King Ranch Chicken and Quinoa Casserole

IMG_2009I’ve been making a lot of dishes, particularly breakfast muffins, with quinoa lately so I was excited when I came across the recipe for this King Ranch Chicken and Quinoa Casserole.  Quinoa is a great source of protein, and I love the texture.  For this dish, you toast the quinoa after cooking it.  It makes it nice and crunchy, and I’ve started doing the same before adding it to my muffins.  Since I’m trying to keep cheese out of my diet, I used Lisanatti Almond Cheddar instead of dairy based cheddar in this dish.  Serve with cornbread or side of your choice.  I love Krusteaz ‘s Honey Cornbread mix.  A friend suggested it, and I’ve been hooked ever since.  I didn’t have any milk on hand since I don’t drink it so I subbed in canned coconut milk.  It was a delicious substitution!

1 3/4 cups cooked quinoa
2 medium poblano peppers, chopped and seeded
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chile powder
2 cups low sodium chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 can RO*TEL Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chiles
1 1/2 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded
3/4 cup Lisanatti Almond Cheddar, shredded
Krusteaz Honey Cornbread Mix (optional)

Preheat oven to 400° F.  Spread cooked quinoa on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 400° F for 14 minutes.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 2 teaspoons olive oil and swirl to coat.  Add poblano pepper, onion, and garlic.  Sauté 5 minutes. Stir in flour, cumin, and chili powder and cook 1 minute.  Add chicken stock, salt, and tomatoes and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes.  Remove pan from heat and stir in chicken. Place half of chicken mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish.  Top with half of the quinoa and half of the cheese. Repeat layers again.  Bake at 400° F for 25 minutes until bubbly and cheese is melted.

*Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

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