Skillet Mushroom Chicken and Quinoa
The calendar tells me that we are still in the early-ish days of January, which means that my duty is to inundate you with dark green vegetable juices and pale salads and other manners of light, resolution-friendly fare. My thermometer tells me it was below 10 degrees for much of the day on Milwaukee on Saturday, and we need comfort food. Today’s Skillet Mushroom Chicken and Quinoa recipe is the best of both!
I spent much of the weekend walking around our house wrapped in a fleecy blanket like a giant human burrito, sipping two ingredient homemade hot chocolate, and scheming assorted ways to beat Old Man Winter. This simple mushroom chicken recipe is one of them.
A warm combination of lean, protein-rich chicken and quinoa, meaty mushrooms, earthy thyme, and nutty Parmesan, this satisfying dish is healthy and cozy at the same time. It’s also fast and furious—from start to finish, you can have this mushroom chicken on your table in fewer than 30 minutes, making it an ideal recipe for busy weeknights.
About This Easy Chicken Mushroom Quinoa
The ingredients are simple but work well together. I sautéed mushrooms—a lot of mushrooms—in a hefty amount of garlic. Because this recipe is so few ingredients, the type of mushrooms you choose are important. I used and recommend baby bellas (creminis) which are widely available and affordable, though portabello or oyster mushrooms would be excellent too. The only mushroom I suggest you avoid is regular white button mushrooms, as they don’t offer enough flavor to carry the dish.
If you aren’t a mushroom fan, the principle of this recipe is so simple you can swap in any other veggie you love or have on hand. Here are a few of my favorite ideas:
- Skillet Kale Chicken. Swap in kale for the mushrooms.
- Skillet Butternut Squash Chicken. This would have delicious harvesty flavors.
- Sweet Potatoes. Swapping in sweet potatoes would add even more nutritional value to this dish.
- Broccoli. One of my favorite veggies to add. This Roasted Frozen Broccoli could even be added in at the end of cooking.
Tools Used to Make This Recipe
- 3-Quart Sauté Pan. Two other excellent, less expensive options here and here.
- Non-Slip Cutting Board. This one is dishwasher-safe.
Whatever the temperature in your part of the world, I hope this healthy, comforting mushroom, chicken, and quinoa recipe keeps you cozy, whether you enjoy it in Bermuda shorts or a burrito blanket.
Skillet Mushroom Chicken and Quinoa
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil - divided
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, - cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt - divided
- 24 ounces cremini baby bella mushrooms
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan - Gruyere, or similarly melty, nutty cheese, plus additional for serving
- Bring 2 cups chicken stock to a gentle boil. Add the quinoa, return to boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and let cook until most of the liquid is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand until the remaining liquid is absorbed, about 10 additional minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside. (Note: This step may vary slightly depending upon your particular brand of quinoa. Be sure to check the directions.)
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium high. Sauté chicken with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, about 4 to 6 minutes.
- Remove the chicken to a plate lined with paper towels, then with a paper towel gently wipe the skillet clean. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high. Add the mushrooms, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Cook, until the mushrooms begin to brown, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook until the mushrooms are tender and have given up their liquid, 4 additional minutes. If there is a lot of remaining liquid in the pan, increase the heat and cook just until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 1 minute. Stir in the thyme, quinoa, chicken, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Serve warm, sprinkled with additional Parmesan.
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