Looking for a fresh, healthy and easy meal? Slow cooker chicken primavera quinoa is simple, filling and healthy!
This meal cooks really fast – the quinoa and chicken will be ready to go in 3-4 hours with the crock pot on low; so, if your crock pot doesn’t have a timer, this might not be the one to leave on all day at work. Once the quinoa and chicken are cooked, all you have to do to finish your meal is sauté the asparagus and toss it in! You *could* put the asparagus in the slow cooker the entire time, but then it becomes pretty mushy. So, in order to keep it super tender-crisp, sautéing on the side is the best way to go! It only adds a few minutes – and you can do it right as you toss the peas and pesto into the slow cooker.
As the quinoa finishes, it dpes look a mushy – but don’t fret! When you add the last cup of broth, peas, pesto, the crisp asparagus pieces and give it a good stir, that quinoa will transform from mushy to creamy deliciousness loaded with greens!
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa, uncooked
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 4 cups + 3 cups chicken broth (tip: use low sodium broth then use salt TO TASTE – this will significantly cut down on the sodium in this meal!)
- 4-6 cloves garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon basil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 bunch asparagus, cut into bite sized pieces
- 6 ounces pesto
- 2 1/2 cups frozen peas
- squeeze of lemon
- Fresh parsley, chives or other fresh herbs
- Sliced or shredded Parmesan cheese
- Rinse the quinoa.
- Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces (it will cook faster)
- Place the quinoa, chicken, 4 cups broth, garlic, basil, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper in the crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours.
- When the quinoa and chicken are done, the mixture should be very thick and sticky. Add the remaining 3 cups broth and stir to combine (don’t add all the additional liquid in step three unless you think it needs it – if it appears very sticky, you will need all 3).
- Stir in the pesto, peas and lemon juice. Cover to heat through.
- While the peas are heating in the crock pot: Heat oil in a skillet, then add the asparagus and sauté for 5-7 minutes, until the asparagus is tender but still crisp.
- Add the asparagus to the crock pot and stir to combine.
- Top each serving with fresh herbs, cheese or anything else you want!
Makes 8 servings
Per serving: 270 calories, 13.5g fat, 241g sodium, 24.5g carbs, 1.9g sugar, 12.9g protein