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Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Quinoa Bake
by Jamie Vespa on Tuesday August 30, 2016
Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Quinoa Bake

Chicken, broccoli and quinoa tossed in a lusciously creamy sauce and baked to cheesy, golden perfection. A simple, unfussy meal your whole family will love.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups lower sodium chicken broth
  • 3-4 cups fresh or frozen (thawed) broccoli, stems removed and chopped into small florets
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil - divided
  • 2 tsp butter (I prefer grass-fed)
  • 1 tsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fat free (or 1%) milk
  • ¾ cup 0% fat plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese + ⅓ cup for topping
  • 3 tbsp seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add chicken breasts and cook for 10-12 minutes, depending on thickness. Transfer to a cutting board and allow to slightly cool. Use two forks to shred chicken or cut into small cubes. Place in a large bowl.
  3. In the meantime, place quinoa and chicken broth in a 1½ quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all broth is absorbed (~10-15 minutes). Transfer to bowl to be combined with chicken.
  4. If using fresh broccoli, heat 2 tsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add broccoli and cook for 6-8 minutes, until softened. Transfer to bowl and add remaining 2 tsp of olive oil and 2 tsp of butter to skillet. Add shallot, garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper, saute for 1-2 minutes, until aromatic and slightly softened. Add flour and whisk into mixture continuously for about 30 seconds. Pour in milk and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for ~3-4 minutes, until mixture starts to thicken. Stir in ½ cup cheddar cheese and allow to melt. Remove from heat and stir in Greek yogurt.
  5. Pour mixture into bowl to be combined with chicken, broccoli and quinoa. Mix all ingredients to combine. Pour contents into casserole dish, spreading evenly with a spatula. Top with remaining ⅓ cup of shredded cheese and sprinkle breadcrumbs over top.
  6. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbly. I prefer to turn the oven up to broil for the final 1-2 minutes to help crisp up the breadcrumbs. Serve!

Notes

If you use frozen broccoli, make sure the broccoli is completely thawed before mixing it in the chicken and quinoa mixture. 
You can also use rotisserie chicken for even more ease and convenience.

Prep time:  
Cook time:  
Total time:  
Serves: 5 servings

Nutrition Information

Serving size: ⅕th of recipe (~1.5 cups prepared) Calories: 442 Fat: 16 gm Saturated fat: 5 gm Carbohydrates: 37.5 gm Sugar: 7.5 gm Sodium: 670 mg Fiber: 4.5 gm Protein: 37 gm Cholesterol: 77 mg

Jamie Vespa, MS, RD, LD/N, is a former TGH dietitian who is now assistant nutrition editor at Cooking Light magazine. You can find more of her recipes on TGH Health News and more recipes on her blog, Dishing Out Health.