Main Dish | May 27, 2021

Chicken Veggie Quinoa Bake

Fluffy quinoa, tender chicken, hearty veggies, and a creamy and dreamy lemon sauce come together in this modern twist on a classic.  Chicken Veggie Quinoa Bake will be your new favorite and is the ultimate comfort food.

Quinoa bake in a white casserole dish. The dish is garnished with parsley and lemons.

What Is Chicken Veggie Quinoa Bake?

Friends, do you remember when quinoa got, like, HUGE? I do. My super-healthy friend was all about putting quinoa in her chili and I thought that was the most disgusting thing ever and NO WAY would I ever eat this weird, hippy seed. Well guess what. I eat it now. And I love it. And it’s the perfect carb and you should be eating it too!! Yeah, I get it, it’s been presented as a fad (unfortunately, right there with kale), but quinoa has some serous perks, those fluffy, little nuggets!

I took a little twist from the retro Chicken Broccoli Casserole I grew up eating. Chicken, broccoli, cream of chicken soup, and rice. Instead I did a homemade creamy lemon sauce, quickly steamed some fresh veggies and cooked chicken, cooked up some fluffy quinoa, and threw it all together to bake. And topped with cheese, naturally. The chicken, veggies, and a layer of the quinoa stay nice and creamy while the rest of the quinoa on the bottom keeps its fluffy, perfect little texture.

quinoa bake being scooped out of a white casserole dish with a wooden spoon.

All About Quinoa

First of all, it’s a seed, so it’s gluten-free. Please watch this clip Jimmy Kimmel does and asks pedestrians what gluten is–you’re welcome! It has more fiber, protein, iron, and calcium than your typical rice, and all of the 9 essential amino acids. It’s simple to cook (about 15 minutes stovetop or 1 minute in the pressure cooker), and aren’t you just a little tired of the status-quo? Quinoa takes on whatever flavor you cook into it, has a great texture, and kids love it!

A half shot of quinoa bake in a white casserole dish. It is garnished with parsley and has a wooden spoon laid on top.

What Do I Need To Make Chicken and Veggie Quinoa Bake?

For this recipe you’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup uncooked white quinoa
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 2 cups broccoli, steamed
  • 1 cup sliced carrots, steamed
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for topping

Ingredients on an enameled baking sheet.

How Do You Make Chicken Veggie Quinoa Bake?

Bakes are great because they feed a crowd–or these leftovers are perfect for healthy lunches. Plus you can generally pack in lots of veggies and other things your kids might not be soooooooo apt to eat. And they’re forgiving. Also, you can make them ahead of time (in the morning, night before, nap time) and then throw it in the oven shortly before dinner time.

Prep:

Chicken

Cook 2 chicken breasts and shred them.  Here are a few options for doing that:

  • Use a rotisserie chicken, pull apart the meat and use it in this recipe.
  • Cook chicken breasts in the pressure cooker. Add 2 chicken breasts, 1 cup water, and salt and pepper.  Cook for 15 minutes and allow a natural release.  Remove from pressure cooker and shred.
  • Boil your chicken. Add breasts to a large pot with a lid.  Cover with chicken broth and boil for about 10 minutes – or until the internal temp is 165 degrees.  Remove from liquid and shred.
  • Fry your chicken.  Add a few tbsp oil or butter to a pan.  Season your chicken with salt and pepper.  Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes – 5 minutes each side, until internal temp reaches 165.  Remove from pan and shred.

 Veggies

You also need to steam your veggies.  Here are a few ways to do that:

  • Add veggies to a large pot fitted with a steamer basket.  Add about 2 inches of water to the bottom of the pan.  Cover and bring to a boil on the stovetop for about 8 minutes.
  • Microwave your veggies.  Place them in a large bowl, add 1 inch of water to the bottom of the bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Microwave for 3-4 minutes or until tender.

Quinoa

Cook your quinoa.  You can do this on the stovetop or in the pressure cooker.  We have a complete post with tips and tricks on cooking quinoa.

  • On the stovetop: Bring 1 1/2 c chicken broth or water and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Rinse uncooked quinoa very well under running water–this helps prevent bitter quinoa. Add rinsed quinoa to boiling water, bring to boil again, cover with lid, reduce heat to a simmer, simmer covered 15 minutes. Leave covered for 5 minutes, then remove lid to let steam escape.
  • In the pressure cooker: Rinse your quinoa. Coat bottom of the pressure cooker with olive oil. Add rinsed quinoa and broth.  Cook on high pressure for 1 minute.  Allow a 4 minutes natural release.

Chicken being shredded with two forks.

Assembly

1. Prepare your lemon sauce by adding 3 tbsp butter to a large skillet.  Heat over medium heat until melted.

2. Add minced garlic and stir and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

3. Pour in half and half and bring to a simmer.

4. Add 1 cup shredded parmesan and stir until melted.

How to make lemon sauce.

