Gluten Free Moroccan Skillet Quinoa and Chicken Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on February 15, 2011

Post image for Gluten Free Moroccan Skillet Quinoa and Chicken Recipe You wouldn’t think that creative versatility of a product would be a problem. However, when the good folks at Nature’s Earthly Choice asked me to create a recipe using their organic quinoa I was a little stumped for a moment, what on earth can I come up with that hasn’t already been done? After all, quinoa, the super food of the century, can be eaten as a cereal, a side dish, a salad, in a pilaf or as a vegetarian main dish. It really is the gluten-free “IT” food!

So I thought to myself “what kind of recipe do I need?” The answer was simple – I need a dish that can be made in about half an hour which is simple to prepare, full of flavor and doesn’t dirty up a lot of pots and pans. I like skillet dishes for everyday dinners; a little prep, toss everything into a skillet and let it do its thing on the stove top giving me time to set the table and make a salad. But I also want food that lifts my spirits and feeds my soul as well as my tummy. I love it when I can eat a meal and be transported to an exotic local, if only by my taste buds. So I decided to play around with the idea of a skillet quinoa – chicken dish – cooking the meat and quinoa in the same pan at the same time.

This skillet Moroccan Quinoa and Chicken is everything I want in a quick and easy week-night dinner, quick to prepare and exotic enough to make the everyday seem special. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do and use it as a springboard for your own skillet creations.

I love Earthy Choice quinoa because it is pre-rinsed (any step I can skip in preparation is great with me!) and because I can find it everywhere – even in big bags at Costco and other such big box stores – at great prices.

Gluten Free Moroccan Skillet Quinoa Chicken

Gluten Free Moroccan Skillet Quinoa and Chicken Recipe


2 lemons
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
1 cup quinoa (pre-rinsed)
2 cups gluten free chicken stock
½ cup sliced almonds
½ cup flat leave parsley leaves


Juice one of the lemons and thinly slice the other. Cut the slices into quarters so that you have small pieces of lemon. Set both aside (separately) for later.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the paprika, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Add the chicken pieces and toss to coat.

In a large skillet with a lid over medium high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the chicken and brown, stirring frequently, for 3 -4 minutes. Add the cut up lemon pieces, onion, garlic and apricots. Cook, stirring frequently until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and lemon juice. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Cover the pan, lower the heat to medium low and cook covered for 20 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.

While the quinoa and chicken sits, toast the almond slices. In a small, dry skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds for a few minutes stirring often until they are browned and fragrant.

To serve, put the quinoa chicken mixture in a serving bowl, fluff gently with a fork and top with the toasted almonds and parsley leaves.


This gluten free recipe serves 6 people.

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Categories:    Main Dishes
  • Heather @Gluten-Free Cat

    Yes! Tonight’s dinner is now planned! I’ll let you know how it goes. :)

    • Carol, Simply Gluten Free

      yay! and please do!

      • Heather @Gluten-Free Cat

        I think I’m in love with Morocco. The flavors were delightful!!! I underestimated the amount of quinoa I had left in my pantry and had to use slightly less than a cup, so when I realized that the end result would be more of a stew, I threw in a handful of tiny sweet potato cubes and the consistency was perfect. I also only had red quinoa, so the overall color was gorgeous! This recipe goes in the keeper file. Thanks!

        • Carol, Simply Gluten Free

          Oh, that sound great! This is what I love about recipes, they are really just starting points for others to add their own creativity to. Thanks for sharing!

  • Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)

    I love quinoa! This looks delicious! I need to do more to encourage my boys to like it more. This might be the recipe. Thanks!

    • Carol, Simply Gluten Free

      I hope it works :) Let me know.

  • federica

    che invitante! chissà che buono! complimenti!!!!!!

    • Carol, Simply Gluten Free

      grazie mille federica!

  • Lisa

    This looks delightful! I love the addition of dried apricots!

    • Carol, Simply Gluten Free

      Thanks Lisa and yes, I agree the apricots really added something to it!

  • Iris

    I love this dish! Leave out the almonds and I’m good!

