Mexican Chicken Quinoa

This simple, hearty, and healthy meal is a cinch to make and is so rich in flavor, it’s bound to become a weeknight tradition.

Mexican Chicken Quinoa
I am so excited to share this wonderful concoction of flavors with you!  It’s funny how some of my favorite dishes come to be. This one began as chicken thighs that I thawed out one afternoon, didn’t end up using for dinner, and then had to use the next day because really, I simply CANNOT allow 2 pounds of chicken to go bad.
Mexican Chicken Quinoa
I was also craving enchiladas but more importantly was in the mood for a one pot, ready to serve in under 30 minutes, kind of meal. So, inspired by the flavors in my Lightened Up Enchilada Casserole  and the bone deep exhaustion that that only pregnancy can bring…. I bring to you my super easy Mexican Chicken Quinoa.
Mexican Chicken Quinoa


I have only a few quick notes before you get started.
1) I used chicken thighs because A) It’s what I had on hand B) It’s super moist and flavorful C) My hubby despises chicken breast. Feel free to use whatever chicken you have on hand but please note that if you use chicken breast, the calories and fat will decrease a bit.
2) I often have cooked quinoa hanging out in my refrigerator, ready to be sprinkled over salads or into soups for a bit of a nutritional boost, which is why this was a one pot dish. If you don’t have any precooked, please don’t just sprinkle it in uncooked. It takes about 15 minutes to cook quinoa but you can be simmering it on the back of the stove while everything else cooks up. Super easy. If you don’t have quinoa, rice is a great substitute.
Mexican Chicken Quinoa
3) In terms of heat this meal is fairly mild. My kids are still little (6 and 4) so I can’t go too crazy. If you and your family like a bit more heat, you could always use the hot canned green chilies instead of the mild or you could leave the seeds in 1 of the jalapeños. Those are two very simple ways to amp up the spice factor.
That’s it. Easy, healthy, and family friendly, this would be a great way to switch things up on those busy week nights.
Mexican Chicken Quinoa

Mexican Chicken Quinoa

  • Yield: 7 servings (1cup)
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 7ounce can diced green chilies, mild (use hot for more heat)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 jalapeño, deseeded and diced (leave the seeds for more heat)
  • 2 cups canned tomato purée
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons your favorite hot sauce, I used Cholula Hot Sauce,
  • 1 cup canned corn, drained
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups white quinoa, cooked
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped


  1. In a large, greased pan, on a medium/low heat, begin cooking chicken thighs.

  2. As chicken cooks, drizzle on the juice from the canned chilies as well as 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.

  3. After 3-5 minutes (or when chicken is halfway done, flip chicken thighs and add diced onion and jalapeños.

  4. Once chicken is cooked through (no longer pink in the middle) and the onions and jalapeños have softened, remove chicken and cut into bite sized pieces. Set aside. (I find kitchen scissors to be very helpful here)

  5. Add canned green chilies, tomato purée, spices, and hot sauce to pan.

  6. Slowly simmer for 3-5 minutes.

  7. Stir in diced chicken, beans, corn, cooked quinoa, and cilantro.

  8. Serve immediately.


I served this in bowls with tortilla chips. Soft tortillas and shredded cheddar would also be great. Enjoy.

Nutrition Facts Servings 7.0 Amount Per Serving 1 Full Cup calories 306 Total Fat 10g Saturated Fat 2g Monounsaturated Fat 4g Polyunsaturated Fat 2g Trans Fat 0g Cholesterol 103mg Sodium 791mg Potassium 370mg Total Carbohydrate 29g Dietary Fiber 6g Sugars 6g Protein 27g

Mexican Chicken Quinoa

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