I wanted to do something a bit different with today’s recipe. Instead of just taking lots of pictures for a step-by-step recipe, I decided to make a video. I’ve made GIFs for a few recipes (like my skinny black bean brownies), but those were pretty quick and easy to make. Making a video for this Broccoli Chicken Quinoa Casserole was an entirely new experience.
I spent half the time standing on the countertop framing the shots and adjusting the focus. I even ended up duct taping the tripod to the countertop to get the right angle. It was a mess, but a fun mess.
However, it was all worth it for this skinny quinoa casserole. It’s a good one. Instead of using heavy cream to make this casserole extra-creamy, I used puréed cauliflower. It was so good that I didn’t even miss the cream.
That’s pretty impressive.
To make the cauliflower purée, simmer the cauliflower florets in about 6 cups of vegetable broth until tender. You may also use chicken broth or water (whatever you have in the pantry). Then, add the florets to a blender with 1 cup of cooking liquid, milk, salt, pepper, and garlic. Pulse and blend the mixture until smooth. At this point, you may freeze the cauliflower purée or use it immediately. It’s great on pasta, pizza, or it can even be made into a soup.
This broccoli chicken casserole is a great weeknight meal. If you cook the quinoa while preparing the cauliflower sauce, the whole meal can be made in less than 40 minutes. If you freeze the remaining cauliflower purée, then you’ll have a head start on your next cauliflower recipe!
Be sure to check out my caprese quinoa casserole and enchilada quinoa casserole for more quick and easy weeknight meals! Also, keep your eyes tuned to That Oven Feelin”s YouTube channel for more great recipes!
- 1 large head of cauliflower
- 6 cups low-sodium broth (vegetable, chicken, or water)
- ½ cup milk
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2-3 cups cauliflower purée (listed above)
- 1 tbsp dried Italian seasonings
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1½ cups quinoa, cooked
- 1 cup oaxaca or mozzarella cheese, shredded or cubed, divided
- ⅓ cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 small head of broccoli
- 2 cups chicken, cooked and torn into pieces
- Coarsely chop the cauliflower and add the florets to a large pot. Add about 6 cups of broth to the pot, enough to cover the cauliflower florets. Bring the broth to a simmer and cook until the cauliflower is tender.
- Using a slotted spoon, add the florets to a blender along with one cup of the cooking liquid. Then, add the milk, garlic, salt, and black pepper to the blender. Pulse and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings as nessessary.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add 2 to 3 cups of the cauliflower purée to a saucepan over medium heat. Then add ½ cup of the oaxaca or mozzarella cheese, ⅓ cup parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon of dried italian seasonings, and a pinch of red pepper flakes to the saucepan. Stir until the cheese has melted and reduce the heat to low.
- Chop the head of broccoli into small pieces and add to the cauliflower sauce. For broccoli that is more tender, cook the chopped broccoli in the sauce for 2 to 3 minutes. Then, add the cooked quinoa, chicken, and stir until combined. Add additional cauliflower sauce, if desired.
- Spray a baking dish with a little cooking spay, then add the quinoa mixture. Top with the remaining ½ cup of shredded oaxaca or mozzarella cheese.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and the broccoli is tender. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
*Nutrition facts were calculated using 1/2 of the total cauliflower sauce. 1 serving is 1/4 of the casserole.