Easy Refreshing Cherry Chicken Quinoa Bowl Recipe In 1 Hour

Last Updated on November 27, 2022

Today, we will be making an incredibly colorful, delicious, and nutrient-dense cherry chicken quinoa bowl recipe. It is easy to make and versatile too.

Unlike most other quinoa bowls with chicken, this one has more than a few elements. It has some amazing textures that come from a variety of leafy greens, vegetables, and fruits. And, the overall flavor is sweet, salty, earthy, and uber fresh!

Jump to Recipe

What Is The Original First Watch Cherry Chicken Quinoa Bowl Recipe?

If you aren’t already familiar with First Watch, they are a chain restaurant franchise based in America. Today, they have over 420 restaurants in about 28 states. This restaurant doesn’t specialize in any specific type of food. But, all of their meals are incredibly hearty.

One of their most popular menu items is their Pesto Chicken Quinoa Bowl.

Now, you may be confused a little. Where’s the “cherry” part? Well, their recipe doesn’t contain any cherries. However, many people love to add it inside to create a more complex flavor and add some chewy textures.

The original recipe contains white quinoa, kale, shredded carrots, oven-roasted tomatoes, and grilled chicken. These are the base bulky ingredients for the salad. Then, the salad is finished off with a delicious creamy basil pesto sauce, feta cheese, and some fresh herbs.

Today, we will use this base as inspiration to create our own unique cherry chicken quinoa bowl recipe.

chicken and quinoa bowl

What You Need To Make Our Cherry Chicken Quinoa Bowl Recipe

Ingredients for the roasted tomatoes

  • 4 ounces cherry tomatoes
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Sea salt flakes, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Ingredients for the chicken

  • 2 medium chicken fillets, boneless, skinless
  • Olive for, for frying
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 teaspoons freshly picked thyme leaves

Ingredients for the chicken and quinoa bowl

  • 1 cup white quinoa
  • 2 cups fresh kale, washed and shredded
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup fresh cherries, pitted and chopped
  • Fresh mixed micro herbs

Ingredients for the basil pesto sauce

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leave
  • 1 cup packed shredded spinach
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Equipment

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing bowls
  • Baking tray
  • Non-stick baking paper or aluminum foil
  • Saucepan
  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Food processor
 

Step By Step Instructions

Step 1: Make the oven-roasted tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Then, line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper or foil.

Add the tomatoes to one side of the tray. Drizzle some olive oil over them and season them with salt and pepper. Set them aside so you can roast the chicken with them.

Step 2: Cook the chicken fillets

Season the chicken fillets with olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme leaves.

Place the chicken fillets on the other side of the baking tray with the tomatoes.

Then, roast the tomatoes and chicken for roughly 20-25 minutes. The chicken should be completely cooked and the tomatoes blistered.

Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool completely.

Step 3: Cook the quinoa

While the chicken and tomatoes are roasting, start preparing the other elements of the cherry chicken quinoa bowl recipe.

Start with the quinoa. Mix the quinoa and water in a saucepan. Then, bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan with a lid. Allow the quinoa to cook for about 12 minutes.

Once cooked, remove it from the heat and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Then, fluff the quinoa with a fork to prevent big clumps. After you have fluffed the quinoa, allow it to cool completely.

Step 4: Prepare the remaining elements

Again, while everything else is cooking and cooling, you can prepare the rest of the cherry chicken quinoa bowl recipe.

This includes shredding the kale and carrots, crumbling the feta, and chopping the fresh cherries. Set these elements aside in the fridge until they’re needed.

Step 5: Make the pesto

Combine all of the ingredients inside a food processor or blender. Don’t add salt or pepper. Then, blitz the ingredients until you have a sauce-like consistency.

Finally, season the pesto to your taste. Remember, all of the other salad components will also be seasoned. So, don’t overseason the pesto. Set the pesto aside in the fridge until needed.

Step 6: Assemble your cherry chicken quinoa bowl recipe

Finally, to assemble this salad, start by dicing the cooked and cooled chicken into bite-sized pieces.

Then, combine the fluffed quinoa, chicken, roasted tomatoes, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Finally, add the pesto and mix the elements well.

Expert Tips And Tricks

  • This is a cold chilled salad, which is why we leave the cooked ingredients to cool completely. However, you can make this a hot bowl. Prepare all of the other elements before you begin roasting the ingredients. This way, when they are finished, they can be served immediately.
  • We love tossed salads because they are very low maintenance. But, you can turn this recipe into a more structured decomposed layered salad. It is perfect for serving at special or fancy dinners. That means layering the ingredients and serving the pesto sauce on the side.
  • There isn’t a good substitute for fresh cherries. Frozen and thawed cherries will be mushy and bland in comparison. but, in a pinch, they can work. Just never use maraschino cherries in this recipe.
  • To adjust the consistency of the pesto sauce, add more olive oil. Keep processing the sauce at a high speed to ensure it has a uniform consistency.
  • You can replace the spinach with more basil pesto if you’d like. We just add spinach because of the nutrients it adds and because it is a little cheaper.

