I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for a while but it’s just one of those things that I’ve dreaded taking a picture of. Let’s face it, casseroles just aren’t very pretty. Some of them (just some of them) taste delicious but they’re just so piled together that there’s no making them look “fancy,” shall we say. Here’s my attempt at making it look decent though :).
This recipe was adapted from my moms broccoli chicken casserole. It’s very similar I just made a few changes. I replaced the rice her recipe calls for with quinoa for added nutrition (I also replaced some of the butter with olive oil for a healthier fat), then I added onion and garlic and the herbs for more flavor. Now I’m having a hard time deciding which I like more the traditional version or this quinoa version. I do know however, that I’ll be making it this way much more often because I’ve gotten hooked on quinoa. It took me a while to get used to it’s unique flavor but now I love it. I hope you do too! Enjoy!
Creamy Broccoli and Chicken Quinoa Casserole
Yield: About 8 servings
- 1 1/4 lbs boneless , skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced
- 12 oz broccoli florets (about 4 cups), diced and steamed just until tender
- 1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 Tbsp butter
- 1 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium onion)
- 1 clove garlic , minced
- 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 4 oz finely shredded parmesan cheese , divided (about 1 cup slightly packed)
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tsp dried)
Cook quinoa according to directions replacing 2 cups of water with the 2 cups chicken broth (so you should be using 2 cups broth 1 cup water). Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large skillet, melt butter along with olive oil. Add in onion and saute over medium heat until soft. Add in garlic and flour and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. While whisking slowly pour in milk, then add in thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring constantly until thickened then remove from heat and stir in half of the parmesan cheese, then mix in sour cream, lemon juice and fresh parsley.
To assemble, butter a 13 by 9-inch baking dish and spread half of the cooked quinoa into an even layer in bottom of baking dish. Then spread steamed broccoli into an even layer over quinoa, followed by chicken then remaining cooked quinoa. Pour white sauce evenly over top and spread into an even layer and sprinkle top with remaining parmesan cheese. Bake in preheated oven 25 minutes. Serve warm.
Recipe Source: adapted slightly from my moms recipe