Is there anything in life quite so beautiful as a gooey, cheesy casserole? Mexican Chicken Quinoa Casserole says, “I think not.”
Now, ocean sunsets, the Grand Canyon, and every Tim McGraw song ever recorded might argue for the title and tiara, but I maintain that the casserole deserves recognition in the beauty department. Oh sure they are ultra oozy, lose their shape immediately when cut, and are generally a food photographer’s worst nightmare, but their inherent value as a one-dish meal that’s comforting enough to cure a broken heart is worthy of respect. The casserole’s allure is of a deeper level—and I don’t simply mean that it has a good personality.
Perhaps I am genetically disposed to love casseroles—growing up, every dish my mother cooked eventually turned into one—but I’ve come to embrace them. Dinners like this Mexican Chicken Quinoa Casserole are a friendly way to cook in large quantities, hit every food group with a single pan, and generate yummy leftovers for the rest of the week (read: get away with cooking one less meal.) Casseroles can also be adapted to suit any number of tastes and are categorically creamy, cheesy, and give me the warm fuzzies.
The only two things about casseroles I will not embrace: the ubiquitous canned fried onion topping (I’m sorry but, why does this exist?) and cream of anything soup. Instead of the gobs of heavy, processed add-ins, Mexican Chicken Quinoa Casserole uses Greek yogurt, real cheese, and a mix of fresh and canned ingredients to create a healthy dinner that’s still reasonably easy to prepare on a weeknight.
Simply sauté the chicken and veggies, stir in the other ingredients, top with cheese, and bake! I love using quinoa because of its high fiber and protein content, but cooked rice (or farro or any other whole grain) can be swapped in easily.
The final selling point—Ben gave Mexican Chicken Quinoa Casserole his highest form of culinary praise: “It tastes just like a Chipotle burrito bowl.” Sold.
Official Casserole Fan Club, member number one right here. Anyone else care to join? We can wear sashes, create a secret handshake, and eat Mexican Chicken Quinoa Casserole directly from the pan. All interested parties, raise your forks!
An easy Mexican chicken casserole your entire family will love! Cooked quinoa is mixed with creamy Greek yogurt, two types of cheese, black beans, fresh vegetables, and Mexican spices to create a healthy, all-in-one dinner.
Yield: Serves 6-8
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes