Spicy Cajun chicken quinoa

Spicy Cajun chicken quinoa

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(74 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 25 mins


Serves 4
Protein-packed quinoa makes this midweek meal a superhealthy option

Nutrition and extra info

  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal386
  • fat7g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs35g
  • sugars15g
  • fibre5g
  • protein47g
  • salt1g
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  • 4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 100g quinoa



    Tiny, bead-shaped, with a slightly bitter flavour and firm texture, quinoa may not be a…

  • 600ml hot chicken stock
  • 100g dried apricots, sliced
  • ½ x 250g pouch ready-to-use Puy lentils



    The lentil plant (Lens Culinaris) originates from Asia and North Africa and is one of our oldest…

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 red onions, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 bunch spring onions, chopped
    Spring onions

    Spring onion

    sp-ring un-yun

    Also known as scallions or green onions, spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested…

  • small bunch coriander, chopped


  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Toss the chicken with the Cajun spice and arrange in a single layer in a roasting tin. Bake for 20 mins until the chicken is cooked. Set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa in the chicken stock for 15 mins until tender, adding the apricots and lentils for the final 5 mins. Drain and place into a large bowl with the chicken, toss together.

  3. While the quinoa is cooking, heat the oil in a large frying pan and soften the onions for 10-15 mins. Toss the onions into the quinoa with the coriander and some seasoning, then mix well.

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Comments (72)

Tilly1980's picture

Delicious!!! Me and my husband were in food heaven this dinner. Unfortunately our little girls didn't enjoy it so much.....guess the sautéed onion didn't fit their taste. I replaced the Cajun for mild Paprika, so it wouldn't be too spicy for the kids. Very good.

SallyLukemire's picture

Really tasty flavours. The quinoa went a bit mushy tho - I'd recommend simmering it for 10 mins then standing for 10 mins instead. Good easy-cook quinoa method here www.lovequinoarecipes.com. Will definitely make again.

joanneturner's picture

Ive been using BBC good food for more than a year and this is the first time Ive been inspired to review! I roasted the chicken with some red pepper, the onion and diced sweet potato- all well coated in the cajun seasoning. I also used a fresh chicken stock .Served with plenty of coriander and some sliced avocado. Absolutely delicious!

choccieclaire's picture

We love this. Second time I've made it and it's now a new firm favourite. Like many others, think I will roast the veg in the oven with chicken. Butternut squash or sweet potato would be lovely.

Beth 32's picture

Thought this was an amazing dish and will definitely be making it again! Very tasty and filling.

lisavalo's picture

Really lovely. Did it without apricots has found we had none in the store cupboard, but tasted great and was v.filling. Very easy to make. Well make this a frequent favourite.

elley118's picture

My new favourite meal! An absolutely beautifully flavoured dish that could easily serve the 5000, and so nutritious, too! Love it!

chul_king's picture

Never tried quinoa before, really impressed with the meal. Very tasty. Made my own Cajun spice and added ready made puy lentils with porcini mushrooms as this is all I could find in the shops! Will definitely add it to my midweek meals.

nikkilaing's picture

Delicious and left overs great for next day lunch. First time I have cooked with quinoa but will definitely do again.

jamesgss's picture

great recipe - i added a generous shake of dried mix herbs to the quinoa when cooked- really delicious

I didn't have dried apricots and still tasted as good

yvonnelove's picture

I made this last night and it was delicious! Didn't change much apart from adding in a red pepper which I roasted with the chicken. I also roasted the red onion instead of frying. I'm having the leftovers for lunch today!

codeswitcher18's picture

My boyfriend and I made this together because he was keen to try quinoa as a post-gym source of protein.
He shopped on Bank Holiday Monday, so couldn't find lentils but we're not so keen on those anyway.
We added:
- more cajun spice than recommended (he loves it!)
- a bulghur wheat/quinoa mix because that's all we could find
- chopped apricots instead of halved whole ones (less overwhelming taste worked really well)

...and it was DELICIOUS! We were starving after a circuit training class, and finished the whole thing off between us!

And we are planning on try softening red peppers along with the spring onion and red onion next time, for added vegetable goodness.

Definitely a good way to try quinoa for the first time!

banshee89wraith's picture

I rarely cook a savoury dish with less than 5 types of vegetables, for instance,in this one I would put 3/4 capsicum and a broccoli, many more onions and if there was too much liquid I would stir in a tablespoon of chia.
I would like someone to tell me the ingredients of a Cajun spice mix as I avoid pre-packaged items.

metherton's picture

I really loved this recipe, even had it as left overs with salad the next day.

jennyb91's picture

When I saw the finished result, I was unsure if I'd like this as I made it for healthy lunches. However it was lovely, I roasted the onion with the chicken and in future attempts, I think I would also add courgettes and peppers. Yum!

sammd001's picture

Really enjoyed this dish - it is tasty, filling and healthy. Plus any extra goes down a treat for lunch.

pinkhevs's picture

Really enjoyed this as did my husband. Added butternut squash and peppers to the ingredients, roasted all the veggies with the chicken. Served with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar - yum!

poochiepie's picture

This is one of my favourite low cal recipes. I have tried with yellow pepper and apricots and I prefer to use apricots. The only thing I have found is that I find the stock a bit too salty so have to use less and also it isn't really enough for 4 servings so I use double the lentils and a little more quinoa than the recipe tells you to.

7daycicada's picture

Really good. For the cajun seasoning, I used salt, smoked paprika, oregano, ground coriander and cayenne pepper and lemon juice. I also roasted the onions with the chicken instead of frying them and chopped up a tomato for extra moisture.

Lasted a few days in the fridge as lunches for the week.


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