Chicken Parmesan Quinoa Casserole

I *heart* chicken parmesan.  I don’t make it that often (mainly because it takes a while and creates a lot of dishes to wash!), and I don’t order it out that often (usually because I always want to try something new).  But when I do eat/order it, I am in heaven.  It’s been a favorite meal of mine since I was a little kid.  (I used to lovingly refer to the cheese on top as gum.  I’d always want more gum!)

So, when this recipe popped up on my Pinterest feed, I was very eager to give it a try.  It promised the deliciousness of chicken parmesan (including the gum!) without all the work.  The stringy mozzarella was distributed throughout the entire casserole, and the panko on top provided a great crisp.

Start by preheating your oven to 375°…

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  • Heat 1 tablespoon of EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat.

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  • Season a package of chicken with salt and pepper.

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  • Add the chicken to the hot oil and cook until browned, about 5 minutes per side.

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  • Remove the chicken and let cool.
  • Chop an onion and mince up some garlic.

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  • Add another tablespoon of EVOO to the skillet.

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  • Add the onion.

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  • Stir and cook until tender and golden, about 5 minutes.

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  • Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes.

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  • Add 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.

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  • Cook until the vinegar is absorbed.

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  • Add a small can of diced tomatoes.

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  • Pour in a small can of tomato sauce.

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  • Sprinkle in 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flake.

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  • Add 1/2 teaspoon each of dried basil and dried oregano.

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  • Season with some s&p.

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  • Stir well.

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  • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer.

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  • Meanwhile, bring 2 cups of chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan.

  • Thoroughly rinse 1 cup of quinoa under cold water.
  • Add the rinsed quinoa to the broth.

  • Bring to a boil.

  • Cover.

  • Cook until the broth is fully absorbed.  (Follow package instructions.)

  • Cut the cooled chicken into bite-sized pieces.

  • Add chicken to the sauce.

  • Add the quinoa.

  • Mix everything up.

  • Coat a baking dish with the cooking spray.
  • Add half the quinoa mixture to the baking dish.

  • Sprinkle 1 cup of shredded mozzarella on top.

  • Add the rest of the quinoa mixture.

  • Top with the another cup of shredded mozzarella.

  • Add some grated parmesan cheese.

  • Finish with some panko breadcrumbs.

  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes.

  • Remove the foil, and bake for 10 more minutes.

Enjoy!

Chicken Parmesan Quinoa Casserole

(serves 4)

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 1 small can diced tomatoes
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flake
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs

 

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat your oven to 375°.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Add the chicken to the hot oil and cook until browned, about 5 minutes per side.
  • Remove the chicken and let cool.
  • Add the remaining oil to the skillet.
  • Add the onion and garlic.
  • Stir and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the vinegar and stir again.
  • Cook until the vinegar is absorbed, then add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, the red pepper flake, the dried herbs, and some salt and pepper to taste.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer.
  • Meanwhile, bring the chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan.
  • Rinse the quinoa under cold water.
  • Add the rinsed quinoa to the broth, stir, and cover.
  • Cook until the broth is fully absorbed.  (Follow package instructions.)
  • Cut the cooled chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  • Add the cooked quinoa and chicken to the sauce and stir.
  • Coat a baking dish with the cooking spray.
  • Add half the quinoa mixture to the baking dish.
  • Sprinkle half the mozzarella, then add the rest of the quinoa.
  • Top with the remaining mozzarella, Parmesan, and panko.
  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the foil, and bake for 10 more minutes.

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