Husband-Approved Greek Chicken & Quinoa Salad

chicken and quinoa salad


    Today I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes I've been making for dinner recently! Sometimes I just get a major craving for salad, and although I don't think my husband could say the same, this has become a meal he gets excited about! Juicy, baked, seasoned chicken thighs (or breasts) are the perfect compliment to this hearty salad loaded with veggies and protein-filled quinoa. Topped with a simple oil and vinegar based dressing, this meal is delicious and satisfying even for people (like my husband) who don't usually choose a salad for their main course.

      As I've mentioned before on the blog and in my Instagram stories, Jack and I eat A LOT, and I mean a lot. And now with a growing little boy in our family, I find myself even making more food than I was previously. Not only that, I try to also make enough for Jack to take in his lunch the next day, so he can avoid buying something at work if possible. This recipe could feed as many as six individuals, OR 2-4 hungry people WITH some leftover.

greek chicken and quinoa salad pinterest


    I like using bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs because you can get a nice sear on the outside beforehand, leaving you with a crispy skin, sealing all of the flavor inside. You can also use skinless and boneless chicken breasts or thighs if that's more your style. With those you don't necessarily need to sear, you can just put those right into the oven. If you are going this route though, I would maybe marinate the chicken in the seasoning mixture with some olive oil beforehand, just so it has time to soak up all of that flavor and spice!

I seasoned the chicken with oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, a pinch of turmeric, salt and pepper. My recommendation would be to add the salt afterward, and only a little at a time. The last time I made this, I added a bit too much salt, and that's pretty much the point of no return. 

    After baking at 375 degrees for around 30 minutes, the chicken is finally complete - a technique I learned recently from one of my favorite food bloggers and Instagram foodie, Teri from No Crumbs Left - I like to baste the chicken in it's own juices. No flavor gets left behind!

baked chicken thighs


    While the chicken is baking, this is the perfect time to cook the quinoa and put together your salad. My building blocks for a perfect Greek-style salad are some fresh spring mix, Kalamata olives, chopped tomato and cucumber, artichoke hearts and big chunks of feta cheese. This salad is made complete with tri-color quinoa  (or any other kind) which makes it extra filling! I also usually add a bit of chopped red onion, but I didn't have any this time!

   To top it all off, I mixed some red wine vinegar, olive oil, dried oregano, grated garlic, salt and pepper into a mason jar with a lid, and gave it a good shake. This easy concoction was the perfect addition to this salad!

    This meal is so delicious and even my 18 month old son enjoyed the chicken and quinoa, with some veggies on the side (cooked separately for him, he's not big into salad). Even if you're not usually a "salad" person - or maybe your spouse isn't - this particular meal is filling, flavorful, and not just filled with lettuce that will leave you wanting more. Check out the recipe below, and don't forget to click the link to print for future use! Hope you enjoy!

feeds 6 or 2-4 with leftovers
prep time: 7 minutes | cook time: 30-35 minutes

chicken and quinoa salad


INGREDIENTS
CHICKEN:
6 bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs
1 tbsp oregano
1 tsp onion powder
1-2 garlic cloves grated or minced
pinch of turmeric
salt & pepper to taste

SALAD:
1/2 dry cup of quinoa
1-2 bags of spring mix greens
1 14oz can of quartered artichoke hearts
pitted Kalamata olives
diced red onion
diced hothouse cucumber
cherry tomatoes, halved
feta cheese

DRESSING:
This is my best approximation, I usually just sprinkle and pour until it "looks about right" hahaha.
3 TBSP red wine vinegar
1.5 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP oregano
1 pinch of salt (you can always add more later)
1/4 TSP black pepper
1 TSP garlic powder
1 TSP onion powder
Shake vigorously to combine! If you have leftover dressing, you can leave it in a sealed container on the counter for up to 3 days (if you refrigerate it, the oil will solidify).

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper & set oven to 375 degrees.

2. Combine chicken seasonings in a small bowl. Rinse chicken thighs & pat dry, then carefully sprinkle the seasoning mixture onto both sides of each thigh. Place onto the parchment paper.

3. Once chicken thighs are seasoned, put the tray into the oven for 25-30 minutes, OR until a thermometer reads 165 degrees when inserted (without touching bone).

4. Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to package instructions.

5. Assemble the salad dressing ingredients in your jar or other container with a lid. Shake vigorously to combine.

6. Add spring mix into a large serving bowl. Dice red onion, tomatoes, cucumber, artichoke hearts & add to the salad. Sprinkle feta cheese over the top. You can add the dressing now, or once it is served.

7. Once the quinoa is finished, you can allow it to cool before adding it to the salad, OR add immediately.

8. Once chicken is done in the oven, take it out and pick up the juices from the tray, using a basting brush. Brush the juices onto the chicken thighs, and let them rest for 5 minutes.

9. Serve & enjoy!






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