My 3 year old has been on a broccoli kick; she loves to eat those little "trees" as she affectionately calls them. She loves to eat them plain, dipped in ranch, in casseroles, etc. She's all about broccoli which I can't complain too much.
Almost every other day my toddler will ask me to make this Quick and Easy Broccoli Cheese Soup. A couple nights ago at dinner, while we were eating this soup, we were talking about favorite foods; she quickly pipped in that this soup is her favorite. My son still claims Split Pea Soup and Peanut Butter and Honey sandwiches as his favorite.
With my daughters love of broccoli lately I ended up buying a Costco sized bag of fresh broccoli. I've made soup several times, but knew we needed something else. I decided to whip up a healthier version of Chicken and Rice Casserole.
This Healthy Chicken, Quinoa, and Broccoli Bake is full of healthy ingredients, super-foods, and it doesn't include any canned cream of anything soup. Plus, I added a touch of bacon for a flavorful punch.
Healthy Chicken, Quinoa, and Broccoli Bake Casserole
Recipe: Alohamora slightly adapted Pinch of Yum
Active Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Time: 45 minutes-1 hour
Servings: 6-8 large servings
2 c. chicken broth
1 c. milk
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 c. flour
1 c. water
1 c. quinoa, uncooked and rinsed
1/4 c. bacon bits
1 lb chicken, uncooked and chopped
2 tsp seasoning salt
4 c. broccoli florets
1/2- 1 c. cheese, shredded
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a 9 x 13 casserole dish/pan.
- In a medium pot over medium to high heat bring the chicken broth and milk to a boil.
- Add the poultry seasoning and the flour to the pot. Use a whisk or a fork to stir it and make a smooth sauce.
- In a small to medium bowl mix the water, quinoa, and bacon together.
- Pour the quinoa mixture into the prepared pan.
- Pour the chicken broth sauce on top of the quinoa mixture in the pan. Stir to combine everything.
- Evenly distribute the chicken on top of the quinoa/sauce mixture in the pan.
- Sprinkle the seasoning salt on top.
- Bake the casserole at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes until the quinoa and chicken are cooked completely and the sauce thickens. FYI: Quinoa is cooked when it expands, is soft, and almost cracks open.
- While the quinoa is cooking blanch your broccoli. Place your washed broccoli florets into a glass bowl with a couple tablespoons of water. Cover it with plastic wrap and microwave for 3-4 minutes until the broccoli is bright green. Set the broccoli aside.
- When the quinoa and chicken are cooked add the blanched broccoli to the top of the casserole and stir it all together. If the sauce is too think or chunky you can add a touch (no more than 1/2 cup) of water to the casserole and stir it to combine everything.
- Finally, layer the cheese on top. You can use any cheese you want; I'm a big fan of white cheddar, Swiss, or Monterrey Jack with this casserole.
- Bake the casserole at 400 degrees for 5 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
- Store leftovers covered in the fridge.
Happy Healthy Chicken and