lemon chicken quinoa salad

 We don’t have a cafeteria at my school, but we are allowed to go out into the town for lunch to Chipotle, McDonalds, Papa Johns, Panera (a personal favorite!), and other fast-food places. However, going out to lunch can get quite expensive. That’s why I usually bring my lunch to school.

Bringing my lunch doesn’t have to be soggy, cold, or depressing.  If I say so myself, this salad is quite the opposite. It’s full of fresh herbs and veggies. The quinoa gives it a nice texture and adds a lot of protein to keep me going throughout the day. The lemon dressing and tangy feta cheese make it simply perfect.  I’d take this over an $8 Panera panini anyday!

Do you bring your lunch?
With love,

Note: this recipe makes a lot, so I like to keep it in the fridge and scoop it out throughout the week.

Quinoa Salad with Grilled Lemon Chicken

10 chicken tenders
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

For the salad:
2 cups quinoa
2 large red bell peppers, diced
5 Persian cucumbers, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup golden raisins, rehydrated in warm water
1 cup  feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped

For the dressing:

1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. crushed dried mint
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. seasoned salt

To make the dressing, whisk together everything in a small bowl to blend and set aside in the refrigerator until needed. 
For the chicken, add the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper into a large bowl. Mix together and add the chicken. Stir well to coat, then cover the bowl in plastic wrap. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
I like to cook my chicken in the panini maker, but any grill will do. It takes about 5 minutes in the panini maker. 

Cook the quinoa as directed on the box, and allow to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the quinoa,  all of the vegetables and drained, re-hydrated raisins. Mix to combine. If not serving immediately at this point, you can refrigerate this mixture until ready to eat, it usually keeps in my refrigerator for up to a week. When ready to serve, toss in the feta cheese and enough dressing to lightly coat. Eat cold or at room temperature and serve with the warm chicken.

Adapted from Un-Deux Senses

9 thoughts on “lemon chicken quinoa salad

  1. Guru Uru

    Haha we may be the same age but dam my lunch is always some congealed mess 😉
    I should this delicious hint from you!

    Choc Chip Uru

    1. Cannella Vita

      Haha — I often result to almond butter and jelly sandwich when I'm lazy. But this salad makes a BIG batch, so make it once, and you have a delicious lunch for a week 🙂

    1. Cannella Vita

      That looks like a delicious lunch — it reminds me of one of my favorites, ratatouille. What are some other things you bring to lunch?

    2. Anonymous

      Yes–I guess it is like ratatouille minus the eggplant! This week has been a lot of leftovers (today is braised cabbage and carrots from last night), but usually I like to bring either a Greek or spinach salad (sunflower seeds, dried cherries, chopped apples and cherry or regular balsamic over spinach is delicious!) and some Greek yogurt and cut fruit with Kashi in a separate container so it doesn't get soggy. Then I assemble my little fruit yogurt parfait and it is possibly nerdy but so yummy!! Or banana bread. And I just eat that all day haha. Do you have any faves?

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  3. Erika - The Teenage Taste

    I wish I could go off campus for lunch! I get so bored with sandwiches during the school year – I should try this!

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