Cheesy Pesto Chicken and Broccoli Quinoa Skillet. A quick and easy, one pan, healthy, gluten-free dinner the whole family will love!
Well that was some less than stellar weather we had this weekend. Friday and into Saturday we had nothing but clouds, rain and even some snow. This is the time of year when I’ve truly had enough of the snow. I have to check the weather every night before I go to bed so I know whether to put out shorts and a long sleeved shirt or tights and a jacket to go running in the next morning. I’ll be doing this until at least the middle of May, since it’s almost guaranteed that we’ll have one more big snow before Memorial Day.
Since grilling is hit or miss in the spring, my backup plan is always a one pot or skillet meal. I hadn’t made anything with quinoa lately (and there’s a reason for that), but had the craving last week, so I whipped up this Cheesy Pesto Chicken and Broccoli Quinoa Skillet.
Quinoa doesn’t happen very often in our house. I enjoy it, but my husband wants nothing to do with it. Usually when I make something with it, I either find it still in the fridge the next morning or the quinoa portion in the garbage. Imagine my surprise when he actually ate this Cheesy Pesto Chicken and Broccoli Quinoa Skillet! I didn’t say anything the next day or question it, I was just glad that he actually ate it.
I do have to say this quinoa skillet was pretty darn tasty and so easy to make! The chicken, shallots and garlic are all browned in the skillet first and then the chicken broth, pesto and quinoa get stirred in. After the mixture comes to a boil, simply put a lid on it, lower the heat and let it cook for about 12 minutes.
At that point, you’ll add in the broccoli florets and some spinach because a little extra veg is always a good idea. Everything cooks for another 8-10 minutes and then the whole dish is topped with mozzarella cheese. Not only is this skillet dinner great the night you serve it, but also makes wonderful leftover. If you meal prep, it’s definitely a recipe that will hold up nicely for the week.
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 pound organic boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons pesto
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 cup packed baby spinach, approximately 2 handfuls
- 1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
- Heat the olive oil in a large, fairly deep skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and spread it into a single layer. Season with salt and pepper. Let it brown for about 2 minutes before moving it. Add in the shallots and garlic and sauté another 2 minutes (chicken should be cooked on outsides but inside doesn't need to be fully cooked through at this point).
- Stir in the chicken broth, pesto and quinoa. Season with a little more salt and pepper. Bring to a full boil then cover with a lid and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook 12 minutes.
- After 12 minutes add in the broccoli and spinach, recover and simmer about 8 minutes longer or until quinoa and broccoli have cooked through (if there is still excess broth in the bottom at this point, you can use a spoon to carefully drain it off if desired). Taste for seasoning then sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over top. Cover and heat 1 - 2 minute until cheese has melted.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 386 Total Fat: 16g Saturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 78mg Fiber: 3g Sugar: 1g Protein: 32g