I wanted to try my hand at a gluten-free dinner last night, so I threw together this deliciously scrumptious cheesy chicken and broccoli quinoa casserole. Now don’t get me wrong, we won’t be giving up wheat anytime soon (this bread lover wouldn’t survive…) but! I figured a meal or two a week might help us (okay, me) get back on a more healthier track after all my pregnancy indulgences these last few months.
This recipe is so easy and can be made ahead of time or even frozen after it’s baked to have another night throughout the month.
Here’s what I did…
2-3 chicken breasts; seasoned with salt, pepper, & EVOO; baked and cut into chunks
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa (I used golden)
pinch of salt
1 chicken bouillon cube (HerbOx is gluten-free)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons cornstarch (Bob’s Red Mill is what I usually grab and it’s guaranteed gluten-free. If you don’t mind the added gluten, you can substitute flour here, too.)
1/2 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
2 heaping cooked broccoli, chopped
1/3 cup mix of grated parmesan cheese & extra shredded cheddar
What to do:
First, you’ll want to cook the chicken. Drizzle the chicken breasts with EVOO, salt, and pepper and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes until golden and cooked through. Once the chicken has been removed, preheat your oven to 400°F. Grease a 9×9 baking dish or a deep dish pie pan like I used, and set aside. In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add the quinoa, bouillon cube, and pinch of salt (if needed.) Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook for about 18-20 minutes, or until water is absorbed and the quinoa is a bit soft. You can fluff it with a fork if you’d like.
Next, melt the butter and whisk in cornstarch (or flour), cook for 30 seconds. Add onion and garlic, and sauté for 5 minutes – stirring as needed until the onion is translucent. Slowly whisk in milk. Simmer for about 8 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the cheddar cheese, stirring until completely melted. You can add salt and pepper at this point if your cheese sauce needs a little more flavoring.
In a large bowl, toss the cooked quinoa, broccoli, and chicken together. Carefully pour the sauce over the mixture, stirring to coat. Transfer to your prepared baking dish and top with the grated mixture of parmesan and cheddar cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is slightly browned.
I served ours with a side salad, and Dan and I both had seconds! (Oh! And we didn’t have to fight Della to finish her helping… always a bonus!) Needless to say, I think I’ll be adding this dish to our monthly dinner rotation.