In the colder months, nothing hits the spot quite like a creamy casserole. This chicken quinoa and broccoli casserole has all the creaminess of the casseroles you grew up with, but without all the extra calories and saturated fat.
This casserole was one of the first dinners Bry made for me when we first moved in together. During the first four months at our first apartment, I was commuting a little over an hour on the T to my dietetic internship. Bry on the other hand had the dream commute of just a 10 minute walk to his office. So, one night after a long day working inpatient and then a much-too-crowded T ride home, I came home to find the table set and bubbling hot casserole cooking in the oven. And let me tell you, boy did good.
The original recipe is from Pinch of Yum, but Bry being Bry decided to switch up some of the seasonings and use almond milk to lighten things up (and give our lactose-intolerant stomachs a break). We also used a steamer to cook the broccoli instead of boiling it.
In order to get the right texture, make sure to add about ½ cup of water to the casserole when you go to add the broccoli. It may seem scary and you may worry that it will come out too watery, but I promise it’ll magically turn into a creamy sauce.
For those of you meal planning, the leftovers keep in covered containers for 1 week in the fridge. I recommend portioning them out into single-serving containers then just reheating in the microwave for about 2 minutes throughout the week.
So here’s a toast to heart-warming, healthy meals!
This chicken quinoa and broccoli casserole has all the creaminess of the casseroles you grew up with, but without all the extra calories and saturated fat.
Course: Main Course
Keyword: Healthy Chicken Casserole, Quinoa
2cupsreduced sodium chicken broth
1cupunsweetened almond milkseparated
Seasonings: garlic powderblack pepper, red pepper flakes, salt
¼cupshredded gruyere cheese
3cupsbroccoli floretsI generally just use a whole large head of broccoli
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and grease 9×13” baking pan with cooking spray.
In a saucepan, bring broth and ½ cup almond milk to a boil. While waiting for mixture to boil, whisk together ½ cup flour and remaining ½ cup almond milk in a small bowl to make a slurry. Add slurry along with 1 tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp black pepper, ¼ tsp salt, and pinch red pepper flakes into boiling pot. Whisk until smooth and creamy.
In a large mixing bowl, combine broth mixture with quinoa and 1 cup of water. Pour into prepared baking dish.
Cut chicken length-wise into 2”-thick strips and place on top of quinoa mixture in pan. Add pinch of salt and pepper over chicken then bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
While casserole is baking, steam broccoli about 3-4 minutes, or until just slightly soft – you still want them to be a little crisp so they don’t get soggy once you add them to the casserole.
After casserole has baked for 30 minutes, check to see if chicken is cooked through and the quinoa has puffed out. If either are still undercooked, return casserole to oven for another 5-10 minutes.
Once quinoa and chicken are cooked, stir in steamed broccoli along with ½ cup of water. Top with cheese and bake another 5 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling and the sauce has thickened.
Remove from oven and enjoy!
Nutrition for ⅙ of recipe: 230 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 20 g carb, 3 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 25 g protein
Thanks Nicole! It definitely keeps you full, but without feeling too stuffed.
I’m Kelli MS, RD, and my mission is to prove that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. Follow along to learn more about food and cooking, with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!
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Hi, I’m Kelli McGrane MS, RD! My mission is to show you that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. I believe getting to know your food is the first step to a healthy relationship with it. Follow along in my journey to learn all I can about ingredients and cooking with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!
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