I’m the proud owner of a Costco size bag of quinoa. I wouldn’t say I “needed” it, but it was right there in front of me and everything at Costco is so tempting (i.e. the massive blocks of cheese). Not to mention a little box of quinoa isn’t always cheap, so it was a pretty good deal…and quinoa is dellisssh.
This bake is pretty great because it’s like healthy comfort food with the classic chicken and broccoli combo. I know what you’re probably thinking, how is it healthy if it has cheese? Well a little cheese never hurt no one, okay! It’s made totally from scratch. That means no canned soup full of ingredients that you ain’t ever heard of. Chicken, fresh broccoli, superfood quinoa, creamy greek yogurt and cheese… how can you can say no to that? Seriously… how? It’s also easy and quick to make. PERK ALERT.
Oh hey, does anyone know how to actually measure out how much quinoa you need? It’s like pasta, I always cook wayyyyy to much. I wanted 2 cups cooked quinoa, but I had no idea how much dry quinoa to measure to make 2 cups cooked…so I ended up with about 6 cups cooked quinoa. If you’re mathematically challenged like me (or don’t read instructions like me) then you can freeze cooked quinoa in freezer bags and defrost in the fridge, which is what I ended up doing!
Some Dani notes:
- Cook the quinoa ahead of time (the ideal shortcut)
- Make the whole casserole ahead of time, keep it in the fridge or freeze it and bake it off on a busy night when you’re running out the door.
- Get creative with the cheese, I always use cheddar but you can use whatever you like, mix it up!
- Cut out the chicken if you like and substitute with more veggies or meat alternative (Asparagus or yves sausage would be yum)
- I used white wine (because I had some open) but you can sub it for veggie or chicken broth (which it turns out I didn’t have)
- This whole thing can be made ahead of time, and baked off when you’re ready to eat
- This makes GREAT leftovers, you can even freeze the leftovers!
- I’m pretty sure it’s kid friendly? I mean it’s full of cheese, so how could it not be. I don’t have kids, but I definitely would have ate this as a child.
Is there anything better on a rainy day then hot, ooey gooey, creamy comfort food that you can feel good about? I don’t think so. It’s the perfect way to add some superfood to your weekday!
Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Quinoa Bake
Serves 4 (or less if you want amazing leftovers!)
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Chili flakes, to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon AP flour
- 3/4 cup chicken, veggie stock or wine
- 3/4 cup milk or half and half cream
- 1-2 tablespoon cilantro
- 2 cups fresh broccoli, cut into florets
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (plus a pinch extra 😉 )
- Cilantro, for on top
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch square casserole dish.
- Season sliced chicken breasts generously with salt and pepper.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet.
- Add chicken breasts and cook 3-4 minutes on each side, until browned. Set aside.
- In the same pan, melt butter. Scrape all those yummy brown bits off the bottom. Add onions and sauté for 1 minute. Add garlic and sauté for another minute or 2 until onions are soft and translucent. Your kitchen should start to smell fantastic at this point!
- Add in flour and cook for 1 minute until lightly browned. Whisk in the stock or wine and milk. Bring to a boil and add cilantro. Cook for 2 minutes, continuously whisking.
- Turn heat down to low, add broccoli and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Stir in cooked quinoa, chicken, greek yogurt, 3/4 cup of the cheese, salt, pepper and chili flakes. Toss to combine.
- Spread mixture into the casserole dish. Bake for 12 minutes.
- Sprinkle the remaining cheese and bake until cheese in melted and top is lightly browned.
- Serve with fresh cilantro.