Grilled sesame-lime chicken and quinoa salad. Tender chicken and a mix of fresh and grilled veggies in a tangy sesame dressing.
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5 from 2 votes

Grilled Sesame-Lime Chicken and Quinoa Salad Recipe

Grilled Sesame-Lime Chicken and Quinoa Salad is a tasty and vibrant make-ahead summer meal with lots of veggies. Just add fresh bread to complete it.
Prep Time1 hr 10 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time1 hr 18 mins
Course: Main Course, make ahead
Cuisine: American
Servings (change as needed): 3 (or 4 smaller)
Author: Cheryl


  • 1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken (thighs or breasts)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 large red pepper (or 2 smaller), seeded and cut in large pieces
  • 2 large green onions (or more)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 or 5 cups fresh baby spinach or lettuce greens, roughly chopped
  • 6 cocktail tomatoes, cut in quarters
  • Garnish: chopped parsley or cilantro

Lime Sesame Marinade/Dressing

  • 1/4 cup lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic (small clove)
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha hot sauce (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • MARINATE CHICKEN: Whisk all marinade ingredients in a bowl or measuring cup. Pour half of the marinade into a sealed plastic bag (reserve the rest for the dressing). Add chicken to bag, seal and ensure it is coated with marinade. Marinate in fridge for 1-2 hours. If time is short, marinate on counter for 20-30 minutes)
  • Heat grill to medium high.
  • MAKE QUINOA: Rinse quinoa in a strainer. Add to a small pot with 3/4 cup water and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes, fluff with fork and set aside.
  • GRILL CHICKEN, PEPPERS, ONIONS: Remove chicken from marinade and pat with a paper towel. Lay chicken and vegetables on a pan lined with foil. Drizzle everything with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill 3-4 minutes per side or until chicken is cooked through (160F). Remove and let chicken rest for 5 minutes, loosely covered with foil. Cut chicken and vegetables into bite size pieces.
  • ASSEMBLE SALAD: Mix chopped greens/spinach, quinoa and vegetables together in a mixing bowl. Transfer to a shallow serving bowl. Add chicken and tomatoes on top. Taste remaining dressing and adjust as needed (more sweet, lime, hot sauce etc.) Just before ready to serve, drizzle evenly over salad. Sprinkle on parsley or cilantro for garnish (and toasted sesame seeds if you like) and serve.