Berry Chicken Quinoa Salad with Strawberry-Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe

Yields: 4 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Salad:

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups mixed greens (arugula, spinach, etc.)
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/2 English cucumber, sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

For the Strawberry-Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

1. Cook the quinoa:

  • Rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer under cold water.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa and broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed.
  • Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.

2. Prepare the chicken:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  • Pound chicken breasts to an even thickness. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Bake chicken for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through (internal temperature of 165 degrees F).
  • Allow chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

3. Make the vinaigrette:

  • Combine strawberries, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.

4. Assemble the salad:

  • In a large bowl, combine cooled quinoa, mixed greens, strawberries, blueberries, almonds, goat cheese, cucumber, and red onion.
  • Add sliced chicken to the salad.
  • Drizzle desired amount of Strawberry-Balsamic Vinaigrette over salad and toss to coat.

Tips:

  • Make Ahead: Cook the quinoa and chicken in advance to save time. The vinaigrette can also be prepared a day or two ahead of time.
  • Variations: Swap out nuts, cheese, or try different berries like raspberries or blackberries.
  • Storage: Store leftover salad and vinaigrette separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. The salad is best enjoyed within a few days.

Enjoy your refreshing and flavorful Berry Chicken Quinoa Salad!

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