Casseroles and comfort food go hand-in-hand. Many call for a sodium-filled condensed soup, but did you know it’s super easy to make your own with the help of a few pantry staples like flour, milk and broth? This quinoa-based casserole is packed with protein and nutrient-rich veggies like mushrooms, kale and onions.
This Mushroom, Kale, and Chicken Quinoa Casserole is a nutritious, delicious dinner that’s full of healthy veggies and protein. This recipe is an easy one for beginners. This recipe has a great combination of vegetables and quinoa and is a great healthy dinner. It has a good balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, and has minimal hands-on time. The whole dish is quick and easy to prepare, and the quinoa cooks all at once. It can be served immediately, or it can be stored for up to four days in your fridge.
This dish is a healthy, satisfying dish that is perfect for a family dinner or a potluck. You can use a plant-based protein alternative in place of the chicken to make it a vegetarian dish, and you can also add crushed pork rinds in place of the breadcrumbs to make it gluten-free. If you don’t add the whole wheat breadcrumbs, it makes it an even healthier option for family members with food allergies.
How to Cook Perfect Quinoa Every Time
To get started, you’ll need some cooked quinoa. If you want to cook perfect quinoa every time, there are a few things you need to know. First, rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. This will get rid of any bitter aftertaste that you may sometimes get in the dish.
Wait! You have to rinse quinoa?
When it comes to quinoa, there are a lot of opinions out there. Some people say that rinsing quinoa is necessary in order to remove its bitter taste, while others argue that rinsing strip the grain of its nutrients. So, what’s the verdict? Is rinsing quinoa really necessary?
Here’s what we know: Quinoa is a seed that is coated in saponin, a natural pesticide that wards off predators. Saponin can give quinoa a bitter taste, so many people choose to rinse it before cooking. Rinsing also removes some of the quinoa’s protective outer layer, which could reduce the grain’s nutrient content.
So, should you rinse your quinoa? It ultimately comes down to personal preference.
Next, add the quinoa to a pot with twice as much water as quinoa. In this case, combine one cup of dry quinoa and two cups of water. This will yield approximately two cups of quinoa. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Once the quinoa is cooked, fluff it with a fork and then let it sit for 5 minutes before using it in your casseroles or eating as is. And that’s it! You now know how to cook perfect quinoa every time.
We recommend cooking your chicken while you’re making your quinoa. That way your ingredients are all cooking at the same time and will be ready to combine into the casserole at about the same time as well.
Make Your Own Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs
Sometimes whole wheat bread crumbs can be difficult to find in grocery stores. This becomes especially true near Thanksgiving and Winter holidays. Luckily, making your own whole wheat bread crumbs is really easy. Simply take a few slices of whole wheat bread and grind it down in a food processor. Then, spread it out in a single layer onto a greased baking sheet and bake at about 300ºF for approximately eight minutes. Keep an eye on it though because it will go from toasted to burnt really quickly. You should let the bread crumbs cool completely before adding them to a recipe.
Mushroom, Kale & Chicken Quinoa Casserole
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 16 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 1 small sweet onion diced
- 1 5 oz. package organic baby kale
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups quinoa cooked according to package directions
- 1/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Cut chicken in half and place in large casserole dish. Season with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Bake 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat and let cool before shredding. Set aside.
- While chicken is baking, heat 2 Tbsp. oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onions and cook 7-10 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add kale and cook 3-5 minutes, or until wilted. Stir in flour to coat vegetables. Stir in milk, broth and water, and simmer 2-3 minutes, or until sauce starts to thicken slightly
- Transfer vegetables and cooked quinoa to the casserole dish and mix with shredded chicken.
- Combine breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and 1 Tbsp. olive oil in small bowl. Sprinkle on top of casserole.
- Bake 20 – 25 minutes, or until bubbly.