Marinated Chicken, Quinoa-Vegetable Melange & Green Salad

Whenever I’m visiting with my son, daughter-in-love, and grandchildren, I’m always treated to some amazing meals. I’m sure I eat a lot healthier than I do when I’m at home because cooking is not a favorite activity of mine unless I have family visiting or I’m having a dinner party. Nancy, my daughter-in-law, has that awesome talent I admire in real cooks. She can conjure up a wonderful dinner on the fly, often just using random leftovers from the fridge.

During my visits here, I’ve always meant to share some of the tasty meals Nancy prepares. A few days ago we had the delicious dinner pictured below and I asked Nancy to e-mail me over the details/recipes. It’s a fairly quick meal to prepare so a great one to make when you don’t have a lot of time but want something yummy and healthy for dinner. You’ll find a printable recipe at the end of this post.

This dinner included Marinated Chicken, a Quinoa and Vegetable Melange, and an awesome salad. Nancy makes the most amazing salads! I would eat salads every single night if they tasted like the ones she prepares!

Quick, Healthy Dinner, Marinated Chicken Breast, Quinoa Vegetable Melange, Arugula Salad


For this quick and easy meal, Nancy marinated chicken breasts for a few hours in Ranch dressing. For the dressing, you can use store-bought or make your own with yogurt. It’s not necessary to marinate the chicken for a long time, just whatever time you have available. Next, she dredged the chicken in Panko breadcrumbs to which she had added salt, pepper, garlic, and onion.

She pan-fried the chicken in Avocado oil for approximately 3 minutes on each side, then baked it at 375 degrees for around 20-25 minutes. My grandsons absolutely love chicken cooked this way!

If you don’t want to prepare the chicken that way, Nancy said it can also be air-fried for around 10-12 minutes, 5 minutes on each side. Nancy purchased an air fryer a few months ago and uses it all the time.

Update: I had some questions about the air fryer–this is the one Nancy has and loves using: Air Fryer. When using the air fryer, you will not need to use any oil.

Quick, Healthy Dinner, Marinated Chicken Breast, Quinoa Vegetable Melange, Arugula Salad


The Quinoa and Vegetable Melange is a blend she buys from Trader Joes and it is so good! I’m definitely adding that to my grocery list when I’m back home. To prepare the Quinoa/Veggie Melange, she cooks it according to the directions. Nancy said, “I do it on the stove with some veggie or chicken stock.”

For the salad, Nancy used a mix of greens including arugula and spinach. She added small sweet peppers, tomatoes, feta cheese, avocado oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt/pepper. The dressing she added on top was one she introduced me to on a previous visit here. It’s called Garlic Expressions and is available here: Garlic Expressions. You may have already tried this dressing. If you haven’t, I definitely recommend it! It tastes homemade and is delicious!


Nancy shared a few additional tips/ingredients she often adds to her green salads. She said, “Sometimes I’ll use bell pepper, just whatever veggies I have on hand. Leftover corn from the grill (cut off the cob) is great in this salad, too. If you’re not a fan of feta cheese, blue cheese will also work–or no cheese. Nuts (walnuts or pecans) or sunflower seeds are also great in this salad.”

I definitely want to make this meal once I return home. It was sooo yummy!

Marinated Chicken Breast with Quinoa Vegetable Melange & Arugula Salad


I’ll keep bugging Nancy to share some more of her recipes/quick meals while I’m here, so stay tuned for more! Happy eating!

Marinated Chicken Breast with Quinoa Vegetable Melange & Arugula Salad


Marinated Chicken, Quinoa & Vegetable Melange and Green Salad

Course: Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Keyword: Green, Healthy, Marinated, Quick


  • 4-6 Chicken Breasts
  • Ranch Dressing
  • Breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Onion Powder, to taste
  • Garlic Powder, to taste
  • Trader Joe's Quinoa and Vegetable Melange
  • Arugula
  • Spinach
  • Sweet Pepper (and color/type)
  • Small or Cherry Tomatoes
  • Feta or Blue Cheese
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Garlic Expressions Dressing
  • Nuts (Pecans or Walnuts) Optional
  • Sunflower Seeds (Optional)


  • Marinate Chicken Breasts for 20 minutes to a few hours in ranch dressing---whatever amount of time you have.
  • Dredge chicken in breadcrumbs
  • Pan-fry chicken in avocado oil for approximately 3 minutes on each side then bake in the over at 375 degrees for around 20-25 minutes. Or, use an air fryer and cook for 10-12 minutes, around 5 minutes on each side.
  • Prepare quinoa & vegetable melange according to directions using veggie or chicken stock
  • Mix ingredients together for green salad, topping off with Garlic Expressions dressing or your favorite dressing


For the green salad, Nancy uses whatever veggies she has on hand. Even leftover corn from the grill (cut off the cob) is great in this salad. 
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  1. Oh my goodness – this looks amazing! Just what I needed to jump start my stagnant dinner rotation. Many thanks to you and Nancy – please do share more like this! Love BNOTP. ❤️

  2. Oh, that looks good!

  3. Susan, this looks absolutely delicious! This is my kind of eating. I love quinoa. Please do share other recipes of Nancy’s with us.
    is a way, I thought you were back home now.

