Lemon Pepper Chicken and Quinoa Rice

This Lemon Pepper Chicken and Quinoa Rice is my best back pocket recipe. It was passed on to me from my own mother’s back pocket some years ago during a phone call that was mostly a lot of complaining about how I didn’t feel good, didn’t want to cook dinner, everyone’s hungry, what do I do?  It was then that she shared this mom-recipe with me – a recipe that I recall eating and enjoying many times in my own childhood without ever realizing that it probably found its way to our table on mom’s most exhausting days.
This recipe is simplicity at its best. I’ve never even written it down before because mom’s instructions over the phone that night were simple enough that I’ve just been repeating them for years. It’s only fair that I finally share it with you here because everyone deserves a super simple back pocket recipe like this.
This dinner is a really good one for new cooks, new parents, tired parents, single parents, sick parents, and people who like to eat good food without spending a lot of time in the kitchen. It’s a survival recipe, and even though I actually like to cook and try new recipes, I find that many nights I’m still just in survival mode and I find myself reaching into my back pocket for some basic chicken and rice.
So I pass this recipe along to you now and you may find that it saves you one night, like it saved me once, and then you too may slip it into your back pocket to be referred to often. I share this as someone who may have made it more than once a week last fall when I found myself bowled over by first trimester morning sickness. I share this as a single parent who sometimes can’t handle coming up with another meal that will only be shared with young children who are notorious for not really noticing the difference between frozen waffles for dinner and a 5 hour Bolognese sauce. I share this as a parent who just made it yet again because I carpool today and Esme has ballet and I’m trying to get caught up on the laundry and I still haven’t cleared out the dishwasher from yesterday. Enjoy. 

Lemon Pepper Chicken and Quinoa Rice


1 1/2 cups long grain rice (like basmati)
1/2 cup quinoa
4 cups chicken broth
approximately 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (frozen, unthawed works very best)
3 tablespoons good quality lemon pepper spice blend (I like Mrs. Dash’s no preservative blend)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lemon, sliced into rounds


Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place all the ingredients in the order listed into a 9×13 glass casserole dish. Cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes, then remove foil. Cook for an additional 15 to 25 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed, rice is tender and chicken is cooked through. Both the rice and chicken should be moist and tender, not dry at all.  Serves 4 to 6.

What are your best back pocket recipes? Please share!


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