Easy Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl Recipe & Storage Tips

There’s something truly magical about the flavors of the Mediterranean that can turn any meal into an adventure. Today, we’re excited to share with you our latest obsession: the Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl. It’s a dish that not only promises a burst of vibrant flavors but also packs a nutritional punch that’ll leave you feeling satisfied and energized.


Continuing from the vibrant flavors and nutritional benefits that the Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl brings to your table, let’s dive into the ingredients necessary to bring this dish to life.

For the Quinoa

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water or vegetable broth (for extra flavor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Chicken

  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

For the Toppings

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

For the Dressing

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Now that we have all our ingredients ready, let’s embark on the journey of creating this flavorful and hearty Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl.

Required Tools and Equipment

To whisk our Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl into existence, we’ll need an assortment of kitchen gadgets and cookware. Here’s what you should have on hand to ensure a smooth cooking process:

  • Quinoa Prep:
  • Fine mesh strainer: For rinsing the quinoa to remove its natural coating called saponin, which can give it a bitter taste.
  • Medium saucepan with lid: Ideally for cooking the quinoa. The lid helps to retain steam and cook the quinoa perfectly fluffy.
  • Chicken Cooking:
  • Skillet or Grill Pan: To achieve that perfectly seared chicken with those desirable char marks and a tender texture inside.
  • Tongs: Essential for flipping the chicken breasts safely and checking doneness.
  • Vegetable Prep:
  • Chef’s Knife: For chopping the vegetables neatly. A sharp knife ensures the tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion are cleanly sliced without crushing them.
  • Cutting Board: To provide a stable surface for chopping and organizing the veggies and chicken.
  • Dressing Mix:
  • Small mixing bowl: For whisking together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  • Whisk: To emulsify the dressing ingredients. If you don’t have a whisk, a fork will do the job just fine.
  • Assembly & Serving:
  • Large mixing or serving bowl: Where everything comes together; the cooked quinoa, sautéed chicken, fresh veggies, olives, feta, and zesty dressing.
  • Serving Spoon or Forks: For tossing the ingredients gently to combine everything without squishing the softer elements like feta and tomatoes.

Make-Ahead Instructions

For those busy days when planning ahead is a must, our Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl can easily be prepped in advance. Follow these simple make-ahead instructions to enjoy this nutritious and flavorful dish any day of the week.

Cooking the Quinoa

First, tackle the quinoa. Rinse 1 cup of quinoa under cold water using a fine mesh strainer. Bring 2 cups of water or broth to a boil in a medium saucepan, then add the quinoa. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa is fluffy and the water is absorbed. Let it cool, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate.

Preparing the Chicken

Next, cook the chicken. Season chicken breasts with your desired spices – we recommend a combination of salt, pepper, and some Mediterranean herbs. Heat a skillet over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Cook the chicken for 5-7 minutes on each side or until fully cooked and golden. Let it cool. Slice or dice the chicken, then place it in another airtight container and refrigerate.

Chopping the Vegetables

Cut up all your vegetables – cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and any other favorites. Store each type of vegetable separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. This way, they’ll stay fresh and crisp until you’re ready to assemble the bowls.

Making the Dressing

Whisk together the ingredients for your Mediterranean dressing – olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, dried oregano, and salt. Pour the dressing into a jar or a container with a tight-fitting lid. The flavors will meld beautifully when allowed to sit in the fridge for a bit.

Assembling the Bowl

When you’re ready to enjoy your Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl, half the work is already done! Simply start with a base of fluffy quinoa. Add your chilled, cooked chicken and your fresh vegetables. Drizzle with the dressing you prepared, and give everything a good mix. For a final touch, add a sprinkle of feta cheese and some olives if you like.

Preparing the Quinoa

After gathering all your ingredients, the first step toward crafting our Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl is to properly prepare the quinoa. This grain forms the base of our bowl and ensures a fluffy texture and nutty flavor that complements the Mediterranean ingredients beautifully.

