This Tex-Mex take on a quinoa casserole is not only tasty, but super quick to make!
Tex-Mex food is without a doubt my favorite type of food period. Growing up, El Chico was our favorite Tex-Mex restaurant. These days, there are so many more restaurants to choose from. Some great, some not so great. But the great ones? Yes, they take care of that intense craving for Tex-Mex. Chips and hot sauce. Beef fajita’s, cheese enchilada’s and tacos al carbon. All. So. Delicious. Maybe not all figure friendly, but still super delicious! And now I want chips and hot sauce.
This Tex-Mex Chicken and Quinoa casserole recipe incorporates some of my favorite flavors, while still being healthy. It’s also really quick to throw together. This is a casserole that can be on your table in a total of about 40 minutes, counting prep time. Which means that you can make this on a weeknight. It feeds between 5-6 people, so it’s great for families. If you seed the peppers, the heat level is mild.
It’s also great for busy couples because a big casserole means plenty of leftovers. And I love having leftovers in the fridge because that means there is one meal that I don’t have to worry about making the next day. Yay! That’s huge when you make pretty much every thing you eat yourself.
Alongside my quinoa casserole, I served a green salad with a lime vinaigrette. I think some black beans would also make a great side dish.
*I used pre-rinsed, sprouted quinoa for my dish. If you buy quinoa that is not pre-rinsed, you’ll want to rinse it before cooking to get rid of the bitter coating on the outside.
Tex-Mex Chicken and Quinoa Casserole
- butter for greasing baking dish
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa (rinsed if not using pre-rinsed)
- 1-2/3 cups of water
- 1 tbsp ghee , olive oil or coconut oil
- 1 medium white onion , diced
- 2 medium poblano peppers , ribs and seeds removed, diced
- 1 jalapeño , ribs and seeds removed if preferred, minced
- 1 lb . ground chicken
- 4 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp fine sea salt or salt to taste
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 (14.5 oz) can of crushed fire roasted tomatoes
- 2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
- Optional garnishes:
- chopped fresh cilantro
- sour cream
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 2 1/2 quart baking dish.
Cook the quinoa according to package directions, then set aside.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and peppers and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the ground chicken and cook, breaking it up as it browns. When the chicken has browned, add the garlic and seasonings and toss to coat.
Stir in the crushed tomatoes and quinoa. Add half of the cheese and gently mix again. Spread the mixture evenly into the baking dish and top with the remaining cheese. Place into oven and bake until it is bubbly and the cheese has melted, about 15 minutes. Serve topped with fresh cilantro.