This Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Casserole will remind you of your favorite green chile enchiladas! It’s an easy to make, healthy and gluten-free casserole the whole family will love!
When I was growing up, it seemed like there was some sort of casserole for dinner at least once a week. This Southwest Turkey, Vegetable and Rice Skillet is my take on my favorite casserole my mom used to make when we were kids. Casseroles don’t seem to be quite as popular as they were back then, probably because they got a bad wrap for using a lot of unhealthy, processed ingredients.
Well, I’m here to show you that casseroles can not only be healthy and full of wholesome ingredients, but taste amazing too! This Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Casserole is the perfect example of a non-retro, wholesome casserole. Bonus points because it has all the flavor of green chile chicken enchiladas, without all the work.
This is a one pan casserole, meaning everything added to the baking dish without have to dirty other dishes. You’ll want to use a 9×13 or similar size oven safe dish for this recipe. Using the proper sized dish ensure that the casserole bakes correctly. If you’re using something that’s much larger or smaller the cooking time will likely differ from what the recipe says.
While many casseroles use rice or pasta, I went with quinoa for it’s texture and health benefits.
What is Quinoa?
If you’ve never cooked or eaten quinoa it’s a great alternative to rice or pasta. Quinoa is a technically a seed, but nutritionally falls into the category of whole grains. It’s a naturally gluten-free carbohydrate and contains all nine essential amino acids making it a whole protein.
Health Benefits of Quinoa
- Quinoa is higher in fiber than most grains. Most of this fiber is insoluble, but it still contains 2.5 grams of soluble fiber per cup.
- It contains 8 grams of protein per cup, which is more than both rice and pasta.
- While quinoa is high in carbs (not a bad thing), it has a low glycemic index. This helps maintain your blood sugar so you don’t get all the spikes and crashes like you would with refined carbs.
- It’s high in antioxidants compared to other whole grains.
The other major players in the ingredients list for this Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Casserole are of course green chiles, black beans, chicken, zucchini, green onions, green enchilada sauce and of course plenty of cheese.
Lately we’ve been using and eat a lot of Cabot Creamery‘s award-winning Sharp Cheddar Cheese. The cheese melts beautifully, has a creamy texture and that classic sharp cheddar taste. It was perfect for shredding and topping this quinoa casserole. When I’m using cheddar cheese in a recipe I like to use sharp cheddar. Because of it’s strong, robust flavor I often don’t need to use as much.
Cabot farmers have been producing milk to make their cheeses for 100 years! I love that their cheddars use simple ingredients and are minimally processed. Milk, salt and cheese making cultures are all you’ll find in their cheddars. On top of that, the cheddars are also naturally lactose and gluten free.
Just like enchiladas, this enchilada quinoa casserole needed plenty of toppings. I added tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, red onion and plain Greek yogurt to mine. The combination of all the Mexican flavors was truly delicious and reminiscent of those found in traditional enchiladas, sans all the work and extra calories!
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
- 4 ounce can diced green chiles
- 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 2 green onions, sliced thin
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/4 cups green enchilada sauce, red enchilada sauce may also be used if you prefer
- 4 ounces Cabot Vermont Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
- Toppings - diced tomato, avocado, red onion, cilantro, plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
- Preheat oven to 350° F and spray a 9x13 or similar size baking dish with cooking spray.
- Add the quinoa to baking dish, spreading it into an even layer that covers the bottom of the dish. Add the green chiles, red bell pepper, black beans, green onion, zucchini and shredded chicken. Evenly distribute the ingredients over the top of the quinoa.
- In a large glass measuring cup or bowl, whisk together chicken broth and enchilada sauce, then evenly pour over all of the ingredients in the baking dish.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top and bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
- Top the casserole with diced tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, red onion and plain plain Greek yogurt or sour cream if desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 329Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 689mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 6gSugar: 6gProtein: 25g