Chicken broccoli quinoa casserole is a nutritious and well-balanced meal with lots of protein, veggies, and healthy grains. This healthy casserole is made from scratch and will keep you feeling full all day. Only 10 minutes of prep required for a delicious, mouth-watering meal.
Chicken Broccoli Quinoa Casserole
Keep reading to find the recipe.
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Have you ever made a casserole before?
Sometimes casseroles can get a bad rap for being loaded with mystery cream soups and other unhealthy foods, but this chicken broccoli quinoa casserole does not fit in that category.
Simple ingredients can help you make an unhealthy casserole into a delicious and good-for-you meal. You’ll be feeling full and satisfied after this protein-packed casserole. It’s made with shredded chicken, quinoa, broccoli, and even some greek yogurt.
Creamy, warm and delicious, the entire casserole is made from scratch and is the perfect healthy comfort food.
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WHAT EXACTLY IS A CASSEROLE?
A casserole is a simple meal made in a big, deep dish that is baked slowly in the oven. It is a combination of basic ingredients that bake together into a delicious meal.
Casseroles typically have 3-4 parts: some type of meat and/or various diced vegetables, a starch component as a base, and a sauce to bind it together. You can make casseroles with many different types of meat, poultry, or fish. The bulk of the casserole is typically the starch component like rice, pasta, potatoes, etc. A sauce binds it together for a delicious texture and flavor after baking.
A casserole doesn’t have to be complex, it can be an easy dish where you throw together different foods you have in the fridge for a delicious dinner meal. If you include all the main food groups in a casserole, then you can easily have a well-balanced meal.
The problem is that a casserole typically uses a sauce that is full of fat and salt and isn’t very good for you. But today you don’t need to worry about that, with the right flavors and techniques, a casserole can be a healthier food as well. Get my recipe below for a healthier spin on a delicious casserole.
WHAT QUALIFIES AS A CASSEROLE?
There are many different types of casseroles. The main components of a casserole include a starch, vegetables, possibly a type of meat, and a sauce to bind it all together. Anything that fits in that category and is cooked in a big dish slowly in the oven is a casserole.
You’ve probably made a casserole before without realizing it. Even shepherd’s pie, quiche, baked ziti, cheesy “funeral” potatoes, lasagna, and homemade macaroni and cheese are considered a casserole.
You’ve probably seen casseroles most often in your grandmother’s kitchen, but do you ever make them at home? Typical casseroles are on the unhealthy side filled with fatty meat, creamy sauce, tons of cheese, and lots of salt. Not the healthiest meal when you want some comfort food but are trying to eat right.
With the right ingredients, your typically unhealthy “comfort food” casserole can be transformed into a meal you can enjoy and feel good about.
To make casseroles healthier you need to try simple ways to limit the fat and sodium. For a healthy spin on your favorite casseroles try increasing the veggies and healthy carbs and decreasing the fat.
Use whole grains for the starch component such as whole wheat pasta or brown rice, and switch to lean proteins such as chicken, turkey, fish, or leaner cuts of red meats. Don’t forget to use less of the unhealthy fats. Use low-fat options of sour cream, cheese, cream etc., use olive oil instead of butter (but with moderation), and go easy on the cheese.
If you are craving a casserole, this chicken broccoli quinoa casserole recipe is such a good choice. It is made with greek yogurt instead of an unhealthy creamy sauce. It also uses shredded chicken for some lean protein, and quinoa for a delicious tasting casserole with a nutritious boost.
And try this recipe below:
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 head broccoli, cut into florets and finely chopped
- 2-3 cups cooked shredded chicken (you could use a rotisserie chicken)
- salt and pepper to taste
- garlic powder, to taste
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- ⅓ cup Greek yogurt
- ⅓ cup Panko crumbs (found on the bread crumb aisle)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13" baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large saucepan of 2 cups water, cook quinoa according to package instructions. Within the last 5 minutes of cooking time, add broccoli on top and steam until cooked through.
- Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in quinoa, broccoli, chicken, 1 cup cheese and Greek yogurt; season with garlic powder, salt and pepper, to taste.
- Spread broccoli mixture into the prepared 9x13" baking pan; sprinkle with remaining ½ cup cheese. Place into oven and bake until cheese has melted, about 5 minutes.
- Serve immediately, sprinkled with Panko, if desired.
Items needed for recipe:
Recipe adapted from Iowa Girl Eats
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Made this tonight. I used a reduced fat cheese and fat free milk. I didnt have quinoa at home so purchased a container of precooked since I really didnt know if I would like it. Also, I only had a bag of stir fry vegetables that contained broccoli, shredded broccoli stems, snow peas and carrots. Just had my first taste and it turned out great. Thanks for the recipe!
Hi Susan! This sounds delicious! I didn’t know they made pre-cooked quinoa, but I’ll have to look for it! I love it! Also – shredded broccoli stems is brilliant as that’s my least-favorite part to eat! I’m glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for sharing your tips!