Crockpot Quinoa Chicken Primavera – easy, healthy, and totally delicious! made with peas, asparagus, quinoa, chicken, pesto, and Parmesan cheese.
In the crockpot:
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa, uncooked
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 4 cups + 3 cups chicken broth (SEE NOTES)
- 4-6 cloves garlic
- salt and pepper, other dried herbs you like (I tossed in 1/2 teaspoon each dried parsley, thyme, and basil)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 bunch asparagus, cut into bite sized pieces
- 6 ounces pesto (SEE NOTES)
- 2 1/2 cups frozen peas
- squeeze of lemon juice
- watercress, fresh parsley, chives, or any other herbs for topping
- Parmesan or Asiago cheese for topping
- Rinse the quinoa. Cut the chicken if you want – you can either cut it into small pieces (it will cook faster) or leave it whole and shred it after cooking.
- Place the quinoa, chicken, 4 cups broth, garlic, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and seasonings in the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours.
- When the quinoa and chicken are done, the mixture should be very thick and sticky. Add the remaining 3 cups broth or water and stir to combine (see notes) – now the mixture should resemble a creamy risotto or casserole. Stir in the pesto, peas, and lemon juice and cover to heat through. While the peas are heating in the crockpot, heat the oil in a skillet – add the asparagus and sauté for 5-10 minutes, until the asparagus is lightly browned and tender-crisp. Add the asparagus back to the crockpot and stir to combine.
- Top each serving with fresh herbs, shredded cheese, watercress, olive oil, or anything else you want.
ALSO DELICIOUS WITH BACON. Just saying.
Also – don’t add all the additional liquid in step three unless you think it needs it. For whatever reason, both times i made this it was SUPER sticky and it did need all three cups. But some readers who have tried the recipe said that they have not needed that much liquid. So just play it by ear – add a little liquid, stir it up, and then stop adding liquid when it seems about right in terms of consistency.
For the pesto, I used DeLallo pesto – one jar = 6.3 ounces. Every pesto is different, so I’d suggest adding a few heaping spoonfuls to start, then taste and add more if needed.