Indian spiced chicken quinoa pilaf

This is one of my all-time favourite dishes. I like to call it my one-pot-wonder as that’s what it essentially is. Everything is cooked in the one pot meaning cleaning up is (usually) minimal. This dish has the perfect combination of flavours, especially if you enjoy indian food.

Cook the chicken separately

Cook the chicken separately to ensure it is cooked through and slightly brown. I prefer to buy organic, free range chicken as they are free from antibiotics, hormones and pesticides. I understand that it is more expensive to purchase organic proteins but I have the mentality that ‘if you’re willing to invest in expensive clothes and accessories to make you look good on the outside, you should be willing to invest in expensive proteins to make you feel good on the inside’.

In goes the quinoa to be cooked

Many of my recipes include quinoa as I find it so easy to cook with due to its versatile nature and I feel so good after eating it. There have definitely been days where I have had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Ready to be served!

Indian spiced chicken quinoa pilaf

Adapted from Taste

Serves 6


  • I TBSP coconut oil
  • 4 organic free range chicken breasts, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 TBSP ginger, finely grated
  • 1 tsp sambal oelek, add more to make it spicier + extra for serving
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 cups quinoa, rinsed
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 2 cups green beans, finely chopped
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Coconut yogurt to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes or until brown all over. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Add onion to pan and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Add garlic, ginger, sambal oelek, cumin, coriander, fennel seeds and turmeric and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic.
  3. Add quinoa, stock and chicken, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender.
  4. Add mushrooms and beans, stir through until well combined. Cook for a further 2 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat. Scatter peas over quinoa. Set aside, covered, for 5 minutes. Add cashews and gently toss until just combined.
  6. Serve immediately with coconut yogurt, salt, pepper and sambal oelek, if desired.

Serving of quinoa pilaf

Such a tasty and simple meal that is always a winner with my guests!

Happy cooking!!

What is your favourite quinoa dish?

4 thoughts on “Indian spiced chicken quinoa pilaf

  1. Hi Emma
    Do you think I could make it without the samel olek? My partner dislikes spice and I am breastfeeding (meaning no spice, or onions or garlic :< )
    Looks so yum!

    • Hi Sarah! Yes you definitely can make it without spice, onions and garlic – still add in the other spices and they will provide a great flavour! Let me know how it goes 🙂 Enjoy! Emma x

  2. 4 chicken breasts= 8 halves. Is that what you mean in the recipe? I am trying to decide how to double this entire recipe. (Sometimes people say “2 chicken breasts” when what they mean is “2 chicken breast HALVES”. Thanks- recipe looks good and easy.

    • Thanks Tina, great to hear you’d like to make the pilaf! The recipe calls for 4 complete chicken breasts so doubling it would mean you need 8 chicken breasts. If this is too much chicken, I have also used a can of chickpeas in place of 1-2 chicken breasts in the past 🙂 Hope you enjoy the recipe – let me know how it goes!

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