Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Bake

Guys. Guys. Guys. The world needs to know about Quinoa Bakes. They quickly rose to the ranks as regulars in my mini-kitchen (more on that later!) and they can pack the right amount of delicious punch while being sneakily nutritious. My badass lady boss idol Serena Wolf is all about the quinoa bakes, I honestly may be following suit in that realm. There’s just something so comforting about a one-pot (skillet? sheet?) dinners. Wouldn’t you agree?

Have you ever tasted something so epic you actually dream of the moment you can have it again? You can put buffalo sauce on anything and I’ll devour it, but this Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Bake is something truly special.

Packed with protein, superfoods, and a sneaky mix of onion, celery, carrots, and cauliflower I don’t see how you could go wrong here!

Now, my Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Bake obviously has nothing on Serena’s (pictured above), but it doesn’t mean it was any less spectacular! The recipe calls for 4 generous servings, but quite honestly I was able to get roughly 6 servings out of it. 10/10 will be making again.

You can check out Serena’s original Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Bake here, and while you’re at it do yourself a favor and check out the rest of her recipes!

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Bake (Serves 4 generously)

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa – I used Super Grains from Whole Foods, which is a mixture of Quinoa, Buckwheat, & Millet!
1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1½ cups cauliflower “rice” (aka very finely chopped cauliflower florets)
½ medium yellow onion, minced
½ cup finely chopped carrots
½ cup finely chopped celery
2 cups diced or shredded chicken breast (I used the foolproof method, but feel free to use the meat from a store-bough rotisserie bird.)
½ cup Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce (plus extra for serving)
¾ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
¾ cup grated provolone cheese (Gouda is also great!) – I doubled the sharp cheddar instead of using this!
¼ cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs – I used Schar Gluten Free breadcrumbs which I had handy in my pantry!
3 scallions, thinly sliced (optional)

For the Yogurt Ranch:
1½ cups nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon dried parsley, crushed (Just use your fingers to crush the flakes.)
½ teaspoon dried dill weed
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper

 

Directions

  1. Combine the quinoa and chicken broth in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, cover the saucepan with a lid, and cook for 14 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Let the quinoa rest, covered, for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
  2. Meanwhile, whip up the yogurt ranch! In a medium bowl, whisk all the ingredients for the ranch. Briefly set that deliciousness aside.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet or shallow Dutch oven over medium heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the cauliflower, onion, carrot, and celery. Cook for 5 minutes until the onion is translucent and the vegetables are tender. Add the cooked quinoa, chicken, and Frank’s to the pan and fold everything together. Turn off the heat and fold in 1 cup of the yogurt ranch and half of the cheddar and provolone. Taste the filling. Add a little extra Frank’s if you deem it necessary.
  5. Smooth the top of the filling with a spatula. Add the remaining cheese in an even layer and sprinkle with the panko.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling. If you want to brown the top of the bake (I DO!!), pop the casserole under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes until the bread crumbs turn golden brown.
  7. Whisk a tablespoon or so of water into the remaining yogurt ranch just until it has a drizzle-able consistency. Serve the quinoa bake drizzled with as much extra ranch and Frank’s as you like and garnish with scallions.

 

Be sure to check out Sundry Sunday’s Instagram for more adventures in cooking in my mini-kitchen!

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