These pesto chicken quinoa bowls are packed with nutrition and flavour. All you need is 30 minutes and a sheet pan and you've got an easy weeknight dinner!
It's time for another sheet pan meal! Two of my most popular recipes are my honey mustard chicken sheet pan and my pesto chicken pasta salad, so today I'm serving up the ultimate combo with these pesto chicken quinoa bowls.
In these bowls we have chicken thighs as our main protein, quinoa as the base, and zucchini, cherry tomatoes and peppers as our veggies. And because we don't forget about flavour here, I'm sharing the most delicious whipped feta dressing to drizzle on top! With protein, fibre-rich carbs, healthy fats and tons of veg, this recipe is a winner both nutritionally and for your taste buds. You'll want to add this into your rotation!
- Chicken breasts or thighs
- Lemon juice
- Salt and black pepper
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Red onion
- Cherry tomatoes
- Red bell pepper
- Olive oil
- Basil (for garnishing)
Whipped feta dressing:
- Feta cheese
- Plain yogurt
- Olive oil
Preheat the oven to 425 F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Prepare quinoa according to package instructions.
While quinoa is cooking, add pesto, lemon juice, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes to chicken.
Toss until well coated.
In a separate bowl, combine red onion, cherry tomatoes, zucchini and red pepper, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.
Arrange vegetables and chicken in an even layer on a baking sheet.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked and vegetables are tender.
In a food processor or blender, add all dressing ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy.
Serve chicken and vegetables with fluffy quinoa. Drizzle with whipped feta dressing and garnish with basil.
Substitutions and Variations
To make vegetarian: Swap the chicken for tofu or tempeh.
To make gluten-free: This recipe is naturally gluten-free.
To make nut-free: Use a nut-free pesto like this one.
To make dairy-free: Use a dairy-free pesto and omit the whipped feta dressing (or use dairy-free dressing of choice).
I chose to use peppers, zucchini and cherry tomatoes, but any vegetables would still be delicious! Use what you have on hand. The same goes for quinoa- I love using it as a base, but if you prefer another grain (e.g. rice, millet, etc.) then totally go for it.
These pesto chicken quinoa bowls can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. For an easy meal prep, try pre-portioning each component into individual containers ahead of time! This way, you can grab the pre-assembled bowl on your way out the door for an easy packed lunch.
I personally prefer chicken thighs instead of breasts for sheet pan meals. I find they have more flavour and are less prone to drying out. I know chicken breasts have a bit of a health halo for being higher in protein and lower in fat, but the differences are pretty insubstantial in my opinion. Both cuts are a great source of protein! Chicken thighs are also slightly higher in iron, if that is important to you.
My last tip is to be careful with the tomatoes as they come out of the oven- they will be pretty hot and almost blistered, and you want to avoid bursting them before adding to your bowls.
Frequently Asked Questions
For best results, I would enjoy this recipe fresh. I find that roasted veggies and meats don't maintain the same texture and flavour out of the freezer. For some freezer friendly meal ideas, give this high protein lentil soup a try!
More Easy Sheet Pan Meals
- Miso Sheet Pan Salmon and Veggies
- Easy Sheet Pan Sesame Chicken and Veggies
- Turkey Sausage and Veggies Sheet Pan
- Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos
PS. I love seeing my recipes in action! If you decide to make these pesto chicken quinoa bowls, don't forget to snap a photo and tag me on Instagram- @nourishedbynic or leave a comment and rating below letting me know how you liked it!
Pesto Chicken Quinoa Bowls
- 1 cup dry quinoa prepared according to package instructions
- 2 lbs chicken breasts or thighs cut into 3 inch pieces
- ⅓ cup pesto
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ of a medium red onion thinly sliced ( approx. ½ cup)
- 1 283 g pint of whole cherry tomatoes about 1.5 cups
- 2 large zucchinis diced (about 2 cups)
- 1 medium red pepper thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Fresh basil for garnish
Whipped feta dressing
- ½ cup feta cheese crumbled
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
To make the sheet pan
- Preheat the oven to 425 F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Prepare quinoa according to package instructions.
- While quinoa is cooking, toss chicken in pesto, lemon juice, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes.
- In a separate bowl, combine red onion, cherry tomatoes, zucchini and red pepper, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.
- Arrange vegetables and chicken in an even layer on a baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes.
- Serve with fluffy quinoa and drizzle with whipped feta dressing and garnish with basil.
To make the dressing
- In a food processor or blender, add all dressing ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy.