Caprese Chicken Quinoa Bake is a healthy, protein-packed quinoa casserole bursting with fresh tomatoes and basil. Inspired by the popular Caprese salad, this easy to make bake will become an instant family favorite! Thanks to Omaha Steaks for sponsoring this post and providing the tasty chicken used in this recipe!
When coming up with dinner ideas that my kids will like, chicken, cheese and vegetables are pretty safe bets. After making these Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Bites, I discovered they also love quinoa. This gives me plenty of leeway to have some fun experimenting with new recipes. This Caprese Chicken Quinoa Bake not only combines all of their favorites foods into one dish, but it is downright delicious and super easy to make!
First I cook the chicken and the quinoa at the same time, which takes roughly 15 minutes – just enough time to prep the rest of the recipe, make a salad, sip on a glass of wine, whatever you need to do. I poach the chicken, but you can easily grill it or use another favorite cooking method. I like poaching because it is easy, hands off and doesn’t require any oil for cooking. I used Omaha Steaks boneless chicken breast, which was really moist and tender and cooked up beautifully. Once the chicken and quinoa are ready, shred the chicken, mix it with the quinoa, pasta sauce, and cheese. Then it is simply assemble and bake until all bubbly. The result is seriously one of the best dinners we’ve enjoyed in a while. Even my 1 year old gobbled it up!
- 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 2/3 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups pasta sauce (any variety - I use tomato basil)
- 1 cup (4 ounces) part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil (or 1 tablespoon dried basil)
- crushed red pepper (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Cook quinoa according to package directions using water or broth (Note: I used 1 1/3 cups vegetable broth to yield approximately 2 cups cooked quinoa).
- Meanwhile, put chicken breasts in sauce pan and add water until just covered. Bring to a boil and then cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and place in a large bowl. Shred chicken using two forks.
- Add cooked quinoa, pasta sauce and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese to bowl with chicken, and stir to combine. Mix in 1 tablespoon of fresh basil.
- Put half of the chicken quinoa mixture into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup tomatoes, 1/4 cup cheese, and 1 tablespoon basil. Then top with remaining chicken quinoa mixture, remaining cheese, tomatoes and basil.
- Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with crushed red pepper, if desired.
This is a great make ahead dish! Just cover and store in the refrigerator until you're ready to bake. The recipe can also easily be doubled to fit a 13x9-inch pan.