When I was planning the recipe for this summery cheesy Corn Quinoa Casserole with chicken, one word kept coming to mind: abundance.

Cheesy Corn Chicken Quinoa Casserole — A lightened up, healthy corn bake made with simple, REAL ingredients. EASY recipe that our whole family loves. High protein and no canned soups! @wellplated

Pin this recipe on Pinterest to save for later

Pin It!

An abundance of sweet corn (like my other favorite Corn Casserole), zucchini, and peppers!

An abundance of healthy whole grains!

And, by way of its nature as a casserole, a deliciously gooey abundance of CHEESE.

If you’re looking for an easy, healthy, family-friendly casserole, this corn quinoa casserole is it!

Cheesy Corn Chicken Quinoa Casserole — A lightened up, healthy corn bake that’s loaded with juicy chicken, fresh veggies, and cheesy goodness. Freezer-friendly, gluten free, and the whole family loves it! @wellplated

5 Star Review

“This is delicious! My favorite quinoa recipe to date! I’m excited about all the potential variations of this recipe.”

— Kate —

If the word “casserole” concerns you, don’t be worried. Too often, the word “casserole” conjures foreboding images of mysterious ingredients disguised as carefully as possible beneath a mask of cheese.

Not so with today’s cheesy corn quinoa casserole (or this Broccoli Quinoa Casserole).

Fear not—you won’t find any packets of processed sauce mixes or cans of congealed “cream of” canned soup. (You won’t find them in my favorite Healthy Green Bean Casserole, either.)

All you’ll find is lean white meat chicken and plenty of veggies…beneath the quintessential casserole ingredient: a generous layer of cheese. (I DO have a soul, after all.)

Cheesy Corn Chicken Quinoa Casserole — A lightened up, healthy corn bake made from scratch! Loaded with juicy chicken, fresh veggies, and cheese. EASY recipe that the whole family loves! (gluten free) @wellplated

How to Make Corn Quinoa Casserole

This simple casserole recipe can be easily adapted to suit any veggies you have lurking in your refrigerator or garden.

Here in Wisconsin, we are currently up to our ears in summer sweet corn (pun TOTALLY intended), so it plays the starring role in this comforting corn casserole recipe with quinoa and chicken. (Fresh summer corn is also a real treat in this Grilled Corn Salad.)


The Ingredients

  • Corn. The star of the show. Choose fresh summer corn off the cob, if possible. You can also swap for frozen corn that has been thawed and drained.
  • Quinoa. A healthy, plant-based protein option that’s delicious, filling, and healthy. (Try it in this Broccoli Quinoa Casserole too.)
  • Chicken. My addition to add extra bulk and lean protein to the recipe.

Dietary Note

  • To make the quinoa casserole vegetarian, swap the chicken for white or black beans.
  • You can also omit the chicken entirely and serve it as a crowd-pleasing potluck side.
  • This Crock Pot Creamed Corn is another delicious vegetarian side dish option.
  • Vegetables. To keep this cheesy corn quinoa casserole healthy, I packed it with plenty of added veggies, like diced red bell peppers and summer zucchini.
  • Chicken Broth + Milk. Our liquids that add moisture and creaminess.
  • Flour + Butter. Make a simple roux to thicken the casserole and give it body.
  • Green Onions + Garlic. For a little zippy pizazz.
  • Herbs. A combo of basil and oregano gives the dish a little extra dash of summertime flavor.
Cheesy Corn Chicken Quinoa Casserole — A lightened up, healthy corn bake loaded with chicken, veggies, and CHEESE. An easy, all-in-one meal that our whole family loves! @wellplated

The Directions

  1. Cook the quinoa until tender. Set aside.
  2. In a skillet, cook the chicken, seasoned with salt and pepper, until no longer pink on the outside. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  3. Reduce the heat and saute the diced bell pepper, corn, zucchini, garlic, and half of the green onions until softened. Add to the plate with the chicken.
  4. Make a roux with the butter and flour and cook until golden.
  5. Slowly whisk in the remaining chicken broth and the milk until smooth.
  6. Add the oregano and season with salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a simmer, and stir until thickened slightly.
  7. Remove from the heat, and stir in the cooked quinoa, chicken, veggies, and half of the cheese.
  8. Pour into a greased baking dish and top with the remaining cheese and green onions.
  9. Bake on a rimmed baking sheet at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes. Remove, let cool slightly, then serve. ENJOY!

