Baked Quinoa Chicken Parmesan

In so many quinoa-based dishes, I like it at first but get sick of the texture halfway through the meal. With this one, though, that never became an issue. I don’t know if it’s because the quinoa is cooked twice, and gets softer, or something about being so mixed in a sauce, but this is a quinoa dish that doesn’t make you tired of quinoa.

IMG_6091Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes (didn’t have this, so just used more tomato sauce)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • pinch each salt and pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs (I used gluten-free brown rice ‘bread’ crumbs)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (didn’t bother)

In a large saucepan (I used a frying pan, whoops), heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30-60 seconds.

A bit browner than yours might be, as I had just cooked the chicken in that pan.

A bit browner than yours might be, as I had just cooked the chicken in that pan.

Add the vinegar and scrape the bottom of the pan to get any crusty bits.

IMG_6077Keep cooking until the vinegar is almost all absorbed/evaporated.

IMG_6078Add the tomato sauce, diced tomato, pepper flakes, basil, salt, and pepper.

IMG_6079Bring just to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer while you prepare the quinoa. (This would have been less likely to splatter everywhere in a saucepan!)

IMG_6083

Put the quinoa in a mesh strainer and rinse well. Transfer to a small pot and add the chicken broth. Place over medium-high heat until boiling, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer 20-25 minutes, until the liquid has absorbed.

While the quinoa cooks, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a 2 quart baking dish.

By the time the quinoa is cooked, the tomato mixture should be somewhat thickened.

IMG_6084Stir in the chicken and cooked quinoa.

IMG_6085Spread half the quinoa mixture in the greased pan and cover with half of the mozzarella. Spread the remaining quinoa mixture on top, and again cover with the other half of the mozzarella. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the mozzarella, then top with the breadcrumbs.

IMG_6086 IMG_6087Cover with foil and bake 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10, until the cheese is bubbly and golden.

Admittedly, gf breadcrumbs don't look quite as exciting as panko ones would.

Admittedly, gf breadcrumbs don’t look quite as exciting as panko ones would.

Serve garnished with parsley. Or not, I hate buying parsley when you need a tiny bit, and having the rest of the bunch slowly become a liquid in the back of the fridge.

IMG_6090I liked this! Everyone had seconds, which is generally a good sign, especially in a house where certain people will just make themselves a peanut butter sandwich at the table if they don’t care for your cooking that evening. Nice work not being tiresome, quinoa!

Baked Quinoa Chicken Parmesan

From Tracey’s Culinary Adventures.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes (or additional tomato sauce)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • pinch each salt and pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30-60 seconds. Add the vinegar and scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any crusty bits, then keep cooking until the vinegar is almost all absorbed/evaporated. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomato, pepper flakes, basil, salt, and pepper. Bring just to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer while you prepare the quinoa.

Put the quinoa in a mesh strainer and rinse well. Transfer to a small pot and add the chicken broth. Place over medium-high heat until boiling, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer 20-25 minutes, until the liquid has absorbed.

While the quinoa cooks, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a 2 quart baking dish.

Stir the chicken and cooked quinoa into the thickened tomato mixture.

Spread half the quinoa mixture in the greased pan and cover with half of the mozzarella. Spread the remaining quinoa mixture on top, and again cover with the other half of the mozzarella. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the mozzarella, then top with the breadcrumbs.  Cover with foil and bake 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and golden. Serve garnished with parsley.

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About sparecake

My name's Corinne, and I like cake, cookies, and chocolate! Also, non-c-things such as ponies, Star Trek, and biking. I write a food blog and a blog about life, wide open spaces, and museum work. Nice to meet you!
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