Baked Quinoa and Chicken Parmesan

April 25, 2012 · 54 comments

in chicken/poultry,healthy,italian,rice and grains

Since starting a new job, I’ve been doing a fair amount of dinner prep on Sunday night for Monday (and sometimes Tuesday). Whenever possible, I like to prep pretty much all of Monday’s meal while I’m making Sunday’s dinner, so that Tom just needs to pop it in the oven or heat it on the stove when he gets home (about 15 minutes before me).

The nice thing is most of these dishes tend to be baked pastas, chicken casseroles, etc. and make for lunch leftovers, too. The bad thing is most of these dishes tend to be baked pastas, chicken casseroles, etc. and I don’t want to make the same thing every week.

This meal definitely started as the idea of a baked pasta in my mind, but it utilizes quinoa instead of pasta and chicken, where most baked pasta dishes either lack a protein or use something like ground beef or sausage. The result is a meal that is tasty, healthy, packs a crazy protein punch, and can be made in advance. All good by me.

I made a really simple sauce for this, but if you’re not feeling it, you can always use the jarred stuff. I meant to add spinach to this to make it a full meal, but of course I didn’t see the spinach  until I was putting this into the fridge, fully assembled. So, we just had spinach salads instead. :)



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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen @ The Food Charlatan April 25, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Holy smokes! This looks amazing!! How am I so lame that I’ve never cooked with quinoa?? the time has definitely come. Great combo.


Joanne April 26, 2012 at 5:40 am

Well we all know I love my pasta but I love the protein packed punch of quinoa more! What a great idea to use it as a pasta substitute! This is pure comfort food if ever I’ve seen it.


bellini April 26, 2012 at 7:13 am

Quinoa is a healthy as well as tasty substitute.


steffie April 26, 2012 at 7:59 am

This looks awesome! Can’t wait to try it!


Alana April 26, 2012 at 9:53 am

I’ve never seen a quinoa bake before, but wow! Gotta get on this really soon. Thanks for sharing!!


Erin April 26, 2012 at 1:28 pm

I love this take on chicken parm! I need to get better at prepping dinners ahead of time. But I can barely plan for today let alone tomorrow.


USA Kiwi April 26, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Great way to introduce quinoa in my house. I have some, but have not yet cooked with it. I’m skeered.

Now… I’ll try this!!


cassie April 26, 2012 at 2:31 pm

This is such a great dinner idea. I am a huge fan of quinoa…such a great way to add a lot of nutrition to this dish. Sounds amazing!


Bridget April 26, 2012 at 3:25 pm

I love this, because I feel like I always use quinoa the same way, in some sort of quinoa-based salad. I love a baked comfort food use for it.


Nicole, RD April 26, 2012 at 4:31 pm

I love the idea of this. I’ve been on a major pasta kick lately. I need to back away from the carbs and welcome more protein into my dinners!


Lauren April 27, 2012 at 6:52 pm

I’m super pumped about this dish. Making it tomorrow! Thanks!


Kerstin April 28, 2012 at 11:08 am

Yum, what a great way to enjoy quinoa!


Elizabeth April 29, 2012 at 4:51 am

just made this for dinner…omg it is AMAZING!!! i probably tripled the chilli cos i’m a huge fan.
the only thing i was wondering, is there a reason you rinse the quinoa for so long at the beginning.


elly April 29, 2012 at 10:24 am

I’m so glad you liked it, Elizabeth. I rinse the quinoa because if you don’t rinse it, it can be really really bitter. You probably don’t need to rinse it quite as long, but I just do it to make sure. :)


Laura April 30, 2012 at 7:49 pm

This is an amazing idea for dinner! I never thought of making baked pastas with quinoa substitution. Thanks for the idea! Can’t wait to try this recipe.


Ann P. May 4, 2012 at 5:54 pm

i am such a fan of the addition of quinoa to this dish! what a healthy option :)


aura May 9, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Looks great! But with what could I replace chicken in this recipe (as I am vegetarian)?


elly May 9, 2012 at 7:58 pm

I would try some thick slices of portobello mushroom, and maybe a green too (I had wanted to add spinach originally but forgot).


Ondrea aka DefinitelyO May 21, 2012 at 4:51 pm

I made this over the weekend (was in a hurry so used my pre-made sauce). we loved it!! and I took it to a new mom and it was great as a frozen/reheated dish as well. thank you! :)


elly May 21, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Glad you liked it Ondrea!


Karin May 29, 2012 at 1:50 pm

I made this recipe for lunches for the week and doubled it so that my husband and I would be set. OMG, this is really good. Thank you so much for posting.


elly May 29, 2012 at 3:14 pm

I’m so glad you both liked it!


Michele November 1, 2012 at 10:14 am

I’m trying to cut back on Gluten and decided to make this for my very finicky boyfriend who requested Italian food. We both LOVED it!


elly November 1, 2012 at 12:55 pm

So glad to hear that, Michele!


Kristine January 14, 2013 at 6:57 pm

This was my first time making and eating quinoa. This was delicious; thank you! I also loved the sauce.


elly January 14, 2013 at 8:01 pm

So glad your liked your first quinoa dish!


laura January 16, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Hello! This was wonderful; made it twice for my family already. Just curious if you know the calorie count/serving size for this meal. Thanks!


elly January 16, 2013 at 12:35 pm

I’m glad you liked it. I don’t have it for this meal, but I always use when I’m trying to figure out nutritional information for a recipe.


dsm diane January 28, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Absolutely delicious!!! Will share this one!


Bonnie February 7, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Making this now! Maybe I missed it, but do you cut the chicken into cubes? That’s what I’ll do, but will stay tuned… :)


elly February 7, 2013 at 7:29 pm

You can cut it or shred it, whichever you want. Hope you like it!


Rachel March 3, 2013 at 10:32 am

We are going to have this for dinner tonight and I can’t wait! I’ve been excited about it since LAST night. :)


branny April 4, 2013 at 6:36 pm

made an adaptation of this tonight and we loved it. Thanks


elly April 5, 2013 at 7:27 am

glad to hear it!


Lucia April 20, 2013 at 7:20 am

We love this recipe. I made it the other night and posted it on my blog with a link back to yours. So glad I can get my husband to enjoy quinoa!


elly April 20, 2013 at 7:37 am

Glad you love it, Lucia!


Karen October 7, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Found this on Pinterest and made it for dinner tonight. The entire family LOVED it! Thanks for taking such a classic meal and making it healthier. I am always on the hunt for good quinoa recipes. This one is delicious!


elly October 7, 2013 at 4:56 pm

So happy to hear that, Karen!


Rachel July 21, 2014 at 6:29 pm

I made this (finally) tonight and it was a huge hit!!!


elly July 21, 2014 at 8:35 pm

Yay! Glad to hear you liked it!


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