Paleo Blackened Chicken

It can be difficult to find healthy recipes that your family will like.  So when I had some blackened chicken cravings and wanted to make it even healthier with a side of quinoa, I knew that my kiddos wouldn't go for just that.  I had to "oomph" it up a bit.  I had a couple of avocados hanging around and I knew they'd go bad soon.  So a variation of my Avocado Dipping Sauce was the result.

The nice part of this recipe is that the chicken has just enough spice.  A lot of times blackened chicken can be spicy.  So I toned down the cayenne pepper (not too much though, you still want it to have a little zing) in order to be kid friendly.  And I'm kind of a sucker for Cilantro Lime Rice.  But with paleo recipes, you need to convert your rice over to quinoa.  It turned out to be a fantastic dish that was gone before I was even done taking pictures.  Yup, I ate my meal by myself.  But that's okay, it was a hit, and the kids had no clue how good it was for them.  SCORE!

Paleo Blackened Chicken

with Quinoa and Avocado Cream Sauce


1 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro

Avocado Cream Sauce:
1 avocado
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1 Tbs. milk
2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbs. white vinegar
1/2 Tbs. lime juice


1. Place quinoa and chicken broth in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook quinoa until opened, all liquid has cooked off.  While quinoa is cooking, preheat olive oil in skillet over medium high heat.

2. Combine paprika, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, onion powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.  Sprinkle half of the spice mixture over the top of the chicken breasts and place spice side down in skillet.  Sprinkle remaining spice over chicken and cover.  Cook chicken for approximately 8-10 minutes on each side, or until no longer pink in center. Remove from heat but leave cover on pan.  Let rest until ready to serve.

3. While chicken and quinoa are cooking, prepare avocado sauce.  Put avocado, greek yogurt, milk, 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, vinegar, and lime juice in a food processor.  Process until smooth.

4. Fluff quinoa and add lime juice, lime zest and 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro.  Serve chicken over quinoa and top with avocado cream sauce.

Serves 4
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