If you’re looking for a healthy and delicious way to add some variety to your lunch or dinner routine, look no further than the Lemon Chicken Quinoa Salad. This flavorful and satisfying dish combines the protein and fiber of quinoa with the tangy and refreshing taste of lemon and chicken, making for a dish that is both nutritious and satisfying.
Quinoa has been touted as a superfood due to its high protein and fiber content, and the fact that it is gluten-free. It also contains essential vitamins and minerals, such as iron and magnesium. Adding chicken to the mix provides even more protein, making this salad an excellent choice for anyone looking to increase their protein intake.
The lemon dressing is what really sets this salad apart. Not only does it add a burst of flavor, but it also helps to keep the salad fresh and crisp. Lemon juice is high in vitamin C, which is essential for a healthy immune system, and it also contains antioxidants that can help protect against disease.
This salad is also very easy to make, making it a great option for busy weeknights or for meal prep. Simply cook the quinoa and chicken, chop up some veggies (such as cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and red onion), and toss everything together with the lemon dressing. You can also add other ingredients to the salad to suit your taste, such as avocado or feta cheese.
Lemon Chicken Quinoa Salad is a delicious and nutritious meal that is sure to satisfy your hunger and your taste buds. Give it a try and see for yourself why it’s become such a popular dish!
8 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Quinoa
Quinoa, pronounced KEEN-wah, is a grain-like seed that has gained popularity in recent years due to its health benefits. Quinoa is versatile and can be used in various recipes, making it easy to incorporate into your diet. In this blog post, we will explore eight evidence-based health benefits of quinoa.
1. Packed with Nutrients
Quinoa is a nutrient-dense food that is a good source of vitamins and minerals. It contains high levels of magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and manganese. Quinoa is also rich in fiber and protein, making it a great option for people looking to increase their nutrient intake.
2. Contains Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Plant Compounds
Quinoa contains plant compounds like flavonoids and saponins, which act as antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds protect the body from oxidative stress and inflammation, which can lead to chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
3. Higher in Fiber Than Many Grains
Quinoa is higher in fiber than many grains, which is beneficial for digestive health. Fiber can help regulate bowel movements, lower cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of colon cancer.
4. Gluten-Free and Great for People with Gluten Intolerance
Quinoa is naturally gluten-free, making it an excellent option for people with gluten intolerance. Quinoa is also low on the glycemic index, meaning it won’t cause blood sugar spikes like other grains.
5. A Good Source of Protein
Quinoa is a good source of plant-based protein, containing all nine essential amino acids that the body needs for muscle growth and repair. This makes it an excellent option for vegetarians and vegans.
6. High in Important Vitamins and Minerals
Quinoa is high in vitamins B and E, which are essential for energy production and immune function. It is also rich in magnesium, which is necessary for healthy bones, and iron, which is important for healthy blood flow.
7. May Have Beneficial Effects on Metabolic Health
Some studies suggest that quinoa may have beneficial effects on metabolic health, including reducing cholesterol levels and improving blood sugar control. These benefits could be due to its high fiber and protein content.
8. Easy to Incorporate into Your Diet
Quinoa is versatile and easy to incorporate into your diet. It can be used as a substitute for rice or pasta, added to salads or soups, or used as a base for grain bowls. Quinoa is also a great option for meal prep, as it can be cooked in large batches and stored in the fridge or freezer for later use.
The Bottom Line
Quinoa is a nutritious, gluten-free, and versatile food that can offer a range of health benefits. It is rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making it an excellent option for people looking to increase their nutrient intake. Whether you’re looking to improve your digestive health, lower your cholesterol levels, or incorporate more plant-based protein into your diet, quinoa is a great choice.
How to Make Lemon Chicken Quinoa Salad
Lemon chicken quinoa salad with Mediterranean-inspired veggies. It’s an easy make-ahead salad that also doubles up as a healthy meal prep idea.
Prep time: 20 | Cook time: 45 | Total time: 1 HOUR 5 MINUTES | Yield: 6 1X | Category: SALAD | Method: CHOPPED | Cuisine: MEDITERRANEAN
Ingredients of Lemon Chicken Quinoa Salad
- 1 lb. bone-in chicken breast with skin-on
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 1/2 English cucumber, chopped (2 cups)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup sliced green onions
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 4 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for roasting
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (1 – 1 1/2 lemons)
- Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
- Fresh mint, to garnish, optional
Instructions for Making Lemon Chicken Quinoa Salad
- Prepare the chicken: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Generously rub the chicken breast with olive oil and season with salt and pepper on each side. Bake on a parchment-lined pan for 40-45 minutes or until cooked through. When chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin, pull the meat off the bones and shred it using your hands or two forks.
- Prepare the quinoa: Cook quinoa according to package directions. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes, then transfer to a large salad bowl. Cool for 10-15 minutes before adding in the rest of the ingredients.
- Prepare the salad: To the quinoa, add shredded chicken, cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley, green onions, olives, feta cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice and pour over the salad. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes before serving.
Lemon Chicken Quinoa Salad Recipe’s Notes
- Chicken: When roasting chicken, keep the skin on. It will keep the meat moist. You can also save on prep time and use rotisserie chicken.
- Quinoa: Do not toss the hot quinoa with the vinaigrette as it will immediately soak up all of the liquid and your salad will be dry. Make sure to let the quinoa cool for 10-15 minutes after it’s been cooked.
- Leftovers: Quinoa salad can be refrigerated for up to 3-4 days in an airtight container. If you find the salad getting a little dry, add a drizzle of olive oil and little lemon juice to freshen it up.
Nutrition of Lemon Chicken Quinoa Salad
Serving Size: Calories: 378 | Sugar: 2.3 g | Sodium: 280 mg | Fat: 19.9 g | Carbohydrates: 23.4 g | Protein: 27.3 g | Cholesterol: 77.5 mg