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.
- Beans: 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.
- Chicken: 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. You can also use this Instant Pot shredded chicken recipe for meal prepping — faster than a slow cooker and just as good.
- Salsa: I use my restaurant style salsa to make the sauce for this recipe, but you can also use store-bought salsa.
- Quinoa: I 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 – why cook it more than once if you don’t have to? If you want, you can read more about freezing quinoa.
- Sauce: 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. Drizzle this mixture on top, or mix it with the quinoa, especially if you’re thinking the quinoa seems a bit dry. Or both!
Make it your own
As with most of my recipes, have fun with this southwestern quinoa bowl! Be creative — pretty much anything goes with this bowl. Here are some ideas:
- Make it a fajita bowl: Throw some sautéed peppers and onions in your bowl, or diced roasted poblanos, roasted sweet potatoes. Add toppings you’d normally put on a taco. Mash the avocado up or use guacamole.
- Make it vegetarian: Omit the chicken or replace the chicken with crispy air fryer tofu.
- Use leftovers: Have leftover taco meat? Try using that instead of chicken.
- Make it extra saucy: If you want to make a little extra sauce, you won’t be mad that you did. 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.
- Level up: 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
- 1/4 cup drained and rinsed black beans
- 1/4 medium-sized avocado
- fresh cilantro
- 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.