This quick and easy Healthy Mexican Chicken Casserole is a delicious, lightened up way to enjoy Mexican food! With only 8 simple ingredients, plus a couple pantry seasonings, and 15 minutes of prep required, this quinoa casserole is the perfect healthy weeknight Mexican dinner!!Recipe can be scaled up or down by using the slider if you hover your mouse over the number of Servings.
Optional for Serving: Sliced Scallions, Chopped Cilantro, Sliced Avocados, Pico de Gallo, Sour Cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9x13’’ baking dish (or similar-size casserole dish) with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
Cook the quinoa according to directions on package. Once cooked, remove from heat, fluff and season generously with salt and pepper. Transfer cooked quinoa to a large bowl.(Tip: See the notes section below for how to perfectly cook quinoa!)
Mix casserole ingredients: Add the cooked chicken, salsa, onion, green chiles, corn, black beans, garlic powder, cumin and chili powder to the bowl of quinoa. Stir to combine. Fold in 1 cup of jack cheese and ½ cup of mozzarella. Generously season with salt and pepper. (SEE NOTES)
Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.
Add Cheese + Bake: Sprinkle the remaining cheeses evenly over the top of the casserole. Transfer the casserole dish to the oven and bakefor 20-22 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Serve: Remove baking dish from the oven and let stand for 3-5 minutes. Top with your favorite Mexican garnishes. Serve hot and enjoy!
If your quinoa and the chicken quinoa mixture seems on the dry side, add more salsa one tablespoon at a time. If you cooked the quinoa according to the directions below, you shouldn't need more salsa.
Baked quinoa casserole leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Pro-tip: Portion out leftover quinoa casserole into individual servings and freeze for an easy microwave meal (perfect for lunches)!
Unbaked quinoa casserole can be assembled and covered tightly with plastic wrap and then foil and stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, thaw the casserole in the refrigerator overnight and bake per the recipe instructions, adding 15-20 minutes to the cook time.
How to Cook Perfect Quinoa: (Method from cookieandkate.com)
Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer with cool water and drain well.
Transfer quinoa to a saucepan and add 2 1/2 cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Immediately reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook quinoa, stirring occasionally, until all of the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes, reducing heat as necessary.
Remove pan from heat and cover. Let the quinoa steam, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove lid, fluff and season generously with salt and pepper. Proceed with recipe.
Nutritional information is an approximation based upon 6 servings. Exact information will depend upon the brands of ingredients and precise measurements used.