5. Assemble your casserole by spraying a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick spray.  Add cooked quinoa, evenly to the bottom.

6. Add shredded chicken on top of the quinoa.

7. Layer steamed veggies on top of chicken.

8. Pour creamy lemon sauce evenly on top of veggies.  Sprinkle with additional parmesan.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes until the top is golden and bubbly.

How to assemble a casserole.

Quinoa Bake Q&A

How long does this dish last?

You can store this casserole in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Can I make this dish ahead?

Yes! This can be made up to 24 hours ahead.  Cover and store in the fridge until you are ready to bake.

Can I freeze this dish?

Yes! This dish freezes well.  Store in in an airtight container, or tightly wrap it with plastic wrap.  You can keep it frozen for up to 3 months.  When ready to use, thaw on the counter before cooking.

a close up of quinoa bake being scooped out of a casserole dish.

I Love Quinoa! Do you have other recipes?

We do, be sure to check out:

A 3/4 shot of quinoa bake in a white casserole dish.

LEAVE US A COMMENT!

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5 from 1 vote
a close up of quinoa bake being scooped out of a casserole dish.
Chicken Veggie Quinoa Bake
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 

Fluffy quinoa, tender chicken, hearty veggies, and a creamy and dreamy lemon sauce come together in this modern twist on a classic.  Chicken Veggie Quinoa Bake will be your new favorite and is the ultimate comfort food.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: Healthy Chicken Bake, Quinoa Bake
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 430 kcal
Author: Stephanie
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup uncooked white quinoa
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 chicken breasts cooked and shredded
  • 2 cups broccoli steamed
  • 1 cup sliced carrots steamed
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese plus more for topping
Instructions
  1. See notes for prep.
  2. Prepare your lemon sauce by adding 3 tbsp butter to a large skillet.  Heat over medium heat until melted.
  3. Add minced garlic and stir and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Pour in half and half and bring to a simmer.
  5. Add 1 cup shredded parmesan and stir until melted.
  6. Assemble your casserole by spraying a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray.  Add cooked quinoa, evenly to the bottom.
  7. Add shredded chicken on top of the quinoa.
  8. Layer steamed veggies on top of chicken.
  9. Pour creamy lemon sauce evenly on top of veggies.  Sprinkle with additional parmesan.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes until the top is golden and bubbly.
Recipe Notes

Prep:

Chicken

Cook 2 chicken breasts and shred them.  Here are a few options for doing that:

  • Use a rotisserie chicken, pull apart the meat and use it in this recipe.
  • Cook chicken breasts in the pressure cooker. Add 2 chicken breasts, 1 cup water, and salt and pepper.  Cook for 15 minutes and allow a natural release.  Remove from pressure cooker and shred.
  • Boil your chicken. Add breasts to a large pot with a lid.  Cover with chicken broth and boil for about 10 minutes - or until the internal temp is 165 degrees.  Remove from liquid and shred.
  • Fry your chicken.  Add a few tbsp oil or butter to a pan.  Season your chicken with salt and pepper.  Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes - 5 minutes each side, until internal temp reaches 165.  Remove from pan and shred.

 Veggies

You also need to steam your veggies.  Here are a few ways to do that:

  • Add veggies to a large pot fitted with a steamer basket.  Add about 2 inches of water to the bottom of the pan.  Cover and bring to a boil on the stovetop for about 8 minutes.
  • Microwave your veggies.  Place them in a large bowl, add 1 inch of water to the bottom of the bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Microwave for 3-4 minutes or until tender.

Quinoa

Cook your quinoa.  You can do this on the stovetop or in the pressure cooker.  We have a complete post with tips and tricks on cooking quinoa.

  • On the stovetop: Bring 1 1/2 c chicken broth or water and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Rinse uncooked quinoa very well under running water--this helps prevent bitter quinoa. Add rinsed quinoa to boiling water, bring to boil again, cover with lid, reduce heat to a simmer, simmer covered 15 minutes. Leave covered for 5 minutes, then remove lid to let steam escape.
  • In the pressure cooker: Rinse your quinoa. Coat bottom of the pressure cooker with olive oil. Add rinsed quinoa and broth.  Cook on high pressure for 1 minute.  Allow a 4 minutes natural release.

Quinoa Bake Q&A

How long does this dish last?

You can store this casserole in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Can I make this dish ahead?

Yes! This can be made up to 24 hours ahead.  Cover and store in the fridge until you are ready to bake.

Can I freeze this dish?

Yes! This dish freezes well.  Store in in an airtight container, or tightly wrap it with plastic wrap.  You can keep it frozen for up to 3 months.  When ready to use, thaw on the counter before cooking.

Nutrition Facts
Chicken Veggie Quinoa Bake
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 430 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Fat 23g35%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 97mg32%
Sodium 599mg26%
Potassium 746mg21%
Carbohydrates 27g9%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 29g58%
Vitamin A 4300IU86%
Vitamin C 37mg45%
Calcium 307mg31%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

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