Looking for an inexpensive, speedy lunch using basic pantry ingredients? Gaby Dalkin, founder of What’s Gaby Cooking, has you covered with this chicken quinoa salad, which she calls her go-to lunch. “I always meal prep on Sundays so having some pulled chicken and cooked quinoa on hand makes lunch very easy. Just add some cheese, avocados and maybe an extra squeeze of barbecue sauce and you're in business!”
This recipe is a delicious combination of basic pantry staples like quinoa, black beans and store-bought barbecue sauce, along with some fresh seasonal finds such as corn on the cob, avocado, scallions and cilantro.
If you don’t have everything you need on hand, you can easily purchase all of the ingredients (just click the orange button below that says ‘Get Ingredients’). You can pick and choose exactly what ingredients you need based on what’s in your pantry and they’ll be on your doorstep before you know it.
Technique Tip: You can prep the chicken and quinoa ahead of time so it makes throwing together lunch super simple. Gaby recommends cooking chicken thighs in a slow-cooker, along with sliced white onion and barbecue sauce. After about six to seven hours, it’ll be fully cooked and super shreddable. Store it in the refrigerator to use at your convenience. You can also use store-bought rotisserie chicken in this recipe to save even more time.
Swap Option: Use any kind of grain as the base, such as farro, rice or bulgur. Better yet, use a blend of all three.
- 1½ cups cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup fresh corn, cut from the cob
- 1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup shredded barbecue chicken
- 1 avocado, chopped
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
- barbecue sauce, to taste
- 2 scallions, chopped
- fresh cilantro, for garnish
In a large bowl, toss together the quinoa, corn, black beans, chicken and avocado. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer mixture into a serving bowl and top with shredded cheese, barbecue sauce, scallions and cilantro.
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