Mexican Quinoa Casserole

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I’m going through one of those phases where I just don’t feel like cooking!  Yep, it happens to all of us once in awhile and now is my time.  It’s the holiday season and with that comes an elevated level of stress right?

So, ’tis the season for a super easy meal that’s delicious and on the table in a snap.  Don’t let the word casserole turn you off, this is a healthy one that’s packed with protein and whole grains….guilt free!  It’s so good for you that you won’t feel bad having a Christmas cookie for dessert!  The chicken can absolutely be omitted making it a vegetarian dish.

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The chicken I used here was, wait for it, canned chicken!  What, canned meat?  Let me tell you, it gets a bad wrap. It is all natural, preservative-free white meat chicken packed in water and it is your friend for a quick meal option.  I use it in casseroles, panini sandwiches, stirred into sauce over pasta and over greens for a nice entrée salad.

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This an extremely versatile dish, use what you have in your pantry.  Sub the enchilada sauce for salsa (I like the green salsa verde), green peas for the corn and white beans or chick peas for the black beans.  I’ve even omitted the beans all together and chopped up two black bean burgers instead.  Ground turkey is also a nice substitute for the canned chicken.  Make it your own.

Mexican Quinoa Casserole
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This guilt-free casserole is full of flavor and so healthy. Try omitting the chicken for a vegetarian main dish.
Author:
Recipe type: Casserole
Cuisine: Healthy Dinner
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 13 ounce can of canned chicken (all natural, white meat, packed in water)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • ½ cup canned black beans rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup frozen corn (I use roasted frozen corn)
  • 1 10 ounce can of mild enchilada sauce (or 10 ounces of salsa)
  • 1 4.5 ounce can of diced green chilis (I used ½ cup of jarred chopped mild chili peppers)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2-3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro - chopped
  • ¾ cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • ¼ cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 2 Roma tomatoes - diced
  • low fat sour cream for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray a 2 quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Cook the quinoa in 2 cups of water or broth according to package directions.
  4. Cook the frozen corn according to package directions.
  5. In a large bowl mix the quinoa, chicken, black beans, corn, enchilada sauce, green chilis, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper to taste and the cilantro.
  6. Stir to combine all ingredients.
  7. Stir in ¾ cups of the cheese.
  8. Put the mixture into the baking dish.
  9. Top with the remaining ¼ cup of cheese.
  10. Bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted on the top.
  11. Serve immediately topped with the Roma tomatoes, a dollop of sour cream and a cilantro garnish.
  12. Store in the refrigerator for delicious leftovers for up to a week.

 

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