Part of my research as a food blogger comes from scouring Pinterest for ideas for recipes. I stumbled upon a blog that has become one of my favorites - Pinch of Yum. It was here where I found the original recipe for this easy chicken pesto post. I tried their Crockpot Quinoa Chicken Primavera recipe and failed miserably. I should've known it was going to be disastrous since it was a crockpot recipe. Me and crockpots don't get along well. Not sure why this is a thing, but I can't seem to make a crockpot recipe work. I'm sure the recipe is fantastic the way that they make it, however, mine turned out mushy which made me sad. The flavor was great but the texture was not. I am huge on textures and I ended up throwing it away because I couldn't handle the texture.
I saw this as a challenge and decided to take matters into my own hands and create my own version. After multiple attempts, I believe that I have mastered what this chicken pesto should taste like. So here's my version of the Quinoa Chicken Primavera that Pinch of Yum originally created. Hope you enjoy my version!
Easy Chicken Pesto
Prep Time: 10
Cook Time: 40
Serving size: 1-1/2 cup
- 1 package of chicken thighs
- Seasoning for chicken (I like to use Mrs. Dash Herb)
- 1 jar of pesto (6-8 oz.)
- 1 cup of quinoa
- 2 cups of chicken stock
- 1 bunch of asparagus
- 1 tsp. cooking oil
- 1 cup of shelled edamame (I use frozen)
- Parmesan cheese for garnish
- 1 lemon
- Quinoa - Prepare quinoa according to package. You will first want to rinse the quinoa before cooking. I will boil 2 cups of chicken stock in a sauce pan. Once the broth is boiling, add quinoa. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until all of the liquid has evaporated. Set aside.
- Chicken - I will use my George Foreman because it's convenient for me and ridiculously easy. I'm all about the easy way out when cooking. You can use an outdoor grill or the stove top to cook your chicken. Pre-heat your grill/George Foreman/stove. Sprinkle an all purpose chicken seasoning and salt (if needed) liberally on each side of the chicken thighs. If using a George Foreman, place Chicken on grill and set timer for 10 minutes. If using a grill/stove, you can probably get away with 10-12 minutes depending on heat. You want to make sure there is no pink in center of chicken. Dice chicken into bite size pieces.
- Asparagus - Rinse the asparagus and then cut into 4 sections. Heat a saute pan to medium with 1 tsp. of cooking oil. Once the pan is hot enough, add asparagus. Stir the asparagus every few minutes as it's cooking. 8-10 minutes should be plenty of time to soften it just enough that there's still a crunch to it. Set aside.
- Edamame - If using frozen edamame, defrost according to instructions.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the quinoa, asparagus, edamame, pesto and chicken. Mix thoroughly. Serve in bowls and top with shredded Parmesan and fresh lemon juice.
- Prepare for a mouf party!