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Chicken and Garden Veggies Quinoa Skillet Recipe -- Under 40 minutes and you have a healthy dinner with leftovers the whole family will love. Use any firm veggies like zucchini, tomatoes, corn you got on hand. | ifoodreal.com

Sautéed chicken with bell peppers, zucchini, broccoli and quinoa. All in one quinoa skillet and takes less than 40 minutes to make. I do love simple dinners and my chicken: chicken and cauliflower in homemade teriyaki sauce, chicken Abruzzi and one pot quinoa, chicken and broccoli. My garden is not overflowing with vegetables but my local farmer’s market is.

Chicken and Garden Veggies Quinoa Skillet Recipe -- Under 40 minutes and you have a healthy dinner with leftovers the whole family will love. Use any firm veggies like zucchini, tomatoes, corn you got on hand. | ifoodreal.com

As much as I love cooking, I equally do not enjoy gardening. This summer I haven’t planted even a single herb. Alex volunteered to stick 2 tomato and 2 cucumber plants for the kids. Where as I chose to lay on a swing, listen to the waterfall and admire the figs, apples and pears I will be picking soon. Yay for fruit trees.

Chicken and Garden Veggies Quinoa Skillet Recipe -- Under 40 minutes and you have a healthy dinner with leftovers the whole family will love. Use any firm veggies like zucchini, tomatoes, corn you got on hand. | ifoodreal.com

Anyways, back to the quinoa skillet. In Ukrainian cooking, garlic and onion make a base for stews, sauces and gravies. And that’s what I did for this quinoa skillet. So easy, you will be like “What?!”. Seriously, sautéed garlic and onion make everything taste better. So cheap and simple. Browned bell peppers are 10 times more fragrant than raw. So, I did that. Think of a roasted pepper, same idea.

Chicken and Garden Veggies Quinoa Skillet Recipe -- Under 40 minutes and you have a healthy dinner with leftovers the whole family will love. Use any firm veggies like zucchini, tomatoes, corn you got on hand. | ifoodreal.com

Then I added quinoa, spices and water. Covered and cooked just until quinoa became al dente. Next I added my firm veggies – broccoli and zucchini. Adding them later prevents mushy vegetables skillet. You could also use asparagus, snap peas or cauliflower.

Chicken and Garden Veggies Quinoa Skillet Recipe -- Under 40 minutes and you have a healthy dinner with leftovers the whole family will love. Use any firm veggies like zucchini, tomatoes, corn you got on hand. | ifoodreal.com

Cover and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed and quinoa is soft. Add tomatoes for some sweet punch, sprinkle with fresh herbs and your dinner is ready. Like I said, play around with veggies and use what your family likes. Fresh herb ideas are dill, parsley, basil or green onion. Anything you got in your garden, if you have one. Enjoy!

Quinoa Skillet with Chicken and Garden Veggies

Quinoa Skillet with Chicken and Garden Veggies


  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil or coconut oil
  • 2 large bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 2 lbs boneless & skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 cup water*
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 medium zucchini, quartered
  • 1 bunch broccoli, coarsely chopped
  • 10 oz grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bunch parsley/dill/basil, finely chopped


  1. Preheat large deep skillet on medium-high heat. Add olive oil, onion, garlic and cook for 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add bell peppers and saute for 3 more minutes, stirring frequently. Add chicken and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, add quinoa, water, bay leaves and stir. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, reduce heat to lower medium and cook for 12 minutes.
  2. Now it's time to add vegetables. At this point quinoa should be cooked al dente.* Add zucchini and broccoli. Stir, cover with a lid and cook on low-medium for 15 more minutes. Add grape tomatoes and parsley, stir and remove from heat. Serve hot.
  3. Storage Instructions: Refrigerate covered for up to 3 days.


*Some readers said after this quinoa started to burn. I think it depends how much liquid your chicken releases during cooking process. Many store bought chicken breasts are infused with water to make them heavier. And that's what I used for this recipe. Farm chicken is usually more dry. Therefor, do your own judgement and add 1/2 - 1 cup extra water if necessary.


Nutritional Info

Servings Per Recipe: 6

Amount Per Serving = 2 cups:
Calories: 369.3
Total Fat: 6.0 g
Cholesterol: 73.3 mg
Sodium: 911.2 mg
Total Carbs: 36.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 6.9 g
Protein: 43.2 g
WW Points+: 9


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  1. Michelle

    I’ve never tried adding the quinoa right into a pot of veggies like that. I’ll have to try it! I am like you with gardening- I want the fresh herbs and produce, but I can’t be bothered to water them on a regular schedule!

