Quinoa Bowl with Chicken and Avocado Cream

Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
4 servings

Every grain bowl should have a successful balance of crunchiness, creaminess and bold flavor. In this Mexican-inspired bowl, the crunchy tortilla chips and roasted pepitas are nicely complemented by avocado cream and hearty quinoa. Make a big batch of quinoa and keep it frozen in re-sealable bags for up to 1 month; thaw and reheat as needed. Having a whole-grain arsenal in your freezer will help cut down on prep time.



1 ½
cups red quinoa
cup fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, finely chopped, plus 4 sprigs for garnish
scallions, thinly sliced
tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt
firm-ripe avocado, halved, pitted and cut into large chunks
cup sour cream
tbsp grated Parmesan
Juice of 1 lime, plus 1 lime, quartered
Pinch cayenne pepper
cup frozen fire-roasted corn, thawed
cups shredded rotisserie chicken meat (from about 1/2 chicken; about 3/4 lb)
cups tortilla chips, crushed
cup store-bought or homemade black bean salsa
cup roasted and salted pepitas


Step 1

Make the quinoa: Bring the quinoa and 2 1/2 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer until the quinoa is tender (the little tails will pop out) and most of the water is absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes Drain off any excess water. Stir in the chopped cilantro, scallions, oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Serve warm or at room temperature. (The quinoa can be cooked, cooled and refrigerated, covered, for up to 2 days. Microwave just enough to take the chill off, about 2 minutes, stirring about halfway through.)

Step 2

Make the avocado cream: While the quinoa cooks, process or blend the avocado, sour cream, Parmesan, lime juice, 1 tablespoon water, cayenne and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy.

Step 3

If the corn still has a chill, microwave it for about 1 minute.

Step 4

Build the bowls: Divide the quinoa evenly among 4 bowls. Top each with neat piles and/or rows of chicken, tortilla chips, corn, salsa and pepitas. Top with some sauce, a sprig of cilantro and a lime quarter.

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