Creamy Chicken Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole Recipe - Pinch of Yum
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Creamy Chicken Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole

284 reviews / 4.5 average

Creamy Chicken Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole is real food meets comfort food. From scratch, quick and easy, and a big gentle hug loaded with good-for-you ingredients.

Baked goodness is the antidote to winter. Yes definitely in the form of warm baked cookies and breads and muffins, but also, and please stay with us here, in the form of casseroles.

Cozy, bubbly, throw-it-all-in-one-dish, easy, cheesy, delicious is exactly what calls to our midwestern hearts to warm us from the inside out. WE ARE HERE FOR IT.

Under this cozy food blanket we have generously seasoned chicken, cooked quinoa, crispity delicious bacon, velvety homemade (yes, homemade!), sauce, a tiny bit of Gruyère or whatever kinda cheese you want over the top, and bright green pops of broccoli. Retro? Maybe. Absolutely delicious. YOU BET.

In This Post: Everything You Need For Chicken Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole

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Steamed broccoli being drained in a colander.

Ingredients In This Easy Chicken Casserole Recipe

The ingredients are pretty simple in order to bring this creamy comforting casserole together, and none of them are canned soup, no ma’am. That’s right, we’re doing some super easy, from-scratch business here to make everything sing. 

  • boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • fresh broccoli florets
  • quinoa
  • gruyere cheese (any kind will work)
  • chicken broth
  • milk
  • poultry seasoning
  • flour
  • crisp cooked bacon (optional… sort of)

Grab Your Casserole Dish and Let’s Bake

To achieve maximum velvety creamy goodness, and help everything reach its maximum texture potential, there are a few steps to bring it all together beyond, “Throw in dish. Bake.” Which is a very acceptable list of casserole instructions. But here we’re going to make a sauce, layer the ingredients, save the broccoli until the end to keep it bright and green and tender crisp.

  1. Sauce: Bring the chicken broth and half the milk to a low boil in a saucepan. Whisk the rest of the milk with the poultry seasoning and flour and then add that in and whisk until a smooth creamy sauce forms.
  2. Assemble: Mix the sauce, one cup water, quinoa, and bacon (if using) in a bowl and pour that into the prepared baking dish. Slice the uncooked chicken breasts into thin strips and lay those right over the top of the quinoa mixture. Sprinkle with the seasoning.
  3. Broccoli: Go ahead and give that a quick steam and then set it aside until the last 10ish minutes of baking.
  4. Bake: Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes. Give it a check and a stir, and if needed, bake for an additional 10-15 minutes if needed to further thicken. Add that yummy broccoli and a little bit of water, stir until creamy and smooth. Top with the cheese and bake for 5 minutes, or just long enough to melt the cheese.
Mixing Chicken Broccoli Quinoa Casserole in a pan.
Creamy Chicken Broccoli Quinoa Casserole in Serving Dish

Canned Vs. Homemade Cream Of Chicken Soup

Generally speaking, if you’re looking for canned cream of something soup, you look no further than a casserole. Because that is the nature of a casserole and don’t question it, you big city slicker hipster person you.

But we kind of have one foot in both the hipster world and the canned soup world, and so this beauty of a casserole has its own creamy velvety sauce that is made from scratch! *jumping up and down for joy* And it works perfectly for creating that mild, creamy texture that casseroles are known and loved for. We first discovered that whole homemade cream of chicken soup thing way back when, and this turned out to be a great time to put that to use. And then we added bacon. And baked it with everything homey and nostalgic under the sun.

Creamy creamy yum yum. Nothing from a can. Everyone = happy.

Chicken Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole with Spoon

Freeze Your Casserole

Another amazing dream scenario when it comes to casseroles, is the whole “put it together and freeze it for later” situation. This one is perfect for that, too! Hide it away in your freezer for the perfect chilly night to pull out, pop in the oven and get that bubbling goodness on your dinner table in no time flat. 

We’d recommend preparing the sauce, quinoa and chicken and freezing uncooked, but save the broccoli step for when you’re going to bake. Keeps everything fresher, brighter and a little less squishy that way. You’ll have to add a little bit to the cook time so just keep an eye on it, but all the creamy dreaminess will be yours.

Leftovers also freeze well, we’d just maybe recommend pulling them out to thaw beforehand so it doesn’t have to spend too much extra time cooking in the oven/microwave. Just enough to get heated back through. Add a little extra water/broth to get the creamy sauce back in business and this one will keep on rewarding you through and through.  

Chicken Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole being dished out with a wooden spoon.

Whether this screams nostalgia to you or if this is your first introduction to the word “casserole,” this easy, saucy, cozy batch of comfort food is an excellent choice any day of the week.

Chicken Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole: Frequently Asked Questions

How will I know when my quinoa is done cooking?

You will know the quinoa is done when it is soft and looks as if it has popped open, with the germ of the kernel visible as a little spiral. I’ve gotten quite a few comments about the liquid not absorbing right away – if that’s you, just bake it a little longer. With enough time, it should get that moisture soaked right up into a creamy sauce.

I don’t love quinoa. Can I substitute rice?

Rice takes a lot longer to cook compared to quinoa, but it should work. Just give yourself some extra baking time.

Can I freeze this?

Sure! Just freeze the casserole right before baking it with the chicken and quinoa raw and without the broccoli. Just add the broccoli right before cooking.

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A picture of Creamy Chicken Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole

Creamy Chicken Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole

  • Author: Pinch of Yum
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Creamy Chicken Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole is real food meets comfort food. From scratch, quick and easy, and a big gentle hug loaded with good-for-you ingredients.


Units Scale
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups water, divided
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup cooked, crumbled bacon (optional… sort of)
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons seasoning (like Emeril’s Essence or any basic blend you like)
  • 1/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (any kind will work)
  • 3 cups fresh broccoli florets


  1. Sauce: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and generously grease a 9×13 baking dish (seriously, be generous because it really, really sticks to the sides). Bring the chicken broth and 1/2 cup milk to a low boil in a saucepan. Whisk the other 1/2 cup milk with the poultry seasoning and flour; add the mixture to the boiling liquid and whisk until a smooth creamy sauce forms.
  2. Assembly: In a large bowl, mix the sauce from step one, one cup water, quinoa, and bacon and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Slice the chicken breasts into thin strips and lay the chicken breasts strips over the top of the quinoa mixture. Sprinkle with the seasoning. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
  3. Broccoli: While the casserole is in the oven, place the broccoli in boiling water for 1 minute until it turns bright green and then run under cold water. Set aside.
  4. Bake: Remove the casserole from the oven, check the mixture by stirring it around in the pan, and if needed, bake for an additional 10-15 minutes to get the right consistency. When the quinoa and chicken are cooked and the sauce is thickened, add the broccoli and a little bit of water (up to one cup) until the consistency is creamy and smooth and you can stir it up easily in the pan. Top with the cheese and bake for 5 minutes, or just long enough to melt the cheese.


  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: chicken and broccoli casserole, quinoa casserole, chicken casserole

 Note: Several of you have kindly noted that after 30 minutes you still had a bit too much liquid. Thank you for your feedback – it really helps make the recipe better for others. Based on your comments, I adjusted the directions to account for a little extra uncovered baking time for some of that liquid to evaporate. Thank you!

Let’s Keep The Casserole Love Going

One More Thing!

This recipe is part of our delicious quinoa recipes page. Check it out!

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  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I definitely was an odd kid who requested a casserole for my birthday every year too! They are just so good. And creamy. And easy. And good. And usually in involve cheese.
    You. Can’t. Go. Wrong. Ever.
    This casserole looks fab and I want to face plant into it right now.
    Even with quinoa.
    We’re still working on being BFFS.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Hello. Made this tonight for my wife and I. We both really enjoyed it. Our cheeses of choice were Parmesan and 4 state.Thank you for the recipe.

      After the initial 30 min. It took another 18 to get to the right consistancy if that helps anybody.

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        Ohhh casseroles. My family is definitely unusual in that we don’t care for them. Pretty much Midwest heresy. The only ones we do like actually contain quinoa!

    2. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Nice recipe, but the ratios are massively off! 2 cups + 1 cup milk +1 cup water to 1 cup quinoa +1 cup flour is way too liquidy to lay chicken on top! Unless you reduce for a while, but the recipe does not say this…increase flour or dont add cup water

          1. Pinch of Yum Logo

            I’m wondering if Tom didn’t cook the flour and liquid. The video didn’t make this clear and I almost made that mistake too! Was just going to mix it all in a bowl.

        1. Pinch of Yum Logo

          This was delicious! I really didn’t expect it to be so flavorful, so was very pleasantly surprised. I didn’t have any regular flour so I used some seasoned flour I had in the pantry. This recipe is a keeper!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        I agree making the white sauce was wrong you start with butter and flour to make a roux then add liquid. If you add dry or a paste to liquid it gets lumpy. I had to start the sauce all over again. The flavor was not so good, too much poultry seasoning. I didn’t even serve it. It tasted really bad

          1. Pinch of Yum Logo

            I thought the white sauce was amazing! It came out well when I made it. The consistency of cream of mushroom soup but with out all the bad stuff or too much salt. I used some dark kale as I had no broccoli. We all loved it!

        1. Pinch of Yum Logo

          I also had this issue. I knew that this was not how a true roux was made but I followed the recipe verbatim anyways. The sauce came out lumpy, even when I whisked it like a damn Tasmanian Devil.

          1. Pinch of Yum Logo

            The sauce clumped so much that I had to toss the whole thing. I thought the reverse roux sounded sketch and I was right.

        2. Pinch of Yum Logo

          What you can do for the sauce is when you have added the chicken stock and milk to the sauce pan, take about 1 cup if the mixture, before heating it, mix that into the 1/2 cup flour and then add that to the remaining chicken stock milk mixture, bring the heat up slowly, and continue to mix until nice and thick and creamy. That will take care of the not having to add butter and make a true roux.
          I made this last night and I would add some fresh onio and increase the seasonings just a tad more. Hubby enjoyed it so mix he took the leftovers for lunch today.

          1. Pinch of Yum Logo

            Making the sauce this way made it perfectly thick and no lumps!

          2. Pinch of Yum Logo

            Tried it the original way super clumpy, then I did it your way and it was great! Thank you for the advice

          3. Pinch of Yum Logo

            Brilliant idea! This came out absolutely perfect. No lumps and super easy to stir through.

          4. Pinch of Yum Logo

            I wish I would have seen this review first mine was a lumpy mess.

        3. Pinch of Yum Logo

          I keep reading that she made the “sauce” wrong… It makes me wonder if anyone actually read the blog or watched the video… Your not making a sauce. It’s a homemade condensed soup, if you are making a bechamel (white sauce) you’re making something entirely different. There was actually a link to the cream soup recipe in the blog. In that respect in does not require butter as flour is used as a thickening agent in soup (you could also use cornstarch). There was a comment about the flavors be terrible and salty and they couldn’t even serve it. To comment in such a way as to tear down the OP is rude. Especially if a rule of thumb for any cook, home or professional is to taste as you cook. If you didn’t stop to taste what you were making along the way and adjust the seasoning accordingly, and waited till the dish was done. You have no one to blame but yourself. Taste the soup after you add the milk, flour and seasoning mixture, bland? add salt? Too salty, add water, etc. Taste it after you add the chicken and cook for 30 min. Don’t just check the consistency, check the flavor. Taste again when you add the broccoli. Given that we are using reduced salt not unsalted broth and cured pork in addition to seasonings I would anticipate a good amount of salt to be present in the dish. All the more reason to taste along the way. If you did this you could give more constructive feedback than it was horrible, “like the soup was a bit bland so i added a bit more salt, blah, blah..” Given that everyone will be using different brands of broth, some homemade broths, different seasonings and spice blends, it is very possible that the combination of seasoning you chose did not meld well together or they caused a salt imbalance in the dish. Are we aware of what and how much of whatever is in the seasonings and spices we buy? If you are concerned about salt content make your own poultry seasoning. There many different recipes on the internet. There were many posts that were insightful and helpful and gave me a good idea of what pitfalls I may have in attempting the recipe. I did have to leave the quinoa in a bit longer to cook and reach the right consistency but everything else went without issue. Though. I did windup adding a pinch more salt to my soup but after that, at each tasting interval the flavors just got better.

          1. Pinch of Yum Logo

            Well said. Some in their urgency skip basic elements of the instructions. And as you rightly pointed out, people from all over the world are making this, with access to different brands, and I believe the age of the quinoa affects the amount of absorption

          2. Pinch of Yum Logo

            I completely agree with what you’re saying in fact I left half of the mixture out for a little bit while I waited for the milk to come to a slow boil and I believe that made my sauce even more lumpy but I just warmed it up and mixed it together for a little bit longer before adding it to the pan and it turned out OK

      2. Pinch of Yum Logo

        Delicious. I am a mother of one who spends half a day on weekends prepping foods and smoothies for the little one. This weekend I decided to start making a big caserole for the two of us that we can for two or three meals during the week. What’s a recipe to stumble upon! I agree with the comments about it appearing too watery at the beginning. I doubled the recipe and it took more than an hour at 400 and 30 minutes on 500 to dry out. Luckily I kept tasting the quinoa to see if it’s cooked or I would have tossed it. Overall, totally recommend!!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        I tried to make this a few minutes ago and it’s currently in the oven so I’m not sure how its going to turn out but my flour mix, got really lumpy for the creamy sauce and I ended up straining quite a bit of flour lumps out and when I put the chicken on top it fell through bc it was really watery after I added the cup of water in the stage before putting it in the over. I’ve never made a casserole before but your directions have nothing about straining the sauce mix… did I do something wrong?

        1. Pinch of Yum Logo

          If you leave it in the oven long enough, the sauce will be soaked up by the quinoa (that’s how it cooks). There shouldn’t be any need to drain off any sauce – it’s pretty thick by the end.

        2. Pinch of Yum Logo

          Try adding the milk to the flour/seasoning (while whisking) more slowly, rather than all at once. That should help eliminate the lumps. 🙂

        3. Pinch of Yum Logo

          Thickening the sauce with flour works best if you make a roux first. You can use any oil base such as butter or bacon grease, and you mix equal parts flour to melted butter. Mix together well then slowly add the milk and chicken broth for the cream sauce

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Quick clarification: the recipe says 3 cups fresh broccoli florets AND 3 cups broccoli. So…6 cups of broccoli? Or is one of those a repeat? Looks so good! Can’t wait to make this!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Hi, I am really excited to make this. Was wondering if I could substitute the flour with almond flour? Thanks in advance😊

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    So THAT is the difference between casserole & hot dish. I lived in up in the Twin Cities for 4 years after undergrad and was introduced to a brand new word: Hot Dish. (Tater tot hot dish to be specific), but thought it was interchangeable for casserole. Thanks for the mini lesson and the winter comfort 🙂

        1. Pinch of Yum Logo

          Hi, wondering if I can use already cooked quinoa that I have for this recipe and how I woulda daisy accordingly?

          1. Pinch of Yum Logo

            That should work! In Step 2, I’d eliminate the quinoa and water and just combine the sauce from step 1, bacon, and chicken. Then, in Step 4, add in the cooked quinoa along with the broccoli. We’d love to hear how it goes!

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Even though I grew up in Buffalo, NY, my family was heavily influenced by cooking styles of the Midwest (maybe because a lot of my family is from Pennsylvania?). Anyway, the variety of casseroles we ate was truly stunning. Scalloped potatoes, chicken and stuffing casserole, something with noodles that I can’t actually remember, and something called Lazy Man’s Pierogi — noodles, bacon, mushrooms and sauerkraut. Sooooo good….and yet, so bad 🙂

    I love this modern twist on chicken and broccoli casserole! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        My family made “Lazy Man’s Pierogi”all the time..SOOO good! Funny I have roots in Buffalo NY too, we called it;
        Basically its…
        Egg noodles
        we used Kiebalsa but I guess bacon would work…or use both WTH!
        and drained rinsed sauerkraut.
        You mix everything together with a good portion of butter and pinch of caraway seeds (which I always omit, YUCK) and VIOLA! Dinner is done and DELICIOUS

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      You’re referring to Pennsylvania, one of the 13 original colonies, located in North Eastern United States?
      Pennsylvania does not qualify as a Midwest state.
      Thought you should have an understanding of geography facts.

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This is calling my name!!! I love casseroles like this when it’s cold out. Once they are in the oven, they warm up the house and the smell alone makes everyone hungry! Pinning now!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        I made this last week and the whole family loved it. Only one problem. We ate it all and h
        there were no leftovers. Is it ok to double the recipe??

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I have made something very similar to this in the past with the quinoa as well. The best thing is this freezes beautifully. I forgot I had some in the freezer and looking for dinner one night found it. it was great to just be able to heat it up.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Came across your comment about freezing this dish…so I’m assuming it would be fine to make this earlier in the day and just put in the oven a little longer to reheat? Thanks!! Have you made this?

    2. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Do you freeze this with the broccoli in it or add the broccoli after thawing and the 1st stage of cooking?

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I grew up in Minnesota and it was ALWAYS hot dish (v. casserole). Trying to explain this term to people in Connecticut is about as confusing as the kiss-on-the-cheek greeting is to a native midwesterner. Like, why are you trying to kiss me, we just met?! Luckily my new east coast friends have no confusion about what to do with said hot dish, though–consume in mass quantities.

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    You’re so adorable, dontcha know? I love this healthified broccoli cheese casserole recipe!

    Did you ever watch that show on Food Network “Heartland Table.” The chef left NYC to go home to Minnesota and cook meals. So good. Sooooo good!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      No but get this! Amy is actually the daughter of one of my former co-workers! Such a small world. I need to watch it soon!

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This looks delicious! I am also a midwesterner (from St. Louis) and I love casseroles! But I always forget to make them – I really need to try this! Question – are there 6 cups of broccoli in here or 3?

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I have never used or had quinoa, but I have a bag of rainbow in my cupboard. Great timing. I am looking forward to trying it, and the casserole as well. Thank You.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I was the same way with the quinoa! Sunday dinner solved! We’ll see how the kids go for it; in the oven now.

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    You are seriously the best. This is exactly what I was looking for. I need to make some easy food for my hubby and wean him off his Frozen Boxed Fettuccine and Broccoli with Chicken!
    Not that I won’t eat this too. I’ll eat the heck out of it.
    And thank you for substituting for the salty canned soup!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        I shopped for this recipe and my gruyère cheese cost me $11.00 not to mention the $11:00 chicken breasts $2.00 for brocolli etc cost too much and took me 2 hrs to prepare and cook over 45 minutes it was good but wow it was way too costly with my money and time! Thanks anyway. My daughter in law loved but she loves everything I cook cause she never cooks!

        1. Pinch of Yum Logo

          This recipe is great. I usually modify it slightly because I never have chicken stock or poultry seasoning so I just make a stock with bouillon cubes and throw in whatever seasoning sounds good. I also use whatever cheese I have in my fridge too and usually add some celery and red peppers to give the dish a few more veggies. It is easy to modify to your specific taste and budget!

          1. Pinch of Yum Logo

            I used cheddar cheese and organic chicken (yes it was expensive, yikes!). I didn’t have poultry seasoning either so I just used salt and pepper. Frozen broccoli works perfectly.

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I just love the look of your casserole! Those gorgeously moist chicken pieces… That bright green broccoli… The cheesy goodness… But, umm, I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve never actually had a casserole! Unless Thanksgiving stuffing counts… I grew up in California with a mom that really didn’t like cooking, so we normally ate salads and pasta for dinner. What exactly defines a casserole? *blushes*

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        Oooh I like the sound of that! So it doesn’t necessarily need pasta or rice or quinoa or another carb-y thing? Like, could I do a veggie-centric one with your favorite cauliflower or sturdy sweet potatoes without the casserole police chasing after me?

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Looks great- I could eat casseroles every night. I need to make this soon. Please share the recipe for the Reuben casserole too!

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’m not a big casserole person, but this one sounds so delicious! I’ve been planning a quinoa casserole- maybe it will have to be this one!