Quinoa with Chicken and Lentils

This low-calorie Middle Eastern-inspired dinner uses darkly browned onions and a few spices to develop big flavor without relying on extra fat. A small amount of leftover rotisserie chicken makes this balanced meal budget-friendly, too.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Nutrition Info
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1 cup quinoa

1 15-ounce can lentils, strained and rinsed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken, white meat with skin removed

2 cups whole frozen green beans

2 tablespoons toasted, sliced almonds

1/4 cup 2-percent Greek yogurt


  1. Put the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil, add the quinoa and cook until it is translucent and tender and the threadlike germ wraps around each kernel, 8 to 12 minutes. Strain the quinoa well, return it to the saucepan and stir in the lentils; cover and keep warm.
  2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until deep golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, cinnamon, lemon zest, 3/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and stir until toasted and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup water and scrape up any brown bits. Add the chicken, bring to a simmer and cook until almost all of the liquid evaporates and the chicken is moistened, about 2 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, put the green beans in a microwave-safe bowl with 1 tablespoon water. Cover and microwave until hot, about 3 minutes
  4. Add the chicken-onion mixture, lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt to the quinoa-lentil mixture and stir to combine. Divide among four bowls. Top each with greens beans, almonds and a dollop of yogurt.