Quite possibly the most amazing bowl of food I've ever devoured! This Instant Pot Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl loaded to the brim with healthy toppings and topped with a bright Romesco Sauce exceeded my expectations and had me dreaming of leftovers for days!
In my future restaurant, the description for this dish will go a little somethin' like this:
Instant Pot Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl and tangy Lemon Garlic Chicken, smothered in Hummus Sauce with a dollop of Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (AKA Romesco Sauce) and topped with fresh, crunchy vegetables, tangy goat cheese, and delightfully crunchy chickpeas. All drizzled with a squeeze of lemon.
Tell the truth, would you order it?!
Here is a snapshot of my first taste of this Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl.
FIRST BITE: oooooh, this is good.
SECOND BITE: oh my gosh, THIS IS SO GOOD!
THIRD BITE: At this point I'm out of my chair, giggling and clutching my bowl close and saying to my kids, “do you know how lucky you are to get food like this? DO YOU!?” and their shaking there heads no and asking what the scary red sauce is . . . so I ignore those little pessimists, turn to my husband with a cute hair toss and a look that says, “Aren't you glad you picked me instead of your high school fling” and I am just on CLOUD NINE with my healthy, heavenly, flavor explosion bowl of quinoa yumminess.
Then my husband says, “ya know, it's not my favorite, kinda weird, probably don't make this one again.”
What the . . .
I didn't talk to him the rest of the night, in fact, he did dishes while I sulked and threw him looks that said, “How could you?”
Well, being the sophisticated grown up that I am, we ate it again the next night, I handed him a bottle of hot sauce and everyone was happy again.
Point of the story, my husband is 100% wrong, wrong, wrong-o on this one and you need to make it and gobble it up with someone who hasn't destroyed their palate with hot sauce.
We're still happily married, no worries. Thanks to Headspace, I can usually become reasonable again.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS HEALTHY QUINOA BOWL
- Every bite has you giddy for the next in a “wow this is healthy AND tasty!” kind of way, not a “one pop and I can't stop even if I want to stop” Pringles kind of way
- Quinoa and chicken cook up all in the same pot while you prep toppings like a boss
- The Roasted Red Pepper Sauce – it's everything! Coincidently it also tastes amazing on everything
- Perfectly crunchy, salty Biena Chickpeas, these gems take things to the next level!
HOW TO MAKE A ONE POT QUINOA BOWL
- Marinate chicken in a flavorful lemon-garlic rub
- Put the quinoa, broth, and chicken in the pressure cooker pot, set it to cook 1 minute
- Combine Romesco ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor
- Blend to desired consistency (I like it mostly smooth, but still with texture from the almonds)
- Let the pressure in the pot release naturally
- Stir and fluff the quinoa and chicken, serve and top to your heart's content!
I want to add, I know the ingredient list is long with toppings. That's because I have no control and I wanted every classic Mediterranean food in my bowl.
This is your bowl! You top it how you like: with abandon, like I do, or with the bridled maturity of a real adult. Just don't leave out the Romesco sauce, kay?
If you eat it at my house though, this is how the table spread will go down
MAKINGS OF THE BEST MEDITERRANEAN BOWL EVER!
INSTANT POT LEMON GARLIC CHICKEN
- This marinade/rub is so simple yet it packs a delightful lemon-y garlic punch. I highly suggest some marinating time, but in a pinch, it can be used right away
ROASTED RED PEPPER SAUCE
- Otherwise known as Romesco Sauce, it is a sweet, salty, roasted tasting sauce traditionally made of roasted red bell peppers (I buy them in a jar) and almonds. I didn't feel like this sauce needed the olive oil, but if you want to be traditional, add a swirl when blending it together
- I've yet to create my own version of Hummus, but I love Sabra Roasted Pine Nut Hummus, Trader Joes Roasted Garlic Hummus, and this Homemade Hummus. Thin it with a little water to make it a “sauce”
- I eat these Biena Sea Salt Chickpeas in my daily chocolate smoothie and Homemade Instant Pot Chocolates. I never had much luck making my own roasted chickpeas and since I discovered this brand, I won't ever try again. They are so good! Try the dark chocolate ones, yum!
MEDITERRANEAN BOWL TOPPINGS
- Now it's your turn to take creative liberty of your bowl. I will say I consider olives, artichoke hearts, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, and goat cheese to be non-negotiable
MAKE AHEAD MEALS
- Make sure and prep plenty of toppings! Once that work is done, you've got an easy lunch/dinner ready to go all week! If you want to have it prepped and ready right out of the fridge, I HIGHLY recommend these microwavable glass containers with a leak-proof seal
I'm so excited for you to try this! It is feel-good, healthy, flavorful food at it's finest, and I do believe you'll be dancing around your own kitchen while you eat it!
If you're looking for a simple, basic quinoa, see this post on Instant Pot Quinoa.
WHAT IS A MEDITERRANEAN DIET?
A Mediterranean diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, whole grains, herbs and spices, seafood, and extra virgin olive oil. Poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt are eaten in moderation, red meat is rarely eaten, and refined/processed/sugar-sweetened foods are avoided.
Basically, it's lots of fresh flavors, herbs and spices, healthy fats, and in my opinion, the makings of some of the best recipes in the world.
