New Recipe – Pesto Chicken Quinoa

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One of my goals with B.A.S.E. Training is to provide some healthy recipes every once in a while here on my blog. I have already put out my guacamole recipe on an earlier post but that is about all I have done so far…I intended to have more recipes out by now…but I do what I can.

My wife has been making a pesto chicken pasta dish for several years that is one of my favorites. Then, just recently, we decided to try it with Quinoa (keen-wah) instead of pasta and it was REALLY good…so I thought I would share. You have to try this.

Quinoa is an excellent substitute for rice or pasta because it is a natural and complete protein unlike pasta or rice. This means that it has all of the amino acids necessary for muscle growth and repair. Quinoa is actually a seed and not a grain but it cooks up similar to couscous or small round pasta. Feel free, of course, to try this recipe with some whole wheat pasta but Quinoa is the healthier choice and it really tastes great! Try Quinoa in other recipes where you normally use rice or pasta as well.

Pesto Chicken Quinoa

Ingredients (Serves 2):
Fresh basil, 1 cup
Olive oil, 2 Tbsp plus 1 Tbsp more for cooking chicken
Pine nuts, ¼ c.
Parmesan cheese, 1-2 oz
Garlic, chopped or minced, 1 clove
Quinoa, ½ c.
Chicken breasts, 2 each, cut into 1 inch pieces
Broccoli, 1-2 stalks, about 2 cups
Mushrooms (optional), 1 cup sliced

Prepare pesto by combining basil, 2 Tbsp olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan cheese, and ½ tsp salt in food processor. Run food processor after adding each ingredient (one at a time) to be sure the mixture is fully blended.

Rinse quinoa. Combine with 1-1/2 cup of water in saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes (or until water is gone and quinoa is soft). (Or cook according to package directions).

Meanwhile, add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to pan and add chicken breast pieces. Salt and pepper chicken. Cook until fully done.

Cut Broccoli into florets and cook in microwave or by adding it to a pot of boiling water for 6-8 minutes

Once chicken and quinoa are cooked, combine pesto, chicken, broccoli, and quinoa and serve. Grate parmesan cheese on top if desired.

Other options include adding mushrooms (cook with chicken) or adding pine nuts into mixture during last step.


Ryan Chapman
B.A.S.E. Training


  • Laura

    July 3, 2012

    This look sooooo yummy. Seriously thank you. Definitely making it this week! I always have a lot of trouble finding yummy, healthy meals that both my boyfriend and I can enjoy.

    • BASEtraining

      July 3, 2012

      Awesome! I hope you enjoy it! I run challenge groups where we eat like this all of the time!