Cheddar Chicken Quinoa Bake

This cheddar chicken quinoa bake is an easy, healthy casserole everyone will love. Use leftover rotisserie chicken for a simple dinner for busy nights!

Updated 9/6/2017: recipe video added below! Text and pictures are still original to the post. 

This cheddar chicken quinoa bake is an easy, healthy casserole everyone will love. Use leftover rotisserie chicken for a simple dinner for busy nights!

I don’t think I’ve ever been on point with holiday appropriate recipes in the past 2 years of this blog. So why start now? I bet you’re probably all Peeped and Cadbury’d out anyway.

Ps- if I don’t get at least 1 Cadbury crème egg before this weekend is over, I may cry. Childhood obsession still going strong.

This is about as far from my Easter brunch menu as possible but now I’m kinda wishing I could replace that spiral ham (not my thing, but grandpa loves it) in the fridge with the cheesy deliciousness of this cheddar chicken quinoa bake.

It’s one of those simple meals, packed full of flavor but still healthy enough that you can load your plate up and not think twice.

Using precooked chicken (leftover rotisserie chicken is great for this!) keeps it super simple and easy enough for those busy weeknight meals when dinner all in one casserole dish is just the kind of thing you need.

Cheesy cheddar chicken quinoa bake is an easy weeknight meal and perfect for weekly meal prep plans!

How To Make This Cheddar Chicken Quinoa Bake

Tools you’ll need for this bake:

  • skillet
  • large mixing bowl
  • baking dish

Pretty simple stuff, right?

The shallot, garlic and green onions get sautéed in the skillet first with some olive oil. Then we add the tomatoes, sauce and seasonings. That’s it for the skillet.

In a large bowl the cooked quinoa, shredded chicken, peppers and cilantro get mixed together then we add everything from the skillet and mix well.

This whole mixture gets transferred to a baking dish, topped with the cheddar cheese then baked off.

Couldn’t be easier!

Meals like this cheddar chicken quinoa bake make great meal-prep options if you’re into that. You could easily assemble this on the weekend and bake off the night you want it.

Or, bake it over the weekend and just store it in the fridge until you want to reheat and eat.

You could even double the recipe for a bigger batch.

Cheddar chicken quinoa casserole is a simple bake made in no time for a healthy family meal.

My crossfit box just announced another paleo challenge starting mid next month and while of course I’ll be doing it (because I’m easily peer pressured into stuff like this) meals like this make me hate paleo.

Ain’t nothing wrong with quinoa and some cheddar cheese!

In fact, I’d call this a pretty damn healthy casserole despite paleo not agreeing.

But, I have 3 weeks before I need to deal with that.

Until then, you can find me in the corner shoving cheese, chocolate and all the carbs in my face.

Because obviously, that’s what you do before starting a diet, right?

Recipes Similar To This Cheddar Chicken Quinoa Bake to Try:

Pumpkin tortilla casserole
Turkey sausage spaghetti squash baked ziti
Turkey chili pie

Cheddar Chicken Quinoa Bake

Cheddar Chicken Quinoa Bake

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

This cheddar chicken quinoa bake is an easy and healthy casserole everyone will love.


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 8oz. can tomato sauce
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 cups cooked & shredded chicken (I used leftovers from a roasted chicken)
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (I used a mixture of red & white)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green chili pepper, diced (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 11/2 cups grated white cheddar cheese, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease an 8Ã?8 baking dish.
  2. In a skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil, shallot, garlic and green onions. Saute for about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add chopped tomato, tomato sauce, red pepper flakes and salt & pepper. Stir and simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, combine quinoa, chicken, red pepper, chili pepper, cilantro and 1 cup of the cheddar cheese in a large bowl. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Add sauce to the bowl and toss to combine.
  6. Transfer mixture to the baking dish.
  7. Top with remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese and cover with foil.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and garnish with additional green onions and/or cilantro.


Please leave a comment & rating below or share a photo on Instagram and tag @runningtothekitchen


  1. rashelle

    Your timing is amazing… just popped on to find something to do with all of this leftover chicken from last night. My family will be feasting on this dish tonight, thank you!

    1. Gina Matsoukas Post author

      It didn’t actually (get mushy that is, not hold up). You could always under cook it a bit before baking if you’re worried about that.

  2. Maureen

    This looks amazing! I tried Paleo for a bit, but really missed the quinoa & cheese {and beans every so often}, so now I just eat a mixed diet. How can quinoa be bad for you, right??

  3. Cara Roxanne

    I am totally making this tonight, so excited. I’m going to add some black beans to bulk it up further. Nom nom. Thank you!!

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  5. LP

    Made this for dinner tonight & it was fantastic. Even my honey (who doesn’t want to know when something is healthy) loved it!

  6. Emily

    I just popped this in the oven and it looks tasty. Am I missing something though….where does it say to add the red bell pepper and green chili? I made it all up and realized I hadn’t added those things….still looks good.

    1. Gina Matsoukas Post author

      Oops! good catch. The chili pepper is in the directions but I left out the red bell pepper. It should’ve been added in with everything else in step 4. Hope you threw it in there and just winged it :) I’ll edit the directions now, thanks again!

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    1. Patricia

      Ok, so I made this and it’s delish, but can we get real on the prep time? It may be 10 minutes if you happen to have shredded chicken and cooed quinoa, etc. at you fingertips, but the reality is that it took the best part of an hour to get this puppy in the oven.

      1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

        Glad you liked it. The recipe calls for cooked chicken & quinoa so of course if you don’t have that on hand and need to actually cook it the prep time will be longer.

  8. Stephanie

    Awesome! So good. My partner and I were desperate for something new to try with quinoa and this just hit the spot. Thank you, we will be making it again for certain!

  9. Marigrace

    So, I understand the chicken is already cooked, but do you have to cook the Quinoa also before you bake all the ingredients together?

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  14. Janet

    This was SOOOOOO good! I don’t usually eat grains, but will eat quinoa sometimes for the nutritive benefit when I’m in a hurry to balance carbs. It was amazing! Very picky eaters in my family ate whole bowls. Will be adding to my recipe box.:)

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  16. Natalie

    This is SO delicious! Everyone enjoyed it, including a very picky 5 year-old. I boiled chicken breasts in chicken broth & then shredded them. I used canned crushed tomatoes instead of fresh, as well as tomato paste instead of sauce. I puréed that with all the veggies (so no crunchy surprises my daughter dislikes). It turned out great – thank you for the new recipe I can add to my rotation!

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  21. Nicole

    I haven’t jumped on the quinoa bandwagon yet, but since the fiance and I are trying to eat healthier I guess now’s the time to start. And at least this looks delicious, too!

    Can’t wait to try it!

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      I don’t calculate nutritional information for the recipes on this site. You can plug the recipe into one of the many online calculators if you want to find out calorie info.

  22. Elmer

    This was simply AMAZING!!!!!!!!!! The preparation was easy and the end result was perfection. This recipe is perfect for those who have a hectic work schedule like myself (work 10-12 hrs a day) and do not have that much time to prep a light/healthy meal!

    Very tasty and delicious.

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      Glad you enjoyed it! The recipe does call for using “cooked quinoa” not dry/raw so yes, it should definitely be cooked first!

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      I haven’t. I’d suggest thawing it in a mesh strainer before using if you go that route.


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