TOOLS/INGREDIENTS USED TO MAKE INSTANT POT MEDITERRANEAN QUINOA BOWLPrint
Instant Pot Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl with Lemon Garlic Chicken
Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl with Lemon Garlic Chicken all cooked up in one pot and topped with Dreamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 minute
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Entree
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Lemon Garlic Chicken Marinade
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast cut into large bite size pieces
For the Quinoa
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa (rinsed if the package instructs to do so)
- 1 ½ cup low sodium chicken broth
- juice of 1 lemon
- Pinch of salt
For Serving (choose your favorites)
- Romesco Sauce (see directions below)
- Hummus (store bought or homemade) thinned with a little hot water to the consistency of a thick salad dressing
- quartered artichoke hearts (I like the jarred, brined ones)
- sliced black or kalamata olives
- chopped cucumber
- halved grape tomatoes
- chopped avocado
- banana pepper rings (from a jar)
- crumbled feta cheese or goat cheese
- fresh spinach leaves
- Biena Sea Salt Chickpeas (can substitute with canned chickpeas, but you won’t get that salty crunch)
- lemon wedges
Romesco Sauce – can be made up to 5 days ahead
- 8 ounce tomato sauce
- 1 cup lightly salted, roasted almonds
- 12 ounce bottle of roasted red bell peppers, drained
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- In a medium bowl, whisk together marinade ingredients. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cover and marinate for 6-10 hours (can be cooked right away if needed, but marinating the chicken gives it more flavor).
- After chicken has marinated, place quinoa, chicken broth, lemon juice, and salt in the pressure cooker pot, making sure all of the quinoa is immersed.
- Scatter chicken over the quinoa making sure they aren’t clumped together.
- Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 1 minute.
- While quinoa is cooking, prepare Romesco Sauce by placing the ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Taste and add extra salt if desired.
- When cooking is complete, use a natural release.
- Stir and fluff chicken and quinoa.
- To serve, put a scoop of chicken and quinoa in a bowl. Load it up with toppings, drizzle with hummus, and top with a big scoop of Romesco Sauce.
- Romesco Sauce can be made 5 days in advance. Leftover sauce freezes very well
- Quinoa/chicken mixture also freezes well
- Toppings can be chopped and prepped beforehand to make this a quick and easy meal
- Nutritional information includes chicken and quinoa, facts will vary depending on your toppings
Keywords: instant pot, mediterranean bowl, quinoa bowl
Marci can you please put a serving size for your nutritional profile. ( Weight or Cup size) Serves 6 is not easily seen looking into instant pot.
Regina, I will try and make note of this when I serve it. Thanks for the request!
This recipe looks delicious!!! I cannot wait to try it! Do you happen to know if I can make it with frozen chicken (cut in chunks)? If so, what would be the cooking time? Thank you!!
Giovanna, hmmm…Yes, I think it might work, maybe add a minute just to be safe. I’m hoping it won’t overcook the quinoa, but I think it’ll be fine.
This recipe is amazing! I did 2lbs of chicken tenderloins and cooked 3min with full NR. Perfect! We served with feta cheese, canned chickpeas, avocado, and hummus sauce. Definite make again!
Samantha, isn’t it wonderful! I love this recipe! You have got to make the romesco sauce next time. It is incredible!
BethAnn D Baumgarten says
This recipe was delish! BUT I would prefer more chicken!
if I scaled it up to 2 lbs of chicken and kept the quinoa amount the same, would it still be 1 minute cook time?
BethAnn, isn’t it awesome! I love this meal so much! Yep, you could definitely add more chicken and keep the cook time the same as long as the chicken is spread out and not in one big clump.
Marci, You are such a great writer! I read this blog post to my husband and he was laughing out loud. You have 100% sold both of us on this recipe. I will be making it this week.
Lyn, I’m glad you could laugh at my immaturity, that’s real life right there! Let me know what you think. I’ve made this so many times, I never get tired of this one.
Beverley M says
This sounds good — but there’s something weird about your page setup, so none of the images from this recipe show up when you try to pin it on Pinterest. The OTHER photos (links to other recipes) show up, though. Odd!
Hi Beverley! Thanks for messaging me on this. When I click on the pinterest button at the top of the page, I get an image of the quinoa bowl with the title written on it. Is that not what you are seeing? I’m not sure what you mean about links to other recipes showing up, can you clarify? Thanks for your time!
The best thing about this whole post is your cuteness! That alone makes me want to cook everything you post!
Kris, And here I thought my mom was the only one that read it ;). Thank you so much, that totally made my day! I really enjoy writing so it’s nice to hear someone reads it.
Cook 1 minute?
Susan, Yep! 1 minute with a full natural release.
Oh my, yes!!! I’d order it! The picture alone makes my mouth water! I’m looking over the ingredient list to see if I have everything – if not, I’m headed to the store. I want this in my mouth! YUM. (lol, what’s wrong with your family?) Thanks, Marci! I’ll let you know what I think after I taste it.
Oh my goodness Cecilia, this big bowl of yumminess is a dream meal for me. I can’t wait to hear what you think of it.
Oh my goodness, this is incredibly good. That sauce is to die for! Wowza! I’ll be making this again and again! Yum.
Cecilia, yay!!! I get really excited about some recipes and this is definitely one of those special recipes for me. I’m so glad you loved it! The romesco sauce goes amazing on roasted cauliflower too, and grilled cheese, fries…I could go on 🙂
wow Marci, this looks like me on a plate! my idea of a dream lunch or dinner! I can’t wait to make it! Thank you!
Karen, I can (and have) eat it for several days in a row. Every bite is unique, I just love it so much!