Chicken Caprese Quinoa Salad
I love a good quinoa salad and this chicken caprese quinoa salad is one of my favorites. The gooey melted mozzarella cheese combined with the juicy cherry tomatoes go so well together. This is a great recipe for anyone counting macros or looking for new meal prep ideas!
- 4 oz Chicken Breast (about half a large breast), (about 1 small breast)
- ¼ tsp Black Pepper
- ¼ tsp Garlic Powder
- ½ tbsp Avocado Oil
- 47 g Quinoa, (about ¼ cup)
- 100 g Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, halved, (about 1 cup)
- 30 g Peal Mozzarella Balls, quartered, (about ½ cup)
- 20 g Spinach, torn, (about ½ cup)
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1 Sprig of Basil, optional
- Heat stove top pan to medium heat.
- While the pan is heating season the chicken breast on both sides, with black pepper and garlic powder.
- Once the pan is hot, add 1/2 tbsp the avocado oil to the pan.
- Place the chicken immediately in the pan, leave it there on medium heat for 2 minutes, then flip to the other side and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Both sides should start to become golden brown, but the center will still look uncooked…If not, give each side another minute…your pan wasn't hot enough.
- Then turn the heat to low and cover the chicken with a lid. Let it cook for about 4 minutes, then flip and cover again for another 4 minutes on the other side. After 4 minutes on each side covered, the chicken should be done. But this does depend on the size of the chicken breast…these times are based on a 4 oz breast. It is always best to check the internal temperature of chicken before serving.
- While the Chicken is cooking work on the Quinoa: First, rinse the quinoa by filling a medium bowl with 2 cups cool water. Place the Quinoa in the bowl and allow to soak for 3-4 minutes. Then drain the water out of the bowl. Next you will want to rinse the quinoa for another 30 seconds under cold water. This allows the outer shell to open. Strain the quinoa from the water, now it's time to cook the quinoa.
- Heat a small sauce pan over medium heat, add 1/2 cup water and the rinsed quinoa to the sauce pan. Cover with a lid and cook on medium high for 15 minutes, until the water has soaked completely into the quinoa.
- Once the chicken is done cooking remove it from the pan, saving the pan for later with all the juices. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces.
- Once the quinoa is cooked transfer it to the saute pan that the chicken was cooked in. Turn the stove back on to medium heat.
- Add your cherry tomatoes, spinach, and mozzarella to the pan with the quinoa. Season wit a pinch of salt and stir together once and then cook for 2-3 minutes. But leave the dish alone, this will allow the mozzarella balls to stay together but begin to melt.
- Once cooked gently transfer to your serving dish, trying to keep the mozzarella balls whole. Top with your chicken and garnish with a few sprigs of basil. Or portion out into your meal prep containers.
Are you meal prepping? Do you count your macros or calories? Check out my notes below on how you can incorporate this Chicken Caprese Quinoa Salad into your meal prep. Also how you can easily adjust protein, carbs, and fats to meet your macro goals
NOTES FOR MEAL PREP:
This chicken caprese quinoa salad is a wonderful recipe for meal prepping. You can store each serving in the fridge for up to 1 week and eat it as it fits your meal plan.
When its time to reheat, simply place in the microwave with a lid loosely covering your container. Cook for 60 seconds, stopping to mix up the ingredients half way through.
NOTES FOR COUNTING MACROS:
The main source of protein in this recipe is the chicken, making this recipe super easy to increase or decrease the amount of protein per serving.
- Every 1 ounce of chicken has 8.8 grams of protein.
The quinoa in this recipe is what provides most of the carbohydrates. Again, another easy ingredient to adjust in this recipe.
- For every 38 grams (1/4 cup) of quinoa there is 27 carbs.
If making adjustments to the quinoa, you will also want to make adjustments to the amount of water you cook the quinoa in. Using 1.5 times water to quinoa.
The fat in this recipe comes mainly from the cheese and the oil that the chicken is cooked in.
- To reduce the fat the easiest way would be to not cook the chicken in oil but in a not stick cooking spray. This will remove 7 grams of fat from the recipe. However, your chicken may not be as juicy, still delicious and the cherry tomatoes will help to provide a little juice.
To increase the fat in this recipe the best way would be to add more cheese…and who doesn’t love cheese?
- For every 16 grams of cheese you can increase the fat by 2.5 grams.
When making adjustments to the macros in this chicken caprese quinoa salad, you will want to keep in mind the number of servings you are making.
If you love quinoa and are looking for another meal prep recipe give my:
Lime Quinoa Chicken Bowl a try!