This yummy Tex-Mex chicken quinoa bake gets spicy, kickin’ flavor from Southwest seasonings and pepperjack cheese.
If you want a yummy detour from typical rice dishes, this Tex-Mex chicken quinoa bake is a must try. It gets full flavor from fajita-style peppers & onions, black beans, and pepperjack cheese. #flavoroverload!
If you haven’t tried quinoa, you don’t know what you’re missing. This recipe was actually my first ever attempt at quinoa, and now I know what I’ve been missing! My entire family RAVED about this dish and labeled it one of the best things they’ve ever eaten. Score!
Since it contains all 8 amino acids, quinoa is both a grain AND a complete protein, making it a super healthy alternative to rice. It is similar in texture to brown rice but fluffier and takes half as long to cook. It is gluten free and loaded with health benefits, so what’s not to love?
White quinoa has the most neutral, easy-to-love flavor, so start with this one if you’ve never tried quinoa before. Red and black are bolder and “earthier” in flavor. I bought my quinoa from The Fresh Market, but any simple white quinoa will work.
This recipe makes a huge amount; we had leftovers for two days. Interestingly, my folks loved the leftovers~they reheated beautifully in the microwave (we added a smidgen of water before reheating).
Tex-Mex seasonings: If you are a Tex-Mex fan, Penzey’s seasonings has fabuluous options. My faves are Arizona seasoning, fajita seasoning, and all the taco seasonings. Note: Even though I love Penzey’s seasonings, I don’t love (or appreciate) the overt political opinions of the owner which are often expressed in the mailer. SO….I don’t read the mailer, but I do buy and enjoy the spices:-)
Please let me know if you make this and how your family likes it. I love hearing from readers, so feel free to leave comments. Thanks so much for stopping by! Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!
- 11/2 cups uncooked white quinoa
- 1 14-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 11/2 cups salsa
- 2 cups chicken broth (add more during cooking if needed)
- sea salt & ground pepper to taste
- 4 cloves minced garlic (optional)
- 3 cups shredded pepper-jack cheese, divided in half
- 3 TB extra virgin olive oil
- 2 small jalapeños , deseeded and finely diced
- 1 onion, sliced and chopped into large pieces
- 3 bell peppers, sliced then chopped into large pieces
- 2 tsp fajita seasoning (optional)
- 2 large (about 1-1/4 lb) boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
- 2 TB taco seasoning
- Preheat the oven to 375.
- Mix the quinoa, black beans, salsa, chicken broth, salt, garlic, and 11/2 cup of the shredded cheese in a large bowl.
- Transfer to a 9 x13 casserole dish sprayed with baking spray.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- While the quinoa is baking, heat a the oil in a large skillet.
- Add the diced jalapeños, onion, and peppers; sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste.
- Saute until crisp-tender~like you would for fajitas.
- Remove from heat and set aside (do not drain oil)
- Toss the chicken with the taco seasoning.
- Saute chicken pieces in skillet until no longer pink.
- Remove quinoa from oven after 30 minutes; stir well and add the chicken.
- Stir gently to get the chicken mostly covered by the mixture.
- Return to the oven for another 30 minutes of baking.
- When the quinoa is done, top with the sautéed peppers and remaining1 1/2 cup cheese.
- Bake another 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
- Allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1046Total Fat: 27gCarbohydrates: 169gProtein: 28g