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. Warm this corn quinoa casserole in a 350-degree F oven until heated through. You may also microwave individual portions until steaming.
  • To Freeze. This casserole can be frozen fully baked or unbaked. Let thaw in the refrigerator overnight prior to baking or reheating.
Cheesy Corn Chicken Quinoa Casserole - A lightened-up, healthy corn bake chockfull of quinoa, chicken, veggies and cheesy goodness! From scratch and gluten free. @wellplated

Tools Used to Make This Recipe

One bite of this easy corn and quinoa casserole (or Stuffed Pepper Casserole), and you’ll feel like you’re eating a comfort food rainbow!

Corn Quinoa Casserole

5 from 11 votes
This healthy corn quinoa casserole with chicken is an easy, all-in-one meal perfect for weeknights. Make-ahead and freezer-friendly!

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 50 mins

Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups  reduced sodium chicken broth divided
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil plus 2 teaspoons, divided
  • 2 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 1 pound—omit or substitute 1 can of rinsed white or black beans to make the dish vegetarian)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper divided
  • 2 cups white corn or yellow corn, cut from the cob (about 2 large ears)
  • 2 small zucchini diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper (or orange) seeded and diced
  • 3 green onions sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour to make gluten free, use a gluten free all-purpose flour blend
  • 1 cup non-fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated reduced fat cheese divided (I used half mozzarella, half extra sharp cheddar), about 6 ounces

Instructions
 

  • Bring 2 cups of chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan, then add the quinoa. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and let cook until the liquid has been mostly absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes, depending upon the brand of quinoa you purchase. Keeping the pan covered, remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Uncover, lightly fluff with a fork, and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8×8-inch baking dish or 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick spray, then set aside.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high. Add the chicken, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook the chicken just until no longer pink on the outside (it does not need to be completely cooked through), about 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  • Reduce the skillet heat to medium. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil, diced bell pepper, corn, zucchini, garlic, and half of the green onions. Cook until fragrant and the corn is softened, about 5 minutes. Remove to the plate with the chicken.
  • Melt the butter in the skillet, then sprinkle the flour over the top and briskly whisk to coat the flour with butter and break it up. Let cook until the flour is golden and smells lightly nutty, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. 
  • Slowly pour in the remaining 1 cup of chicken broth, then the milk, adding a few splashes of liquid at a time. Whisk constantly and pause as needed to break up any lumps. Add the oregano and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Increase the heat to bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat and let gently bubble until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes, stirring often.
  • Remove the skillet from heat, then stir in the cooked quinoa, chicken, reserved veggies, and half of the cheese. The mixture will be liquidy. Carefully pour into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese and green onions on top.
  • Place the mixture on top of a rimmed baking sheet (this will catch any spillover). Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top is golden and bubbly. Let cool for 10 minutes, then serve.

Notes

  • TO STORE: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Warm this corn quinoa casserole in a 350-degree F oven until heated through. You may also microwave individual portions until steaming.
  • TO FREEZE: This casserole can be frozen fully baked or unbaked. Let thaw in the refrigerator overnight prior to baking or reheating.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 6)Calories: 389kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 32gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 66mgPotassium: 876mgFiber: 5gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1057IUVitamin C: 38mgCalcium: 219mgIron: 3mg

Join today and start saving your favorite recipes

Create an account to easily save your favorite projects and tutorials.

Register

More Cheesy Casseroles

Did you try this recipe?

I want to see!

Follow @wellplated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

Share this Article

Pin

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

You May Also Like

Free Email Series
Sign Up for FREE Weekly Meal Plans
Each includes a grocery list, budget, and 5 healthy dinners, helping you save time, save money, and live better!

Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

Learn more about Erin

Leave a Comment

Did you make this recipe?

Don't forget to leave a review!

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




25 Comments

Leave a comment

  1. Made this tonight and it was a hit – thank you!  My husband raved about it and my daughter asked for seconds.  Neither one of us have ever really liked quinoa that much until this recipe.  I made it with black beans instead of chicken and just cooked it right in ye olde cast iron skillet.  Made enough for leftovers!  Thanks – fantastic recipe.5 stars

    1. I am so excited to hear that Laura!! Thanks so much for trying the recipe and letting me know how it came out for you.

