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Easy Citrus Za’atar Chicken and Quinoa Dinner

This post has been sponsored by Sunkist Growers. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
This Easy Citrus Za’atar Chicken and Quinoa Dinner is a hearty and wholesome dinner recipe that is made with just 7 ingredients and a variety of citrus fruits.

Healthy citrus chicken quinoa dinner

This Citrus Za’atar Chicken and Quinoa Dinner is so easy to make and so tasty. Fresh Sunkist® Blood Oranges, Lemons, and Cara Cara Oranges unite with za’atar in this recipe. They enhance the flavors of garlic, onion, and smoked paprika so beautifully – resulting in quite a delicious and nutritious chicken and quinoa dinner.

You only need the citrus mentioned above and 7 other ingredients such as:

  • A yellow onion,
  • Garlic cloves,
  • Za’atar,
  • Smoked paprika,
  • Chicken,
  • Quinoa, and
  • Chicken or veg stock…

And, ONE large pan!

To make this dinner, I relied on the deliciously tangy-sweet flavor of caramelized Blood Oranges, Lemons, & Cara Cara Oranges.

Overhead photo of Ingredients to make healthy citrus chicken quinoa dinner

Before Citrus season is over, I urge you to take advantage of the coupons and savings available at While there, check out some of the other recipes you can make with Sunkist citrus! Buy & Save Now!

overhead photo of Juicy Delicious Sunkist Oranges Lemons

A few interesting tidbits about Sunkist citrus fruits:

Blood Oranges

Blood Oranges are distinguished from other oranges by the red blush on their orange peel. They also have a gorgeously hued maroon interior. They are said to get their red color from high concentrations of anthocyanins, which are natural plant pigments that have antioxidant properties.

They tend to be small in size, fairly easy to peel and have few if any seeds. With undertones of fresh raspberry complementing their rich orange flavor, one Blood orange is said to provide us with vitamin C (80% DV), fiber (11% DV), folate (15% DV), and thiamin (15% DV). They are low in fat, saturated fat-free, cholesterol-free, and sodium-free. Blood Oranges are available from December through June.

Cara Cara Oranges

Cara Cara Oranges are branded by Sunkist as The Power Orange®, as they offer the most vitamin C of the Sunkist citrus varieties, with 100% of the recommended daily intake in just one orange! Cara Cara Oranges look like Navel Oranges but their seedless interior has a rich pink hue due to the natural presence of the antioxidant lycopene.

They are extremely sweet with a lower level of acidity. In addition to 100% of DV of vitamin C, one medium Cara Cara Orange also provides fiber (11% DV) and folate (15% DV). Like Blood Oranges, they are also cholesterol-free, and sodium-free and are available from December through May.

Sunkist Lemons

Tart and tangy, Sunkist Lemons have a bright, floral aroma. Eureka and Lisbon Lemons are the most common Lemon varieties and are virtually indistinguishable from each other. One medium Lemon is said to provide 25% of our daily value of vitamin C. Like Blood Oranges and Cara Cara Oranges, Lemons are low-calorie, cholesterol-free, and sodium-free.

By the way, did you know you can reduce your sodium intake without sacrificing flavor by adding Lemon zest and juice to your meals?

I put this theory to test in this Easy Citrus Za’atar Chicken and Quinoa Dinner by using caramelized segments of Blood Oranges, Lemons, & Cara Cara Oranges as well as their juice in this recipe.

healthy easy citrus chicken quinoa dinner

I did this by sautéing a couple of slices of Blood Oranges, Lemons, & Cara Cara Oranges until they caramelized (like I did in this Honey Lemon Chicken recipe). I then added the chicken, spices, quinoa, and a mix of vegetable stock and juice from the Blood Oranges, Lemons, & Cara Cara Oranges.

The tangy sweetness of the citrus complemented the smoked paprika and the multitude of herbs found in za’atar, so beautifully ~ resulting in this flavorful and tasty quinoa and chicken dinner.

Picture of Sunkist fruits At Publix with Publix Receipt

If you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 2-3 days. I could not vouch for more than that as we never seem to have leftovers that last longer than that.

