Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Casserole

January 20, 2016

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Casserole


Are you guys as pumped as I am for the NFC and AFC championships this weekend?
Probably not.
Maybe you live outside the US and you don’t know the first thing about American football.
Or maybe you do know about American football but couldn’t care less.
Or maybe — just like my friend David — you care only about College football and don’t give a damn about the NFL.
Whatever that may be, this weekend it’s time for the Conference finals and I DO CARE and I feel the need to talk about it. Alrite?
Since the Giants didn’t make it to the playoffs this year (I mean, what’s new…) I’m rooting for the Broncos — if for no other reason that I adore Peyton Manning, so GO BRONCOS!
The chances that Denver will make it to the Super Bowl are slim, but the game of football is unpredictable.

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Casserole


Anyways, we all know that game day means one thing: food (okay, maybe two, food + beer.)
And no one can deny that buffalo chicken wings are the quintessential game day food. No other snack food can compete.
It’s all about the sauce; ahh, the sauce. The mixture of butter and hot sauce that makes the wings so irresistible.
The sauce goes literally on everything. There’s no limit to where you can apply it — except for maybe cookies and cupcakes.

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Casserole


That’s why I decided that a casserole made with hot sauce + quinoa +  chicken + tomato + topped with blue cheese could be a great addition to your game day table (and mine too for that matters!)
It’s almost as perfect as chicken wings (maybe even better) and I’m sure it will win over your family and friends.
It is truly delicious. It’s like chicken wings and blue cheese dip in casserole form with quinoa.
This dish covers it all.

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Casserole


I know I say this about every single recipe I make, but this Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Casserole is awesome.
So awesome you may even dream about it or start liking American football...who knows, the possibilities are endless...

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Casserole


Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Casserole                                                                                                 Print this recipe!

Ingredients
Serves 8

1 cup quinoa, picked and rinsed well
2 cups of water
¼ teaspoon fine grain salt
2 small chicken breasts (about 4 oz / 113 gr each)
1 vegetable bouillon (I used Rapunzel)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 celery stalk
1 onion finely chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (8 oz / 225 gr) can tomato sauce
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
6 to 8 tablespoons hot sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot), adjust to taste
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup blue cheese crumbles

Directions

Heat a splash of olive oil in the saucepan over medium-high heat, and add the quinoa. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute, letting the water evaporate.
Add 2 cups of water and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Bring to a rolling boil, lower to a simmer (turn heat down to the lowest setting), cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 more minutes, covered.
Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa gently with a fork (you should see tiny spirals separating from and curling around the quinoa seeds.) Set aside.
In the meantime, in a medium saucepan, place chicken breasts, celery stalk cut into big pieces, parsley, and cover with water. Add bouillon, bring to a boil, lower to simmer, and cook covered for 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
Remove chicken, let cool, and shred with a fork. Set aside.
Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 6 minutes.
Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Give a good stir, lower the heat, and let simmer for 7 to 8 minutes.
In a dry nonstick skillet over medium high heat, toss and toast quinoa with cayenne pepper, sweet paprika, and garlic powder for 2 minutes. Taste and season with salt. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) and lightly grease a 8x8 baking dish (or a large cast iron skillet).
In a large bowl combine toasted quinoa, tomato mixture, shredded chicken, hot sauce, and half of the cheese.
Transfer quinoa mixture to the baking dish (or cast iron skillet) and top with remaining cheese.
Cover with foil and and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for further 10 minutes.
Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and serve!

Nutrition facts

One serving yields 293 calories, 13 grams of fat, 20 grams of carbs, and 23 grams of protein.

40 comments:

  1. This looks fantastic!! Just might have to make it on Sunday. I love Peyton, too!! I'm from Indy and am so grateful for what he does for our city. I'll be rooting for him this weekend...it doesn't hurt any that by doing so, I get to root against Brady and the Pats.... :)

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    1. I think we did a pretty good job Mel at rooting for the Broncos :D

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  2. We love anything buffalo chicken in this house. Will have to give this a try!

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  3. I love all things buffalo, and the perfect molten cheesy texture looks awesome - can't wait to try this one!

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  4. Can this just be instantly in front of me?! I'd eat this for breakfast. Right now.

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  5. I could totally have this for Super Bowl Sunday! At least it won't be as messy as eating buffalo chicken wings! Thanks for this creation! :)

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    1. I have to confess that I love the messy part of eating buffalo chicken...

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  6. This looks crazy good and oh myyy, my boys are all looking forward. This would be so good, a hit.
    Have a wonderful game weekend.
    xx

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  7. This looks great! Love the skillet preparation, all that bubbly cheese, and the hot sauce :)

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    1. Im telling you Medha, it's all about the hot sauce :D

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  8. This sounds tasty but uses a lot of pots and pans. Would it be possible to omit the step where the cooked quinoa is toasted, and just toss it with the spices? Your photo also looks like there is more than 1/2 cup of the two cheeses on top. It's great to see a recipe like this that does not call for a cream cheese base, though.

