Smothered Chicken and Quinoa Skillet

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Ooey, gooey melted cheese tops this smothered chicken and quinoa skillet, inspired by pollo fundido.

smothered chicken quinoa skillet recipe

We’re currently halfway through the Tabasco Challenge, and I hope everyone is enjoying these recipes as much as I am.

I was determined to not end up with five recipes that more or less tasted the same; having such a limited list of ingredients to work with really forced me to play with different grains and greens in order to come up with unique flavors. I’m pretty impressed with how everything came out.
smothered chicken quinoa skillet

Although this smothered chicken and quinoa skillet follows as similar format (chicken+whole grain+tomato+Tabasco) to the chicken and faro that I posted the other day, the two dishes taste completely different. Where the farro recipe has a rustic Italian feel, this cheesy chicken dish is full-on Mexican. I actually based it loosely on my recipe for pollo fundido, adding quinoa to bulk it up and make it seem like more of a complete meal. While you could certainly scoop this up with tortilla chips, it absolutely isn’t necessary.

Like the other recipes I’ve posted so far, it’s also really easy – perfect for a weeknight after work (even a Monday!)

smothered chicken quinoa skillet recipe

Smothered Chicken and Quinoa Skillet 1

Smothered Chicken and Quinoa Skillet

4.78 from 9 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 495kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 1 can black beans drained
  • 12 ounces chopped tomatoes in puree
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco® original red sauce
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 6 ounces sharp cheddar shredded
  • Optional: Scallions for garnish


  • Heat the oil in a large, seep sided skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned – 7-8 minutes. Add the onion and cook until just softened – 4-5 minutes. Pour in the beans, tomatoes, water and Tabasco; bring to a boil. Stir in the quinoa; cook 15 minutes or until quinoa is cooked and most of the liquid has evaporated (it should look thick and saucy).
  • Spread an even layer of cheddar cheese over the top of the skillet. Melt cheese under the broiler for 5-8 minutes or until bubbly and beginning to brown. Garnish with scallions, if desired.
  • Serve immediately.
Nutrition Facts
Smothered Chicken and Quinoa Skillet
Amount Per Serving
Calories 495 Calories from Fat 142
% Daily Value*
Fat 15.8g24%
Fiber 11g46%
Protein 42g84%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @HealthyDelish or tag #HealthyDelish!

Disclosure: I was paid to develop this recipe as part of the Tabasco 10-Ingredient Challenge. 


Hi, I'm Lauren!

I'm a certified plant-based cook and enthusiastic omnivore who loves looking for creative ways to make weeknight meals more nutritious. I'm the author of Heathy Eating One Pot Cookbook and Healthy Meal Prep Slow Cooker Cookbook. I also blog at The Busy Foodie. Read more...


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26 thoughts on “Smothered Chicken and Quinoa Skillet”

  1. Sorry to say but this was one of the worst recipes I’ve ever tried. Because you leave the chicken in the entire time, it gets way overcooked. There is no seasoning so the flavor profile is entirely off. Coming from someone who loves spices food, quinoa and chicken, and who has made countless other similar style recipes that turned out amazing, this was a huge disappointment. I ate it but had to make something else for the rest of my family. Please don’t waste your time with this one. Sorry 🙁

    • I’m sorry you didn’t like it. It’s not as flavorful as most of my recipes since it was made for a challenge where I had to use limited ingredients, but it’s still one of my favorites. I know a lot of other people love it too.

  2. This turned out so great. I used ORZO ( same amount as Quinoa ) instead because I didn’t have any Quinoa and cut chicken down to 3/4 pound. Delicious. Cooked according to time stated in recipe and it was perfect. Next time I might play around with some added seasoning. The servings are generous so wished I had invited some guests for dinner. A perfect healthy meal with a side salad. Very easy.

  3. 5 stars
    Love this recipe, I added 1 small can diced green chilies – gives awesome flavor without added heat.

    Thank You

  4. 5 stars
    Just made this. EXCELLENT. Just needed to cook quinoa longer for some crazy reason. Maybe, like you say, it was the pan I was using. Next time, I’m going to use a different pan — maybe this one too deep and wok like. In any case, thanks much for this. We love it.

  5. Hello:
    I just came across this recipe and wanted your opinion. I want to try a dish similar to this but want to add mushrooms and maybe a garlic sauce or mushroom sauce instead of tomatoes? What are your thoughts and how much should I add? My family is tired of the tomato items I am making and just trying to do something different? Maybe add onions too?

    • Oooh, that sounds like a tasty idea! I’d probably add about 4 cups of sauce. You’ll need at least 3 cups to act as the “cooking liquid” for the quinoa, plus a little extra to make it saucy.

4.78 from 9 votes (1 rating without comment)

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