Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Casserole

September is probably the roughest month for me. It’s rough to get back in the swing of school lunches, dinner on the table every night, and homework. It’s probably made a little harder because not only do the kids go to school, but I do too. For me it’s nice to know that I can be home and log in to my class from home, but it’s tough because dinner has to be ready to go and on the table. And then there are the soccer practices and games, taekwondo car pooling, and school play practices to add in on top of my work schedule.

quinoa casserole

Mom life. I wonder why I fall into bed absolutely exhausted after a day of waking up at 4:30 and running non stop until 10:30 or 11pm at night.

chicken quinoa casserole

To make life a little easier for me, I love make ahead and freezer meals. This one is the PERFECT go to quinoa casserole meal for that. It can be easily made up and then frozen, used as a microwave lunch or eaten as leftovers.

chicken quinoa casserole

I love that it’s also made super easy with the use of the Hamilton Beach  4-20 Cup Rice Cooker and Hot Cereal Maker. I LOVE this thing. When I first got it I started freaking out. This recipe only uses one cup of quinoa and I worried that it would burn it, or cook it unevenly like my last rice cooker. But it did amazing and since then I’ve made oatmeal, steel cut oats, and rice in it. I love that it’s programmable to the type of grain I’m making so it cooks whatever grain perfectly. And for those nights that I OOPS it and forget to put the rice in….this rice cooker thought of THAT too and has a quick rice setting. 

hamilton beach rice cooker

You can find out more information about the rice cooker by going here.

And the best part is….I’m offering my READERS A CHANCE TO WIN ONE!!! That’s how much I love this rice and grain cooker. 

Chicken Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa (see notes for cooking quinoa below recipe)
  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 10.5 oz can mild red enchilada sauce
  • 1 4.5 oz can mild diced green chiles, drained
  • 1/2 cup frozen or canned corn (drained if using canned)
  • 1 cup cooked or canned black beans, (rinsed if using canned)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced into tiny pieces
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2-1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2-1 tsp taco seasoning (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (can substitute 2%)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella or monterrey jack cheese (can substitute 2%)
  • For the Toppings:
  • 1 roma tomato, diced
  • 1 avocado, pitted and diced
  • 3 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Sour cream

Instructions

  1. Cook quinoa according to directions (see link below recipe for several ways to prepare and store quinoa)
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8x8 inch casserole pan.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the quinoa, enchilada sauce, green chiles, corn, black beans, bell peppers, cumin, chili powder, taco seasoning, salt and pepper, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup mozzarella or monterrey jack cheese until combined.
  4. Pour the mixture into the casserole dish and spread it out evenly in the pan with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Top with the remaining cheddar cheese and mozzarella or monterrey jack.
  5. FREEZER MEAL OPTION: At this point, you can wrap the casserole in heavy duty tin foil and freeze. To prepare, thaw in refrigerator overnight, then bake as directed below. You can also freeze individual portions as well for lunches. Just microwave when ready to eat.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Remove casserole from oven, slice and serve. Have the toppings (tomato, avocado, cilantro and sour cream) out for individuals to top with.
http://burntapple.com/2016/09/07/chicken-enchilada-quinoa-casserole-2/

How to Cook Quinoa/Freezing Quinoa Instructions (Cookin’ Canuck): http://www.cookincanuck.com/2013/03/how-to-freeze-quinoa-and-quinoa-recipe-link-up/

Rice Cooker Quinoa: http://burntapple.com/2012/11/05/how-to-cook-quinoa-two-ways/

I was given the opportunity to review the Hamilton Beach 4-20 cup rice cooker and hot cereal maker as a Hamilton Beach Brand Ambassador. The opinion of the product and the recipe are my own. 

 

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