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Wild Rice Quinoa Chicken with Citrus Vinaigrette (GF)

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 Wild Rice Quinoa Chicken with Citrus Vinaigrette

Recently, a friend and I ate lunch at a local Applebee’s restaurant. That particular day, my friend ordered Cedar Grilled Lemon Chicken and Quinoa. It looked so good that I wanted to make a gluten-free version. Since that day, I found myself craving that meal and finally got around to developing my own gluten-free copycat version. 

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Wild Rice Quinoa Chicken 22

Uncooked wild rice.

Several of the key ingredients in this recipe are wild rice and quinoa. You can use any quinoa that you like however I chose black quinoa

Wild Rice Quinoa Chicken 21

Uncooked black quinoa.

Uncooked Black Quinoa

Wild Rice Quinoa Chicken 18

The juice from a fresh lemon and lime are needed to make the vinaigrette, along with some Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar.
Wild Rice Quinoa Chicken 19Furthermore, chopped Granny Smith green apples add color and flavor to the dish.

Wild Rice Quinoa Chicken 12

Cooked wild rice and black quinoa.

I cooked the wild rice and quinoa according to the packaging directions. Approximately 45 minutes for the wild rice and 15 minutes for the quinoa.

Wild Rice Quinoa Chicken 15

I placed the citrus vinaigrette ingredients into a microwave-safe measuring cup, stirring every 30 seconds, and heated it until the mixture became slightly thickened. In addition, I pan-fried chicken breast in a cast-iron skillet while the wild rice, quinoa, and vinaigrette were cooking. *To make this recipe close to the original at Applebee’s, grill or bake your chicken using grilling cedar planks.
Wild Rice Quinoa Chicken 16

While everything else cooked on the stove, I prepared a bowl of cranberries and chopped pecans, apples, and fresh parsley. Another option is to use cilantro in place of parsley.

Wild Rice Quinoa Chicken 11

When all the ingredients were ready, I layered them onto a serving platter. Wild rice and quinoa went on the bottom and topped with the chicken breast. I added the pecans, cranberries, apples, parsley/cilantro and drizzled the citrus vinaigrette on top of the chicken breast, rice and quinoa. 

Wild Rice Quinoa Chicken 7

This dish has quickly become one of my all-time favorite meals. 

Wild Rice Quinoa Chicken 10

Not only is this dish delicious it is also very pretty. 

Wild Rice Quinoa Chicken 5

In the end, I added a sprinkle of feta cheese! Due to the additional flavor, I highly recommend this.



802 cal


44 g


35 g


64 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info
Gluten Free Wild Rice Quinoa Chicken with Citrus Vinaigrette

Yields Serves 3 - 4 people

A delicious copycat recipe.

25 minPrep Time

45 minCook Time

1 hr, 10 Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 3- 8 ounce fully cooked and cubed chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup wild rice
  • 1/4 cup black quinoa
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup Granny smith apples, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro and/or parsley
  • 1/4 cup Feta cheese (optional)
  • Vinaigrette:
  • 1 juice from a freshly squeezed lime
  • 1 juice from a freshly squeezed lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp guar gum
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup Braggs apple cider vinegar
  • 5 tbsp olive oil


  1. Pan-fried or grill chicken breast.
  2. Cook wild rice and quinoa according to the packaging directions. (Approximately 45 minutes for the wild rice and 15 minutes for the quinoa).
  3. Layer wild rice, quinoa and chicken on a platter when fully cooked.
  4. Top with cranberries, apples, pecans and feta cheese (optional).
  5. Sprinkle chopped cilantro and/or parsley on top.
  6. Place citrus vinaigrette ingredients into a microwave measuring cup, stir well.
  7. Microwave, stirring every 30 seconds, until the mixture is thoroughly heated and becomes slightly thickened.
  8. Drizzle over chicken.
  9. Serve immediately.


Please feel free to modify this recipe.

Wild Rice Quinoa Chicken


Disclaimer: Manufacturer’s formulations and policies may change at any time, therefore it’s important to always read product labels yourself and contact the manufacturer with concerns. We have found that most companies are eager to help answer your questions.

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Thanks for sharing!

