Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sesame Quinoa and Chicken Salad

Toasted Sesame Quinoa Salad with Chicken Recipe

It's another post with quinoa!  That is what happens when I buy an extra large bag of quinoa at Costco.  Quinoa salads have definitely become a staple at my house.  Quinoa holds up really well as leftovers, and since I'm just cooking for myself, I always have plenty left for lunch.  Plus, I've been increasingly turning to Pinterest for recipe inspiration, and this is a recipe that I pinned a while back and on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I knew I'd make this because a) I had all the ingredients in the house and b) it would serve as an easy lunch for Monday.

In the end, I made quite a few tweaks to this recipe, especially to the dressing, which I did not like at all at first (maybe my sesame oil wasn't toasted, though I'm pretty sure it is.)  So I added ginger, honey, and a lot more soy sauce, because I tend to like my dressings more on the tangy / vinegary side than the oily side, and the original recipe had way too much oil for my taste.  I also added sriracha to finish things off, and it definitely helped bring the flavors into harmony.

Sesame Quinoa and Chicken Salad

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

For the salad:
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I poached mine)
2 cups shredded carrots
6 green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Sriracha for serving

For the dressing:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon honey

Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add 1/2 tablespoon of sesame and olive oil. Add in garlic and quinoa and stir to coat, then toast for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken stock and increase heat to high, bringing the quinoa to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking for 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed and quinoa can be fluffed with a fork. Whisk together dressing ingredients and set aside.

Mix together quinoa, chicken, carrots, green onions and dressing, tossing well to coat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and toss once more. Drizzle individual servings with Sriracha (and maybe more soy sauce), depending on your preference for spice!


  1. I love quinoa. Thanks for sharing this recipe, I´m going to make it.
    Love from Spain

  2. I love this way to use quinoa! Pinning for later!

  3. Mmm.. this sounds fabulous! I just made quinoa last night for dinner too :) Will have to try your recipe, love the sesame dressing! I've been so boring with mine lately, in desperate need a dressing change!


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