This ain't your mama's chicken casserole. The comfort food classic gets a modern, nutrient-dense makeover with the addition of quinoa. Beyond being warm, cheesy, and generally delightful, this flavor-packed casserole is loaded with protein and is sure to become a new family favorite.
Combine cooked quinoa and 1 tablespoon oil in a bowl. Spread quinoa on a parchment-lined baking sheet; bake at 400° for 14 minutes.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil; swirl. Add poblano pepper, onion, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in flour, cumin, and chili powder; cook 1 minute. Add stock, salt, tomatoes, and chopped green chiles to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes. Remove pan from heat; stir in chicken. Pour half of chicken mixture into the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish; top with half of quinoa mixture and 2 ounces cheese. Repeat layers once with remaining chicken mixture, remaining quinoa, and remaining 5 ounces cheese. Bake at 400° for 25 minutes.
For the amount of work involved, my family just didn't like this enough to make again. Both my husband and my 19 year old called it bland. I offered to add some heat and they both just shrugged, like why bother? We have other CL recipes we like so much better, so we probably won't make this one again. FWIW, I found the top half of the quinoa was a little crunchy.
I made this as written, and didn't think the quinoa was too crunchy. It had great taste. But I thought the dish was too runny, and would reduce the amount of chicken broth. Our favorite king ranch casserole is one from thekitchn, but I will modify that one to include some quinoa instead of all of the tortillas.
This is a good recipe. It is fairly easy to make. Would not toast the quionoa though as that makes it too crunchy. Our full review with pictures can be seen here: http://www.nickandalonakitchen.com/2016/04/king-ranch-chicken-and-quinoa-casserole.html