{ 33 comments… add one }
  • Natalie Jones March 6, 2018, 7:32 pm
    You need a tad of cedar essential oil in the oil you sautee the chicken in to get that amazing cedar flavor. It's safe according to the FDA. I can't wait to try it with that modification.
  • Stephanie January 7, 2018, 9:02 pm
    Just made this! It was perfect! Thank you so much for the recipe!
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy January 8, 2018, 8:37 am
      Hi Stephanie! Yay! Anna and I are so glad that you enjoyed this recipe. Thanks for stopping by and leaving us a message. We appreciate it very much! Have a great day! Linda
  • Sylvie February 14, 2017, 6:47 pm
    Had this for dinner last night, can't stop thinking about this dish (or talking about it)! Can't wait to try this recipe. Thanks so much! Ps. The feta cheese sounds yummy
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy February 14, 2017, 8:10 pm
      Hi Sylvie, I agree! Applebees really nailed it with their recipe Cedar Grilled Lemon Chicken and Quinoa! I hope that you enjoy my gluten-free copy-cat version and please feel free to modify the recipe to suit your own taste. Anna and I are notorious for tweaking recipes to suit our family's various dietary restrictions. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving us a message! Enjoy! Linda
  • Jessica September 24, 2016, 11:23 pm
    I can't wait to try this recipe! I am in the small percentage of people that taste soap when they eat cilantro, so I appreciate the parsley instead.????
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy September 25, 2016, 12:51 pm
      Hi Jessica, Yay! I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do! :) I LOVE parsley and use it as much as possible. Personally, I always like having options. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a message! Enjoy! Linda
  • Alexis C May 30, 2016, 2:19 am
    I found this recipe while looking up this Applebee's dish. I ordered it today and it was fantastic. Problem is, if you have a gluten allergy I wouldnt reccomend it from the restaurant. I am having a terrible reaction to it. There website lists that is has wheat and gluten in it. Bad decision. Still delicious but next Ill stick to cooking it at home :(
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy May 30, 2016, 12:31 pm
      Hi Alexis, Hey, thanks for stopping by. I agree that the dish from Applebee's is delicious and that's why I made my own homemade version that is gluten free. Sorry to hear that you are having a reaction. I totally understand. Take care, Linda
  • Jenni May 25, 2016, 7:28 pm
    Awesome, thanks! I had this today for lunch for the first time and set off to find a copycat recipe! The only differences I think between yours and theirs is the cilantro vs parsley and there's diced cucumber in their apple relish :)
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy May 25, 2016, 7:42 pm
      Hi Jenni, Thanks so much for stopping by and dropping us a note. I also appreciate you mentioning the diced cucumber in the apple relish. I missed that. I agree with you too that they use cilantro vs parsley. Have a good day! Linda
  • Laura March 5, 2016, 1:45 pm
    I keep looking at this copycat recipe and something isn't quite right ... I've had this chicken at Applebee's (delicious!) but I seem to recall that the cranberries, etc. were IN THE RICE, and that it was just the chopped apple on top of the chicken. Does anyone agree?
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy March 5, 2016, 3:25 pm
      Hi Laura, You are probably right that Applebee's adds their cranberries in their rice mixture. You could certainly do that with this copycat recipe if you'd like. I suggest that you add the cranberries to the rice mixture after the rice is fully cooked (and still hot). I'm thinking that if you try cooking the rice with the cranberries, they will become too soggy and may fall apart, plus grow in size. Personally, I prefer to have my cranberries a little more on the chewy side, so I simply sprinkled mine on top of this dish. You can also add some chopped cilantro in place of (or in addition) to the parsley. You may have noticed that I also added a sprinkle of feta cheese to mine (which Applebee's doesn't do - but I highly recommend!). Please let me know how it turns out if you tweak this recipe. I'm always open to suggestions!!! Thanks for stopping by! Linda
    • Sue June 16, 2016, 1:26 pm
      I agree.. The cranberries are in the rice. I've had it several times. I would like to duplicate this recipe...I love it!!
  • Kathy November 17, 2015, 6:09 pm
    I made this tonight and it was a hit! The only changes I made were using pork tenderloins instead of chicken and I used Splenda instead of sugar for us diabetics. Also, I didn't have any guar gum so I used corn starch and it was just fine. While we were eating, our son and his wife dropped by and sampled this dinner. They ended up taking plates home for tomorrow! This recipe is really delicious. Thank you for posting it. Kathy
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy November 17, 2015, 7:40 pm
      Hey Kathy, Yay! So glad to hear that your family enjoyed this meal. I am also glad that you modified it to fit your needs. We have several who are diabetic and several who are on a gluten free diet in our family so we are always modifying recipes for our family as well. Thanks so much for stopping by and dropping us a note. Take care, Linda
  • joan senator September 4, 2015, 7:52 am
    So happy to find your recipe as I just had this dish last night. But what is guar gum and can I substitute corn starch? Have you tried grilling with cedar chips and marinating with the vinaigrette? Joan Senator
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy September 4, 2015, 9:14 am
      Hi Joan, Yes, you can certainly substitute with corn starch. Guar Gum is made from guar beans and is economical because it has almost eight times the water-thickening potency of cornstarch - only a very small quantity is needed for producing sufficient thickening. (You can read more about it at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guar_gum) You can easily swap it out with corn starch, potato starch, rice starch, xantham gum but you will need to adjust the amount that you use since each product does thicken differently. I have not personally tried using the cedar chips but I am sure it would work well, along with marinating in the vinaigrette. I am constantly tweaking recipes to suit my family's dietary needs and taste so don't be afraid to experiment with this recipe. Perhaps you can make it even better! Have fun and I hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does! Thanks for stopping by and dropping us a note! Linda
