Chicken Quinoa Bowl with Balsamic and Ricotta Cheese

Fluffy quinoa, tomato and cucumber salad with a balsamic vinaigrette, juicy grilled chicken, lots of fresh basil, a dollop of Ricotta Cheese all drizzled with balsamic glaze.

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It’s kind of funny when you end up with a recipe by accident that you make over and over again. This chicken quinoa bowl is one of those recipes.

I (Riss) was grocery shopping with one of my sisters and she wanted to try some of that cheese that is like mozzarella on the outside but really soft on the inside (after doing some research it’s called Burrata) to go with some sort of quinoa salad/bowl we were thinking of making. We were going for kind of a caprese situation. So we picked a carton of what she thought was that stuff. We got home and discovered we had got ricotta cheese LOL. So we just rolled with it (partly because it was so expensive haha) and need I say we were fans! I had never even bought ricotta before that and the only experience I had with it was in store bought frozen lasagna, gross! It’s growing on me now and we have since created other recipes using it like these Grilled Peaches with Honey Citrus Ricotta.

what you need to make this chicken quinoa bowl

Ingredients for Chicken quinoa bowl

ingredient list

  • Chicken tenders
  • Whole milk ricotta cheese
  • English cucumber
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Fresh basil
  • Avocado oil or your choice of high heat oil (optional)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Balsamic glaze/reduction
  • Dijon mustard
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic granules or powder
  • Onion granules or powder
  • Quinoa

what is balsamic glaze/reduction

Balsamic glaze is basically a balsamic vinegar that has been reduced to a thick syrup, and sometimes has a sweetener like honey in it.

tips for this recipe

Can this be made ahead?

This makes a great cold lunch. Make it the day before and eat it for lunch the next day.

choosing the ingredients

We like a high quality ricotta made with whole milk. Our favorite is BelGioioso Ricotta Con Latte.

The Extra virgin olive oil can really make or brake a vinaigrette. You want a high quality oil that doesn’t have a bitter taste.

substitution ideas

You could use leftover chicken. Rotisserie, thighs, drumsticks etc. Or chicken breast, just adjust the cooking times.

We have used red wine vinegar in place of the balsamic in the vinaigrette on the occasion we were out of balsamic vinegar.

How to make this chicken quinoa bowl

a white bowl with quinoa tomatoes, cucumbers, chicken, ricotta cheese basil and balsamic drizzle

cook the quinoa

1. Cook 1/2 cup quinoa according to package directions.

2. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 black pepper (or to taste).

cook the chicken

1. Drizzle 8-10 ounces of chicken tenders (2-3 tenders per serving) with oil. Season generously with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Flip them over and repeat.

2. Heat a medium sized frying pan over high heat until hot, add the chicken and reduce heat to medium/high. Cook 3-5 minutes per side or until cooked through (160°F in the thickest part). Transfer to a plate to rest for a few minutes. Cut into bite sized pieces.

make the cucumber and tomato salad

1. In a small bowl place 1 cup diced English cucumber (about 1/2 a cucumber), and 1 cup of cherry tomatoes halved.

2. In a small jar with a tight fitting lid combine 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, 1 pinch black pepper, and a dash of garlic powder. Shake vigorously until combined and emulsified.

3. Pour over the cucumbers and tomatoes. Toss until the vegies are evenly coated.


1. Divide the quinoa between 2 serving dishes.

2. Top with the salad and chicken. Add a dollop of ricotta cheese, lots of chopped fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic glaze/reduction.

Love bowl meals? Try these!

Cheesy Polenta with Sausage and Veggies

Spiced Cranberry and Herb Chicken Meatballs

a white bowl with quinoa tomatoes, cucumbers, chicken, ricotta cheese basil and balsamic drizzle

Chicken Quinoa Bowl

Lets see, how can I describe this bowl?? Cucumber and tomato salad with a balsamic vinaigrette provides great texture, bites of chicken that are tender and juicy, sweet but also savory notes on your tongue from the fresh basil, soft and mild ricotta cheese to balance the bold flavor of balsamic, all on a bed of fluffy quinoa. This bowl is great as a warm dinner but also makes a fantastic cold lunch!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2 people
Calories 582 kcal



  • ½ cup Quinoa
  • ½ teaspoon Salt or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon Black pepper or to taste


  • 8-10 ounces Chicken tenders
  • Oil of choice for cooking the chicken
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Onion granules or powder
  • Garlic granules or powder

Cucumber and Tomato Salad

  • 1 cup Diced English Cucumber ½ a cucumber
  • 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes halved
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon Sea salt
  • teaspoon Black pepper fresh cracked
  • 1 dash Garlic granules or powder

Other Toppings

  • ¼ cup Ricotta cheese
  • 2-4 Tablespoons Chopped fresh basil
  • Balsamic glaze/reduction


The quinoa

  • Cook the quinoa according to the package directions.
  • Season with the salt and pepper.

The chicken

  • Drizzle the chicken with the oil and season generously with the seasonings, flip over and repeat on the other side.
  • Heat a medium sized frying pan over high heat until hot. Add the chicken and reduce the heat to medium/high. Cook for about 3-5 minutes per side or until cooked through (160°F in the thickest part).
  • Transfer to a plate to rest for a few minutes then cut into bite size pieces.

The salad

  • Add the cucumber and tomatoes to a bowl.
  • In a jar with a tight fitting lid add the rest of the ingredients and shake vigorously until combined. Pour over the veggies and toss until they are evenly coated.


  • Divide the quinoa between two serving dishes. Top with the salad and chicken.
  • Place a dollop of ricotta cheese and the basil on top. Drizzle with balsamic glaze.
Keyword Chicken, cooking for two, quinoa recipes

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