Cozy Chicken & Quinoa Casserole

A heavy hearted weekend filled with Prayers for Paris, extra snuggles from those we love, and questions about humanity that have no answers, calls for some comfort on this Monday. This recipe is from the archives on the old site and it is the perfect pre-feasting dinner. It tastes just like thanksgiving, without the guilt. It can be made in advance, travels well, and freezes well. Pretty much perfect. I make more than one every time and pop one in the freezer to have on hand for a lazy winter night. The recipe is simple, delicious, and full of healthy ingredients. Feel free to make this with ground turkey and leave out the mushrooms if the kids are not into them. Add in any other veggies you like as well. 

Chicken & Quinoa Casserole 
serves 8

1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 cremini (or white) mushrooms, thinly sliced
2/3 cup cup acorn squash, large dice (about one small squash)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lb ground chicken or turkey
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups quinoa (look by the grains or pasta in your market)
2 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
1 1/2 cup reduced fat Monterrey jack cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet, saute onion in olive oil on medium high heat for 5 minutes or until translucent.

Add mushrooms, squash and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add chicken, breaking into small pieced as it browns, about 5 minutes.

Add poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, stock and quinoa and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer ten minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley and 1 cup of the cheese. Transfer ingredients from pan into 9 x 9 casserole dish or baking pan. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of casserole and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Serve warm.

To make in advance, cook casserole all the way through the recipe. Then refrigerate and reheat at 350 degrees until warmed through. You can also freeze it. And either thaw or put straight in the oven frozen at 350 degrees. It will take about 1 hour to reheat. 


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