Rinsing the Quinoa

  1. Measure out 1 cup of uncooked quinoa. This is the perfect amount to serve as the base for four hearty bowls.
  2. Place the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve.
  3. Run cold water over the quinoa for about 1-2 minutes. Use your hands to gently swish the grains around. Rinsing helps remove the quinoa’s natural coating called saponin, which can make it taste bitter or soapy if not washed off.
  4. Shake the sieve well to drain any excess water.

Cooking the Quinoa

  1. Transfer the rinsed quinoa to a medium saucepan.
  2. Add 2 cups of water. The general ratio for cooking quinoa is 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.
  4. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low. Cover the saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. This will trap the steam and ensure the quinoa cooks evenly.
  5. Let the quinoa simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. You can check by tilting the pan to see if any water remains at the bottom.
  6. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Let it stand covered for 5 minutes. This resting period allows the quinoa to become fluffier as it steams.
  7. Fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork to separate the grains. This ensures that each grain is light and airy, rather than clumpy or dense.

Now that our quinoa is perfectly prepared, it’s time to layer the other Mediterranean flavors into our bowl.

Marinating the Chicken

After cooking the quinoa to perfection, our next step is to ensure our chicken is flavorful and tender. Marinating the chicken infuses it with the rich, aromatic essence of Mediterranean spices, making it a crucial step in crafting our Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl.

Preparing the Marinade

To start, we’ll need to prepare a marinade that’s both zesty and herbaceous. Gather the following ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a mixing bowl, whisk together these ingredients until the mixture is well combined. The olive oil provides a silky base, while the lemon juice adds a burst of freshness. Garlic, oregano, cumin, and paprika infuse the marinade with a bold, earthy flavor profile typical of Mediterranean cuisine. Salt and pepper round everything out, enhancing the overall taste.

Marinating Time

Once the marinade is ready, it’s time to prepare the chicken. You’ll need:

  • 1 pound of chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces

Place the chicken pieces in a resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish. Pour the prepared marinade over the chicken, ensuring that each piece is well coated. Seal the bag or cover the dish, then refrigerate. For the best flavor and tenderness, we recommend marinating the chicken for at least 1 hour, though leaving it for 2-3 hours will intensify the dish’s flavors even more.

Remember, the longer the chicken marinates, the more pronounced the Mediterranean flavors will be in your quinoa bowl. Once the chicken is thoroughly marinated, we’ll move on to cooking it to golden perfection, ready to be combined with our fluffy quinoa and fresh, vibrant vegetables for a truly wholesome meal.

Cooking the Chicken

After marinating the chicken with heartfelt care and Mediterranean flavors, it’s time to bring this essential component of our Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl to life. Let us guide you through two efficient cooking methods – grilling and stovetop – to achieve perfectly cooked chicken that’s succulent and full of flavor.

Grill Instructions

  1. Preheat your grill to a medium-high heat, aiming for a temperature around 375°F to 400°F. This range is ideal for ensuring our chicken cooks through while retaining moisture and achieving those desirable grill marks.
  2. If your grill grates have a tendency to stick, lightly brush them with oil. This helps in preventing our beautifully marinated chicken from tearing when flipping.
  3. Place the marinated chicken pieces onto the grill, leaving some space between each piece to allow for even cooking. Discard any leftover marinade as it’s served its purpose.
  4. Grill the chicken for about 5-7 minutes per side. The timing can vary slightly based on the thickness of your chicken pieces. Flip only once to give each side a chance to char nicely and develop those flavorful grill marks.
  5. Check for doneness by ensuring the internal temperature reaches 165°F with a cooking thermometer or by checking that the juices run clear when you slice into the thickest part of the chicken.
  6. Once done, remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making sure every bite is tender and juicy.

