Mojo-Marinated Chicken Quinoa Bowl

Simple yet delicious: this Mojo-Marinated Chicken Quinoa Bowl uses simple, wholesome ingredients to create a flavorful, easy, quick weeknight meal.

Mojo-Marinated Chicken Quinoa Bowl

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: simple ingredients make for the most delicious meals.

This meal represents the foods that I grew up with. The way they are prepared, the flavors, the combinations; the culture behind this simple meal represents what my grandmother made us as kids. It’s what my mom would whip up on a busy weeknight. It’s what my sister made me in college when I was feeling homesick and went to her apartment from my dorm to calm down.

Mojo is a component that I have always and will always swear by. Here on The Blissful Balance, I love to share simple, [mostly] quick recipes. And with mojo, it’s not only simple and quick, but it’s effing scrumptious. Most of the time, store-bought mojo is good enough for me. But I really wanted to dig deep into my roots and make it myself for this recipe. And even though it’s homemade, it’s still SO simple.

Mojo-Marinated Chicken Quinoa Bowl

So, wtf is mojo? Well, it’s simple. It’s a sauce/marinade consisting of the following components:

  • Olive oil
  • Citrus
  • Salt/pepper
  • Garlic

THAT’S IT. Real food. Good food. Juicy chicken. With five staple ingredients.

Mojo-Marinated Chicken Quinoa Bowl

[Tweet “This mojo marinade is SUPER simple and just five ingredients!”]

Now, while the base of this meal reminds me of my life growing up with meals cooked by my grandmother and mother, there is one component that I did not discover until about three years ago.


I had no clue what quinoa was until I decided to transition to a healthier lifestyle in college years ago. And honestly, I don’t remember life before quinoa. WHAT WAS IT. What was I doing? Who was I? Where am I? Wait…

Mojo-Marinated Chicken Quinoa Bowl

Oh, and my absolute favorite part of this dish was probably these plantains. If you follow me on Snapchat (username: christinav13), you know that I was a little worried they wouldn’t come out right. I couldn’t find ripe plantains to save my life, so I used green ones, which are usually saved for tostones (plantains that are flattened and fried). However, I sauteed these in some olive oil, and they came out excellent. Like thick plantain chips. So crispy, sweet and soft all at once!

Mojo-Marinated Chicken Quinoa Bowl

[Tweet “The flavors of Cuba: Mojo-Marinated Chicken Quinoa Bowl”]

Mojo-Marinated Chicken Quinoa Bowl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 3 bowls
  • [b]For the chicken:[/b]
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • [b]For the mojo:[/b]
  • Juice 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • [b]For the bowl:[/b]
  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 mango, cubed
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 2 plantains, sliced
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  1. Combine the orange juice, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a measuring cup and stir with a fork.
  2. Wash and season the chicken breast with salt and pepper. Place in a large Ziploc bag or bowl and pour marinade to cover chicken. Place in the refrigerator and let marinate for at least two hours.
  3. To cook quinoa, place 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water into a rice cooker and set to cook.
  4. In a large saute pan over medium heat, add 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Add onion and saute until translucent, but not completely caramelized (they will be placed back into the pan to continue cooking later).
  5. Remove onions and set aside. Add two more tbsp of extra virgin olive oil to the pan. Place chicken breasts onto the pan. Discard remaining marinade.
  6. Cook chicken for ~10 minutes on each side.
  7. Place onions back in the pan with the chicken. Lower head to low-medium and cover. Let cook for about ten more minutes, or the chicken is no longer pink in the center.
  8. To cook plantains, heat a small saute pan over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.
  9. Place plantain “chips” onto pan. Saute for about 2-3 minutes on one side, then flip, cooking the other side until browned. Remove and season with salt and pepper.
  10. Serve bowls with quinoa, avocado, mango, chicken, onions and plantains. Enjoy with squeezed lime juice, olive oil and fresh cilantro on top.
Sauteeing chicken requires much attention to ensure it is not undercooked or overcooked. I recommend keeping an eye on the chicken during the duration, consistently cutting it in the center to make sure it is cooked (or not overcooked).

Mojo-Marinated Chicken Quinoa Bowl

Join the conversation:
What type of food did you grow up eating?
What is one flavor that brings you back to your childhood?

If you liked this recipe, make sure to pin it for later! (Hover over the image for share options)

Mojo-Marinated Chicken Quinoa Bowl


  1. says

    Anything with rosemary reminds me of my mom because she used to/does cook with it frequently. I still use it in almost every meal because it’s comforting. Also, roast chicken reminds me of winter days in New Jersey when I was younger (random). Love the simple ingredients here! And the story about quinoa…I think we all went through that :)

  2. says

    Que Rico!!!!!! This looks SO GOOD and I am so excited to make this! My Dad’s side of the family is Cuban and I know these flavors all too well! It’s really something that I miss out here in L.A….there are Cuban spots, but it’s just not the same! Stoked to try this :)

  3. says

    Definitely pinned this for later! I love homemade seasonings for chicken and this mojo mix looks scrumptious. I’ve recently been adding some quinoa to my salads and it’s a total game changer! It helps fill me up and I’m completely satisfied with it. I’m hoping to experiment with a quinoa breakfast bowl soon 😉

  4. says

    love the sounds of this mojo sauce! how have i not made something similar before?!
    plaintains are strange creatures for me… i made them once and they were terrible. however, yours look delicious. maybe i’ll try it again one day…

  5. says

    This dish looks so fresh and delicious. Can’t wait to give it a try! I think it’s so cool that you have such deep cultural food connections. My mom’s family never did a whole lot of cooking, so she was always experimenting/testing new recipes as I was growing up. In that way, my parents and I became more food-adventurous together. We went from eating the same basic meals (spaghetti, burgers, stir-fry, tacos) in a rotation to trying out new foods and cuisines. Good ingredients have always been important, though :)

  6. says

    This looks scrumptious, Christina!
    There’s nothing like a comforting, nutritious meal that reminds you of home!
    This isn’t the healthiest, but I will always remember my grandparents’ fried shrimp that were my favorite as a kid. My grandfather grew up in a small AL shrimping village (yep, pretty much Forrest Gump, lol) and my family still lives on the Gulf Coast, so we adore our seafood.
    This is going on our next meal plan!!
    Also, I’m not a huge quinoa fan, but I think this could convert me :)

  7. says

    Wow, the simplicity and beauty of this dish is WONDERFUL! I love it. Lord willing, I Can remember to get some plantains and make it soon. We almost always have all of these ingredients.

  8. says

    These flavors sound incredible! I need to try myself some plantains…
    Gosh I wish I had a better food palette growing up but it was rather pathetic. Grilled cheese, mac n cheese, tuna & noodles… SO BLAND. I hope I can introduce some good flavors to my future children. And maybe less carbs, HA.

  9. says

    girl this bowl sounds so good! i’ve never actually make mojo anything. but garlic? um yes. i like the citrus in it! and i’ve been wanting to try plantains for a while now and need to get on it!

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