Occasionally you come across a recipe that you instantly know you’ll be making for years to come. This recipe for Cheesy Baked Quinoa with Chicken and Vegetables was exactly that for me. The recipe is adapted from a recipe on Half Baked Harvest for Caprese Quinoa. I added in some veggies, broccoli rabe this time, and some chicken, and changed up some measurements, but I’m so grateful for the inspiration (thanks Tieghan).
My favorite dishes are ones you can easily adapt with whatever produce or herbs you have on hand. Luckily, I still have a small bit of fresh basil in the garden to throw into this dish but if you don’t have fresh basil use whatever you have or use dried. For veggies, the same applies. I used broccoli rabe this time but I may try kale or carrots next time. Aso, I use my canned marinara sauce that we make every year but feel free to use whatever favorite jar you have on hand. And for the chicken, you can use leftover rotisserie chicken, cook up to chicken breasts, or just omit it all together and double the veggies. Simple, right?!
As a mom now, I feel extra drive to get a handful of family recipes in my belt. You know, the ones your kids love and request from time to time. Maybe it will be my comforting lemon chicken soup, veggie enchiladas or my pancake recipe. I’m hoping this dish will make the list, so far at least Josh and I love it!
“…now that I am a mother, I understand what motherhood is about: it’s about looking through our lives and recognizing the act of mothering everywhere we see it, and more than that, recognizing that when any of us mother– when we listen, nurture, nourish, protect–we’re doing sacred work.”
-Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet
Somewhere deep inside me the need to nourish others, especially my family, resides. I want them to feel satisfied and even enjoy the special time of sharing a meal. So, it all starts now, I guess. I’ll be continuing to fill up my repertoire of family recipes and sharing my progress along the way. I would love to hear some of your family favorites!
Here's a quick and healthy, gluten free, weeknight meal with quinoa, chicken and veggies
- 1 cup quinoa (2 cups cooked)
- 2 cups of fresh veggies (I used broccoli this time), chopped
- 1 1/2 cups of your favorite tomato sauce, 12 ounces
- 2 cups cooked chicken (rotisserie chicken works well or cook 2 chicken breasts)
- 1/3 cup Greek yogurt or heavy cream
- 1 cup mozzarella
- 2 tablespoons basil, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium sized pot, cook 1 cup quinoa in 1 3/4 cup boiling water. Turn down to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
In a sauté pan add a tablespoon of oil and sauté the chopped veggies that you chose (about 3 minutes). Add in tomato sauce and chicken. Stir in cream or Greek yogurt, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper.
Remove from the heat and stir in the quinoa and basil. Once combined, grease a square 9x9 baking dish and pour the entire quinoa mixture into the dish. Top with mozzarella.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes and then turn the broiler on and broil for 2 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.
Any vegetable may be used but my favorites are zucchini, broccoli, or kale. Also, you may omit the chicken and double the veggies for a vegetarian version.