Buffalo Chicken Quinoa


I’m a Patriots fan. I’m a Miami Hurricanes fan. But I am not a football fan.

Don’t be mistaken – I’m not a bandwagon fan. Being a bandwagon fan would require me to at least watch when my teams are doing well.

Hey, I love the whole experience of going to games – the tailgating, the camaraderie, the spirit, the tailgating, the chance to wear a sporty-but-cute outfit, and did I mention the tailgating? If the game is just on TV, though, you can find me at the nearest Marshall’s or in my bed binge-watching Scandal.

That being said, I was feeling pretty left out when I heard about all the football food people were planning on eating. If I didn’t get some buffalo sauce into my system somehow, it was going to be a sad night. Unfortunately, I was also home alone, so I wasn’t about to make a big portion of dip or wings. Ok, so I’m mostly just lazy.

This is where I finally get to the point: buffalo chicken quinoa. Sometime last year while I was a happy and carefree college student (clarification: now I’m just a happy and carefree post-grad) I came across it on Pinterest. The picture looked great, but when I clicked on the recipe and saw more than four ingredients, I was over it. I took to just pouring Frank’s hot sauce on quinoa and calling it a day, but it was so hot that eating it became painful…and that is not normal. So tonight I adapted it. No fire in my mouth and the Patriots won, so I must’ve done something right! Here goes:

  1. Make the quinoa of your choice and follow the instructions on the box. Easy step one, right? (Note: Many recipes say to rinse the quinoa before cooking, but I never bother because most packages say you don’t need to. I like to keep things as simple as possible if you haven’t noticed.) I used one cup dry quinoa to two cups water because I like to get 2-3 meals out of it.
  2. Mix hot sauce with a little bit of olive oil in a small bowl- I use Frank’s Red Hot Wing sauce. I didn’t measure precisely, but I would say I probably used a little more than 1/4 cup of hot sauce and filled half of a 1/3 measuring cup with the oil.
  3. I am lucky to have a doting mother that left me with already-cooked chicken when she went south for the winter, so I simply threw the cut-up chicken in a pan with some of the sauce mixture and heated it on the stove for about five minutes. If you are starting with raw chicken that means you’re better at this than I am so stop reading.
  4. Today I decided to be ambitious and sauté some vegetables, but I have also been known to throw them in raw when I’m in a time crunch. Yes, I consider sautéing veggies ambitious. I just use what I have on hand, which today happened to be zucchini and carrots. Sauté them with a few drops of olive oil for as long as you wish – I personally like it best when the veggies have a bit of crunch left.
  5. Mix everything together, throw in some blue or feta cheese, and voila! You’re ready to sit on the couch and avoid watching football!

*I’m clearly new to this whole cooking dinner thing, so I apologize for the completely imprecise and overly wordy directions. Thanks for bearing with me!*

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