Recently, the weather has been nice enough for backyard dinners. I’m fortunate enough to live in an apartment with a truly amazing backyard, complete with an orange tree and patio furniture—perfect for dinners outside. It’s also the busiest few weeks of my school year, as I frantically finish the end of the school business. I am eager to have dinners that don’t take long to prepare but are also delicious and taste like the summer I am so eagerly anticipating. This dinner comes together quickly, but don’t worry, it’s awesome. Andrew declares it the best thing I’ve ever made. I’m not sure I’d go that far, but it’s definitely earned a spot in our regular meal rotation.
Let’s start with a little prep work.
I like to cook my quinoa the night before. If you’re new to quinoa, it’s pretty easy. Take one cup, rinse it off, and cook it in a saucepan with two cups of water. I usually double the batch so I can have enough for this recipe and a quinoa bowl or two.
The morning you want to have this for dinner, throw a package of chicken thighs into your crock pot with a half a cup of barbecue sauce, and some water. I also add some garlic and onion powder, with some seasoned salt. Let the meat cook on low for awhile (I usually let it go all day long). When you get home from work, or it’s been at least five hours, take the meat out of the Crock Pot, get rid of the bones and skin, and shred the meat. Mmmm. Shredded chicken is delicious, right?
Next, add delicious veggies and black beans. I use green pepper, corn, and a can of black beans:
Next, mix everything together, and add a little bit of barbecue sauce. A word to the wise: barbecue sauce can be INCREDIBLY high in sugar. This one is delicious, and has only 4g of sugar per serving:
Once everything is coated and mixed together, add some garnish in the form of cilantro and big chunks of avocado, plus an additional sprinkle of barbecue sauce. Plate, and serve outside whenever possible:
Voila! A quick, easy summer classic!
BBQ Chicken Salad — adapted from What’s Gaby Cooking
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 cup corn
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup shredded BBQ chicken
- BBQ sauce
- 5 scallions, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- cilantro for garnish
- avocado for garnish
- Pre-cook quinoa (the night before, or the day of!).
- The recipe calls for pre-cooked chicken. Add chicken thighs, BBQ sauce and water to crock pot and let cook fully.
- In a large bowl, toss together the quinoa, corn, black beans, chicken and avocado. Season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer mixture onto a bowl and top with BBQ sauce, avocado and cilantro.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.