    • Olena

      I was nervous about quinoa in skillets before but not after I experimented it in a slowcooker. It will be fine. Very tender and delicious. Yes, I cook it in my slowcooker a lot. Yeah, I have too many responsibilities besides plants. So much easier to pay a buck for some parsley or cilantro. I know. Unless gardening is a hobby and you love it.

  2. Kristin @ Tastefully GF

    The looks delicious! It reminds me a lot of a summer meal my Ukrainian grandmother used to make. She used pasta instead of quinoa, but it was always onion, garlic, chicken, dill, and whatever veggies were around. It always ended up tasting so good! Ukrainians seem to know how to make some of the tastiest food 🙂

    • Olena

      Thank you, Kristin. Ukrainian cooking involves a lot of fresh herbs and veggies. Very simple but fragrant, therefore delicious. Just like Latin or any Mediterranean cuisine, just different flavours. Anything fresh tastes good and doesn’t have to be complicated.:)

  3. Laura @ Raise Your Garden

    I just love it when you can prove that healthy food doesn’t have to taste, hmmmm, all that healthy! Lovin’ all the ingredients in this one and big bonus is the leftovers!

    I’ll trade ya, you do the cooking and I’ll do the gardening! I dred cooking each night, it really bogs me down. Have to get myself a pep talk every time to start dinner. Always tell myself…. hmm, can’t we just go to McDonalds every night?

    But I must confess, I must have fresh herbs! Must! Dried ones just one do when fresh ones are an option!!

    • Olena

      Oh, really?! That must be hard! I love cooking but I do get tired of it everyday. So, I understand it’s even harder for you. Currently I dream of an all-inclusive. Just not to think about anything for a week or two: what’s for dinner, what snacks are we packing, what’s for lunch.:) I love fresh herbs from my local store LOL. I stock up but I can’t stand watering the garden every night. I’d rather go work out LOL.

  4. Katerina

    Just cooked it for dinner, very delicious!!! I am from Ukraine as well 🙂 Thank you for the recipe, from now on one of my favourite 🙂

    • Olena

      Oh, one more Ukrainian liking quinoa.:) This dish is very Ukrainian like. Glad you liked it and welcome.:)

  5. Efrat

    It came out great! I only have a few questions:
    1. I went exactly by the recipe, but still some of the quinoa was burned. What did I do wrong?
    2. Also I think the broccoli was not cooked enough. Again -what did I do wrong?
    3. If I want to add sweet potatoes – how much should I add and when?

    Thank you, great recipe 🙂

    • Olena

      Hi Efrat. It’s hard to tell why your quinoa was a little bit burnt since I wasn’t in the kitchen with you but these are the possible reasons:
      1. Your skillet – I have a good non-stick skillet.
      2. The heat was too high – stoves vary.
      3. Not enough water – try a bit more next time.

      I like crunchy broccoli. For more cooked version just add broccoli by a few minutes earlier. For the sweet potato, I would add not more than 1 large, chopped. Add with quinoa, I suspect you like well cooked vegetables.:) Hope this helps.:)

  6. Alex F

    Hi, I would like to try this recipe for dinner tonight and was just wondering. Do I put uncooked quinoa in the skillet or do I boil and cook it before hand before adding?

  7. Efrat

    May I ask how you’ve calculated the WW+ points?
    I’m making the dish exactly the same way you wrote (I added sweet potato though, which is by the way great).
    From what I know the quinoa is 18 points per cup, 2 breasts are 6, and a large sweet potato is also 6. That sums up to 30 WW+ and the dish is huge and has 16 cups total.
    Am I doing any mistake? (It’s really important to me as I follow the WW diet).
    Thanks 🙂

    • Olena

      I use online calculator. I don’t have a link right now because I’m on the phone. But it comes up in Google search.

      • Efrat

        Found it. I don’t know how to calculate it with calories and proteins and etc, but when I calculate it accordingly to the WW+ points each of the ingredients worth, it sums up to 30 WW+ total, which means each cup is 2 WW+.

          • Efrat

            I thought so too but then I asked at a WW forum and the admin said it’s correct – the vegetables are making the whole dish a lot bigger, but they’re only 0 WW+ points.

