Marinara Quinoa with Chicken

Marinara Quinoa with Chicken ~ by My Utensil Crock

When I first learned that quinoa can be cooked directly into a chili or stew {like with this recipe}, I was hooked. Sure, it is not difficult to make a pot of quinoa on its own, but one less step, and one less pot? Yes, please.

Marinara Quinoa with Chicken ~ by My Utensil Crock

This Marinara Quinoa with Chicken is such a satisfying dish after a long day; it is also an easy weeknight recipe that you can vary to your tastes. But my tastes are pretty pure in the marinara realm, i.e. any method to eat marinara sauce works for me, so I have kept this recipe pretty straightforward.

Marinara Quinoa with Chicken ~ by My Utensil Crock

I try to keep these ingredients on hand so I can assemble this dish quickly for a craving. If I don’t have fresh chicken, I move a package of chicken from the freezer to the fridge the night before or on my way out to work. If you don’t keep these ingredients in your pantry and haven’t planned your grocery list (or forgot it – isn’t that the worst?) and find yourself in a grocery store scanning your memory for easy dishes to throw together, this one works well. You would probably just need to pick up some quinoa, chicken, and a few cans of tomato products.

Marinara Quinoa with Chicken ~ by My Utensil Crock

Marinara Quinoa with Chicken
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or sliced
  • 3 oz tomato paste (half of a small can)
  • 1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 14.5 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1 t dried basil
  • .5 t dried parsley
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • water - fill one of the 14.5 oz cans
  • .5 c uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts (I have been using poached, but you can also cube it and saute, or roast), sliced thinly or cubed
  • Parmigiano-reggiano {optional topping}
  1. Heat a medium-sized dutch oven over medium-high heat. When warm, add 1 - 2 T extra virgin olive oil.
  2. When the oil is heated, add the onion and cook until it softens and starts to brown.
  3. Add the garlic and stir. Cook just until it starts to brown - about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  4. Add the tomato paste, and stir. Cook for one minute.
  5. Add the two cans of tomato. When you add the whole tomatoes, gently crush them with your hand before they go in the pot {be careful, they squirt!} and continue to break them up with a wooden spoon as you are cooking. Bring to a boil.
  6. Add the dried herbs and stir.
  7. Add a can of water, and stir. Make sure to dissolve the tomato paste.
  8. Add the quinoa, and bring back to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low, and cook uncovered until the quinoa is done {the little tails come out - see the close-up photo}
  9. Stir in the chicken and sprinkle with some Parmigiano-reggiano.

Marinara Quinoa with Chicken ~ by My Utensil Crock

Adapted from: This recipe is loosely based on Protein Bar’s “Healthy Parm” Quinoa Bowl.

Marinara Quinoa with Chicken-1Photos updated April 2017


  1. josie says

    I keep meaning to ask- how do you rinse and drain quinoa? I feel like a colander’s holes are too big.

    • says

      Hi Josie! I have been meaning to do a post on it, but the short story is, I use a mesh strainer, which has much smaller holes, like this:

      I soak the quinoa in a bowl or bucket, and then pour out the water through the strainer, letting the strainer catch any quinoa that might fall out. I then pour that quinoa back into the big bowl, and repeat the process 2-3 more times. Some instructions advise to just let water run through a strainer until it is clear, but I find that hard to do, and a waste of water, so this is the process I use. Let me know if you have other questions!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Rate this recipe: