This Turmeric Chicken recipe is ridiculously aromatic and full of flavor! It's highly adaptable, and you can also play with the spices to make it as spicy or mild as you like. Turmeric Chicken and Quinoa is one of our favorite gluten-free meaty mains!
I am Obsessed with Turmeric Chicken!
I have a new obsession (and luckily it is a healthy one) ... I'm completely obsessed with turmeric!
Not only is it the latest and greatest super food with tons of immunity-boosting and anti-inflammatory qualities, but it makes your dishes both delicious and beautiful. The golden turmeric gives the chicken a deep color that makes this dish the star of your dinner table!
Doesn't the color of this Turmeric Chicken and Quinoa recipe look festive? It's the perfect dish to take to a potluck or to make ahead for meal-prepping and to have on hand for the busy work week. (Don't you just love leftovers?!)
Health Benefits of Turmeric
If you are new to turmeric, you must try this bright yellow curry spice! If not for the color and flavor, do it for the health benefits. It contains a powerful anti-inflammatory called curcumin. Let's take a look at some of the benefits.
- A recent study suggest that 500mg twice a day can help with osteoarthritis, specifically in the knee. Bonus: take them with olive oil and black pepper to help with absorption. Apparently this combination leads to up to 2,000% more bioavailabiltiy of curcumin.
- It also can be considered nature's prozac. In a study published in Phytotherapy Research, 1000mg of curcumin was shown to be just as effective as treating depression as prozac. Curcumin inhibits the production of monoamine oxidase, and enzyme that in high levels is linked to depression.
- May help prevent heart attacks.
- May help delay diabetes.
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Want to Supplement with Turmeric? (I do, every day!)
Now, obviously, therapeutic levels require supplementation (I take this one every day), but that is no reason to miss out on cooking with this amazing spice!
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken — Thighs or breasts will work for this recipe. If you want to keep it vegetarian and vegan, use tempeh or tofu.
- Dry Seasonings — Kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper, ground turmeric, curry powder, ground cumin, and bay leafs are what pack this dish with so much flavor!
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil — Or any other light-tasting oil with a high smoke point, like avocado.
- Veggies — You'll need an onion, fresh ginger, garlic, and two plum tomatoes for this turmeric chicken recipe.
- Quinoa — Make sure to rinse it before cooking! You could also use your preferred rice.
- Asian fish Sauce — Or you can use a vegan substitute to keep it compliant with that diet.
- Chicken Broth — I like homemade, but you can buy off the shelf. Just opt for the low-sodium variety to better control the salt in this dish. You could also use vegetable broth.
How to Make Turmeric Chicken and Quinoa
- Season chicken with salt and pepper generously on both sides. I use a teaspoon of salad and ½ teaspoon pepper, but you can adjust according to your tastes.
- Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, and add the turmeric. Stir constantly to prevent burning. (We want to toast this spice; not scorch it.) Immediately add the chicken to the pan.
- Cook the chicken until it is browned and cooked through, about 7 minutes per side. (Time will vary based on the size of the chicken breasts. I recommend using an instant-read thermometer and removing the chicken when it is between 155 and 160 degrees.)
- Add the onion and ginger to the pan. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the garlic, tomatoes, curry powder, cumin, and quinoa. Cook, constantly stirring for 3 minutes.
- Shred the chicken, and return it to the dutch oven.
- Add bay leaves, fish sauce, and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer.
- Cover and cook over low for 25 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes.
- Fluff, serve, and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! You can cook this recipe ahead of time and simply reheat when you are ready to serve. I recommend reheating in a skillet.
Yes! This recipe can be frozen for up to three months. You can thaw and reheat in a skillet, or cover and reheat in the oven from frozen.
- Make this vegan and dairy-free by using either tempeh or Beyond Meat strips, vegetable broth, and a vegan fish sauce substitute.
- Not a fan of fish sauce? Try the vegan option above! Even if you aren't vegan, some people really don't like the smell of fish sauce. (I hate fish and still don't mind it in recipes.). If that is you, try this tip.
- Add more turmeric for a richer flavor, but you will likely want to add in more of the other spices to balance the flavor.
- If you can find it, fresh grated turmeric is lovely here. It has more flavor and aroma than dried. Start with 1 tablespoon and adjust the seasonings from there.
- Swap the quinoa for rice! Make sure you adjust the cooking time according to the type of rice you are using. I have a recipe for this very swap!
More Turmeric Recipes To Try
If you enjoyed this Turmeric Chicken and Quinoa, then you'll love my other favorite turmeric recipes:
- Turmeric Ginger Tea
- Turmeric Quinoa with Pomegranates and Walnuts
- DIY Turmeric Face Mask
- Turmeric Rice
- Instant Pot Quinoa
Turmeric Chicken & Quinoa
- Dutch Oven
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken or tempeh
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 tablespoon grated chopped peeled fresh ginger
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 plum tomatoes chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 cups quinoa rinsed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 ½ tablespoons Asian fish sauce
- 2 ¾ cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch Oven, heat the olive oil to medium and add turmeric. Stir and add chicken.
- Cook until browned on both sides. Transfer to a plate. Allow to cool and then shred.
- Add the onion and ginger and cook for 8 minutes. Add garlic, tomatoes, curry powder, cumin and quinoa. Cook, string constantly for 3 minutes.
- Return the chicken to the pot. Add bay leaves, fish sauce and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer.
- Cover and cook over low heat for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes.
Sources: Prevention Magazine, October, 2014, September, 2014, January 2014