Stovetop Instructions

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Swirl the pan to coat the bottom evenly. This base of oil helps in creating a non-stick surface and adds an extra layer of flavor.
  2. Carefully add the marinated chicken pieces to the skillet, spreading them out so they don’t crowd the pan. Crowding can lower the temperature of the skillet and result in steaming rather than searing.
  3. Cook the chicken for about 6-8 minutes on one side, then flip to cook for an additional 5-7 minutes on the other side. Adjust the heat if necessary to avoid burning. You’re aiming for a golden-brown crust that locks in flavor and moisture.
  4. Just like on the grill, the chicken is perfectly cooked when its internal temperature reaches 165°F or when the juices run clear. Use a thermometer or the slice test to check.
  5. Remove the chicken from the skillet and let it rest on a plate or cutting board for a few minutes before slicing. This rest period ensures the chicken maintains its juiciness, providing a succulent texture to our Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl.

Preparing the Toppings

Now that our quinoa is fluffy and our chicken perfectly cooked, let’s move on to the vibrant toppings that make our Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl come alive.

Chopping Vegetables

For our vegetables, we’ll need:

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, halved
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped

Start by rinsing all your vegetables under cold water to ensure they’re clean. Halve the cherry tomatoes, dice the cucumber and bell pepper into bite-sized pieces, ensuring they’re uniform for even distribution throughout the bowl. For the red onion, we aim for a fine slice to add a pop of color and texture without overwhelming the other flavors. Lastly, halve the Kalamata olives if they’re not already pitted and sliced, and finely chop the parsley to sprinkle on top for a fresh finish.

Preparing Additional Protein Options

While our centerpiece is the Mediterranean-spiced chicken, incorporating additional proteins can cater to various dietary needs or preferences. Here are two options:

1. Chickpeas:

    • Rinse 1 can of chickpeas in cold water.
    • Toss them with 1 tsp of olive oil, 1/2 tsp of paprika, and a pinch of salt.
    • Roast in a 400°F oven for 20-25 minutes until crispy.

    2. Feta Cheese:

      • Crumble approximately 1/2 cup of feta cheese.
      • Set aside to sprinkle on top of the bowl before serving for those who enjoy a creamy, tangy addition.

      These protein options not only add variety but also ensure that there’s something for everyone in these delightful Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowls. Whether you prefer the hearty texture of roasted chickpeas or the creamy saltiness of feta cheese, these additions are sure to enhance the overall flavor profile of your meal.

      Assembling the Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl

      With our chicken perfectly seasoned and rested and our vibrant array of toppings prepared, it’s time to assemble our Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl. This process is not just about layering ingredients but creating a harmonious blend of flavors and textures that define this dish.

      Adding the Quinoa

      Begin by fluffing the cooked quinoa with a fork to separate the grains. Scoop a generous portion into the bottom of each bowl, creating a fluffy base. This not only adds a nutty flavor but also a delightful texture that pairs beautifully with the rest of the components.

      Adding the Chicken

      Next, slice the rested chicken into thin strips ensuring each piece is juicy and tender. Layer the chicken slices on top of the quinoa in a manner that showcases their perfectly grilled or pan-seared edges. This step introduces a savory element that is phenomenally satisfying.

      Adding the Toppings

      Let the creativity flow by adding the colorful toppings. Distribute cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, sliced red onion, bell pepper, and Kalamata olives over the chicken. For those who chose additional protein options, sprinkle roasted chickpeas and feta cheese around the bowl. This not only makes the bowl visually appealing but also incorporates a fresh and zesty flavor profile.

      Drizzling the Dressing

      The final touch is a delightful drizzle of your preferred Mediterranean dressing. Whether it’s a zesty lemon vinaigrette or a sumptuous tzatziki sauce, ensure it generously coats the ingredients, infusing the bowl with its aromatic essence. A good drizzle ties all the elements together, creating a bowl that’s bursting with flavors and is absolutely irresistible.

      Garnishing with a sprinkle of chopped parsley or a wedge of lemon on the side can add an extra layer of freshness, making your Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl not only a feast for the palate but also a feast for the eyes.

      Serving Suggestions

      Now that we’ve assembled our mouthwatering Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl with its savory chicken slices, vibrant veggies, and the tangy dressing, let’s talk about how to serve this delightful dish to elevate the dining experience.

