Thursday, February 28, 2013

Quinoa-Parmesan Chicken

I was perusing one of my favorite food magazines, Everyday with Rachael Ray, and knew as soon as I read this recipe for Quinoa-Crusted Chicken that I had to try it.  I've tried a variety of gluten-free breadcrumb brands and even made my own a couple times, but I'd never even thought of the concept of using a gluten-free grain as a breadcrumb substitute!


I modified the recipe a bit, combining the toasted quinoa above with lots of grated Parmesan cheese and some roasted garlic & herb seasoning to make a breading blend.


I chose to use thin-cut chicken breasts for two reasons - I thought they'd cook up more evenly, and they were on sale - always a big influence on what I buy in the meat department.


After just 20 minutes in the oven, they were golden and delicious!  


The quinoa definitely added major crunch to the cutlets, not quite the same kind of crunch as breadcrumbs as the grains are obviously a bit denser than bread would be, but really good.  The microwaved leftover cutlet I had for lunch at the office the next day wasn't as crunchy, but also was not soggy at all, unlike regular breaded cutlets after a trip through the microwave.

The only time-consuming part of this recipe was toasting the quinoa, which takes about half an hour, and you could always do that ahead of time to make for a super quick, healthy weeknight dinner.

Quinoa-Parmesan Chicken 

(lightly adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray)


Serves 4


  • 1 package thin-cut chicken breasts (4 count, approx 1 pound)
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp roasted garlic & herb seasoning (or seasoning blend of choice)


Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Spread quinoa out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until golden and crispy, about 30 minutes.  Once quinoa is done, increase oven temperature to 425 degrees.

Combine toasted quinoa, Parmesan and seasoning blend on a plate.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and coat with the Dijon mustard.  Press chicken into breading mixture on both sides and arrange on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Bake chicken for 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.  

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