Chicken and Sweet Potato Quinoa Stew

The weather has gotten cold and raw here in the Chicago area which means soups and stews are favored in the weekly meal rotation.  I was happy to add this delicious chicken and sweet potato quinoa stew to my repertoire after seeing that every single ingredient on the list was either a favorite and/or a pantry staple.

The original recipe called for butternut squash which I love equally along with sweet potatoes.  I switched to sweet potatoes in the recipe because I had some in my veggie drawer.  The fact that they’re easier to peel was a plus.

I’m a major quinoa fan—if you haven’t incorporated this ancient grain-like seed into your diet, you really should give it a try.  It is high in protein and has the advantage of being gluten free.  You can “dress it up” as you would with rice or couscous by adding sautéed onions and garlic.  Throw in some chicken broth and an herb or two, and you’ve got a nice basic side dish.  Let imagination be your guide.  I had never had quinoa in a soup or stew before, so I was very curious to see what would happen texture-wise.  Roger and I very much enjoyed the pleasant tender texture of the quinoa in the stew.

Considering how easily and quickly you can get this stew on the table using a rotisserie chicken, I give this a stew an enthusiastic “two thumbs up!”

One year ago:  Fran’s Vegetable Soup with Sausage, Baked Ziti

Chicken and Sweet Potato Quinoa Stew

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Ingredients

  • 1 tbl. olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts (or if you’re lazy like me, use half of a supermarket rotisserie chicken cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 can (14-oz) petite or regular diced tomatoes
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach

Directions

In a large 4 quart pot, heat the olive oil until hot.  Add the chopped onions, oregano, and garlic.  Sauté for 5-7 minutes, stirring often, until the onion is softened.  Add the broth and bring to a boil.  If you are using a rotisserie chicken, skip the next step of adding and boiling the chicken.

Add the chicken and boil until the chicken is cooked, 7-9 minutes.  Remove the chicken to a plate.

Add the tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and quinoa.  Simmer for 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender and quinoa is cooked.  Add the meat you cut up from a rotisserie chicken (or shred the cooked chicken) and return to the pot.  Add the salt and pepper, adding more salt to taste if needed.  Stir in the spinach.  Cook 1-2 minutes until the spinach is wilted.  Serve warm.

Source: Adapted from a Mel’s Kitchen Café recipe

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