chicken broccoli quinoa casserole

Yep!  This is your favorite chicken & rice or chicken & broccoli casserole from your childhood...  redone to be a much healthier, full of protein cozy fall meal!

I made my own cream of chicken soup, and it took only seconds.  Feel free to use 1 regular sized can instead, if you'd like.

But after making the homemade version myself for the first time...  I'm pretty sure I'll never go back to the canned stuff!!  (I will have a whole post on this soup soon...  but I'll include the recipe below also!!)

This casserole is so comforting and cozy.  And now you don't need to feel guilty about eating it because it's also good for you!

I just ate a hugenormeous* bowl of this and am having a really hard time not dishing up another.  It's that good!!  (*yes, I am aware that I just made that word up.  I like it.)


Chicken Broccoli Quinoa Casserole Recipe
adapted from Eating Well, Living Thin, & my mom!

1 1/2 cups homemade cream of chicken soup* (or one can)
1/3 cup mayo
3 tablespoons lowfat milk
juice of one lemon
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
dash of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 3/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided (1 1/4 cup + 1/2 cup)
2 cups cooked, chopped chicken
1 1/2 cups broccoli, in small pieces
2 cups cooked quinoa**

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Butter a 9" square casserole dish.

In a large bowl, stir together the cream of chicken soup, mayo, milk, lemon, and spices until smooth.  Stir in the cheese, chicken, broccoli and quinoa and spread into the prepared baking dish.

Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese (If you're making this ahead, stop here and refrigerate or freeze until needed!) and bake for 35-45 minutes, until the casserole is bubbling and golden brown.

*Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup Recipe
adapted from Tammy's Recipes
(this recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups, or 1 can worth)

3/4 cup chicken stock
3/4 cup milk, divided (1/4 cup + 1/2 cup)
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon dried parsley
1/8 teaspoon paprika or cayenne pepper
salt & pepper, to taste
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons flour

In a small saucepan, combine the chicken stock, 1/4 cup milk, and seasonings and bring to a boil.  In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and remaining 1/2 cup cold milk.  Whisk the flour mixture into the boiling stock mixture and continue boiling and whisking until you have reached your desired thickness (won't take more than a minute)!

**Quinoa cooking instructions:
Rinse 3/4 cup quinoa thoroughly in a fine-mesh strainer until the water runs clear.  Combine in a small saucepan with 1 1/2 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 18-20 minutes, until all of the liquid has evaporated and the quinoa is clear & fluffy with a visible 'ring & tail'.  (This makes a little over 2 cups, so just measure out the 2 cups and use the rest for something else!)

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