BBQ Chicken Quinoa Bowl


This meal hits all the bases for me, particularly on a busy weeknight: easy, healthy, delicious. Well, easy if you do a bit of food prep the night before, but it is relatively painless and worth it. I start with cooking some quinoa in whatever stock (vegetable, chicken) I have on hand. Meanwhile, I prep the corn. Since we eat corn year round, I have different methods for each season. When corn is fresh, we grill the corn because it is difficult to beat grilled corn. Other times, I boil the fresh corn and also like the Whole Foods fire roasted corn in the frozen section. Next up, is prepping the fresh veggie toppings including: shredded cabbage, sliced green onions, and diced tomatoes. For good measure, shred a block of Monterey Jack cheese so it is all ready to go. 

In the morning (or whenever you need the chicken ready) toss some chicken thighs into the slow cooker with your favorite bbq sauce, thinly sliced onions, salt & pepper, garlic cloves, and smoked paprika. Side note: is smoked paprika not everyone's favorite spice?!

It is worth mentioning that when I plugged this meal into My Fitness Pal, it clocked in around 350 calories so relatively low. You may consider adding some black beans for additional nutrition.

Ingredients - serves 4

For slow cooker bbq chicken: bbq chicken recipe adapted from

1.5 lbs chicken thighs, boneless and skinless

half large onion, sliced*

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon salt

freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup bbq sauce**

For remaining components of the bowl:

1 cup dry quinoa, cook in vegetable or chicken stock according to package directions

2 cups or 4 ears of corn

purple cabbage, shredded

green onions, thinly sliced

grape tomatoes, diced

avocado, diced

monterey jack cheese, shredded


1. Place all bbq chicken ingredients into the slow cooker, stir to combine, and cook on low for 5 hours. When ready to assemble bowls, heat up quinoa if you made ahead (in the microwave) to serve as the base for this bowl, top with chicken and all the delicious toppings. 

*Since I rarely use the whole onion for any given recipe, I usually slice what I need then slice and freeze the rest to put in a freezer plastic bag for future usage. 

**Lately, I've been using the 365 Whole Foods Kansas City Love bbq sauce. It's slightly sweet and thick with a mild kick. Tomato paste is the first ingredient and I like knowing the rest of the ingredients are clean.