Weeknight friendly chicken and quinoa with mushrooms, spinach, and mustard sauce. It’s made in one pan with basic ingredients. You’ll be surprised how easily it comes together!
Chicken and Quinoa
I’m always looking for easy dinners that are delicious, healthy and that my whole family will enjoy. Because can we agree that cooking for an entire family is not an easy job.
But with meals like this one pan chicken and quinoa, dinner prep is a breeze. This meal is a combination of protein + carbs + veggies made all in one pan.
Not to mention easy to follow instructions and good ingredients. And BEST of all, you end up with minimal clean up!
It’s basically a one pan wonder meal. Made with tender chicken thighs. You can use chicken breast as well. Then you have mushrooms, spinach, and quinoa.
I love love using quinoa. It’s more nutrient dense than rice and it cooks really easily.
You can use any color quinoa. Just keep in mind that white quinoa has the most delicate taste and the lightest texture, whereas red and black quinoa have more earthy, nutty taste.
Quinoa is very bland and can even taste bitter if not prepared properly. If I’m cooking quinoa on its own, I usually rinse it under cold water to remove some of the bitterness on the outside.
But for this recipe, you don’t even have to worry about rinsing it since quinoa is simmered in a sauce.
The sauce is a mustard sauce made with only 3 simple ingredients (mustard, maple syrup and lemon juice). It’s absolutely delicious!
Tangy and sweet at the same time. It pairs so nicely with the cooked chicken and adds creaminess to the dish (reminds me a little of risotto). The chicken comes out super flavorful and the veggies perfectly tender. It reheats nicely the next day too.
Ingredients for One Pot Quinoa with Chicken
The ingredients for this one pan meal are pretty basic. If you’re missing one or two ingredients, no worries. See the notes in the recipe card for all the substitutions.
- Chicken thighs
- Bay leaf
- Dijon mustard
- Maple syrup
- Lemon juice
How to Make Chicken and Quinoa with Spinach
You pretty much start off with sautéing the mushrooms first. You want to use a large pan (at least 3 quarts). The mushrooms need room to evenly cook and brown. Transfer the cooked mushrooms to a plate.
Then you cook the chicken in the same pan. To the chicken, add quinoa + liquid. Let the mixture simmer, uncovered, until quinoa is tender and most of the liquid is gone.
While the quinoa is cooking, whisk together the Dijon mustard, maple syrup, and lemon juice. Set aside.
Add spinach and cook covered for about 2 minutes. Uncover the pan and mix the wilted spinach into the chicken and quinoa.
Stir in sautéed mushrooms and mustard sauce. Serve with fresh chopped parsley and red pepper flakes, if desired.
If you end up with leftovers, simply keep stored in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. I wouldn’t keep the leftovers any longer as the quinoa can dry out the longer it sits.
More Quinoa Recipes You Might Enjoy:
- Salmon Quinoa Cakes
- Cauliflower Tabbouleh
- Butternut Squash and Cranberry Quinoa Salad
- Easy Chicken Mexican Bowls
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Weeknight friendly chicken and quinoa with mushrooms, spinach, and mustard sauce. It’s made in one pan with basic ingredients. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to make!
- 4–5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
- 8 oz. white mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless, chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 1 3/4 cup water
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 6 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves
- Fresh chopped parsley and red pepper flakes, for serving, optional
- 3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- In a 3-quart sauté pan or large skillet, heat 2-3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. When butter shimmers, add the mushrooms, and cook undisturbed for 5 minutes. Season with salt to taste, stir, and continue cooking until the mushrooms are tender and browned, stirring occasionally, about 4-5 minutes. Remove to a plate with a slotted spoon.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and add remaining butter. When butter shimmers, add chicken, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook until lightly browned, stirring occasionally, about 7-10 minutes.
- Stir in quinoa, water, bay leaf, and salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, about 15-17 minutes. You want quinoa to be completely tender and most of the liquid absorbed.
- While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the mustard sauce by whisking together the Dijon mustard, maple syrup and lemon juice. Set aside.
- When quinoa is tender, discard the bay leaf and add the spinach. Cover the pan and let the spinach cook for about 1-2 minutes or until wilted. Then using a pair of tongs, toss the spinach with the quinoa and chicken.
- Stir in mushrooms and mustard sauce. Serve garnished with parsley and red pepper flakes, if desired.
- Butter: If you want to cut down on the butter, olive oil is a good alternative.
- Chicken: Chicken breast is a good option for the thighs. Just make sure not to overcook it.
- Spinach: Swap out the spinach for chopped curly kale. Just make sure to de-stem the kale.
Keywords: one pan meal, quinoa and chicken, mustard sauce, creamy quinoa
Originally published January 2015, updated September 2019 with new photos, rewritten post, and additional information. No change to the recipe.
Originally published in September 2015, updated November 2019 with new photos, rewritten post, and additional information. No change to the recipe.