Skillet supers make my heart sing! Here are the facts about this 1-pan wonder.

Ready in 30 minutes.

Minimal clean-up.

Flavorful and satisfying.

Healthy and real.

Made from pantry staples.


And did I mention delicious?

I’m not sure more needs to be said about this dinner! My Mom used to make a similar dish with brown rice growing up. I swapped out the brown rice for quinoa and changed up a few ingredients. I’ve got nothing against brown rice, it takes so dang long to cook. I love quinoa because it cooks fast, making this meal come together in no time.


Since my husband and boys can eat dairy I usually top 3/4 of this with cheese for them and leave my portion cheese-less. This tastes so delicious if you scoop it up with your favorite tortilla chips. Serve this with a big green tomato cucumber salad, avocados, and a light homemade lime dressing for a satisfying and balanced meal. The leftovers from this were also amazing for lunch the next day.

One of the secrets to great flavor in this dish is some jarred salsa. My favorite salsa to use here is Trader Joe’s Tomatillo & Roasted Yellow Chili Salsa. It has the perfect amount of spice for me in this. Feel free to use any kind of salsa you like. You can also use any kind of canned bean here as well. Enjoy!


5 from 2 votes

Skillet Southwestern Chicken & Quinoa {Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Option}

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 people
Be sure to rinse the quinoa well - rinsing the quinoa removes the outer coating that can have a soapy taste. My favorite salsa to use for this is Trader Joe's Tomatillo & Roasted Yellow Chili Salsa. Any salsa will work though! I think kidney beans go so well with with flavors, but you could also use black or pinto beans if you like.


  • 3-4 tablespoons avocado oil or cooking oil of choice
  • 1 chicken breast cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • .125 tsp salt & pepper for seasoning
  • 1 cup onions diced (about 1 small onion)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 14 oz can kidney beans drained and well rinsed
  • 1 cup quinoa well rinsed
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese optional
  • tortilla chips for serving optional


  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large 12-inch skillet (that has a lid for later) over medium heat until hot and rippling. Add the chicken in an even layer. Cook on one side for 3-4 minutes until brown. Then stir and cook for another minute or so on the other side. You aren't looking to cook the chicken all the way through here, just giving it a little color.
  • Remove the chicken from the skillet onto a plate and set aside. Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet if needed, then add the onion. Cook for 5-6 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, tomato paste, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add the corn, kidney beans, and quinoa. Stir in the salsa, chicken stock, and add the chicken back to the pan. Stir to combine everything evenly then bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 20-25 minutes, until the quinoa is cooked through.Top with grated cheddar cheese if desired. Serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy!


Calories: 423kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 903mg | Potassium: 833mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 485IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 193mg | Iron: 3.4mg
Skillet Southwestern Chicken & Quinoa! Flavorful, satisfying and ready in 30 minutes for busy weeknights! (Gluten-Free)

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Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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  1. 5 stars
    I don’t normally like quinoa, but this skillet meal is way good. I really liked it! lots of flavors and healthy too.

  2. Hi Erin: I saw your recipes, look YUM!! Comment: One recipe site that I visited: they had a click option to save to Pinterest. That would be awesome to come back to later. Thank you for sharing!! I look forward to trying many of your recipes.
    Patty Bishop

    1. Hi Patty! Thanks for visiting my site! If you hover over any image there should be the option to save to Pinterest. I hope that works for you! 🙂

    1. I haven’t adapted it for that yet! I think it would work though. I need to add it to my instant pot to-try list!

  3. The mount for salsa, salt, and pepper show up strange:

    ½ cup salsa

    Do you mean 1.5 cups or 0.5 cup?


  4. We tried this–our first time cooking quinoa–and it was AWESOME! Have you ever tried a crock-pot version?

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