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    1. You could definitely omit the quinoa toasting part BUT it won't be as delicious (still pretty awesome tho!)
      As to the melted cheese you see in the picture, I swear it's 1/2 cup of the two :)

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  9. You could do blue cheese savory cupcakes with buffalo sauce.

    Oh wait that's muffins.

    ...I'm still doing it. Oh! With chicken inside!

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    1. Cheese savory cupcakes with buffalo sauce...sounds amazing!

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  10. Hi
    I’m a little confused with the instructions.
    The recipe states only 2 cups water yet other water is mentioned.
    It says …
    1. Heat a splash of olive oil in the saucepan over medium-high heat, and add the
    quinoa. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute, letting the water evaporate.
    Doesn’t mention adding water only letting water evaporate.
    Then the 2 cups that are in the ingredients list are used next.
    Further down in then instructions, add water ….
    2. In the meantime, in a medium saucepan, place chicken breasts, celery stalk cut into big
    pieces, parsley, and cover with water.
    How much water?
    Is it just me not understanding the recipe?

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    1. Here's the thing. I mentioned the 2 cups of water because it's the precise amount one needs to cook the quinoa.
      Whilst, to cook the chicken you just need enough water to cover it - which depends on the size of pot in which you're cooking the chicken. It could be as little as 4 cups to as much as 8 cups.
      Hope this helps!

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    2. I was really confused by this as well. The first line of the recipe is "Heat a splash of olive oil in the saucepan over medium-high heat, and add the quinoa. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute, letting the water evaporate."
      What water? The only thing in the pan is the oil?

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    3. Pretty sure he just meant the leftover moisture from rinsing the quinoa. And toasting quinoa is definitely a big difference, much more nuttiness and more texture once cooked

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  11. One of the reasons I like watching football is buffalo chicken, so this really does look super awesome to me. I'll be cheering for the Pats this weekend though :)

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    1. I wouldn't expect anything different from a Bostonian... ;)

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  12. So...I'll leave Peyton Manning for your adoration if I can have all of this casserole! Heck yeah, it's way way better than chicken wings and healthier too - am thinking awesmazing is the right word to describe this? Happy Thursday Mike!

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    1. Awesmazing is always the right word when there's a quinoa situation! :)

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  13. Hey! Hold it right there, bub. Who says I only care about college? I never said that! Granted, college is my favorite by far. But once college bowl games are over, I'm all about some NFL playoffs. And for once, we actually agree on a team. Imagine that! I was pulling hard for Peyton last weekend over the Steelers, and I'm hoping he can continue the win streak against Brady this weekend. (Also, I love the Peyton commercials lately..."crawfish shorts, I like your style"!) Ok, so this weekend is playoffs and buffalo chicken casserole. I'm digging the quinoa addition to this one, Mike. Well done, my Wolfpack friend! #WolfpackFootball

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    1. Sorry man, I totally misconstrued your words. I apologize.
      Anyways I'm glad we share the same passion for Peyton (the commercials are rad indeed!)

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  14. I love quinoa but have a hard time getting my son to eat it... I don't think he'll be able to pass on this version though! Since the Dolphins and the Cowboys aren't in the playoffs, I don't care who wins this weekend and I'll have time to make this while my guys are watching. Thanks! :)

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  15. Hi Mike, what a great casserole, love all the flavor you have going on here. Have a great week-end!

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  16. It's 9:25 am and my mouth is watering for this casserole !!! I was wondering if I can use Feta cheese instead of Blue ? Or any other suggestions ?
    And up here, yes football is liked, but hockey rules ! Go Habs Go !! (even if they are not soing so great right now...)
    Thanks Mike for your recipies!
    Kim

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    1. You can absolutely use feta in lieu of blue cheese, it won't melt as well but I bet it's going to be just as delicious!

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  17. I'm not bold enough to like blue cheese, but otherwise, this recipe looks fantastic!! Perfect dish to go alongside the game...or anything at all!

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    1. You can omit the blue cheese if you want to, I promise I won't judge! ;)

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  18. I'm pretty sure it's the water that is evaporating from the rinsed quinoa.

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  19. This recipe is fabulous! I made it today. The fresh parsley on top makes it. I'll bet you could swap out roasted or grilled vegetable leftovers for the chicken or in addition to chicken to change it up.

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  20. Made this earlier in the week, and while my husband looked doubtful at first, he did end up going back for seconds... and thirds... and then stood over the stove and picked at it some more. So I guess we can call this a success!

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    1. That's awesome. I'm so glad you guys liked!

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