      One great way to serve this bowl is alongside a crisp, fresh green salad. Think of a mix of arugula and spinach, lightly tossed in olive oil and lemon juice, adding a refreshing contrast to the hearty quinoa bowl.

      For a boost of creamy texture, consider offering a side of tzatziki sauce. Its cool and creamy nature makes it a perfect complement to the spiced chicken and can be drizzled over or served on the side for dipping.

      Toasting some pita bread or flatbreads and serving them on the side is another fantastic option. They can be used to scoop up the quinoa and toppings or simply enjoyed on their own, adding a slight crunch to the meal.

      For a larger gathering, this quinoa bowl can become part of a broader Mediterranean feast. Include other dishes such as hummus, baba ganoush, and stuffed grape leaves for a full spread that allows guests to indulge in a variety of flavors.

      Finally, pairing this dish with a light, refreshing beverage can round out the meal perfectly. A glass of chilled white wine, like a Sauvignon Blanc, complements the Mediterranean flavors beautifully. For a non-alcoholic option, a sparkling lemonade infused with herbs like mint or basil offers a refreshing and palate-cleansing touch.

      Serving the Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl with these thoughtful additions will undoubtedly provide a more enriching and enjoyable eating experience. Whether for a casual weeknight dinner or a special occasion, these suggestions aim to enhance the vibrant flavors and textures of the dish, creating a memorable meal that’s as delightful to the senses as it is satisfying to the appetite.

      Storage and Reheating Tips

      After enjoying the delightful flavors of the Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl, storing leftovers properly is essential to maintain its freshness and taste for later enjoyment. Here’s how we recommend preserving the integrity of each component:

      Refrigerating Leftovers

      1. Cooling Down: Ensure the chicken quinoa bowl components have cooled to room temperature to avoid condensation inside the storage containers, which could make the ingredients soggy.
      2. Separate Containers: If possible, store the quinoa, chicken, and toppings in separate airtight containers. This keeps the ingredients fresh and prevents the flavors from melding together in a way that could impact their individual tastes.
      3. Adding Freshness: Before storing, refrain from adding the dressing to the entire bowl if you anticipate leftovers. Keep the dressing in a separate container to add a fresh zing when you’re ready to eat.
      4. Time Frame: Stored properly in the refrigerator, the chicken and quinoa can last up to 4 days. Toppings like fresh vegetables and herbs are best consumed within 2 days for optimal freshness.

      Freezing for Later

      1. Chicken and Quinoa: These can be frozen in airtight containers or resealable freezer bags for up to 3 months. Label each container with the date to keep track of storage time.
      2. Preparing for Freezing: Cool the ingredients to room temperature before freezing to maintain texture and flavor quality.
      3. Recommendation Against Freezing Toppings: We advise against freezing fresh toppings and dressings as they may not thaw well, affecting their texture and taste.


      1. Microwave: For a quick reheating method, transfer a portion of the chicken and quinoa into a microwave-safe dish. Sprinkle a little water over the top to prevent drying out, and cover. Heat on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring halfway through to ensure even warming.
      2. Stovetop: To rejuvenate the flavors, reheat the chicken and quinoa in a skillet over medium heat. Add a splash of water or broth to keep them moist, and stir occasionally until warmed thoroughly.
      3. Refreshing the Bowl: Once the main components are heated, assemble your bowl and add the fresh toppings and a drizzle of dressing to bring back the bowl’s vibrant flavors and textures.


      We’ve walked through the delightful journey of creating a Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl, from the initial preparation to the final garnish. It’s clear that this dish isn’t just about tantalizing your taste buds but also about embracing the vibrant Mediterranean culture right at your dining table. With the added flexibility of storage and reheating, it’s perfect for both immediate savoring and enjoying as a delicious leftover. So, whether you’re planning a feast or looking for a nutritious meal to spice up your weekly menu, this quinoa bowl is sure to impress. Don’t forget to experiment with the toppings and sides to keep each experience uniquely satisfying. Here’s to many more flavorful adventures in your kitchen!

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