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Chicken and Quinoa Dog Food Recipe

Make food for your dog at home – it’s easier than you’d think and much healthier for them than processed kibble. This recipe for Chicken and Quinoa Dog Food is made with nourishing ingredients and ease to prepare on the stovetop, in a slow cooker, or Instant Pot.

overhead shot of chicken dog food with sweet potatoes and broccoli

If you are a regular reader, you know that all Garlic Head recipes are plant-based. This chicken and quinoa dog food is for dogs and therefore an exception – dogs have different nutritional needs. Please know that all “people”-centered recipes on the site will remain vegan.

Love cooking for you dog? Try one one of these other puppy-friendly recipes next!

Is kibble bad for dogs?

Yes. While kibble has been a staple for years in dog diets, recent research is coming to show us that this heavily processed food is likely a leading cause of cancer for our pets. The documentary Pet Fooled showcases the incredible lack of regulation in this industry. Veterinarians can even be paid by dog food companies (like Purina) to recommend their products. It’s awful!

If you think about it, kibble is cooked . Acrylamide is a bi-product of cooking/toasting and is a known carcinogen for people and pets. Canine cancer has been on the rise for years, and it’s not a coincidence that the kibble industry has profited handsomely from the convenient nature of their product.

I firmly believe in treating my body the best way I can, and that means nourishing it with the highest quality ingredients. My dogs do not have the ability to choose what they eat – that is up to me. I want to feed them the freshest, healthiest foods possible to ensure they can live long, happy lives.

At the common sense level – no living being is able to thrive on a purely processed diet. It’s not what nature intended and our pets deserve better.

two golden retrievers
Puffin and Phoebe looking on, hoping to get a taste.

Dogs thrive on a meat-rich diet, given that they are descended from wolves after all! I personally do not eat meat, but know it’s what my dogs need to live their healthiest lives. After trying The Farmer’s Dog a few times (and seeing how much my dogs loved it, I wanted to see how I could recreate these meals for a fraction of the cost (with the same high nutrient value).

Ingredients Needed to Make Healthy Dog Food at Home

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breast – We buy this from Aldi and freeze it.
  • Quinoa – Pre-rinsed is convenient and Costco sells a nice large bag.
  • Oats or wheat germ – We use just a small amount for some extra nutrients.
  • Frozen vegetables – In this recipe we use frozen cooked sweet potato, broccoli, and kale or spinach.
  • Vitamin mixture – Dogchild is my favorite source for this (linked below).

How to Make Chicken and Quinoa Dog Food

The easiest way to make dog food at home is to use an Instant Pot or pressure cooker. If you do not have one of these, the stovetop is just as simple but does take a bit more time. To prepare, add chicken, quinoa, oats, and vegetables to a pot. Cover with water and cook until the chicken is very tender. Shred the chicken with a fork, stir in vitamin mixture, and let cool. That’s it!

How to Store Homemade Dog Food

Once prepared, this recipe is best stored in a sealed container in the fridge, where it will keep for 3-4 days. It can also be stored in the freezer, where it will last for a few months until it’s ready to be thawed and used.

side view of homemade chicken dog food

Homemade Chicken Dog Food Recipe FAQs

How do you transition your dog away from kibble to homemade food?

It’s important to check with their vet before changing the food you serve your pet. Once you have their approval, slowly begin integrating fresh food, like this chicken recipe, into their meals. Over the course of a week, begin serving one fully fresh meal to your pet while their stomach adjusts.

How much homemade dog food should you feed your pet?

A simple guideline to start would be to review the nutritional information on the back of your pet’s current food bag and match their current calorie intake (if they are at a healthy weight). Then, ensure they are receiving a similar portion of nutrients and vitamins. Specifics serving suggestions are outlined below!

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bowl of homemade dog food with chicken and quinoa

Chicken and Quinoa Homemade Dog Food

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 9 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Make food for your dog at home – it’s easier than you’d think and much healthier for them than processed kibble. This recipe is made with chicken, quinoa, sweet potatoes, and broccoli.


Units Scale
  • 4 lbs (2,000 g, about 6 individual) frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup of dry quinoa (150 g)
  • 2 cups sweet potato chunks, cooked and frozen (300 g)
  • 2 cups kale or spinach, chopped (150 g)
  • 2 cups broccoli, in florets (150 g)
  • 1/3 cup oats or wheat germ (50 g)
  • 1/3 cup (80 g) vitamin mixture from Dogchild (see notes for homemade vitamin mixture)


  1. Cook ingredients. Add chicken and quinoa to the Instant Pot or a pressure cooker, cover with water until submerged and cook on high for 32 minutes. If cooking on the stovetop, add quinoa and chicken to a larger pot and cover with water – bring to a boil and simmer until meat is cooked through and very tender – about 45 minutes. 
  2. Shred chicken. Once meat is cooked, use a couple forks to shred chicken into very small pieces. Do this carefully as the water will be very hot. 
  3. Add vegetables and vitamins. Mix in all other ingredients and let cool. If you still have a lot of water in the pot, reduce on low heat on the stovetop until it’s your desired consistency. 


The nutrition information below is for the entire recipe without the added vitamin mixture (this varies depending on which you use, please be sure to use one). My dogs require around 500 calories per meal, so this makes about 9 servings for me. Be sure to review this before deciding what your dog needs. 

For homemade vitamin mixture from Dogchild website, linked above: 15g (2 ½ tbsp) of Freeze Dried Beef Liver Ground into Powder, 7.5g (1 tbsp) Ground Turmeric, 15g (2 ½ tbsp) Egg Shell Powder, 7.5g (1 tbsp) Ground Ginger, 4g (~¾ tsp) Salmon Oil, 1.2g (~1 tsp) Dried Kelp, 0.15g (~1 tbsp) Wheat Germ Oil

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Dog recipe
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: Whole recipe
  • Calories: 4470 calories
  • Sugar: 38.4 grams
  • Sodium: 1622.9 milligrams
  • Fat: 102.1 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 27.1 grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 75 grams
  • Trans Fat: 1.8 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 195.8 grams
  • Fiber: 23.3 grams
  • Protein: 652.1 grams
  • Cholesterol: 1700 milligrams
Portrait of Emily Meyers, founder of Garlic Head

About the Author

Emily (Frigon) Meyers is the founder of Garlic Head, a plant-based recipe website for all eaters who want to easily, affordably, and sustainably incorporate more vegetables into their diets while saving time and money. She is a lifelong vegetarian and 10+ year vegan. Garlic Head does not focus on labels - it focuses on creating food that everyone can enjoy.

Emily earned a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University along with degrees in Economics, Spanish, and Global Sustainability from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been featured on numerous podcasts and websites including The Food Institute, VegNews, Buzzfeed, and the Boston Globe.

Meet Emily here.

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  1. Chris says

    Thank you for this recipe! I really want to get my dog eating more fresh food but it’s pretty expensive to use delivery services all the time. I am excited to try this!

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