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‘Quinoa’ Instead of ‘Chicken’: 5 High Protein Plant-Based Meal Prep Ideas

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Introduction: If you’re looking for a plant-based alternative to chicken that’s both protein-rich and versatile, quinoa is a fantastic choice. Packed with essential amino acids, fiber, and minerals, quinoa offers a nutritious and satisfying option for your meals. In this post, we’ll explore five high-protein plant-based meal prep ideas featuring quinoa. Get ready to elevate your plant-based cooking with these delicious and protein-packed recipes!

  1. Quinoa “Chicken” Salad: Ingredients:
  • Cooked quinoa
  • Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Cucumber, diced
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Red onion, finely chopped
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper


  • In a bowl, combine cooked quinoa, chickpeas, diced cucumber, halved cherry tomatoes, finely chopped red onion, and chopped fresh parsley.
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper to create the dressing.
  • Drizzle the dressing over the quinoa “chicken” salad and toss gently to coat all the ingredients.
  • Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  • Serve the quinoa “chicken” salad as a refreshing and protein-packed meal or side dish.
  1. Quinoa “Chicken” Stir-Fry: Ingredients:
  • Cooked quinoa
  • Assorted vegetables (bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, snap peas)
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Red chili flakes (optional)


  • In a hot skillet or wok, heat some sesame oil and stir-fry the assorted vegetables until they’re tender-crisp.
  • Add minced garlic and ginger to the pan and cook for another minute.
  • Add cooked quinoa to the pan and stir-fry for a few minutes until well combined.
  • Drizzle soy sauce over the mixture and add red chili flakes if desired.
  • Toss everything together and cook for a few more minutes.
  • Serve the quinoa “chicken” stir-fry as a satisfying and protein-packed meal.
  1. Quinoa “Chicken” Curry: Ingredients:
  • Cooked quinoa
  • Onion, chopped
  • Garlic, minced
  • Ginger, grated
  • Assorted vegetables (bell peppers, zucchini, cauliflower)
  • Coconut milk
  • Curry powder
  • Turmeric powder
  • Cumin powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)


  • In a large pot or pan, sauté chopped onion, minced garlic, and grated ginger until fragrant.
  • Add assorted vegetables to the pot and cook for a few minutes until they start to soften.
  • Stir in curry powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, salt, and pepper to coat the vegetables.
  • Pour in coconut milk and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the flavors have melded together.
  • Add cooked quinoa to the pot and stir gently to combine.
  • Serve the quinoa “chicken” curry over rice or with naan bread, garnished with fresh cilantro.
  1. Quinoa “Chicken” Tacos: Ingredients:
  • Cooked quinoa
  • Taco shells or tortillas
  • Avocado
  • Salsa
  • Lime wedges
  • Cilantro (optional)
  • Spices: cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper


  • Heat some oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Add cooked quinoa to the skillet and season with cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Sauté the quinoa for a few minutes until it is well seasoned and heated through.
  • Warm up the taco shells or tortillas.
  • Assemble the tacos by filling them with the seasoned quinoa, sliced avocado, salsa, and garnish with cilantro if desired.
  • Serve the quinoa “chicken” tacos as a protein-packed and flavorful meal.
  1. Quinoa “Chicken” Stuffed Bell Peppers: Ingredients:
  • Bell peppers
  • Cooked quinoa
  • Assorted vegetables (such as zucchini, carrots, spinach)
  • Tomato sauce
  • Italian seasoning (oregano, basil, thyme)
  • Vegan cheese (optional)
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Cut the tops off the bell peppers and remove the seeds and membranes.
  • In a skillet, sauté assorted vegetables until tender.
  • Add cooked quinoa, tomato sauce, and Italian seasoning to the skillet. Mix well.
  • Spoon the quinoa “chicken” mixture into the hollowed-out bell peppers.
  • If desired, sprinkle vegan cheese on top of the filling.
  • Place the stuffed bell peppers in a baking dish and cover with foil.
  • Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the bell peppers are tender and the filling is heated through.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and serve the quinoa “chicken” stuffed bell peppers as a protein-rich and satisfying meal.

Conclusion: With these five high-protein plant-based meal prep ideas featuring quinoa as a substitute for chicken, you can enjoy a range of delicious and nutritious dishes. Quinoa’s versatility and protein content make it an excellent choice for plant-based meals. Incorporate these recipes into your meal prep routine and savor the goodness of quinoa while nourishing your body with plant-based protein. Stay tuned for more exciting and nutritious plant-based meal prep ideas in our upcoming posts!

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