For the past month my brother has been talking about his quinoa lasagna. I've heard about how good it is and how the next time I go home to Pittsburgh we have to make it together. I'm dying to try it because of how much he seems to enjoy it but I have a little secret. I've never made quinoa before; crazy right?
On a whim I bought a box of quinoa last week and then pondered what to do with it. I began searching some of my favorite blogs looking for a recipe that used it. Since my brother uses it as a replacement in a pasta dish I was looking for pasta recipes when I found a chicken parmesan dish that used quinoa instead of pasta.
The quinoa was easy to make and it tasted similar to couscous. The great thing about quinoa is that it's gluten free and it's a whole grain so it's fairly healthy. I ended up really enjoying the quinoa mixed in this dish with the chicken. It was very filling and I didn't miss the pasta at all. Now that I've had it I can't wait to try my brother's quinoa lasagna!
Baked Quinoa and Chicken Parmesan (adapted from Elly Says Opa as seen on Prevention RD)
1 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
½ red pepper, diced
½ green pepper, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
½ t. red pepper flakes
¼ c. fresh herbs (I used oregano, parsley, and thyme)
1 c. quinoa, uncooked
2 c. water
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
¾ c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.
2. Place the quinoa and water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cover with a lid and reduce heat. Simmer for 20-25 minutes or until fully cooked.
3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add in the onion, red pepper, and green pepper. Saute for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
4. Pour the balsamic vinegar into the skillet and scrape any bits off the bottom of the pan. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and fresh herb. Bring to a low boil and then simmer while preparing the rest of the meal.
5. Fill a saucepan with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Add the chicken breast and simmer for 5-7 minutes on each side or until just cooked through. Remove from the water and chop into small pieces.
6. Add the chopped chicken and cooked quinoa to the tomato sauce in the skillet. Mix until well combined.
7. Place half of the quinoa mixture in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella cheese. Top with the remaining quinoa mixture. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and then the Parmesan.
8. Place in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.