Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

quinoa_enchilada_casserole_jordan_tickleI ran across the initial recipe for this on Pinterest several months ago and finally tried it – we were pleased with it. I then decided to tweak it specifically to our liking and adapt it to use full cans of things so that I didn’t have half cans sitting around in the fridge for a few days waiting to be used in something else. (I despise having to throw things out and not use them!)

The beauty of this dish is that it’s pretty simple and quite healthy. The only “bad” thing in the whole dish is the shredded cheese – which you could easily substitute out for reduced fat cheese. (Heck, you could even eliminate cheese all together and it would still be great – but we all know that everything is better with some cheese!)

Printable Recipe PDF here: quinoa_enchilada_casserole_recipe_pdf

QUINOA ENCHILADA CASSEROLE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1c. Quinoa (I use half white and half red)
  • 2 c. Cooked and shredded meat (Approx. 1lb.)(Chicken, Pork or Beef)
  • 2c. Shredded Mexican Cheese (divided)
  • 4oz. Can Green Chilies (juice included)
  • 15oz. Can Black Beans (rinsed)
  • 11oz. Canned Southwest Corn with Peppers (drained)
  • 10oz. Mild (Red) Enchilada Sauce
  • 4oz. Salsa or Rotel
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Cumin
  • Dash Red Pepper Flakes
  • Dash Garlic Powder or Mined Garlic
  • Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  • For the meat: I’ve used chicken and pork for this recipe that I had left over from a previous recipe (roasted chicken, pork loin roast, etc) but you can use just about anything you like. When you cook your meat, do remember to season it with a little something to build the flavor in each layer of your dish. Taco seasoned ground beef or turkey would be a great idea for this one too!
  • Preheat oven to 375°F and grease/spray an 8x8x3″ casserole baking dish.
  • Cook Quinoa per package instructions. (2c. Water to 1c. Quinoa. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer. Cook covered for about 15 minutes until tender.) Add a little garlic, salt and red pepper flakes to the water to help flavor the quinoa while it cooks.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine everything, except the cheese and egg, making sure your spices are mixed thoroughly. Taste the mixture to make sure it has a flavor that you like and add more of whatever seasoning you think it might need. (Keep in mind that the quinoa will dilute the flavor slightly after added.)
  • Once the mixture tastes to your liking, add the meat, egg and all but 1/2 c. of the cheese. Mix well.
  • Add the quinoa when finished cooking (drain off any water that may still remain in the pot). Mix until combined.
  • Pour mixture into a greased 8×8″ pan that is around 3″ deep. (I use a Pyrex pan and it fills it completely)
  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375°F for about 35 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, uncover and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Reduce heat to 350°F and cook uncovered for another 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly browned.
  • Topped with sour cream, green onions, olives and tomatoes would be a great way to dress this dish up! Serves 6.

Enjoy! Comment below and let me know how this recipe turned out for you:)

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