!! Thanks for always having such great recipe ideas. My husband gets excited if I say I am making an “IowaGirlEats” recipe for dinner! :)

  24. I saw this while eating my bordering-on-boring salad with quinoa for lunch at work today – and did I sure wish it was this delicious looking bowl instead! For some reason in our house we love Asian-inspired meals, but only think to make them every now and again. Lucky for us, when the craving hits we already have a bunch of the ingredients (sesame oil, chili garlic sauce, rice vinegar, soy sauce etc.) on hand!

  25. […] Thai Peanut Chicken Quinoa Bowls […]

  26. Karla K 01.07.2014

    Eating this for lunch right now – it’s so delicious! Glad to have another option to add into my quinoa lunch rotation!

    • Karla K 01.07.2014

      Also wanted to note that I subbed broccoli slaw for the coleslaw mix because that’s what i had on hand and it works great here.

  27. Layla 01.07.2014

    Made this last night and it was delicious! Didn’t have edamame in the freezer so I used peas, but otherwise the same. Kids loved it too!

  28. Brooke 01.07.2014

    Eating a bowl of this right now! So delicious and pretty simple to make once everything is prepped. I love the quinoa instead of heavy rice or noodles and the peanut sauce has a great consistency and flavor balance. Looking forward to leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

  29. Oh yum! This looks delish!

  30. Jennifer 01.07.2014

    Made this today – totally delicious! My husband and I WOLFED this down…kinda embarassing, actually, but it was so amazing! Subbed in peas (that’s what I had) and I just finely sliced green cabbage and grated some carrots out the garden since I didn’t have the mix. It’s a keeper!

  31. Laura 01.08.2014

    Delicious, made this tonight and substituted grated carrots and green beans as no slaw mix on hand. But delicious. Loved the sauce and am going to marinade some chicken in it for my daughter. Thank you for how to cook quinoa properly – came out perfect! Yum yum!

  32. Hannah 01.08.2014

    Super good and quick! Very easy to change and swap ingredients

  33. Stefani 01.09.2014

    This looks delicious! I am wondering how long things like balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, white cooking wines etc keep for once opened? I know they are not all in this recipe it just reminded me I meant to ask:-)

    • Iowa Girl Eats 01.09.2014

      Olive oil can last 2 years if kept tightly capped – balsamic vinegar up to 5 years if kept in a cool dry place (per Old Town Oil: I’d go by the “use by” date on the soy sauce bottle!

  34. Mary 01.09.2014

    I will have to try this. I pretty much love anything covered in peanut sauce. I made another quinoa recipe with peanut sauce recently that you might like. I like to cheat and precook quinoa in my ricecooker so I can take a cup for lunches, add different veggie & sauces so I don’t get sick of eating a big batch of something.

  35. calliope 01.09.2014

    This is such a great recipe, thanks for posting! :D

  36. Kim 01.09.2014

    Made this tonight- SO GOOD! Adding this into my monthly rotation of recipes for sure! Love that all the ingredients are staples, too!

  37. Trisha 01.09.2014

    Eating this right now, with a few swaps due to pure laziness and a sudden obsession with Brussels sprouts, and it is DIVINE! I could eat it every night.

  38. Emily 01.09.2014

    Shared this one with my yoga peeps. Delicious and can be made Vegan with vegetable broth and tofu:) Made it tonight. Yummy Yummy!!!!! Next time I may garnish with cilantro like in your picture. Happy heat wave starting tomorrow:) Yippee!!!

  39. […] Thai Peanut Chicken Quinoa Bowls.  I have been having a thing for Thai food in general, but pad thai to be more specific lately.  I just can’t get enough.  I feel like I need to have it at least once a week lately.  Kristen substituted quinoa for rice noodles in this popular dish.  I think it’s calling my name this weekend. […]

  40. […] Thai Peanut Chicken Quinoa Bowls by Kristen at Iowa Girl Eats […]

  41. Sydney 01.10.2014

    I just made a vegetarian version of this recipe, substituting black beans and garbanzo beans for the chicken and it was fabulous!! Thanks for the great recipe once again :) This was a hit with all my family members!

  42. […] Inspired by Iowa Girl Eats […]

  43. Nalex 01.11.2014

    I just made this for dinner & it turned out nothing like the picture… Tasted good, but was too much liquid

  44. Sunday Links 01.12.2014

    […] Thai Peanut Chicken Peanut Bowls. << Minus the eggs, please and thanks. […]

  45. […] I will be making these peanut chicken quinoa bowls for my lunch this week […]

  46. Bean Bytes 72 01.12.2014

    […] & Prosciutto Skewers Lentil Enchilada Wonton Cups Thai Peanut Chicken Bowls Return of Meatless Mondays A-Z! 5 Salad in a Jar Combos How to Make Salted Caramel Without A Candy […]

  47. Jordan Esbeck 01.13.2014

    I picked up all the ingredients for Thai Peanut Chicken Bowls this weekend, but HyVee in West Des Moines was all out of Chili Garlic Sauce:( I have a feeling all your readers had the same idea I did…looks so tasty, I’ll have to improvise!!!

  48. […] excited to try this Thai peanut chicken bowl – we were eating quinoa a lot a few months ago and I miss […]

  49. Ashley 01.15.2014

    I made this for my fiance and I this week and we both loved it! It’s definitely a great winter “sticks to your ribs” kind of meal. I also didn’t hurt that I could throw it together in 20 minutes :)

  50. Now this is my kind of quinoa bowl!

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