Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

Healthy, cheesy comfort food without any of the guilt!

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole - Healthy, cheesy comfort food without any of the guilt!

Jason and I have decided to have a mini getaway after his graduation in May. He’s been in architecture grad school for the last 3 years, and seeing that this is the last break he’ll ever have, we will be flying to a gorgeous resort to Cabo for 5 whole days! That being said, I have 2 months to get ready for bikini season, and since I love food too much to “diet”, I’ve lightened up a classic comfort food favorite.

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole - Healthy, cheesy comfort food without any of the guilt!

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole - Healthy, cheesy comfort food without any of the guilt!

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole - Healthy, cheesy comfort food without any of the guilt!

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole - Healthy, cheesy comfort food without any of the guilt!

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole - Healthy, cheesy comfort food without any of the guilt!

This casserole is made completely from scratch with healthy ingredients – but have no fear – there’s plenty of cheese, creaminess, toasted breadcrumbs for that extra crunch, and an overall balance of veggies and quinoa for that extra protein. And if Jason, the all-time quinoa hater, devoured this without looking up, well, I’m sure your pickiest of eaters will just gobble this up too!

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole - Healthy, cheesy comfort food without any of the guilt!

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

Healthy, cheesy comfort food without any of the guilt!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup Panko*
  • 3 boneless, skinless thin-sliced chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil an 9×13 baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large saucepan of 2 cups water, cook quinoa according to package instructions. Within the last 5 minutes of cooking time, add broccoli on top and steam until cooked through.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add Panko and cook, stirring, until browned and toasted, about 3 minutes; set aside.
  4. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the skillet. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, to taste. Add to skillet and cook, flipping once, until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Let cool before dicing into bite-size pieces; set aside.
  5. Melt butter in the skillet over medium heat. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in quinoa, broccoli, chicken, 1 cup cheese and Greek yogurt; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Spread broccoli mixture into the prepared baking dish; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Place into oven and bake until cheese has melted, about 5 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately, sprinkled with Panko, if desired.

*Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb and can be found in the Asian section of your local grocery store.

Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats.