Quinoa “Paella”

Total Time
1 hr 20 min
40 min
40 min
This spin on traditional Spanish paella gets a nutrient boost with high-protein quinoa and a double-dose of vegetables.


uncooked skinless chicken breast with bone

28 oz, (four 7 oz breasts - or similar size)

kosher salt

2 tsp, divided (or to taste)


2½ tsp, divided (or to taste)

black pepper

1 tsp, freshly ground


1 Tbsp, fresh leaves

olive oil

1 Tbsp

cooked chicken chorizo sausage

6 oz, cut into rounds

garlic clove(s)

3 medium clove(s), thickly sliced

uncooked leek(s)

2 large, white and light green parts only

uncooked carrot(s)

5 large, preferably rainbow variety, peeled, cut into chunks

sweet red pepper(s)

1 large, sliced into 1/2-inch strips

uncooked quinoa

1½ cup(s), rinsed

ground turmeric

½ tsp

reduced sodium canned chicken broth

2¾ cup(s)

uncooked baby broccoli

1 bunch(es), trimmed (cut in half lengthwise if thick)


1 item(s), juiced and zested (optional)


  1. Remove any visible fat from chicken; with a sharp heavy knife, halve each breast crosswise, cutting through bone. Season chicken all over with 1½ tsp salt, 2 tsp paprika, black pepper, and rosemary.
  2. Heat oil in a large (12-inch) straight-sided skillet over medium heat. Add chicken to pan; nestle chorizo and garlic around chicken. Cook until chicken is golden brown on all sides, turning chicken and chorizo a few times, 8-10 minutes. Transfer chicken and chorizo to a plate (chicken breast will not be cooked through); leave garlic in pan.
  3. Split leeks in half lengthwise, then cut into ½-inch slices; immerse in cold water to remove all sand and grit. Carefully lift leeks from water to avoid mixing sand back in; drain well and repeat if necessary.
  4. Add leeks, carrots, peppers, and remaining ½ tsp salt to pan; cook over medium heat until soft, stirring frequently, 6-8 minutes. Add quinoa, remaining ½ tsp paprika, turmeric, and broth; stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Nestle chicken pieces and chorizo into quinoa mixture, along with any accumulated juices on plate; cover pan tightly and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Scatter baby broccoli over top; cover and continue to cook until quinoa is done, chicken is cooked through and baby broccoli is bright green and crisp-tender, about 5 minutes more. Season to taste, if desired; garnish with optional fresh lemon juice and zest.
  5. Serving size: 1/2 chicken breast, 1 cup "paella" and a few spears broccoli

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