I’m going to be real with you for a minute – I’m not a food blogger. Food bloggers do amazing work. Not only do they come up with delicious recipes – the work they do to stage their photos and create those drool-worthy images – it’s a lot. When dinner rolls around, this mama is usually pretty tired. The last thing on my mind is decorating our table to create a blog-worthy photo. But once in awhile, a dish makes me put my plate down and grab my camera because it’s too tasty to keep to myself. This is one of those recipes.
You guys – I could eat this every week. Quinoa wasn’t really a part of my life until we made the switch to healthier living this year. I had no idea what I was missing. Turns out I had a quinoa-shaped hole in my life. 😉
For reals though, this casserole is a winner. It’s easy to make, packed with protein, and absolutely delicious. Comforting and savory with that little hint of cheese – this is the perfect dish for people like me who’d thought healthy living meant breaking up with casseroles.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this casserole:
3 cups chicken stock (divided)
1 cup quinoa
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 head broccoli – cut into florets
1 cup grated cheese (I used Monterey Jack)
1/4 cup light sour cream
1 T butter or margarine
1 T flour
Start by cooking your chicken breasts. You can do whatever is easiest for you. I chose to bake mine so I wouldn’t need to mess with chopping up raw chicken. I baked mine off in a 395 degree oven for about 30 minutes. (Mine were baked from frozen – so defrosted chicken may cook up faster.) If you want, you can sauté your chicken on the stovetop or use rotisserie/leftover chicken, etc.
While your chicken is cooking, start your quinoa. In a large pot or Dutch oven (you’ll need room for when you add the broccoli, so don’t use a small pot), bring 2 cups of chicken stock and one cup of quinoa to a boil. Once boiling, cover and simmer for approximately 15-20 minutes. During the last five minutes of cooking, add your chopped broccoli to the quinoa pot, and recover. The broccoli will steam as the quinoa finishes cooking. (How much do you love that you don’t need to dirty another pan to cook the broccoli?!)
While the quinoa/broccoli is going, start your sauce. Melt the butter, and add the flour, stirring to form a roux. Add in the remaining cup of chicken stock. (I started by adding about half a cup. Reserve the rest to thin the sauce as desired.) Once the sauce has thickened, add in the sour cream and 1/2 of the cheese.
Once your chicken is fully cooked, chop it into bite-sized pieces. (I left mine pretty “chunky.”)
Now it’s time to mix all the delicious components together! Add your chicken and the cheesy sauce to the quinoa and broccoli mixture. Sprinkle the additional half cup of cheese on top.
This recipe will feed four, and would be super easy to double. Enjoy!