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Citrus Chicken Quinoa Salad

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: serves 3
  • Category: Salads
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A hearty, healthy salad recipe with creamy avocado, nutty quinoa, chicken, fresh cilantro, and lots of bright citrus flavors. The perfect light dinner or easy lunch!


Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound skinless boneless chicken breasts, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic or roasted garlic,¬†finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon¬†smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large oranges, peeled and segmented
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and cubed

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (packed)*
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh orange juice*
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon honey

Instructions

  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions or use my directions – my recipe will make 2-3 cups, more than what you will use. But leftovers are great! Transfer cooked quinoa to a large bowl and let cool.
  2. Pour olive oil into a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and roasted garlic, stirring it all around to coat with oil. Sprinkle with smoked paprika and salt. Stir and cook until chicken is done, about 8 minutes. Add cooked chicken, oranges, and avocado to the quinoa. Stir to combine. Set aside.
  3. Make the dressing: Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together. Pour over salad and toss to coat everything evenly. Serve immediately. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: This is a perfect recipe to make ahead of time because the flavors taste amazing by day 2. Simply prepare through step 3, cover tightly, and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Cilantro: If you love cilantro as much as I do feel free to increase to 1/2 cup.
  3. Orange Juice: I simply squeezed the juice out of a couple pieces of the oranges I threw into the salad for the 1 Tablespoon needed in the dressing.

Keywords: citrus chicken quinoa salad, chicken quinoa salad