« Other People's Pantries #183 | Main | Recipe for Greek pasta salad with sun-dried tomato vinaigrette {vegetarian} »

Recipe for chicken and vegetable quinoa stir-fry

Chicken and vegetable quinoa stir-fry.

A couple of years ago, my husband Ted and Cousin Martin hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Every evening, after climbing all day and carrying tents, food and gear, their guides cooked a meal for the group of hikers. When I asked recently what those meals were like, all the guys could remember was "some sort of quinoa stir fry thing with vegetables". Not much to go on, but Kathy and I started with a recipe we found online, and we loved the dish we created, a kind of chicken and vegetable fried rice -- without the rice. I imagine that the Peruvian cooks might have included roasted cubed potatoes. We used cubes of grilled chicken breast, for a super healthy and satisfying entrée. I hope this quinoa stir-fry, even if it's not authentically Peruvian, brings back good memories for Ted and Martin. (PS: Their next climb is Mt. Kilimanjaro. Anyone know any Tanzanian dishes that use our pantry ingredients?)


Chicken and vegetable quinoa stir-fry

From the pantry, you'll need: quinoa, ginger root, garlic, red pepper flakes, egg, soy sauce, lime, chicken breast.

Adapted from a recipe in Self Magazine. Serves 4.


3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp vegetable oil
1 small carrot, cut into 1-inch lengths, julienned
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch lengths, julienned
2 tsp grated ginger root
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1/8 tsp mild red pepper flakes
2 cups mixed vegetables (broccoli florets, snow peas, asparagus, etc.)
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
1 large egg, beaten
4 oz cooked chicken breast, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
Juice of 1/2 lime


Cook the quinoa in a rice cooker, or on the stovetop according to package directions. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok or large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and bell pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened slightly. Add the ginger and garlic, and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Stir in the red pepper flakes and mixed vegetables, plus the black pepper.

Remove vegetables from the wok and set aside. Return the pan to heat, and add 1 teaspoon of oil. Add the quinoa and egg, and stir-fry to cook the egg, 30 seconds. Return the vegetables to the pan along with the chicken, scallions, cilantro, soy sauce and lime juice. Stir to combine, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute.

Serve hot, or at room temperature.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Quinoa turkey meatloaf
Quinoa, avocado, tomato and black bean salad with chipotle lime dressing
Chickpea, quinoa and spinach salad with preserved lemon vinaigrette
Salmon and quinoa patties with lemon-yogurt sauce
Chicken or turkey fried rice

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Pumpkin quinoa cookies, from Gluten-free Goddess
Quinoa and shrimp with fresh corn and cherry tomatoes, from Food Blogga
Sopa de quinoa (quinoa soup), from Soup Chick
Hearty chicken stew with butternut squash and quinoa, from Cookin' Canuck
Curried quinoa with chicken and peas, from $5 Dinners

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


Lydia, this sounds terrific and think I have everything already. Will surprise my husband with this delicious dish and a green salad for dinner! Thanks so much for sharing!

Your great picture jogged my memory. I have to admit that due to the altitude and climbing on the Inca Trail, I had little appetite in the evening. But the one dish our chef made that enticed me to eat more than a few bites was a sort of "chicken fried quinoa"! By the picture and the ingredients I'd say you have it spot on!

Cary, I hope you make it and enjoy it!

Cousin, thanks for the inspiration to try to recreate what you might have eaten on the climb. I'm glad it brought back some good memories.

Love the idea of using quinoa in a healthy stir-fry. Very pretty too!

Jeanette, don't know why I haven't tried this before. It was delicious.

This is one of those great dishes that packs well for lunch at the office!! thanks!

I made this yesterday and it was great - first time I've ever actually enjoyed quinoa.

Thanks !

Carol, you're so right. The flavors really hold up, so you could have it hot or cold.

Jemma, thanks so much for coming back to let us know that you enjoyed the recipe!

Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your recipe. I’m featuring it today on my Pinterest Props post. http://www.gingerlymade.com/2013/01/foodie-friday-pinterest-props.html

This was an amazing dish my husband and I enjoyed making and eating. I changed a couple of things. I grilled the chicken breast and I used only 1 tablespoon of the reduced-sodium soy sauce. I also cooked the quinoa in reduced sodium chicken broth. We are working on a heart healthier diet and lower sodium. This was the first time I used fresh ginger root. Thank you for inspiring us.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.