          • Olena

            Vegetables in this dish are mostly calories and fiber in terms of macros. And the calculator I use doesn’t take calories into consideration at all, and fiber content always helps to keep the points down. There is also a bit of oil and a quite a bit of quinoa and meat.

  8. Mike

    OK. Tried hard to stay on recipe, but strayed for the flavor. Subbed lite chicken stock for the water & added fresh grated parmesan cheese at plating. A little less healthy but much more flavor…

    • CR

      Same! I subbed chicken stock for water and added crushed red pepper flakes for spice.

      My quinoa also started to burn – I think the recipe calls for 2 cups of water (instead of one).

      • Olena

        I recently switched a chicken brand and noticed my new chicken breasts didn’t produce as much water as previous brand. So, yes add more water after checking half way through quinoa cooking time. I will add that to the recipe.

  9. Lynda

    Loved the idea of this recipe so decided to try. My quinoa didn’t cook well though, still crunchy although I followed the time and added more time. Lots of liquid as it didn’t burn like others mentioned. What did I do wrong? Otherwise flavours were good, like others I added chicken stock and also a bit of soya.

    • Olena

      It’s hard to tell but even things like opening the lid and checking on dish can increase cooking time. Pans and stoves vary too. Just increase the cooking time a bit.:)

  10. Kate

    This makes a ton of food! I’ve been adding different things with all the leftoves. One day, I added coconut aminos and it was like “fried rice”. Another day I added in parmesean cheese and another day squeezed fresh lemon juice.

  11. Kendra

    Would this still be flavorful without the bell peppers? I am allergic…
    I’m trying to think of alternatives. Do you think green chile would be weird?

    • Olena

      Yes, no peppers is fine. Just add a bit more onion and garlic to make up for lost flavour. Mushrooms would be good too.

  12. Adeleann

    Sorry new to this fresh cooking stuff, does the recipe call for one bunch of all three listed or choose from one of them? Parsley/basil/dill?
    Also is a yellow, white, or red onion better?

    • Olena

      Just one of the herbs. Whatever you have. Same with onions. I usually use broiler onions, yellow shell ones. 2 thumbs up for fresh cooking!!!:)

  13. Deb

    FANTASTIC! We don’t eat chicken so made it with turkey – SO yummy! Everyone loved it, even the kids. A tad salty for me so I may reduce that a bit – otherwise I will be making this often!! AND easy!

    • Olena

      Must have been good if you took time to capitalize certain words.:) Glad you liked it. I wonder if your ️️chicken was shot with more salted water than mine. Lol but that is a true possibility.

    • Olena

      Add everything to a slow cooker and cook on Low for about 4 -5 hours. Veggies and chicken would have to be pre-browned for best results.

  14. Jill

    This looks great! I have not made it yet, but I’m sure it will be delicious. I have a question about the sodium. Over 900 mg seems really high. Where is all the sodium coming from? Thanks!

    • Olena

      Probably salt. Add less and then adjust to your taste. Might have calculated nutritional info wrong or it is a big serving.

  15. Claire

    Olena, thank you very much for sharing your recipe! I just had this for dinner and had to leave you a comment (something I usually wouldn’t do). This was such a hit with the family, it has now been added to small list of favourites. It was so flavorful, I added chicken stock as one of the comments on the thread suggested and it came out perfect! Much appreciated

    • Olena

      Hi Claire. You are welcome! Please leave me any more comments. Don;t be shy. I love hearing back. Any stock makes any dish more flavourful for sure. I don’t always have it on hand.

  16. sophie

    Hi! I really want to try this.. two questions- can I substitute the chicken for ground meat? and could i substitute the bay leaves for fresh thyme? Thank you!

  17. Kelly

    Hi there. My boyfriend was responsible for making supper tonight and found this recipe. It smelled really good while he was cooking it, but holy salty!! Do you seriously use 2 tsp salt?? I couldn’t eat it, made myself a salad instead. I was shocked when he said it called for 2 tsp as I’ve never put that much salt in something. Is it a typo? I was surprised that nobody else found it salty,

    • Olena

      Hi Kelly. No typo. This is a very large recipe with a lot of bland vegetables. Did your boyfriend’s version was 12 cups? Did he cut the recipe? Did he use measuring spoons or regular teaspoons? I have very clean tastebuds. You not being able to eat it means measurements were off during the cooking for sure. Something has been altered from original recipe.



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