Thursday, March 26, 2015

Buffalo Chicken Bake with Quinoa & Broccoli

During my pregnancy, I had a constant craving for Buffalo Chicken Dip.  I was determined to figure out a way to turn this awesome dip into an awesome entree.   However, since the baby was born, I barely have had time to feed myself, much less create new recipes.  But as the weather gets warmer and the days get a little longer, I'm determined to get back into my regular routine of cooking new, healthy recipes for my family.  And, yes, we could argue over the label of "healthy" when it comes to this recipe...after all, Buffalo Wing Sauce is high in sodium, and there is a copious amount of cheese.  But...BUT!  There is quinoa and tons of broccoli!  And lean chicken!  And a generous serving size is under 500 calories!  Most importantly, it is frigging delicious, and sometimes you just want to eat something frigging delicious.  

Buffalo Chicken Bake
With Quinoa & Broccoli

Serves 6

1 Cup Uncooked Quinoa
3 Cups Frozen Broccoli Florets, thawed
1 lb Chicken Breasts, cooked & diced
1/2 to 1 tsp Sea Salt (to taste)
1/2 to 1 tsp Garlic Powder (to taste)
3/4 Cup Whole Milk
8 oz Cream Cheese
4 oz Blue Cheese Crumbles
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
2/3 to 1 Cup Frank's Buffalo Hot Sauce (to taste)
1 Cup Sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (I used white cheddar)
Dried Parsley


1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 13 casserole dish.

2.  Cook quinoa according to package (tip: I think quinoa tastes best when cooked in chicken broth instead of water).  When quinoa is light & fluffy, with all liquid evaporated, remove from heat, and stir in the broccoli & chicken.  Season with garlic powder and salt.  Spread quinoa mixture evenly over the bottom of the casserole dish and set aside.  

3.  In a medium saucepan (I used the same pan I cooked the quinoa), over medium heat, heat the cream cheese and milk, until hot and smooth.  Stir in the blue cheese crumbles and take off the heat.  Spoon mixture evenly over the top of the chicken.

4.  Pour buffalo sauce over the top of the casserole and then top with the cheddar cheese. Sprinkle the top with dried parsley.  Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese has melted and the casserole is hot and bubbly.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Serving Size:  1/6th of Casserole
Calories:  493
Fat: 27
Carbs:  26
Protein:  23

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