Baked Chicken Parmesan Quinoa Casserole

I know I’ve been only posting sweet treats lately, but I promise we’ve been eating more than cake and muffins! I’ve been going back and making some old favorite meals and also planning meals around what I need to use from our freezer.

Back in March when I had my SRC assignment where I made pretzel-crusted pork chops from Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks, I found this recipe and pinned it. I knew it was something that we all would enjoy and make enough for leftovers for lunches or another dinner. Things are going to get a little more hectic around here as Madeline starts swim lessons tomorrow night, so we’ll be having more quick meals than ones where we sit down and actually enjoy dinner. I’m sure things will only get more crazier as the kids get older and get involved in more activities!

 
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
15 oz can tomato sauce
15 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 cup quinoa, dry
2 cups water
1 lb boneless and skinless chicken breasts
2 cups mozzarella cheese
 
In a medium sauce pan, add the quinoa and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 20 to 25 minutes until fully cooked.
 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
 
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the diced onions and peppers. Saute for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the balsamic vinegar and scrape any bits off the bottom of the pan. Cook for 3 minutes to reduce slightly. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, red pepper flakes and spices. Bring to a low boil to simmer.
 
Cook the chicken in a saucepan in an inch of water. Simmer for 5 to 7 minutes on each side just until it’s cooked through. Remove and cut into bite sized pieces.
 
Add the diced chicken and quinoa into the tomato mixture. Stir to combine well.
 
In the prepared baking dish, layer half of the chicken and quinoa mixture. Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella cheese. Top with the remaining chicken and quinoa mixture and then the rest of the mozzarella cheese. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the casserole is heated through.
 

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