Creamy Cheesy Chicken and Garlic Quinoa Bake Recipe

Yields: 4-6 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35-40 minutes

Ingredients:

Quinoa Base:

  • 1-1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Chicken:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Creamy Garlic Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Mix-ins:

  • 3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped

Cheese:

  • 1 cup freshly shredded fontina cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

Prepare the quinoa:

  • Combine the quinoa, chicken broth, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until quinoa is fluffy and the liquid is absorbed.

Cook the chicken:

  • While the quinoa is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces, season with salt and pepper, and cook until browned on all sides and cooked through.
  • Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.

Make the creamy garlic sauce:

  • In the same skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Sprinkle flour over the garlic and stir for 1 minute to cook off the raw flour taste.
  • Gradually whisk in the milk, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.

Assemble the bake:

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  • To the cooked quinoa, add the cooked chicken, chopped tomatoes, green onions, and half of the fontina cheese. Stir to combine.
  • Pour the creamy garlic sauce over the quinoa mixture and stir well.
  • Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining fontina cheese and Parmesan cheese.

Bake:

  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and lightly browned.

Serve:

  • Let the bake cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Tips:

  • For extra richness, use heavy cream instead of milk in the sauce.
  • Add other vegetables like broccoli, spinach, or mushrooms for extra nutrition and flavor.
  • Substitute the fontina cheese with your favorite melty cheeses, like mozzarella, cheddar, or Gruyère.
  • If you don’t have fresh herbs, use dried Italian seasoning.

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