Slow Cooker Chicken and Quinoa with Spring Vegetables

Prep time
20 mins
Cook time
3 hours 36 mins
Total time
3 hours 56 mins
8 servings, about 1 cup each
  • 1½ cups dry quinoa
  • 1 lb. raw chicken breast, boneless, skinless, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 7 cups low-sodium organic chicken broth, divided use
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. dried basil (or chives or parsley)
  • Sea salt (or Himalayan salt) and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
  • 6 tsp. prepared pesto sauce
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 cups shredded (or grated) carrots
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 2 cups)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Place quinoa, chicken, 4 cups broth, garlic, and basil in a 3-quart slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Mix well and cover; cook on low for 3 to 3½ hours, or until chicken is not pink and quinoa is tender. The mixture will be very thick and sticky.
  2. Remove lid. Add remaining 3 cups broth, 1 cup at a time, until mixture resembles the consistency of risotto. You may not need to add all of the broth.
  3. Add pesto sauce, peas, and lemon juice; mix well and cover. Set aside.
  4. Heat oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  5. Add carrots; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until carrots are tender-crisp.
  6. Add asparagus; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until asparagus is tender-crisp.
  7. Fold carrot mixture into quinoa mixture; mix well.
  8. Top each serving with 1 Tbsp. cheese.

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