Chicken Quinoa Wild Rice Casserole
Truth be told: this is a dish I’ve wanted to post about for a while. However, I’ve avoided making it and photographing it because I knew it would be a challenge. It’s easy to make nachos look delicious and obviously cupcakes are a walk in the park.
But a casserole? That’s a different kind of challenge for my amateur photography skills. Especially when you’re trying to make it kind of healthy and minimize the amount of cheese you dump in.
But at the end of the day, this is about the food. It’s about delicious food. And this, I promise you, is one delicious casserole!
I’ve been making a variation of this casserole for years using this recipe that I found floating around on Pinterest. It’s SO good but also a dish that I kind of felt guilty making because it’s a TON of rice and 800 pounds of cheese. So, I decided that I would alter the recipe a bit by swapping out the white rice for quinoa and cutting the amount of cheese from 4 cups to 1.5.
I found this fancy pants wild rice on sale at the market and decided it was the perfect excuse to try this casserole out (especially since I had ALL of the other ingredients at home already).
Can we take a brief moment to discuss this packaging. Because in case you were worried (which I know some people are), this rice is gluten-free, whole grain, vegan, kosher, non-gmo, and oh, it also comes from a “family farm”. :) We discussed yesterday how I’m a huge sucker for ‘good’ marketing. I get it; We like to know what we’re eating. But, it’s still entertaining to me.
Alrighty, on to the cheesy quinoa casserole!
In a skillet, heat your oil and toss in the celery, onion, garlic, and carrot. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, throw in your cooked and diced chicken.
And then your fancy rice and quinoa…
Add a little S&P to the mix and give that a good stir! Continue to cook over low heat.
In a separate pan on medium heat, melt your butter. As soon as the butter has melted, whisk in your flour, chicken broth, and a little S&P. Continue stirring until the mixture starts to boil and then add in HALF of your cheese. Stir until the whole mixture is melted together into a cheesy glob of goodness. Turn off the heat and set aside.
Next, pour your quinoa rice chicken veggie mixture into a baking dish.
And then promptly pour the cheese mixture over top.
I know it doesn’t look glamorous yet. So let’s add the remaining cheese over top.
All that’s left now is to throw that casserole in the oven for a bit. We want the cheese to cozy up to the chicken and the veggies and the rice and quinoa. Be friends!
The end result is cheesy wholesome goodness.
If you’re making this for a family of 4-5, it’s the perfect size! If you’re making this for one or two it’s EVEN BETTER because it makes for wonderful leftover for a couple days. I highly recommend this as a work lunch. Make it on Sunday night and then you’ve got lunch for a few days.Print
adapted from Rachel Schultz
- 2 cups of chicken, cooked and diced into small pieces
- 1 cup of uncooked quinoa
- 8 ounces of wild rice (half of a normal sized bag/ box)
- 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 4 medium carrots, diced
- 4 stalks of celery, diced
- 3–4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour
- 2/3 cup chicken broth (vegetable broth will also work)
- 1 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese, grated and divided in half
- Garlic salt
- Salt & Pepper
- Cook quinoa and wild rice according to packaging. Set aside
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degree F.
- In a large skillet heat your oil and then add in the celery, onion, garlic, and carrot. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes lower the heat to low and add in chicken, quinoa, and wild rice to the pan with the vegetables. Let sit while you max the cheese mixture.
- In a separate pan on medium heat, melt your butter. As soon as the butter has melted, whisk in your flour, chicken broth, and a little S&P. Continue stirring until the mixture starts to boil and then add in HALF of your cheese. Stir until the whole mixture is melted together. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- Pour your quinoa rice chicken veggie mixture into a baking dish.
- Promptly pour the cheese mixture over top and top the casserole with the remaining cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes, let cool for a moment, and ENJOY!!