Recipe: Warm Red Quinoa, Chicken And Arugula Salad From the Kitchen Window column
NPR logo Warm Red Quinoa, Chicken And Arugula Salad

Warm Red Quinoa, Chicken And Arugula Salad

Although prettier in color and slightly nuttier in flavor, red quinoa has the same nutritional benefits as traditional cream-colored quinoa and should be used the same way. This grain salad is best served at room temperature and makes a lovely picnic lunch especially when paired with a sparkling or fruity white wine.

Susan Russo for NPR
Warm Red Quinoa, Chicken And Arugula Salad
Susan Russo for NPR

Makes 6 servings

1 cup dry red quinoa

2 cups water


2 teaspoons olive oil

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into 1-inch pieces

1 cup sliced mixed olives such as black Kalamata and green Cerignola

1 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes

1/4 cup chopped, lightly toasted walnuts or pistachios

3 packed cups arugula


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To make the dressing, whisk all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Add quinoa and water to a medium pot, and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Lower heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for 13 to 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, warm olive oil. Add chicken and cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned all over. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, combine quinoa, chicken, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, nuts and arugula and toss. Pour dressing over salad and toss until well coated. Serve at room temperature.