  2. Thanks so much for this recipe! I actually happened to have leftover frozen corn, a huge zucchini and three peppers – red, green, and yellow. So I made this recipe alllmost exactly as written – my only substitute was brown rice for quinoa, as the boy will not eat quinoa. It was soo good, and pretty easy too! 5 stars

    1. Lauren, I am so excited to hear this!! Thanks so much for sharing this kind review—I’m glad both you and the boy loved it, and it’s great to know that the recipe works well with brown rice too.

  3. This was SO good! I used Gouda cheese and we loved it. Has anyone tried to freeze it? I’m thinking about doubling the recipe and freezing one next time for a quick weeknight meal! 5 stars

    1. Kelli, I am so excited to hear how much you liked this recipe! It also freezes beautifully—please see the recipe notes for more direction.

  4. Another home run, Erin! I love the way this tasted so healthful and indulgent at the same time — the veggies shine and the creamy sauce is delicious. My husband loved it too, and even asked if it was one of your recipes because he knows how often I make things from your blog — you have a reputation in our house for creating delicious meals :). Thanks for all that you do!5 stars

  5. This is delicious! My favorite quinoa recipe to date! I’m excited about all the potential variations of  this recipe – Mexican! Italian! – depending on the veg and cheese and spices. Thanks, Erin! 

    And Go Irish!!5 stars

    1. Kate, HOORAY!!! I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed this so much, and I love your suggestions for different ways to vary it up. You are making me hungry :) Thanks so much for leaving this lovely review and GO IRISH!!! Hope you are well!

  6. So yummy! As always! I absolutely love your recipes. I’ve probably made at least 15 of them over the last year, and I’ve loved every one of them. I did half quinoa, half white rice. And my only other change was to leave out some of the red bell peppers, and add in some chopped fresh spinach. Really good! My 3-year old son asked for seconds at dinner, which hardly every happens! Thanks so much, Erin!5 stars

    1. Sharice, this makes me so, so happy to hear! Thank YOU so much for trying my recipes and for taking time to come back and leave a review. It means a lot!

  7. Do you think this recipe doubles well? I’d like to double it and freeze for a lakehouse meal! So excited to try it tonight! 

  8. This was delightful for a cold January day. All the veggies and flavors of summer in an easy casserole. You have SO many fabulous recipes Erin, I’m glad I found your site last year!5 stars

  9. This turned out well.  Made it to freeze but snuck a cupful before hand. Mine did not turn out liquidy.  Maybe inthickened it too much? It is so delicious. 5 stars

  10. I made this last night, and it was a hit with me and my husband. Our 4 year old toddler, who is in a current state of food defiance/pickiness -to-show-power, even ate a few bites. My only complaint is not having more a more specific serving size for calorie/nutritional counting. It says serves 4-6 and then serving size down below is 1 of 5. 5 stars

    1. Hi Tara, I’m so glad it was a hit with the whole family! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this awesome review!

  11. I love the recipe as is. But if I want to lower the fat (and the weight watches points) how do you feel about me subbing the milk for nonfat greek yogurt. I would also reduce the cheese to a total of 1 cup vs 1.5 cups. How do you think that would turn out? I am doing this based on your mexican chicken quinoa casserole which I also love.

    1. Hi Anne, since the milk is already nonfat milk, using nonfat Greek yogurt wouldn’t change the fat content. You could certainly reduce the cheese if you prefer!

  12. Cleaning out the pantry in order to lay in stuff for Xmas. Put in keywords quinoa, corn/cheese and this recipe popped up. Did a lot of subbing w/creamed corn, beans and canned chili’s. Added cumin/chili powder/smoked paprika. Sautéed half an onion/garlic. Stirred it and 1/4 cup enchilada sauce in. Topped w/Mexican cheese blend. No need for a roux based sauce. Delish. Thanks for the basic recipe.5 stars

  13. very good!! new to quinoa and was looking for recipes and ways to use it when I found this recipe. the recipe is yummy! thanks for sharing.5 stars