Chicken breast might not be the most exciting dinner if you prepare it the same way all the time, but this recipe is far from boring! It only takes 30 minutes to make, which means it’s a great weeknight meal option when you don’t have much time to spare. With plenty of protein, a serving of whole grains, and a bunch of nutrients (thanks to rockstar veggies kale and butternut squash), this recipe is sure to please.


  • <strong>For chicken</strong>
  • 2boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 1/2 ounces each)
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • <strong>For quinoa</strong>
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup peeled and diced butternut squash
  • 1 cup very loosely packed shredded kale, thick stems removed
  • 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place chicken breasts on the sheet.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, and maple syrup. Use a basting brush to coat chicken in marinade. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Bake chicken for 30 minutes, occasionally removing from the oven to baste with extra marinade.
  3. Meanwhile, cook quinoa in broth over medium heat according to package directions.
  4. At the same time, in a frying pan, saute garlic in olive oil for 1 minute. Add butternut squash and continue cooking for another 3 minutes or until starting to soften.
  5. Add cooked quinoa, kale, and rosemary, stirring to combine. Cook for 3 more minutes. (Kale leaves should be wilted and softened by this time.) Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve quinoa pilaf alongside chicken, with a green salad if desired.