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 or make it quickly yourself with this air fryer shredded chicken recipe) 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.
How To Make This Cheddar Chicken Quinoa Bake
Tools you’ll need for this bake:
- 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.
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.
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:
Cheddar Chicken Quinoa Bake
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 8 oz. 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
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease an 8×8 baking dish.
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil, shallot, garlic and green onions. Saute for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add chopped tomato, tomato sauce, red pepper flakes and salt & pepper. Stir and simmer for 5-7 minutes.
- 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.
- Add sauce to the bowl and toss to combine.
- Transfer mixture to the baking dish.
- Top with remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese and cover with foil.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and garnish with additional green onions and/or cilantro.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.