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Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Cranberry Quinoa

I travel every year to Peru on a medical mission trip and was introduced to quinoa there. For years I made a similar chicken dish with rice, so I tried it with quinoa. We love it. —Joyce Moynihan, Lakeville, Minnesota
  • Total Time
    Prep: 45 min. Bake: 30 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 green onions, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup dry sherry
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 large tart apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • In a small saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Add quinoa and thyme. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat; fluff with a fork. Discard thyme.
  • In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add green onions and celery; cook and stir until tender. Add cooked quinoa. Stir in the dried fruits, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt.
  • In a large saucepan, mix the first six chicken ingredients until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until slightly thickened. Add the apple, cranberries and walnuts. Stir in preserves and butter until melted.
  • Cut a pocket horizontally in the thickest part of each chicken breast. Fill each with 2-3 tablespoons quinoa mixture; secure with toothpicks. Place remaining quinoa mixture in a greased 1-qt. baking dish; cover with foil. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Carefully brown stuffed chicken on both sides. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish; pour apple mixture over top.
  • Bake chicken and quinoa, at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in chicken reads 170° and quinoa is heated through. Serve chicken with quinoa. Discard toothpicks before serving.

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  • JBoomsma
    Aug 27, 2013

    I love the combination of chicken, cranberries and quinoa. Great flavor, but kind of time consuming to make. I very pretty meal to serve to company though.

  • MissusJenn
    Jan 16, 2013

    This was a delicious meal!I did make a few adjustments...I did not stuff the chicken. It seemed like it was an unnecessary waste of time. But, if I were giving a dinner party and had plenty of time to prepare for it, I would likely stuff them because it would make the meal classier.I did not use grated lemon peel because I didn't have any fresh lemons on hand.I used a little bit of dried thyme in place of the thyme sprig.I didn't have green onions, but had leeks and they worked out just wonderfully!Instead of dry sherry, I used Chardonnay (that's what I had available).I don't like walnuts and I don't give my toddlers nuts, so I skipped the walnuts.For the baking portion, I browned the chicken, as the recipe calls for, and then placed the chicken on top of the quinoa mixture and poured some of the apple mixture over all of it. I covered and baked for the recommended time at the stated temperature.This meal was a huge hit in our house and will definitely be prepared again. My toddlers couldn't get enough of it!

  • JBalliet
    Jan 4, 2013

    This recipe requires a lot of prep work, but it's worth it.

  • slowturtle1
    Nov 28, 2012

    It was delicious! I did make a few substitutions, and I didn't stuff the chicken. It's definitely not an every day dish. It was a lot of prep work, but it's a beautiful dish that is perfect for a special occasion. I'll definitely make it again!

  • DAustinvb
    Nov 21, 2012

    excellent! We loved it! next time I probably won't stuff the chicken and just use it as a side.