Halfway Healthy – Skillet Beets with Cherries, Olives & Chicken (+GF/Vegan option)

Recipe created by Sarah Holtz

Serves 6


2 boneless skinless chicken thighs roughly 14oz chicken (*Omit for vegan)

2 tsp coconut oil

2 large medium sized raw beets (About ½ lb.) washed

½ medium yellow onion thick sliced

2 tbsp chicken seasoning

(I used McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Chicken Seasoning *vegan)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp fruit spread jelly (I used sour cherry fruit spread, but blackberry/ grape/strawberry/ blueberry/orange/apple butter/etc. will all work.)

3 cups water

10 black olives quartered

20 fresh red cherries pitted and quartered

4 tbsp red wine vinegar

*For Vegan*

Put the washed beets in a glass dish and microwave for 8 minutes on high (I use the baked potato option and let it cook for 8 minutes). Next, while the beets are cooking add coconut oil and chicken seasoning to the skillet. Add the sliced onion and sauté for 3 minutes. Then, skip to step 2.

Step 1

In a large skillet over medium heat melt the coconut oil. Pound the chicken thighs with a meat mallet to slightly flatten them about three times on each side. Then, pat the thighs dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle them with chicken seasoning over both sides. Add the chicken thighs to the skillet and let cook for 7 minutes over medium heat. While the chicken is cooking, put the washed beets in a glass dish and microwave for 8 minutes on high or if your microwave has one choose the baked potato option.

Add the sliced onion to the skillet, then flip the chicken thighs (It is ok if they stick or tear apart. The finished product has them shredded. Also, we will be deglazing the pan and all of those lovely bits of fond will give us deep flavors). Cook the chicken until it is no longer pink, (about another 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and let it rest.

Step 2

Take the partially cooked beets out of the microwave. Slice each one into about 4 thick slices. (They are hot and I usually steady them with a kitchen towel.) Add the sliced beets to the sliced onion, seasoning, and coconut oil in the skillet. Cook these slices in the skillet for 4 minutes over medium heat. To the skillet add ground cinnamon, Dijon mustard, fruit spread, water, and olives. Stir this mixture loosening the cooked bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring up to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium/low and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the chopped cherries and red wine vinegar. If using return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan. Let simmer for 8 minutes or until beets are done to your liking. Each serving gets a little more than a slice of the beet, olive and cherry sauce, and chicken if using.

I served the beets firm. I like the contrasting textures between the firm beets, the softer chicken, and the very soft cherries and olives. I plated this mixture over cooked quinoa to soak up the rich sauce.

Nutritional info for 1 serving

Vegan or + Chicken

Cal 70             155

Carb 11 g        11 g

Sugars 8 g     8 g

Fat 2 g            5 g

Protein 1 g    15 g

Fiber 2 g       2 g

Sodium 257 mg   320 mg

Potassium 79 mg    264 mg