  • Lynda Ulrich August 4, 2015, 1:16 pm
    Thank you bunches! Recently I ordered this at Applebees and LOVED IT! So tickled we can make this at home.
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy August 4, 2015, 1:44 pm
      Hi Lydna, Yay! So glad to hear that you liked this yummy dish too. It really is a flavorful and a healthy meal. Have fun making your own version at home. Enjoy! Linda
  • carolyn miller February 23, 2015, 9:17 am
    I am thrilled to get this recipe. I recently had this at Applebees and can't wait to have it again at Applebees but I want the recipe to make myself. THANKS! & God Bless you!
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy February 23, 2015, 10:09 am
      Hi Carolyn, I really do love Applebee's dish as well and that's what motivated me to create my own copycat version. I need to try cooking my chicken on a cedar plank sometime. I hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does. Happy cooking! Linda
  • Holly B. February 21, 2015, 1:17 am
    What is guar gum? is this only sold at health stores? Can I get it at Walmart?
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy February 21, 2015, 7:57 am
      Hi Holly, Guar gum is made from the ground seeds of an Indian tree. It has eight times the thickening power as cornstarch and is an excellent all-purpose thickener that you can use in any of your recipes. If you are using it in baked goods just add a little it in with your dry ingredients. If you are using it to thicken puddings, sauces, gravies, soups, etc... put a little guar gum in a coffee mug and whisk in some water until you get a thin paste. Then whisk it into your recipe. I have not seen guar gum at WalMart. I purchase mine at a local grocery store (called HyVee) that has a specialty food department. I personally use the Bob's Red Mill brand and I buy the 8 oz. bag. A little guar gum goes a long way so one bag will last me a quite awhile. You can also purchase it on Amazon. Thanks for stopping by and good luck! Let me know if you have any more questions. Linda
  • Bradd February 18, 2015, 7:07 pm
    Just tried this tonight....WONDERFUL! Wife absolutely loved it - so good she added it to her Pinterest! Instead of 1/2 C of parsley, I used 1/4 C parsley and 1/4 C cilantro. Also added 1 C cooked Jasmine rice to the wild rice/quinoa mixture. VERY close to what I had at Applebee's. I went ahead and baked the chicken using cedar planks as Phillip suggested, not on a grill but in the oven (375 for about 15-20 minutes) and the chicken came out very moist. Thank you for this recipe!
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy February 18, 2015, 8:20 pm
      Hi Bradd, That's so awesome! I am so glad that you like this recipe. I like your idea of using the parsley and cilantro together and adding the Jasmine rice. I didn't know that you can use the cedar planks in the oven. I need to try that myself. Thanks so much for sharing this and thank you for stopping by! Have a great day! Linda
  • Phillip H. Blanton February 8, 2015, 8:32 pm
    Great recipe. I am sitting here @ an Applebee's, having just finished this wonderful meal. I'm looking forward to trying your recipe @ home. The only changes is make are... 1. It's clearly not parsley. It's cilantro. The difference is pretty big. 2. They cedar grill their chicken. Try it. - Go down to home Depot. Buy a couple of 6" cedar fence pickets (raw, untreated, unstained, simple cedar pickets) - saw them into 10" pieces. - soak one or two of them in water for 30 minutes, preferably weighed down so that they are submerged. - heat your grill until it's very hot. Place the wet cedar board on the grill and then place your butterflied, marinated chicken breasts on the board and close the lid. - roast/smoke until the breasts test done. My Profile
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy February 8, 2015, 8:40 pm
      Hi Phillip, Thank you for your suggestions. Next time I make the dish I will try the cilantro. I also need to try the cedar plank. I do believe that it will enhance the flavor. My husband loves to grill so when the weather in our area warms up we will try grilling the chicken. Thanks so much for stopping by! Linda
  • Melissa January 11, 2015, 11:29 pm
    It's not listed as GF on the Applebee's menu but do you know if it is gluten free at the restaurant? Thanks.
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy January 12, 2015, 9:41 am
      Hey Melissa, If you go to this link https://www.applebees.com/~/media/docs/Applebees_Allergen_Info.pdf it will give you the option to check out their allergen information. Their Cedar Grilled Lemon Chicken is not listed as being gluten free. Often times it is the sauce or a topping that contains gluten so I usually ask them to just leave it off. When I inquired at the restaurant it sounded like this particular dish would work for me and I did not have any ill effects after eating it. However.... having said that, this is why I created my own copycat version so that I know beyond a doubt that it is gluten free. Always use your own judgement whenever you order anything at a restaurant and don't be afraid to ask questions. I do it all the time and more and more restaurants are having a separate gluten free menu for people with sensitivities or food allergies. If in doubt, don't order it. Hope this helps you out. Linda
  • Nagi@RecipeTin Eats January 3, 2015, 3:31 am
    GLUTEN FREE dinner party dish!! Oh I love it! And I particularly love the vinaigrette! Always looking for more salad dressings because I myself can never seem to come up with interesting ones. I have my gluten free friend staying for a weekend soon, this is a perfect recipe for dinner! I love it love it!! Thank you! My Profile
    • Blessed Beyond Crazy January 3, 2015, 9:22 am
      Hey Nagi, I hope that you and your friend enjoy this dish as much as I do. It truly has become a favorite meal in our home. Happy New Year my friend! Linda

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