Baked Chicken Quinoa Parm with Uninvited Dinner Guests
I’ve been in a cooking rut lately. Or maybe a posting rut. Or maybe just a general life rut. Regardless, planning, cooking and posting meals has seemed like a chore lately. This recipe is actually from last week, yet I’m just now getting around to sharing it. The good news is that thanks to the delay, I can now speak to how well the leftovers last. I enjoyed the last of it for lunch on Monday.
Okay. Enough Debbie Downer. Although you know what was a downer? I went to put the finishing touches on this casserole, the bread crumbs. I’d poured them all over the top of the casserole I had just finished slaving over when I realized that what I had thought was the Italian seasoning in the bread crumbs was now crawling all over my casserole. Some sort of bugs seem to have gotten into some of the things in our pantry. Luckily, I think they hitched a ride from our old house; I haven’t found any bugs in new purchases. Regardless, after haphazardly trying to scoop the little boogers off, I decided to just stick it in the oven. Nothing a little heat can’t kill. Right?
Well, we’re still kickin’. Look at it like sneaking in a little extra protein. Actually this is a great recipe for sneaking things in… like vegetables. *Does the ‘my husband ate mushrooms and doesn’t even know it’ dance.*
Baked Chicken Quinoa Parmesan
Adapted from Elly Says Opa!
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
- 4 cups shredded kale
- 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
- 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, prepared according to package
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken, cooked*
- 1.5 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
- 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan
- 2 Tbsp. breadcrumbs (optional)
- basil and oregano, to taste
*I tossed my chicken with olive oil and Italian seasoning and then cooked on a griddle. You can cook the chicken however you like.
Prep work: Preheat the oven to 375 and spray a 2 qt. baking dish with cooking oil. Cook the quinoa according to package.
Sauce: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, another couple of minutes. Add the mushrooms and kale and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, until kale wilts. Add the balsamic vinegar, scraping anything off the bottom of the pan and cook until it’s almost fully absorbed. Pour in the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Add red pepper flakes, basil, ,oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a low boil, and then simmer while you prepare the rest of the meal.
Assembly: In a large bowl, combine the quinoa and chicken with the sauce and mix thoroughly. Place half the mixture in the prepared baking dish, and sprinkle with half of the mozzarella cheese. Top with the remaining quinoa mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese, and the Parmesan. Add the breadcrumbs, if using.
Cook: Cover with foil and bake for about 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly, about 10 more minutes.