Dinner For Two: One Pan Mexican Chicken and Quinoa

One pan dinner is a total life saver for busy days. Put everything in one pan, simmer and serve. This Mexican Chicken Quinoa Casserole is one of my favorite dish for busy days. It comes so easy, great for meal prep, quite filling and it taste great with all the wonderful marriage of herbs and spices in it.

Mexican Quinoa Chicken Salad

One Pan Dinner

Who doesn’t like a quick delicious dinner?  Planning the week meal is probably one of the challenges a lot of people have. Although I live on my own now, I know the challenges of meal planning because I used to cook for my family when I was still in the Philippines. I do most of the grocery shopping and the market trips for fresh produce and meat. I plan the entire week meals, including pack lunch for work. So I do know where you are coming from. Now that I live on my own, I do not have to plan huge meals but I still have to plan my meal only in a different scale. Cooking for a family and cooking for myself has a huge difference, I can cook what I want when I want to and however I want to cook it. I only have to please myself, nobody else. On the other hand, cooking for other people feels more rewarding, it gave me purpose and it made me feel happy that I am able to share my creations. I have a  lot of favorite recipes, but I particularly like easy to cook meals, that is why I love one pan dinner. Less mess to clean and easy to cook. This Mexican Chicken and Quinoa Casserole is just like that. It is basically cooking everything in one pan. Sear the chicken in the pan and simmer the chicken with the quinoa in the same pan. This is one of those 1 hour or less meals that I love.

Mexican Quinoa Salad

Make it into a salad or bake it

Sometimes, I serve this as a salad.  Simply toss in some mix greens or serve it with iceberge lettuce. Other times, I sprinkle some cheese on top and then I bake it and I have Oven Baked Mexican and Chicken Quinoa. Simple dish like this that you can serve in different ways comes really handy for week meal prep. One pan recipe served 3 different ways. How about that?

Quinoa and Chicken Mexican Salad


  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Jalapeno, minced
  • 1 Large Skinless Chicken Breast or 2 Skinless and Boneless Chicken Thighs
  • 3/4 cup Vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup Can fire-roasted Diced Tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup uncooked Quinoa
  • 1/2 cup Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4  cup Corn Kernel, frozen, canned or roasted
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chili Flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 Kosher Salt
  • 1/8  freshly ground Black pepper, to taste
  •  Juice of 1/2 Lemon or Lime
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh Cilantro leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh Parsley leaves
  • 1 Avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced – optional


  1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic, jalapeno and chicken. Cook each side of the chicken about 2 minutes. Add broth, diced tomato, quinoa, black beans, corn, chili powder, chili flakes, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until quinoa is cooked through. Stir in lime or lemon juice, cilantro and parsley and mix. Close the heat, cover and leave for 5 minutes.
  2. Serve: Remove the chicken and slice to desired size. Transfer the quinoa in a serving dish, top with sliced chicken and garnished with fresh cilantro, lemon or lime wedges and sliced avocado.
One Pan Mexican Quinoa Salad

Vegetarian Option:

Use vegetable broth and remove the chicken, or replace chicken with pan seared tofu. Do you want to know how to cook tofu? Check out these posts to get an idea.

Serves 2

Black Beans and Quinoa Salad

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Categories: Cooking, Entrée, Recipe

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