Quinoa Chicken Enchilada Casserole

You know we like Mexican, Tex-Mex, and American-Mex over here at our house.  I am trying to mix things up a bit and try some new recipes, so this casserole with quinoa seemed like a perfect thing to try.  First, I had to explain to my boys what quinoa even was. Smile

For your knowledge, here is what About.com has to say about quinoa:

While quinoa is usually considered to be a whole grain, it is actually a seed, but can be prepared like whole grains such as rice or barley. Try a quinoa salad recipe, or serve a vegetable stir-fry over cooked quinoa instead of rice. Quinoa is my favorite whole grain for three reasons: First, it takes less time to cook than other whole grains – just 10 to 15 minutes. Second, quinoa tastes great on its own, unlike other grains such as millet or teff. Add a bit of olive oil, sea salt and lemon juice and – yum! Finally, of all the whole grains, quinoa has the highest protein content, so it’s perfect for vegetarians and vegans. Quinoa provides all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Quinoa is a gluten-free and cholesterol-free whole grain, is kosher for Passover, and is almost always organic.

I have tried a couple new recipes with quinoa lately and I really like it.  I had to get used to the texture because it is not like anything I had eaten before, but the flavor is so bland that you can really add it to just about any meal.  So on with the recipe already. Smile


  • 2 Tbl olive oilIMG_0178
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2.5 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1.5 cups cooked shredded chicken breast
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chilies
  • 1 Tbl chili powder
  • 2 cups enchilada sauce (1 – 19 oz can)
  • .5 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese


    1. Heat oven to 350o and spray 8 inch square dish with cooking spray.
    2. Heat 2 quart pot over medium-high heat.  Add oil and onion and cook 5 minutes, or until the onion is clear and soft.


    3.   Reduce the heat to low.  And quinoa, black beans, green chilies, chili powder and the enchilada sauce.  Stir well and remove from the heat.


    4.  Stir in the cheddar cheese and transfer to the backing dish.  Top evenly with pepper jack cheese.


    5.  Bake for 5 – 10 minutes, then broil for 1 to 2 minutes until cheese is golden and bubbly.

    6.  Garnish with any of your favorite toppings like sour cream, cilantro, green onions or Mexican crumbling cheese.


    And just for fun, I had to share this with you all…

    As I was cooking, I was munching on cucumber, and as usual, sharing my fresh veggies with my4-legged side-kicks.  Harley was so funny about the cucumber.  Of course Willow chomped it right up, but Harley would take it ever so gently and walk around the corner.  After a minute or two she would come back begging for another piece.  When I went to check on her, this is what I found:


    That silly girl had ever so carefully taken all the seeds out of the cucumber and left it on the floor.  I mean come on…even I eat the cucumber seeds.  Such a silly dog!

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