Baked Quinoa and Chicken Parmesan

It’s been a little while since I’ve cooked something with quinoa, so I thought it was about time. Plus, since I’m trying to be healthy and all, it seemed to fit the bill.

I’m pretty in love with Italian comfort food, but it’s definitely not in the get-skinny-for-the-Bahamas diet. This dish was an awesome lighter substitute! Since I love quinoa, I really didn’t even miss the pasta! You could easily make this with store-bought sauce to save time, but homemade is just so much better. If you have time, do it!

Baked Quinoa and Chicken Parmesan

(adapted from Prevention RD)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the balsamic vinegar, scraping anything off the bottom of the pan, and cook until it’s almost fully absorbed. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, red pepper flakes, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine quinoa and water in a small pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Add the cooked quinoa and chicken to the saute pan with the sauce. Toss to thoroughly combine. Place half the mixture into a nonstick sprayed baking dish or casserole. Sprinkle  half the mozzarella cheese on top. Top with the remaining quinoa mixture, and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese, Parmesan and breadcrumbs.

Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly, about 10 more minutes.

The dish was delicious, healthy, satisfying, and pretty cheap to make– it fed two of us for dinner one night and lunch two days. I’d definitely make this one again!

Enjoy!

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