Best of Quinoa: Chicken Fillets with Pancetta

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Chicken-fillets-with-pancettaFind this delicious recipe, Chicken Fillets with Pancetta, Olives and Sun-dried Tomatoes, in Rena Patten’s new book, Best of Quinoa.

Best-of-Quinoa-FCQuinoa – pronounced keen-wah – is a grain, but not just any grain. It is considered to be almost a complete food. It is very high in protein, full of vitamins, gluten and wheat free, cholesterol-free and usually organic. And it is delicious!

In the kitchen, quinoa has a huge range of uses and lends itself beautifully to so many dishes. You can also make pastry for pies using quinoa flour.

Rena Patten’s book Best of Quinoa features a wonderful selection of easy-to-follow recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as soups, salads and much more. There truly is something here for every palate. A scrumptious book!

Recipe extracted with permission from Rena Patten’s Best of Quinoa, published by New Holland, $40.00


Chicken Fillets with Pancetta, Olives and Sun-dried Tomatoes

Serves 4

Chicken-filletsThis is a great dinner-party dish, especially if you or any of your guests are wheat- or gluten-intolerant and you want to make something special which can be enjoyed by everyone.


  • 4 chicken breast fillets
  • 40 g (1. oz) quinoa flakes
  • 4 slices pancetta, chopped
  • 8 kalamata olives, chopped
  • 90 g (3 oz) sun- or semi-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 1 scallion (spring onion), finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • parsley, chopped, for garnish


  • 400 g (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz) water
  • 1 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 175deg C (340deg F).

Cut a deep pocket into the chicken fillets, taking care not to cut right through.

Combine the quinoa flakes with the pancetta, olives, tomatoes, cheese, oregano, scallions, olive oil, vinegar and water. Add salt and pepper to taste, but season carefully as the pancetta and olives and parmesan can be quite salty.

Spoon the filling into the pockets in the chicken and smooth the top part of the fillet over the filling to enclose.

Mix all the sauce ingredients together and pour into a baking dish. Place the fillets on top, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and bake for 25–30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked. Add a little extra water to the sauce if necessary during cooking.

Serve with the sauce spooned over the chicken and garnished with parsley.

Want more quinoa recipes?
Almond, Currant and Carrot Salad with a Honeyed Yogurt Dressing

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