We hadn’t had quinoa in forever, so with chicken and broccoli that needed to be used it seemed like a good time to fit it into our menu. It’s a hit or miss food for me: sometimes I love it and sometimes it’s kind of “bleh”. My P.S. loves, loves, loves it so I let him have full reign on the leftovers. I’ll eat it to be polite but that’s about it.
I made the quinoa according to the package directions using chicken broth and a bit of olive oil. Quinoa cooks up like rice, in about 20 minutes.
While the quinoa was cooking I heated a large nonstick skillet with a drizzle of oil and sautéed the diced chicken just until it was no longer pink. It would cook more later and we don’t want it to dry out! I put the chicken in a bowl and set it aside for now.
I drizzled more oil into my skillet and sautéed a sliced shallot until it was lightly browned. You could use any kind of onion. I happened to have a shallot I wanted to use up.
I added the broccoli florets to the skillet and sautéed them for a few more minutes. They were chopped fairly small so I didn’t want to cook them long. I wanted them to still have some crunch to them.
I added the chicken, cayenne and paprika to the skillet and let it heat through for a few minutes until the quinoa was ready.
The quinoa went into the skillet and I stirred well. I added the shredded cheese and stirred well again. I taste tested the mixture and added salt and pepper to taste.
I placed the quinoa mixture into a sprayed casserole dish, sprinkled the top with a little more shredded cheese and put it into the oven that was preheated to 350°F. I set the timer for 20 minutes.
The casserole was a lovely golden brown and smelled wonderful. My P.S. moaned through dinner, savoring each mouthful. I thought it was good but had a few ideas for changes the next time. I’d use a regular cheddar, not a sharp cheddar. That annoyed me. P.S. loves his sharp cheddar but I don’t like cheese that hits me in the face.
My other change would be to not chop the broccoli quite so small. I’d rather it be bigger and have some more crunch for texture. It sort of disappeared since I chopped it so small. But besides those small changes it’s a great tasting way to get your quinoa fix!
Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Quinoa Bake
3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion or one sliced shallot
2 cups broccoli; chopped into small florets
3 cups chicken; chopped into 1″ pieces
large pinch cayenne
1 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese; shredded
1/2 cup mozzarella; shredded (or any cheese of choice)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cook quinoa with chicken broth and olive oil according to package directions.
Sauté diced chicken in a large nonstick skillet heated with a drizzle of oil. When no longer pink, place in a bowl and set aside.
Sauté onion or shallot in another drizzle of oil in the same skillet. When lightly browned add broccoli and sauté for a few more minutes.
Add chicken, cayenne and paprika and cook for a few minutes to heat through. Taste test and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in quinoa and heat for several minutes. Stir in cheeses.
Place mixture into sprayed casserole dish, sprinkle with a little more shredded cheddar and place in oven for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown.
Adapted from Alida’s Kitchen