Chicken and black beans make this Southwestern Quinoa Bowl an incredibly filling and healthy lunch or dinner. It’s ideal if you do meal prepping!
Meal prep, as we’ve talked about, is something I always try to do, but I’m not the best at. I find that if I try to do just a couple things, I’m always more successful.
Enter this quinoa bowl. Prep the chicken and the quinoa and you’re good to go for the week. The rest of it takes just minutes to prepare.
I use canned black beans for this recipe, drained and rinsed. However, I love to cook up a batch of pinto beans in my Instant Pot and keep them in the fridge or freezer for easy to assemble bowls like this.
I like this slow cooker shredded chicken recipe – it’s one that I make SO often, especially if I find myself with a pack of chicken in the fridge that I thought I had plans for but life got in the way. Into the slow cooker it goes with salsa and taco seasoning and life is good again.
Sometimes if I don’t have a jar of salsa, I improvise with a can of tomatoes, a can of green chiles, and some finely diced onions in addition to the taco seasoning. Or sometimes I use my restaurant style salsa to make this chicken and it turns out wonderful (that’s what I use in the sauce too, but we’ll talk about that in a second).
You can also use this Instant Pot shredded chicken recipe for meal prepping — faster than a slow cooker and just as good.
I also typically cook my quinoa in advance. I cook an entire bag at one time and then freeze the cooked quinoa either in three cup or even 1 cup portions. It makes it so much convenient to eat quinoa that you’ll find yourself eating it a lot more often. Why cook it more than once if you don’t have to? If you want, you can read more about freezing quinoa. It’s a rather old post but the method is the same.
The last thing I want to touch on is the sauce. It’s a simple combination of my restaurant style salsa (which I’m obsessed with) and Greek yogurt. Of course, you can use sour cream instead but I like to keep it a bit healthier. Drizzle this mixture on top, or mix it with the quinoa, especially if you’re thinking the quinoa seems a bit dry. Or both!
If you want to make a little extra sauce, you won’t be mad that you did and it’s quite low in calories so you don’t have to feel guilty about it. If you want to get even further ahead with meal prep, you could mix this dressing up in advance as well and have it ready to go. It may separate a bit in the fridge, but just give it a stir and you’ll be good to go.
And of course, as with most of my recipes, have fun with this southwestern quinoa bowl! Be creative — pretty much anything goes with this bowl. Pretend you’re at a certain fast food restaurant and there’s an array of toppings to choose from.
Throw some sautéed peppers and onions in your bowl (fajita bowl!), or diced roasted poblanos, roasted sweet potatoes. Add toppings you’d normally put on a taco. Mash the avocado up or use guacamole. Put so much cilantro on it that you can’t even see the other ingredients (or is that just something I do?). Make it your own!
If you want to kick these up a notch, try topping them with my easy pickled red onions!
- 1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons [salsa]
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup shredded cooked chicken breast (I use this [slow cooker shredded chicken])
- 1/4 cup drained and rinsed black beans
- 1/4 of a medium-sized avocado
- Diced tomatoes
- In a small bowl, mix Greek yogurt with salsa until combined. You can either save this to drizzle over the top or toss your quinoa in it.
- In a bowl, add quinoa, chicken, black beans, avocado, cilantro and diced tomatoes. Drizzle salsa and yogurt mixture over the top if you didn’t mix it with the quinoa.
- Serve immediately.
- You may switch up this recipe depending on what you have on hand. Add lettuce, jalapeno, green onion, cheddar cheese, or try it with a different protein, such as tofu or taco meat.
- I like this cold but you could also enjoy it warm. Heat the quinoa, chicken, and black beans in the microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute or until warm and then add the remainder of the toppings.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.