Main Courses

Chicken & Quinoa Enchilada Bake

There is nothing wrong with being a casserole person, I am just not one. The most “casserole” like dish I probably made in 5 years of living by myself was a lasagna that I made once, for Ryan, and I don’t think I even ate any. The idea of leftover casserole makes bile rise to the back of my throat. So when I saw a version of this dish on Two Peas and Their Pod, I was surprised at how quickly I went about making it. I know it seems like there are a ton of ingredients, but it’s such an easy dish for a weeknight dinner. Mix it all, throw it in a baking dish, and off you go.  I modified the Two Peas version of this recipe by adding chicken (any meat is fine) and cutting back a bit on the cheese. If it’s baked on the top I don’t need extra in the middle- that’s the secret to keeping the extra off my middle. 😉

Chicken Quinoa Enchilada Bake.jpg

Chicken & Quinoa Enchilada Bake  
Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes   Cooking Time: 25 minutes    Total Time: 45 minutes

2 raw chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
1 white onion, small dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp paprika
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels (thawed)
1 red bell pepper, small dice
1 jalapeno, seeds and stem removed, minced
1 poblano pepper, seeds and stem removed, small dice
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 large can diced tomatoes, juice included
2 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup raw cooked in 2 cups water)
1 can enchilada sauce
scant 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
salt and pepper to taste
avocado, for garnish
sour cream, for garnish


  1. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Drizzle with vegetable oil.
  2. Lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the chicken to the pan and saute for 2-3 minutes, or until the outside starts to brown. Add the onion and next 4 ingredients (paprika) and saute for another 2 minutes. Add the corn and next 4 ingredients (pinto beans) and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook another 5 minutes so that the flavors begin to blend.
  4. Add the tomatoes with their juice, enchilada sauce, quinoa, and half the cheese to the pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper before transferring to a large baking dish.
  5. Add the remaining cheese to the top of the mixture, cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 5 minutes so that the cheese is really bubbly. Remove from the oven and let it stand (you can lightly cover with foil) for a few minutes before diving in. Serve with avocado, sour cream, scallions, tortilla chips, or any other of your favorite Mexican food condiments.

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