Recipe: Chicken Quinoa Nachos

My excitement for this recipe just keeps on escalating. I went from wanting to make something that involved quinoa, to suddenly craving nachos, to thinking of a way that would tie them together. I haven’t had nachos in what feels like forever (The main reason for this being that ever since I watched Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary on climate change, ‘Before the Flood” I have decided to reduce the amount of beef in my diet) and with the not very summery weather we have been experiencing in Wellington, I wanted something cheesy and warming. This meal does not compromise any of the goodness I get out of nachos, but I felt better after eating it (and not as gross as I sometimes feel when I eat beef nachos). It heats up a treat in the microwave the next day too!

This recipe is also entirely possible to make vegetarian / vegan. Just drop the meat, chicken stock (replace with a vegetable stock instead) and if necessary, the cheese.


  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 chilli
  • 1 c quinoa
  • 1 c chicken stock
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can tinned tomatoes
  • 3/4 c corn kernels
  • 1 t chilli flakes
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 chicken breast, diced
  • 1 T paprika
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 T fresh coriander
  • corn chips
  • cheese to serve (mozzarella)


  1. Heat the olive oil in pan. Once warm, add the garlic and chilli and cook until aromatic.
  2. Add the quinoa and stock and gradually bring to the boil.
  3. Add the beans, tomatoes, corn, chilli powder and cumin.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cover, reduce and simmer until the quinoa is cooked – about 20 minutes.
  6. Separately, dice the chicken and cook in a pan with the paprika. Add to the quinoa mix.
  7. Add lime and garnish (extensively) with coriander.
  8. Layer a plate with corn chips and cover with the quinoa and chicken mix.
  9. Cover with cheese – and if you want, bake in the oven for about 7 minutes so that the cheese melts.

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