Cheesy Corn Chicken Quinoa Casserole. A lightened-up, healthy corn bake full of quinoa, chicken, veggies and cheese! Easy, freezer-friendly and gluten free. To make the quinoa casserole vegetarian, swap the chicken for white or black beans. You can also omit the chicken entirely and serve it as a crowd-pleasing potluck side.
- 3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth — divided
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil — plus 2 teaspoons, divided
- 2 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts, — cut into bite-sized pieces (about 1 pound—omit or substitute 1 can of rinsed white or black beans to make the dish vegetarian)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt — divided
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper — divided
- 2 cups white corn — or yellow corn, cut from the cob (about 2 large ears)
- 2 small zucchini — diced (about 2 cups)
- 1 red bell pepper — (or orange) seeded and diced
- 3 green onions — sliced
- 3 cloves garlic — minced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour — to make gluten free, use a gluten free all-purpose flour blend
- 1 cup non-fat milk
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 1/2 cups freshly grated reduced fat cheese — divided (I used half mozzarella, half extra sharp cheddar), about 6 ounces
Bring 2 cups chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan, then add the quinoa. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and let cook until the liquid has been mostly absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes, depending upon the brand of quinoa you purchase. Keeping the pan covered, remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes. Uncover, lightly fluff with a fork, and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8×8-inch baking dish or other 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick spray then set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium high. Add the chicken, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook the chicken just until no longer pink on the outside (it does not need to be completely cooked through), about 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.
Reduce the skillet heat to medium. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, diced bell pepper, corn, zucchini, garlic, and half of the green onions. Cook until frangrant and the corn is softened, about 5 minutes. Remove to the plate with the chicken.
Melt the butter in the skillet, then sprinkle the flour over the top and briskly whisk to coat the flour with butter and break it up. Let cook until the flour is golden and smells lightly nutty, about 30 seconds to 1 minute, Slowly pour in the remaining 1 cup chicken broth, then the milk, adding a few splashes of liquid at a time. Whisk constantly and pause as needed to break up any lumps. Add the oregano and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Increase the heat to bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat and let gently bubble until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Visit Cheesy Corn Quinoa Casserole for full instructions
Nutrition Facts. Amount per serving (1 (of 5)) — Calories: 464 | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 619mg | Carbohydrates: 42g | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Protein: 37g