Preparations Times And Servings

Preparation TimesCooking TimesServings
25 minutes35 minutes2-4

Wrapping Things Up – Cherry Chicken Quinoa Bowl Recipe

We hope that you enjoyed this amazing flavor-packed cherry chicken quinoa bowl recipe. It is easy to make and delicious hot and cold!

Let us know what you think in the comments below. And, feel free to look at some of our other amazing bowl recipes.

Easy Refreshing Cherry Chicken Quinoa Bowl Recipe In 1 Hour

Easy Refreshing Cherry Chicken Quinoa Bowl Recipe In 1 Hour

aniasvibrantkitchen
Today, we will be making an incredibly colorful, delicious, and nutrient-dense cherry chicken quinoa bowl recipe. It is easy to make and versatile too. Unlike most other quinoa bowls with chicken, this one has more than a few elements. It has some amazing textures that come from a variety of leafy greens, vegetables, and fruits. And, the overall flavor is sweet, salty, earthy, and uber fresh!
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dinner, Lunch, Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing bowls
  • Baking Tray
  • Non-stick baking paper or aluminum foil
  • Saucepan
  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Food processor

Ingredients
  

Ingredients for the roasted tomatoes

  • 4 ounces cherry tomatoes
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Sea salt flakes, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Ingredients for the chicken

  • 2 medium chicken fillets, boneless, skinless
  • Olive for, for frying
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 teaspoons freshly picked thyme leaves

Ingredients for the chicken and quinoa bowl

  • 1 cup white quinoa
  • 2 cups fresh kale, washed and shredded
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup fresh cherries, pitted and chopped
  • Fresh mixed micro herbs

Ingredients for the basil pesto sauce

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leave
  • 1 cup packed shredded spinach
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions
 

  • Make the oven-roasted tomatoes
    Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Then, line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper or foil.
    Add the tomatoes to one side of the tray. Drizzle some olive oil over them and season them with salt and pepper. Set them aside so you can roast the chicken with them.
    4 ounces cherry tomatoes, Olive oil, for drizzling, Sea salt flakes, to taste, Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Cook the chicken fillets
    Season the chicken fillets with olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme leaves.
    Place the chicken fillets on the other side of the baking tray with the tomatoes.
    Then, roast the tomatoes and chicken for roughly 20-25 minutes. The chicken should be completely cooked and the tomatoes blistered.
    Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool completely.
    2 medium chicken fillets, boneless, skinless, Olive for, for frying, Sea salt, to taste, Freshly ground pepper, to taste, 1-2 teaspoons freshly picked thyme leaves
  • Cook the quinoa
    While the chicken and tomatoes are roasting, start preparing the other elements of the cherry chicken quinoa bowl recipe.
    Start with the quinoa. Mix the quinoa and water in a saucepan. Then, bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan with a lid. Allow the quinoa to cook for about 12 minutes.
    Once cooked, remove it from the heat and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Then, fluff the quinoa with a fork to prevent big clumps. After you have fluffed the quinoa, allow it to cool completely.
    1 cup white quinoa
  • Prepare the remaining elements
    Again, while everything else is cooking and cooling, you can prepare the rest of the cherry chicken quinoa bowl recipe.
    This includes shredding the kale and carrots, crumbling teh feta, and chopping the fresh cherries. Set these elements aside in the fridge until they're needed.
    2 cups fresh kale, washed and shredded, 1 large carrot, peeled and shredded, 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled, 1/2 cup fresh cherries, pitted and chopped
  • Make the pesto
    Combine all of the ingredients inside a food processor or blender. Don't add salt or pepper. Then, blitz the ingredients until you have a sauce-like consistency.
    Finally, season the pesto to your taste. Remember, all of the other salad components will also be seasoned. So, don't overseason the pesto. Set the pesto aside in the fridge until needed.
    2 cups packed fresh basil leave, 1 cup packed shredded spinach, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated, 3/4 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup pine nuts, 5 garlic cloves, minced, Sea salt, to taste, Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Assemble your cherry chicken quinoa bowl recipe
    Finally, to assemble this salad, start by dicing the cooked and cooled chicken into bite-sized pieces.
    Then, combine the fluffed quinoa, chicken, roasted tomatoes, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Finally, add the pesto and mix the elements well.

Notes

This is a cold chilled salad, which is why we leave the cooked ingredients to cool completely. However, you can make this a hot bowl. Prepare all of the other elements before you begin roasting the ingredients. This way, when they are finished, they can be served immediately.
We love tossed salads because they are very low maintenance. But, you can turn this recipe into a more structured decomposed layered salad. It is perfect for serving at special or fancy dinners. That means layering the ingredients and serving the pesto sauce on the side.
Keyword cherry chicken quinoa bowl recipe, chicken and quinoa bowl, first watch cherry chicken quinoa bowl, quinoa bowls with chicken, quinoa chicken salad bowl