    • Carol, Simply Gluten Free

      Thanks and yep, you can customize anyway you see fit!

  • Katrina (GF Gidget)

    Right up my alley!

    • Carol, Simply Gluten Free

      Thanks Katrina!

  • jas @ the gluten free scallywag

    oh my this looks delicious, definitely making this when it’s no longer 35degrees at home!

    • Carol, Simply Gluten Free

      Funny when you say 35 degrees because I think of that as freezing but I do realize you are in Australia so 35 degrees is probably really hot :)

  • Juanita

    Great recipe. It looks super tasty and more-ish!

    • Carol, Simply Gluten Free

      haha, thanks!

  • InTolerantChef

    The flavours sound lovely, yumm…

    • Carol, Simply Gluten Free

      Thank you!

  • Renee

    I think it would be good with some chickpeas and vegetable broth for a vegetarian version….always looking for new ways to make quinoa too! Sounds delicious – and already bookmarked!

    • Carol, Simply Gluten Free

      I think you are right! I am keeping your idea in mind for the next time my vegetarian sister comes for dinner!

  • Sharon

    Hi Carol, Thanks for the awesome recipe. I made it for dinner last night and it was sensational. Next time I make it I will not put so much of the lemon rind in for the thinly sliced pieces as some bites were a little too lemony! The apricots were great and my dinner guests thought I had slaved for hours… Little do they know!!

    • Carol, Simply Gluten Free

      Oh I love that you guests thought you slaved! On the lemons, some are thin skinned and others have thick skins, with thick skinned lemon I totally agree with you! Thanks so much for letting me know how it came out!

  • Gluten Free Diva

    Ah yes, I bought a bag of this at Costco. In fact, I ground some of it into quinoa flour and have used it for baking. This recipe, my dear, sounds scrumptious. And easy. And I bet it would work well in a pressure cooker or slow cooker, too. This goes in the “must try” folder. Thank you!

    • Carol, Simply Gluten Free

      Really? You ground it up? With what?

  • Heather Jacobsen

    I love Moroccan-spiced anything! Can’t wait to try this with the quinoa :)

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    We’d love to have you feature some of your dishes at

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    Your dishes look yum … loved the presentation of the food ! good work
    you can view some of my dishes on ! i would be really happy if you follow it

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  • Alta

    Wow, this sounds good. Love quinoa anyway, and I’m a big fan of Moroccan flavors.

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    i like the theme and colors that you used for your blog, is it a custom theme ? ;~*’`:

    • Carol, Simply Gluten Free

      Thank you and yes, the site is customized.

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    I love blogging and i can see that you also love blogging.

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    I love reading your blog because it has very interesting topics.

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    Your blog is one of a kind, i love the way you organize the topics.

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    I’m new to your blog and i really appreciate the nice posts and great layout.

  • tina

    Thank you for this awesome recipe. I substituted Millet instead of quinoa since I didn’t have any quinoa and used a sweet potato instead of the apricots, lol! It was soo good!!

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  • dori

    I found this recipe on after doing a search for quinoa with chicken. My husband and I really enjoyed it, but I have to say, it didn’t look much like your picture. It was much more soupy, and I think I could have added about a half cup or more of quinoa. Next time I will only use the lemon juice. My husband picked out all the lemon pieces, and while I didn’t mind the lemon so much, it did tend to overpower the other flavors (especially the apricot). Again, we really liked it and I will make it again. Thanks!

    • Carol Kicinski

      Thanks for letting me know Dori. I love that a person can use a recipe as a blueprint and then make it their own based on what they like and don’t like. Thank you for stopping by.

  • judy

    I made this recipe to surprise my friend (who is gluten free diet guy) and my other friend who is not and didn’t tell the ‘not’ friend. They both raved and raved and both wanted the recipe. I sent them the link to your site. Thank you so much for a wonderful night, and many more to come I hope!! It has been requested that I make more!

    • Carol Kicinski

      Thnaks Judy! Glad the guy and the “not” guy both liked it :)

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