Packed with fruits and vegetables, this simple quinoa chicken salad is filled with the best flavors of summer. Perfect as a main or side dish!
1 cup (125g) walnut halves
1 pound (454g) chicken breasts
4 cups (946ml) water
1 tsp salt
5 TBS olive oil, divided
1 medium red onion, diced
1 and 1/2 cups (270g) uncooked quinoa, rinsed
2 and 1/2 cups (590ml) chicken stock
2 cups (330g) strawberries, sliced
1 cup (100g) radishes, sliced
1 cup (100g) yellow grape tomatoes
3 sprigs fresh basil, leaves finely chopped
5 TBS balsamic vinegar
2 cups arugula, about 2 large handfuls
2 cups baby spinach, 2 about large handfuls
freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (~177ºC). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Pour the walnuts onto the baking sheet and spread it to a single layer. Bake for 10-12 minutes. When the walnuts are cool enough to handle, chop them.
- Prepare the quinoa. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is heated, pour the onions into the pan and stir. When the onions turn translucent (about 2-3 minutes), add the quinoa and stir.
- Once the quinoa starts popping in the sauté pan (about 2 minutes), add the chicken broth and a pinch of salt. Let the quinoa cook uncovered for about 12 to 15 minutes so that it turns al dente.
- Once it is cooked, spread the quinoa onto a baking sheet or baking pan to cool. I poured the quinoa in a 9x13-inch baking pan and stuck it in the freezer for 15 minutes speed up the cooling.
- While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the chicken.
- Place the chicken and salt in a medium saucepan and fill it with the water, making sure there is enough to cover the chicken completely. Bring the water to boil over medium-high heat. Once the water boils, simmer at medium heat for about 15-20 minutes. Cut the chicken to make sure it is cooked through, and set it aside.
- When it is cool enough to handle, shred the chicken by pulling it apart with your hands. Mix the chicken with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- In a large bowl, mix the chicken, quinoa, chopped walnuts, balsamic vinegar, a tablespoon of olive oil, and basil together. Fold in the strawberries, radishes, arugula, and baby spinach. Serve with a bit of freshly ground black pepper.
- Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container.