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Broccoli and Cheese Chicken Quinoa Casserole

This Broccoli and Cheese Chicken Quinoa Casserole is a healthy dinner idea that will rock your taste buds! A light and creamy casserole filled with broccoli, chicken, quinoa and cheese! 


A Healthy Chicken + Quinoa Recipe

Hi YA! Happy Sunday! Hope it’s your best one, yet! And ladies, Happy International Women’s Day!!! YAY, WOMEN!

Ahem. {pride rocks!}

Also? I’d like to declare that this is the season of melty, gooey, cheesy casseroles because I’m sort of over winter… and with 2 weeks left of it? I’m done.

I also overheard the weatherman say that it’s going to be in the 50’s tomorrow. 50’s!! Around these parts, that’s considered Summer! Especially after these temperatures that included double digits with a big fat minus in front of them. Brr!

 

Broccoli and Cheese Chicken Quinoa Casserole | www.diethood.com | Light and creamy casserole filled with broccoli, chicken, quinoa and cheese!

Now that we’ve covered all the wildly important world issues, let’s discuss quinoa! Oh yes, cheese, too. You know me so well!

There are so many delicious meals out there that sometimes I don’t even think to share my favorite simple combinations. And they are my favorite for a reason – because they are SO freaking good! For instance, broccoli and cheese. I LOVE that combo! I mean, I adore broccoli, but throw some cheese on them trees and it’s practically cake!

Then, there’s the good old Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole. Uhm, Double-YUM. Theeeeen we have MY favorite, Broccoli and Cheese Chicken QUINOA Casserole, and that’s what I call the quadruple-threat-YUM.

Broccoli and Cheese Chicken Quinoa Casserole | www.diethood.com | Light and creamy casserole filled with broccoli, chicken, quinoa and cheese!

The Best Chicken Quinoa Casserole

I really wasn’t even going to tell you about this at all since there’s a million combos of this recipe up on the world wide web, buuuut mine is the best. KIDDING! They’re all amazing. But mine is, like, really good. It’s like mac ‘n cheese, but not so much, but it kinda is, except that it’s all grown up and waaaay tastier. Make sense? Good.

So for a while there I used to cook the quinoa before throwing it all into this outrageously delicious mix, but one time I put it in there without pre-cooking it and guess what?!? IT COOKED! In the oven!! Duh?? For someone who uses quinoa as much as I do, I should have figured that out a long time ago.

Broccoli and Cheese Chicken Quinoa Casserole | www.diethood.com | Light and creamy casserole filled with broccoli, chicken, quinoa and cheese!

In other news, everything else in this casserole-world stays the same – brown the chicken, don’t need to thaw the broccoli, whisk the flour, yaddi yaddi yadda.

I could continue to go on and on but obviously you need the recipe and I need to catch up on my DVR.

ENJOY!

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***** Couple of commenters had issues with the quinoa being too crunchy or not cooking at all. If hesitant, please precook the quinoa, then add it to the casserole dish and continue with the recipe as is. 

Broccoli and Cheese Chicken Quinoa Casserole | www.diethood.com | Light and creamy casserole filled with broccoli, chicken, quinoa and cheese!

Broccoli and Cheese Chicken Quinoa Casserole

Katerina | Diethood
This Broccoli and Cheese Chicken Quinoa Casserole is a healthy dinner idea that will rock your taste buds! A light and creamy casserole filled with broccoli, chicken, quinoa and cheese! 
4.20 from 10 votes
Servings : 4 servings
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa , rinsed*
  • 1 bag (16-ounces) broccoli florets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 to 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts , cut into cubes
  • salt and fresh ground pepper , to taste
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2- cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups 1%-milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper , or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder , or to taste
  • salt and fresh ground pepper , to taste
  • 1/2- cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4- cup shredded parmesan cheese

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • Grease a casserole dish with cooking spray.
  • Layer quinoa on the bottom of the casserole dish.
  • Top with frozen broccoli and set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a frying pan.
  • Add chicken cubes and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until browned on all sides.
  • Transfer chicken to the casserole dish. Set aside.
  • Place a saucepan over high heat; add chicken broth and flour and whisk and cook until smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Whisk in milk, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, chili powder, salt and pepper; continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until thickened.
  • Pour sauce over the chicken-mixture in the casserole dish; mix to combine.
  • Sprinkle cheeses on top and cover with foil.
  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the quinoa is thoroughly cooked.
  • Remove from oven and let stand few minutes.
  • Serve.

Notes

* Rinse quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer under cold water for 2 minutes.
Couple of commenters had issues with the quinoa being too crunchy or not cooking at all - I believe the reason for this is because you have to rinse the quinoa before adding it to the casserole dish. However, if hesitant, please precook the quinoa, then add it to the casserole dish and continue with the recipe as is.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 410 kcal | Carbohydrates: 46 g | Protein: 29 g | Fat: 11 g | Saturated Fat: 3 g | Cholesterol: 50 mg | Sodium: 322 mg | Potassium: 702 mg | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 6 g | Vitamin A: 430 IU | Vitamin C: 0.7 mg | Calcium: 298 mg | Iron: 3.1 mg | Net Carbs: 43 g

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken casserole, healthy dinner idea, how to cook quinoa, quinoa recipes
Did you make this recipe?Take a pic and let us know how it was!

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46 comments on “Broccoli and Cheese Chicken Quinoa Casserole”

  1. I am obsessed with this casserole. I’m not a great cook so even when I follow my favorite recipes they come out different every time, but this one is always 10/10. My husband requests it weekly! Thank you so so much, as a newlywed I’m so happy I can impress him with this super easy recipe haha.

  2. Hi! I am making this one evening & bringing to a friend the next day. Should I leave the sauce in a separate container for them to pour & bake? What’s the easier and best way to go about this for them? Don’t want to make extra work….?!

    Thanks!

    1. Katerina - Diethood
      Katerina Petrovska

      Hi!

      Just prepare it all ahead of time – don’t bake – cover with foil and store in the fridge. When ready to bake, let casserole sit in room temperature for 20 minutes, or while the oven preheats. Then pop it in and continue as directed.

  3. Loved this! Could you edit the recipe to tell folks to rinse the quinoa in the instructions (instead Of the notes at the end?) I didn’t see that until after everything had already gone in the oven and had to delay dinner for a longer cook time. Might help other readers out in the long run! Delicious! Thank you.

    1. Katerina - Diethood
      Katerina Petrovska

      Hi! I don’t know how the nutritional facts went missing, but thanks for letting me know! 🙂 It’s there now.

  4. yes makes sense as grown up mac an cheese, thank you for this! And for lightening it up! Wonderful flavors thank you

  5. Great recipe! I came up with a solution for the quinoa not getting cooked all the way. Instead of adding the broth to the sauce, I put it directly into the pan with the quinoa before adding the broccoli. I made the sauce using only the milk. I can see where the sauce may be too thick to get into the nooks and crannies of the quinoa. I also added shallots and nutritional yeast to the sauce for my flavor preferences. Turned out awesome with perfectly cooked quinoa!

  6. Loved the recipe! I added hot sauce and it turned out great. i also used coconut flour instead of all purpose, after reading the reviews i did rinse the quinoa before adding because i too had never baked it raw.

    Thanks for the recipe!!!!

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