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Chicken Fried Quinoa

The holidays can bring more complicated cooking adventures and heavier meals than usual. Enjoying leisurely dinners with friends and family is a wonderful way to spend time together. But on your “off” nights, you may want something quick and healthy that you can toss in a pan and be done with it.
This recipe is a healthier variation on chicken fried rice, swapping quinoa for the white rice to boost protein and fiber, and adding more vegetables. Want even more veggies? Throw in a little diced zucchini or a few broccoli florets (cut them small, so they cook quickly). If you’re looking to reduce your meat intake, you can use a package of extra-firm tofu, cubed, instead of the chicken.

Chicken Fried Quinoa

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4



  • 1  1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2  1/2 cups cooled cooked quinoa
  • 3/4 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free lower-sodium soy sauce or tamari*
  • Optional: additional chopped scallions and toasted sesame seeds for garnish



  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add 1 Tbsp of the oil to the pan; swirl to coat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring often, for about 4 minutes.
  2. Add the bell pepper, scallions, garlic, and ginger to skillet and cook, stirring often, until the chicken is done and the vegetables are just tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken mixture to a plate and wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel.
  3. Heat the remaining 1/2 Tbsp oil in the same skillet over medium. Add the quinoa and edamame and cook, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Push the quinoa mixture to the side of the skillet.
  4. Add the egg to opposite side of the skillet and cook, stirring constantly, until scrambled, about 1 minute; stir in the quinoa mixture.
  5. Add the chicken mixture and soy sauce to the skillet and cook, stirring often, until thoroughly heated, about 1 minute.
  6. Sprinkle with more chopped scallions and sesame seeds, if using.

*Want a more deeply-flavored, complex sauce? Omit the tamari and make a batch of the sauce from this recipe.


Adapted from Cooking Light