Spicy Cajun chicken quinoa

Spicy Cajun chicken quinoa

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(71 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

    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 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

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  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 (70)

Boodi88's picture

Cooked this tonight being my first at cooking with Quinoa and lentils ! i didn't use all the lentils probably only 180g and would have upped the quinoa. I used fajita seasoning which was lush ! It's a dish you could add any sort of veg too ! Apricots sweeten it up and I used 3 stocks cubes for chicle stock. As this is a tasty healthy dish I would cook again and it's something you can take to work for lunches ! 4/5 !

SiNZ's picture

Did this tonight. Never used quinoa before. Made some modifications: added steamed broccoli to the bowl at the end to get some greens, added a finely chopped red chilli to the onions to get some heat (and use up a leftover chilli), used chicken thighs instead of breast. All very tasty. Given the chicken thighs were about 1kg and the red onions I used were pretty big, I think I should have doubled the spring onions and lentils and used about 50% more quinoa. That notwithstanding, definitely a good hearty dish.

JW Inspiration's picture

First time using quinoa. Pleasantly surprised at the flavour.

The puy lentils, apricots and red onion make this a deliciously sweet and yet punchy dish when combined with the cajun seasining. Great textures too.

Black pepper seasoning only as chicken stock had enough salt.

Fresh coriander is a must.

Silence round the table followed by empty plates. Teen and young adult "guinea pigs" loved it and believe me they are both ruthlessly honest!

KateB's picture

Made this dish tonight and it was the first time I've ever tried quinoa, safe to say it won't be the last - it was absolutely delicious! Got the thumbs up from the crowd I cooked for too! I listened to the suggestions below and also added 1 red pepper and 1 yellow pepper and just baked this with the chicken and onions with a generous amount of Cajun spice on. I also used the whole bag of ready to use puy lentils and a bit more quinoa than suggested because why not! Will be making this again very soon that's for sure!

asmyth664's picture

Apricots are a great touch - really enjoyed this recipe as it's something a bit different for dinner. Didn't reheat well for lunch the next day though so definitely to be eaten at the point of cooking!

Sylviesophie's picture

3 stars

I didn't really enjoy this. It's kind of my fault. I added sweet potato, but didn't use lentils. After that I followed the recipe exactly.

Because I added sweet potatoes they took a while to cook and therefore the chicken became quite dry! Again my fault I know!

When it was all done it tasted OK. I'm now a fan of quinoa, but I didn't like the Cajun seasoning. I think Piri Piri (as someone else used) or tikka, or tandoori would taste better.

So I can only give this recipe 3 stars because I didn't like the flavours. Though I accept the changes I made didn't help.

lisajavenell's picture

Totally delicious! Will definitely be making this one again!

blanshard's picture

This was very tasty and delicious - HOWEVER if you are looking for a high protein diet ths Quinoa has shed loads of carbs in it!!!!

fiona_25's picture

Absolutely loved this. Very tasty and a nice change to the usual rice or pasta. Used piri piri instead of Cajun as that's what I had in the cupboard

bbell01's picture

Made this the other night and me and my partner absolutely loved it! Will defiantly be making this a regular!

vickyinthesky's picture

Made this with quorn chicken and added squash and red peppers, like a lot of the comments suggest. Didn't know what to expect from the apricots but they were a lovely touch! Very tasty meal, will definitely be cooking it again :)

christymcinnes's picture

Will definitely make this again, I used quorn and veggie stock as substitute's - still delicious!

Frills's picture

Love this so much, what lovely flavours, quick simple and great ingredients! 4-year old daughter just gobbled it up!

megst's picture

I made this recipe and loved it! Would definitely do again :D

mellie11's picture

Cooked this for the first time today and will definitely do it again! very quick and easy. Having read the comments I added sweet potato and red peppers, and like others roasted all the veg in with the chicken. however I will use a bigger baking tray next time as the chicken (on top) was cooked before the veg, which needed another 10 mins a bit hotter to crisp up. I used dried lentils, putting about 100grams in the stock 10 mins before the quinoa

maj5678's picture

Great healthy dinner. I used buglar wheat instead of quinoa as it's very similar but half the price. Added more cajan spice and a yellow pepper. Could add whatever veg you like really. I will add a few more apricots next time as the hit of sweetness really adds to the overall taste!

sophieburch's picture

This was really tasty! I removed the apricots and added some baby courgettes (as well as adding a little more cajun spice). Makes for a tasty and healthy meal.
I cooked the veg and the chicken together in the oven wrapped in foil with the spices - it was great!

randomgirlsname's picture

Made this 3 times in 3 weeks and will do many times again! You can fill up on it and not worry at all as it's so healthy.
A few things though - I added more Cajun seasoning than stated, red & yellow peppers & green beans, a lot of coriander (just because I like it), the whole 250g pack of puy lentils (why not?) and left out the apricots (dried fruit doesn't to anything for me). You could add various veg to this and change it up every time.
Like others, I also cooked the veg with the chicken in the oven - so no oil to be seen and veg stays firm but cooked :)

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 Will definitely make again.


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