By the time you read this, I will have just returned home from spending an unforgettable weekend in Vermont for the inaugural Blog Brulee Conference. Something tells me I’ll be going through withdrawal for days to come and will be in desperate need of some comfort. Cheese-a-licious casserole to the rescue! And a lil’ Kona-stink, as I like to call it, courtesy of my 5-year-old miniature schnauzer who apparently has a scent that only a mother could love. It’s the epitome of comfort to me. Strange, I know.
In any case, this Hatch Chile Southwestern Quinoa Casserole is gluten-free, packed full of flavor and nutrients, and loaded with protein from the chicken, beans, and quinoa. It takes less than 30 minutes to prepare, and the best part is…leftovers! That is if you don’t invite the whole neighborhood over.
Hatch chiles were in full swing last month, and I made sure to stock up my freezer (always roast them first!) in order to enjoy them the whole year round. However, if you can’t get your hands on any, feel free to throw in some poblanos, jalapenos, serranos…anything that packs a lil’ kick. Cuz I don’t know about you, but when I see the word “Southwestern,” I better feel some heat . However, something like an Anaheim chile would work just as well for those lacking a penchant for spice.
Also if you want to stay away from cheese altogether, you can enjoy it simply as a quinoa salad. I especially love it served cold.
But if you’re one who craves that velvety, ooey-gooey element, then spread a layer on top and bake in the oven. Since the mixture is all cooked, it doesn’t need to be in there for too long – just until the cheese has melted the way you like.
Top with cilantro, sour cream, guacamole, what have you and you’ve got yourself one healthy and delicious comfort food.
This Hatch Chile Southwestern Quinoa Casserole is gluten-free and packed with protein! Tweet this
Hatch Chile Southwestern Quinoa Casserole
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup chopped roasted Hatch chiles (mild or hot)
- 1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, no sodium added
- 1 (7 3/4 oz) can of your favorite salsa
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Cook quinoa: Bring pot of water to a boil, add quinoa, and then lower heat to simmer.
- Cover, and cook until soft and liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over med-high heat. Add oil and sauté onion until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 min. Add rest of the vegetables and combine well. Add tomato paste. Add chicken. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and stir in quinoa and beans.
- Add salsa and water to the same pan, bring to a boil, then reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Combine to the mixture.
- Pour the mixture into a 9 inch by 13 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Serve with cilantro, sour cream, guacamole, etc.