Yucatan-Style Chicken Quinoa Bowl


This bowl has a little something for everyone. Bowls are great for laid back buffet-style family meals where everyone can assemble their own dinner just how they like it. Don’t be scared off by the long cook and prep times as the slow cooker is doing most of the work and the prep time allows for the red onions to pickle. This is the kind of recipe that, with a head start on the ingredients, the final steps are light and easy. Perfect for no-fuss entertaining or Monday meal prep.

Yucatan-Style Chicken Quinoa Bowl

Print recipe
  • 6 Servings
  • Prep Time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 hours, 30 minutes
  • Calories: 450


Serving Size




Total Fat





  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tbsp achiote paste (annatto seed paste)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup red quinoa, dry
  • 1 can low-sodium black beans, drained
  • 1 cup plum tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 avocado, large
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 package salad mix
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 limes, cut into wedges
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro


  • Step 1

    To make the sauce that the chicken will cook in, add orange juice, garlic cloves, onion quarters, coriander, cumin, oregano, achiote paste, chicken broth, and 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar to a blender. Pulse until completely pureed.

  • Step 2

    Season chicken breast with salt and pepper and place into slow cooker. Pour the sauce from the blender over the chicken. Cook on high for about 4 hours and 30 minutes. Once done, use two forks to shred the chicken in the sauce.

  • Step 3

    In addition to the chicken, the other components of the bowl are the quinoa, black beans, sautéed red bell pepper, sliced plum tomatoes, mashed avocado, pickled onions, salad greens, lime wedges and cilantro for garnish. Follow the next steps to prepare these simple ingredients.

  • Step 4

    To quick pickle the red onion, remove the onion skin and slice the onion into thin strips, removing the ends, and add to a quart size mason jar. To the jar, add 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns. Fill jar with water just to cover the onion slices. Allow to sit for at least one hour before serving.

  • Step 5

    Cook quinoa in a rice cooker or on the stove top according to package directions. Typically, the quinoa to liquid ratio is 1:2.

  • Step 6

    To prepare red bell pepper, slice pepper into thin strips, removing inner membrane and seeds. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to a pan over medium heat and sauté bell pepper until softened. Season with a dash of salt as desired.

  • Step 7

    Right before serving, cut open avocado, remove pit and mash. Add a squeeze of lime and a pinch of salt to the mashed avocado.

  • Step 8

    To assemble the bowl, add salad mix, cooked quinoa, heated black beans, slow cooked chicken, sautéed red bell pepper, pickled onions, sliced tomato, and mashed avocado to the bowl. Garnish with cilantro and serve with lime wedges.

Make Ahead Tips

Chicken (steps one and two) can be made one to two days in advance. Pickled red onion (step four) can be made one to two days in advance and kept in the refrigerator until eating.


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