In fact, the day after, I caught my daughter eating cold leftovers of this. The funny thing being, she was eating cold leftovers while she was waiting for a bowl of this to heat up in the microwave!

Phone with Publix shopping app and Sunkist citrus fruits in the background.

I took advantage of the fact that we are in the middle of the citrus season right now and stocked up on all 3 of these varieties on a recent trip to Publix.

Currently, we live 3 minutes from a Publix store, and when we need an ingredient or two, it is so convenient for us to stop there. When we are there, I usually check out the BOGO deals and the produce section and had to take advantage of the savings on all Sunkist citrus while we were there.

silver platter with citrus chicken quinoa dinner

Make sure you check out for coupons, recipes and to shop for ingredients!

Looking for more fun and unique dinner recipes and sides?
Then check out this Broccoli Bacon Casserole. these Bacon And Egg Potato Skins, these Mini Andouille & Pepper Jack Beet Pizzas, and these tasty Cheddar Grits Cakes.

healthy easy citrus chicken quinoa dinner

Easy Citrus Za'atar Chicken and Quinoa Dinner

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

This Easy Citrus Za’atar Chicken and Quinoa Dinner is a hearty and wholesome dinner recipe that is made with just 7 ingredients and a variety of citrus fruits.


  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 clove garlic
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp za’atar
  • 1 Sunkist® Cara Cara Orange
  • 1 Sunkist® Blood Orange
  • ½ Sunkist® Lemon
  • 1 ¼ lb chicken
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 1 cup vegetable stock/chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parsley & chili flakes to garnish


  1. First, peel the onion and garlic cloves. Discard the skins and chop up the garlic and onion.
  2. Cut the Blood Orange, Cara Cara Orange, and Lemon in half and cut two slices off the middle. Set these slices aside.
  3. Take the remaining Blood Orange, Cara Cara Orange, and Lemon segments and squeeze the juice into a bowl. You will mix this with the vegetable or chicken stock you are using.
  4. Also, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  5. Add the oil, onion, and garlic to a pan and place it over medium heat/flame. Let saute for about 5 minutes. Stir onion/garlic mixture so it doesn’t brown.
  6. Push the onion/garlic to the sides of the pan and add in the slices of Blood Orange, Cara Cara Orange, and Lemon. Once you flip, sauté about 3-4 minutes - undisturbed.
  7. Then flip them over. They should be caramelized at this point – if they are not, let them saute another minute or two before flipping over.  Once flipped, let them sauté for another 3-4 minutes undisturbed.
  8. Then, add in the chopped chicken, sprinkle the za'atar and smoked paprika over the chicken, and let cook for about 4 minutes. Flip the chicken pieces over as best as you can and let them cook for 4 more minutes.
  9. Add in the quinoa – making sure to distribute it around.
  10. Pour in the vegetable/chicken stock and the juice from the Blood Orange, Cara Cara Orange, and Lemon.
  11. Cover and let cook for 15 minutes.
  12. When time is up, remove the pan from the heat and let rest – covered for another 5-10 minutes.
  13. Then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  14. Garnish with parsley and chili flakes and dig in!
Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 485Total Fat 27gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 19gCholesterol 135mgSodium 461mgCarbohydrates 22gFiber 4gSugar 9gProtein 38g

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Ben @ Havocinthekitchen

Friday 12th of February 2021

Oh, this dinner plate looks absolutely wonderful! You've combined some of my favourite things like citrus fruit (Cara Cara indeed has been my favourite variety for the last 2 or 3 years - they're so succulent and refreshing!), chicken, and quinoa. I haven't used za’atar a lot in my cooking, but I'm going to get to know it, too.

John / Kitchen Riffs

Wednesday 10th of February 2021

Love citrus at this time of the year! So many good choices. Terrific looking dinner -- thanks.

David @ Spiced

Monday 8th of February 2021

This recipe sounds amazing, Shashi - I always crave citrus flavors starting about this time each year. Perhaps it's the cold, grey days outside. Perhaps it's my body begging for sunshine. Whatever it is, I want citrus! And this is one heck of an awesome recipe using various types of citrus, too - love it!!

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