Chicken broccoli and quinoa casserole is a good first-dish to introduce your family to the delicious flavor and texture of quinoa. The sauce adds basil for freshness.
If your exploration into the wonderful world of quinoa has just begun or you haven’t been able to get the kids to try it, Chicken Broccoli and Quinoa Casserole is a good baby-step. This recipe uses quinoa in place of rice and the sauce is a fresh departure from basic condensed soup, adding basil, lemon juice and curry powder to mayonnaise and Greek yogurt.
This was the first dish I tried out of Quinoa 365. I changed up the original recipe with the addition of peas and shallots and I added milk to the sauce to make it a bit more creamy. My family thought it was a great comfort food selection and I like it because you can modify it even more to suit your taste. It would be delicious with added mushrooms or you can substitute the broccoli with zucchini.
Chicken Broccoli Quinoa Casserole
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 3 cups broccoli florets, fresh or frozen
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 shallot cloves, diced
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 cup mayonnaise*
- ⅓ cup milk
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons prepared mustard
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon minced fresh basil, or a pinch of dried basil
- *You can substitute 1 cup of condensed cream of mushroom soup for the mayonnaise
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease a large casserole dish (3.5L) or spray with cooking oil.
- Bring 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for another 6 minutes. Fluff with a fork and cool. Evenly spread the cooked quinoa over the bottom of the casserole. Set aside.
- Cook 3 cups broccoli in a steamer or medium saucepan until just tender or al dente. Place the broccoli in a medium bowl. Add ½ cup peas to the broccoli.
- Heat 2 Tablespoons oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Brown 2 chicken breasts until cooked and the juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side. Remove chicken from the pan, leaving the juices/oil still in the pan and cut into bite size pieces. Add 2 diced shallot and sauté until clear. Add the chicken back in and just toss until mixed.
- Add the chicken to the broccoli and peas.
- In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup Greek yogurt, 1 cup mayonnaise, ⅓ cup milk, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons mustard, 1 teaspoon curry powder and ½ teaspoon basil in a medium bowl and mix well. Add more milk if you want the sauce a bit thinner. Add the sauce to the broccoli, peas and chicken mixture. Stir until mixed well. Spread this mixture over the quinoa. Sprinkle 1 cup cheddar cheese on top.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake on the center oven rack for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Adapted from Quinoa 365 The Everyday Superfood