Tex-Mex Chicken and Quinoa Casserole with Lime Crema and Pico de Gallo is a protein packed, healthy, and flavorful meal that everyone in your family will love. If you have cooked quinoa on hand, this is a one pot meal.
How was your weekend? I hope it was a good one. Our weekend was brutally hot here in Maryland. So hot that it was difficult to motivate to do more than chill out and relax.
Mondays always seem suited for healthier and lighter recipes. I hope I’m not the only one that overindulges on weekends. Drinks, appetizers, and eating out…good thing there are redeeming dishes like this one.
Tex-Mex Chicken and Quinoa Casserole is an awesome make-ahead dinner option and the leftovers are equally as good the next day.
I first made this dish a few weeks ago when we were having dinner with my sister and her husband. I wasn’t really paying attention as I sautéed a few vegetables together, added some spices, and called it dinner. The fact that everyone at the table went back for seconds got me thinking that this dish was something I should definitely share with you.
Because this dish has black beans, chicken, and quinoa, you know it’s packed with protein, which makes it perfect for a healthier weeknight meal. It’s also a great option if you’re delivering dinner to a friend. You can simply make it ahead, allow it to cool before wrapping it up, and include directions for baking it. Easy!
The ingredient list may look long, but I’ve broken it out so that it is easy to tell when to use the different amounts of spices. This dish can be assembled in about 15-20 minutes and then is baked for another 20 minutes.
Start by making the pico de gallo. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the diced tomatoes, ¼ cup diced onion, 1 tbsp cilantro, ½ tsp salt and lime juice. Toss to combine and set aside.
For the chicken, add the diced chicken to a mixing bowl with the ½ tsp chili powder, ½ tsp cumin, ½ tsp granulated garlic, ½ tsp salt, 1 juiced lime, and 1 tbsp olive oil. Once combined, heat a medium skillet to high heat. Add the chicken and brown until cooked through (about 5-7 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces). Once cooked, use a slotted spoon to set the chicken aside while you wash this pan so you can use it for the vegetables.
Rinse the quinoa. Add it to a small saucepan, and cook the quinoa according to package directions (about 10-15 minutes).
While the quinoa cooks, add olive oil to the pan. Add the yellow onion, yellow pepper, red pepper, jalapeno, and corn to the pan. Add 1 tsp salt. Cook 10 minutes stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender and just barely browned.
Add the chili powder, garlic, oregano, cumin, and cayenne. Stir to combine. It will be heavy on the seasoning but don’t worry. The unseasoned quinoa will soak up all of the flavors.
Add the drained and rinsed black beans to the pan with the vegetables. Add the cooked chicken. Toss to combine.
Add the cooked quinoa to the vegetables. Add the feta cheese and half of the cheddar. Toss to combine.
Transfer the mixture to a casserole dish (11X13 works best) and top with the remaining cheddar cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted to your liking.
While the casserole bakes, combine the sour cream and lime juice in a small bowl.
Top with avocado, cilantro, pico de gallo, and lime crema for a Tex-Mex protein packed dinner that will please your entire family.
- Pico de Gallo:
- 1 heaping cup diced tomato
- ¼ cup diced onion
- 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ lime, juiced
- For the chicken:
- 2 chicken breasts, cubed
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp granulated garlic
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
- For the vegetables:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 yellow pepper
- 1 red pepper
- 2 corn cobs, corn sliced off the cob
- 1 jalapeno
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp granulated garlic
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 can black beans
- 2 cup cheddar cheese, divided
- ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ lime, juiced
- avocado, for topping
- Add the chili powder, garlic, oregano, cumin, and cayenne. Stir to combine.
- Add the cooked quinoa to the vegetables.
- Add the feta cheese and half of the cheddar. Toss to combine.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted to your liking.
- While the casserole bakes, combine the sour cream and lime juice in a small bowl.
This casserole freezes well. You can bake it and freeze the leftovers. You could also cool the the assembled casserole prior to baking and freeze it. Then, just bake it from the straight from the freezer adding 10 minutes or so to make sure it is warmed through.