Mexican Chicken Quinoa Casserole

I’ve been reading, reading, reading, pretty much all the time since about Wednesday of last week.  Today I took a break to go shopping and stock up on groceries and kitty supplies before classes start again next week, and oh.  my.  COLD.  It took me about 2 hours to thaw out once I got back in (we’re back in the single digits with a negative windchill).  I may or may not be wearing fingerless mittens right now.  I’m definitely not planning on taking any other silly breaks from reading like the one today, unless it means turning on the oven.  And oh, it will mean that before the week is out, that’s for sure!

Mexican Quinoa Chicken Casserole | cooking ala mel

With how cold it is outside again, I needed something super filling and warming.  This casserole really hit the spot, AND it’s healthier than your usual casserole dish.  Greek yogurt makes it creamy, and it’s fullll of protein with the quinoa, chicken, and black beans (and the yogurt, too).

Mexican Quinoa Chicken Casserole | cooking ala mel

I’ve made this a couple of times now, each time with different veggies mixed in.  I did it with zucchini the first time I made it, closer to the end of summer, and this time I used spinach and cherry tomatoes.  I definitely liked this version better, although the zucchini was good, too!  You can easily pick whatever veggie you like the best.

Mexican Quinoa Chicken Casserole | cooking ala mel

This is a pretty quick dinner to make, especially if you use leftover quinoa (and/or chicken) from some other dish.  Hearty, super tasty, and healthy!  The best.  I’d also recommend a dollop of guacamole on top – yummy.

What is your favorite dish to warm you up on cold nights?

Mexican Chicken Quinoa Casserole

serves 8

Mexican Chicken Quinoa Casserole

  • 4 cups cooked quinoa (or brown rice)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, packed
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1-15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped (or shredded)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • cheddar cheese, for sprinkling
  • greek yogurt/sour cream or guacamole, for topping

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the extra cheese/yogurt for topping. Mix until everything is coated evenly with the yogurt and spices. Scoop the mixture into a casserole dish with a 2.75 quart capacity and smooth with a spatula. Sprinkle with extra cheddar.

Bake at 350ºF for 20-25 minutes, until heated through. Serve immediately with a dollop of greek yogurt/sour cream or guacamole. Enjoy!

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