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Quinoa Chicken Casserole

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

This tried and true, nutrient-dense Mexican casserole from Well Plated is weeknight mid-September perfect. It includes Greek yogurt, ?cheese, and a mix of fresh ingredients ?such as bell peppers and onions, and canned pantry staples such as black beans and fire-roasted tomatoes, to create a healthy dinner ?that's reasonably easy to prepare for busy families, single folks, or for empty-nesters who love leftovers, since it is almost as good on day two and three as it is on day one.


Simply sauté the chicken and veggies, stir in the black beans and other ingredients, top with cheese, and bake. ?

Ingredients for six servings

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces (about 2 large breasts)

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 2 cloves)

1 (15-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, well drained

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided

1/2 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese, divided

?fresh cilantro, for serving


?Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a large casserole dish (9×13 inch or similar) with nonstick spray and set aside.

Place 2 cups water and quinoa in a large saucepan, then bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.

In a Dutch oven or similar large, deep sauté pot, heat the olive oil over medium high. Add the onion, green bell pepper, and red bell pepper. Sauté until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. 

Add the chicken, chili powder, cumin, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Continue to sauté until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, about 4 to 5 minutes. 

Add the garlic and drained tomatoes and cook 1 additional minute. Remove from the heat. Stir in the black beans, reserved quinoa, Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese.  

Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread evenly in the pan. Top with remaining cheddar and mozzarella. Bake, uncovered, until the cheese is melted and the casserole is hot, about 15 minutes. 

If desired, turn the oven to broil, then continue cooking until the cheese is lightly browned, about 3 to 4 additional minutes, watching carefully so that the cheese does not burn. 

Let rest 5 minutes, sprinkle with sliced avocado, chopped cilantro, and serve.

?Nutritional information

Quinoa is a fabulous source of protein, and this recipe with chicken, beans, and cheese includes 24 grams of protein per serving, as well as 6 grams of fiber. 

Enjoy and eat well.

Ellen Troyer with David Amess and the Biosyntrx staff