  4. What a wonderful dinner! Did the dressing come from Trader Joe’s as well? I’m heading there tomorrow. This dinner will definitely be on my table in the not too distant future! Thanks for sharing, Susan.

    • I’ve purchased it in Dorothy Lane Market here but I’m pretty sure they carry it in Kroger and places like that. Trader Joe’s may carry it, as well.

  5. Oh my gosh Susan, I’m literally sitting here drooling looking at that dinner!… Every bit of it looks so tasty…. I’m always on the lookout for new recipes and meal ideas. Thanks for this one and please keep sharing. ☺

  6. It looks and sounds like a wonderful meal.

  7. Omg, Susan, I found Garlic Expressions a couple yrs ago and i could drink that stuff straight out of the bottle, I love it so much! I keep that stuff stocked in addition to one always opened. Her chicken sounds great too, very similar to mine, dredging in egg, then through a mix of a little flour, Ritz crackers and dry Italian dressing mix. Of course, any meal prepared by another tastes better than cooking for one’s self!

    • I know, it’s sooo good! It tastes like homemade to me. I wonder how many fancy restaurants use it as their “house” dressing. lol
      Your chicken recipe sounds delish! I need to try it!

  8. Brenda s. Lawrence says

    Looks so yummy for sure Susan! Nancy sounds like she is a wiz in the kitchen. I can’t wait to try out the chicken like Nancy does it, it sounds so good. I use avocado oil too for just about everything, if not avocado oil, then olive oil. I do the same with salads, mixed greens and whatever I have on hand including walnuts or pecans. I always have feta as I love the tangy taste of it plus it doesn’t contain a lot of calories. I will have to check out that dressing though, it sounds so yummy and I so love garlic. Don’t you think that food always taste better when someone else cooks it?! lol I do as I get tired of my own cooking after a while even though I cook everything from scratch. Enjoy Susan and look forward to seeing more of Nancy’s food and recipes! Hugs, Brenda

  9. This looks sooo good! I’m putting it on my husband’s menu list for this week, 🙂

  10. Betty Lindgren says

    Susan, Please do add more of these good meals. We have been trying to decide on an Air Fryer. Do you have one ?

  11. Mary from Virginia says

    It looks and sounds wonderful. I’m in need a new recipes, so thank you! And Nancy!

  12. franki parde says

    YUMMMMM!! franki

  13. Sounds delicious…will try that with the chicken. Wish we had a Trader Joe’s nearby so I could try Quinoa, too. Thanks for the great tips !

  14. Looks so good. After reading your post about the air fryer, I purchased one. Please post some of Nancy’s recipes using the air fryer. Enjoy your visit.

  15. So glad you posted this. Thanks to Nancy. I would love to see more recipes from you two.

  16. Charlotte Curtis says

    love new recipes; this looks wonderful; anxious to try it. Thank you. I am
    looking for new, healthy (easy??) vegetable dishes also.

  17. Bobbi Duncan says

    I’m always excited to learn of new and healthy ways to prepare foods! I’m going to make it this week as I have most of the ingredient, just need the ranch dressing and that wonderful sounding Garlic Expressions. I am in the process of looking at air fryers, so thanks for the heads up on the one Nancy likes. Thank you Susan and Nancy for this yummy post.

  18. Cyndi Raines says

    Oh MY! This looks so good. Will have to try her recipe and the garlic dressing! Did I tell you we LOVE your recommendation of the Kroger wings in the freezer section? Thanks Susan! Glad you are back (home with family) up north. You just may grow to like it more and more up here, we have beautiful fall colors too!

  19. I went to Whole Foods yesterday( I live in western New York). They carry the
    Garlic Expressions. The 12.5 oz bottle is $4.99( almost half the price of on line) . Then I stopped at Trader Joes and picked up the Quinoa/Veggie Melange. So we are all set to try a little something different for dinner this week! Thanks – always looking for ways to change things up !

  20. The recipes and salad dressing sound absolutely delish! Definitely shall give all a try and thank you for the heads-up on the Air Fryer. -Brenda-

  21. This looks so good! I’ve never heard of marinating the chicken in ranch dressing, I usually use Italian. So – is it the creamy ranch dressing she uses?

    I’m going to have to give this a try – thank you!

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