Chicken with roast pumpkin, quinoa & spinach salad

Chicken with roast pumpkin, quinoa & spinach salad

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Looking for healthy lunch ideas? Try this chicken salad with roast pumpkin, spinach and quinoa.


  • 4 chicken breasts, skin on
  • ½ butternut pumpkin, peeled and diced into 2cm cubes
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 4 good handfuls baby spinach
  • Pinch salt

Honey mustard dressing

  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • Juice of ½ lemon


Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

In a mixing bowl add the pumpkin, a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil and mix. Line a baking tray with paper and spread the pumpkin on top. Bake for 20 minutes, or until soft to the touch.

In a small saucepan add the quinoa plus 1¾ cups of water. Bring to the boil before turning to low and simmering for 12 minutes.

Add oil to a frypan on high heat. Add the chicken, skin side down. It should sizzle. Monitor it and if need be, turn the heat down slightly. Once the chicken begins to cook halfway up the sides, flip it over. The skin should have a lovely golden colour. If you have an ovenproof frypan, place it straight in the oven. If not you can use a roasting or baking tray. Cook for about five minutes, or until chicken is springy to the touch. Remove from oven and allow to rest for five minutes before slicing.

For the honey mustard dressing, combine all ingredients in a bowl or jar and mix or shake until combined. Set aside for serving.

For the salad, turn the saucepan full of quinoa upside down over a mixing bowl and tap it out. Because you are not stirring, this will prevent the quinoa from going stodgy. Add the spinach and gently toss through the pumpkin, you don’t want to break it up.

To serve, spoon onto four plates and top with a sliced chicken breast before drizzling around the honey mustard, being sure not to drizzle over the skin of the chicken so it maintains its crunch.

Recipe and images from The Healthy Cook by Dan Churchill

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