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The week of Thanksgiving always seems to be packed full of grocery shopping, prepping, cooking and baking. This year is turning out to be no different, with the added stress and fun of taking a trip to Tokyo this past weekend. We’re not hosting this year so one of my biggest challenges, and one I’m sure many people also face, has been trying to come up with healthy meals for the rest of the weekend. With Thanksgiving day being such a food-centric holiday, I never want the other meals to be heavy or time consuming and I certainly do not want to go out and eat unhealthy restaurant food.
This chicken enchilada casserole is the answer to all of my post turkey day needs. As the title suggests, the main components of the dish are quinoa, black beans and ground chicken, which means it’s filling but not in the “I need to roll myself to the couch now” way. I throw in as many veggies as I can, usually corn, onions and bell pepper. Don’t limit yourself there, especially if you have other things to use up in the fridge! I think chopped tomatoes, zucchini, or spinach would be great additions too. The green chilies, enchilada sauce and a few extra spices provide a lot of zesty flavor that I love, which is a refreshing break from the fall spices prominent at Thanksgiving. Topped with a sprinkling of cheese and cilantro, this is an easy, simple, one bowl meal that can be on the table in an hour. An added bonus is that it makes a lot and, from personal experience, freezes and/or reheats really well. With a dinner option this simple, healthy and delicious, I can enjoy some time outside of the kitchen and maybe even a leftover piece of pie for dessert too.
Chicken, Quinoa and Black Bean Enchilada Casserole
- 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 lb. ground chicken
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (4oz) can diced green chiles
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 cup corn frozen kernels
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- Juice of 1 small lime
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (8oz) can red enchilada sauce
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Add quinoa and chicken broth to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Turn heat to low, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed.
- Let stand, covered for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, cover again and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat.
- Cook ground chicken until browned, breaking into small pieces, if needed. Remove from pan into a paper towel lined bowl and set aside.
- In the same large skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Mix in the garlic, chili powder and cumin until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add in the peppers, corn and green chiles. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Stir in lime juice and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa, black beans, ground chicken and vegetable mixture and stir to combine.
- Pour in the enchilada sauce and 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Mix well.
- Pour mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- Top with remaining shredded cheese and cover the pan with foil.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil. Bake an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and edges are bubbling.
- Remove from the oven, and let cool for 10 minutes.
- Garnish with cilantro, if desired. Serve warm with sour cream, salsa or guacamole.
Nutrition Panel: Serving Size: 1, 2 cup serving Calories: 291kcal Carbohydrate: 24g Fat: 14g Protein: 16g
Recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod