icon-arrowicon-chevron-whiteicon-chevronicon-commenticon-facebookicon-hearticon-instagramicon-instant-poticon-listicon-lockicon-meal-prepicon-nexticon-pinteresticon-popularicon-quoteicon-searchicon-sugar-freeicon-twittericon-veganicon-videomenu-closemenu-open
chicken quinoa, Pinch of Yum

Creamy Chicken Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole

262 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.

Well don’t cha know. This is soo tummy-rumbly-I’m-goonna-eat-the-whoole-thing good, ya sure you betcha.

Being from Minnesota, I feel the need to represent my Midwestern culture here on the blog with things like casseroles. Or more accurately: express my undying love. Which actually probably promotes the incorrect stereotype that all Minnesotans cover their doors and windows with plastic, bundle up in their warmest reindeer-patterned sweaters, walk around muttering “yeah sure you betcha” while proceeding to bake cozy casseroles and hot dishes all winter long. Oh wait. That’s, um, my life.

And so I proudly bring you today the food of my Midwestern upbringing… The Casserole. But it’s sort of a mashup of my past life and current, because, you know, QUINOA and everything.

Draining Broccoli

I grew up eating casseroles and hot dishes, don’t cha know. My favorite cozy-winter-dinner one was this particular hot dish that my mom made – it was sort of a casserole-stew fusion, with ground beef, cooked potatoes, chunks of carrots, baked all together with a tomato-based saucy sauce. A big plate of that with a piece of bread and a glass of milk = my 9 year old self’s dinner delight.

But don’t forget: taco casserole, Grandma’s noodle casserole – varieties 1-37, tuna casserole, chicken and broccoli casserole, and Reuben casserole. NO WAIT THOUGH I’M SERIOUS. Like a Reuben, but baked all together in deliciously cheesy (literally cheesy) retro casserole form. I begged for my mom to make it every year on my birthday because, you know, it’s normal for a child to have a food obsession with rye bread and sauerkraut. Do not even ask because I do not even know.

Mixing Chicken Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

Casserole vs. Hot dish? It has something to do with, um, I have no idea. Tomato sauce vs. creamy sauce, maybe?

But no need to trouble yourself with deep questions like that. This is a casserole. Period. End of story.

Creamy Chicken Broccoli Quinoa Casserole in Serving Dish

If you’re looking for canned cream of something soup, 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 I 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. I had first discovered that whole homemade cream of chicken soup thing way back when, and this turned out the be a great time to put that to use. And add bacon. And bake 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

Bottom line here: this baked goodness is the antidote to winter.

Partying together up in here we have: generously seasoned chicken, cooked quinoa, crispity delicious bacon, velvety homemade sauce, a tiny bit of Gruyère or whatever kinda cheese you want over the top, and bright green pops of broccoli.

Get yourself a glass of milk, maybe a warm piece of bread or a salad, cuddle down with a blanket and slippers and enjoy this baby. Winter will be over soon. I think. Right? Someone? ANYONE?

Serving Chicken Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole

Watch How To Make Our Creamy Chicken Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole (1 Min):

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
chicken quinoa, Pinch of Yum

Creamy Chicken Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole


  • Author: Pinch of Yum
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x

Description

This Creamy Chicken Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole is made from scratch with healthy ingredients.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • 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

Instructions

  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.

Equipment

Notes

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.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

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

Recipe Card powered by Tasty Recipes logo

 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!

PS. Favorite Superbowl commercial? Mine was the Microsoft one. Even though I’m a committed Apple customer, it made me cry a little bit. Go figure. I’m a marketer’s dream.

Creamy Chicken Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole - real food meets comfort food. From scratch, quick and easy, 350 calories. | pinchofyum.com

One More Thing!

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating

1008 Comments

  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
      Nick

      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
      tom heg

      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
        robin

        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
            Susi

            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

          Hi,
          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.

        2. Pinch of Yum Logo
          Marcy

          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
            Chelsea

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

          2. Pinch of Yum Logo
            Kelsey Greene

            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
            JK

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






        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
            Nean

            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
            Savanna Gu

            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
        Grace Duggan

        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
        Henderson

        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
          RCN

          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
          Becky

          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

    I love hearing about your food past; it is comforting and warming to hear these types of stories. You have the best ideas, I can not wait for Australia to cool down so I can make this!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo
    katy

    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😊

  4. 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
          Sara

          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
            Krista @ Pinch of Yum

            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!

  5. 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
        Lynette

        My family made “Lazy Man’s Pierogi”all the time..SOOO good! Funny I have roots in Buffalo NY too, we called it;
        POOR MANS PIEROGI
        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
      Dee

      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.

  6. 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
        colleen

        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??






  7. 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
      Kasey

      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
      Sarah

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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?

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo
    heidi torres

    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
      Elizabeth

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

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Adrienne

    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
        Terri

        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
          Jessica

          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.

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Amy

    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
        Amy

        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?

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Stephanie

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

  15. 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!