Chicken Quinoa Bowls with Honey Lime Vinaigrette
Yield: 4 as a main course; 8 as a side dish
The components of this meal work beautifully together, but feel free to use them independently, too. For added ease, take full advantage of the prep ahead options, and repurpose leftovers when you can. I like to grill chicken one night, making extra for these satisfying bowls later in the week. For easy salad prep, cook the quinoa in a pot that is large enough to add the remaining ingredients.

For the Honey Lime Chicken

  • ½ cup (160g) honey
  • ⅓ cup (80ml) low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup (60ml) freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 (30ml) tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional 
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (marinade will accommodate up to 2 – 2½ pounds of chicken if you’d like to make extra)

For the Honey Lime Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon (70 ml) olive or avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons (40g) honey
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (like Frank’s Original cayenne pepper sauce; could use Sriracha or a pinch of cayenne pepper)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

For the quinoa salad

  • 1 cup (180g) uncooked quinoa
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup corn, fresh cooked or thawed frozen*
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 avocado, chopped*
  • ¼ cup minced or slivered red onion (or 2-3 sliced scallions)
  • ⅓ cup chopped cilantro (more to taste; may substitute fresh parsley or chives if preferred)
  • Optional for serving: lime wedges; a sprinkle of roasted pepitas (pumpkin seed); crumbled feta or cotija cheese; extra hot sauce, and/or cilantro


  1. For the quinoa: In a fine mesh colander or sieve, rinse the quinoa well and then drain. Cook according to the package directions (or see these instructions for Perfectly Cooked Quinoa). Allow the cooked quinoa to rest, covered and off the heat, for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork. Helpful hints: quinoa may be used warm or cold, as preferred. It may also be made in advance and refrigerated. Leftover cooked quinoa is fair game, too.
  2. For the chicken: Mix the honey, soy sauce, lime juice, olive oil, and optional cayenne pepper in a large zipper-top bag. Add the chicken and marinate for a few hours or overnight, if possible.
  3. Remove the chicken from the marinade, discarding the marinade, and grill over medium-high heat for 4-6 minutes per side or until golden brown and just cooked through. (Cooking time will vary based on size of chicken breasts; internal temperature should read 165℉.)
  4. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before chopping into bite-size pieces. (Alternatively, you may thinly slice and serve the chicken breasts over the quinoa salad.)
  5. For the vinaigrette: Combine the ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid or in a small bowl. Shake or whisk to combine. May be prepared in advance and refrigerated for at least a week.
  6. For the salad: Add the chicken, black beans, corn, red pepper, avocado, onion, and cilantro to the quinoa. Drizzle with ⅓ to ½ cup of the vinaigrette. Toss to combine, and then taste and add more vinaigrette and/or an extra pinch of salt and pepper, to taste. The salad may be served warm, cold, or room temperature with optional toppings, as desired.

Helpful Hints

The quinoa may be cooked in advance, cooled, covered, and refrigerated until ready to use.
If using frozen corn and you haven’t thought to thaw it, simply toss into the hot cooked quinoa as is. It will thaw in no time. Alternatively, if you’re using leftover quinoa, you can run cool water over the corn and then drain well.
If preparing this meal in advance, simply add the avocado just before serving so that it remains bright green.
On occasion, I’ve used a dollop of guacamole in place of the avocado.

More recipes at