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Pesto Chicken Quinoa Bowl Recipe

This pesto chicken quinoa bowl is packed with herbs from the basil pesto and the Italian spice mix and gets a slight kick of heat from the red pepper. If you enjoy the flavor profile, this dish can also be made with orzo in place of quinoa. 

Active Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 1 hr

Servings: 6


  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick half-moons
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ¾ cups water
  • 1 cup white quinoa
  • ½ cup prepared basil pesto
  • Thinly sliced fresh basil for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Combine Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper in a small bowl.
  2. Toss chicken, zucchini, tomatoes, oil and the Italian seasoning mixture together in a large bowl until evenly coated. Arrange chicken and vegetables in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Roast until the zucchini is tender, the tomatoes start to burst and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 165°F, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool for about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and shred, using 2 forks.
  4. Meanwhile, combine water and quinoa in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  5. Transfer the cooked quinoa and the roasted vegetables (with any juices from the baking sheet) to a large bowl. Add pesto; gently fold together until well combined. Divide the mixture among 6 bowls. Top evenly with the shredded chicken; garnish with basil, if desired.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

327 Calories

21g Fat

15g Carbs

23g Protein


Recipe by Jasmine Smith / Eating Well

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