Barbecue Chicken Quinoa Casserole

Barbecue Chicken Quinoa Casserole

Good evening all! Here is the recipe for the delicious BBQ chicken-corn-casserole we devoured.

Here’s the key: the corn-chili salsa from @traderjoes. It was the inspiration for the entire dish and truly took it to the next level! If you don’t live near a TJ’s have no fear. You can sub a can of drained corn and switch the diced tomato to “diced tomato + chili peppers” to add some heat.

IMPORTANT: There are two ways to go about making this casserole. Option 1 is to follow the directions below. This is what I usually do. I start it mid-morning and by afternoon naps the chicken is cooked and ready to be shredded. Just didn’t want you to go about making this casserole only to realize you needed extra cooking time for the chicken. Option 2 would be to simply use a rotisserie chicken and pour the BBQ sauce mixture over everything and mix it well then put it in your casserole dishes.

*This made 2 (8×8 or 9×13) casseroles. Each serves 3-4, so you could make this in a large lasagna dish to serve 8
**This would be delicious served with scoops tortilla chips. Either as a filling appetizer or for supper
***You can totally leave out the chicken if you aren’t a meat eater, but its pretty delicious

YOU WILL NEED:

  • 12 oz. jar BBQ sauce of choice
  • 1/3 c apple cider vinegar
  • 6 cups cooked quinoa (this is 2 cups uncooked)
  • 1-2 cups shredded chicken
  • approx. 1/2-3/4 c diced red or white onion (I prefer white onion)
  • 1 jar trader joe’s corn salsa
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • (optional) 1 tbs dried chives
  • S&P to taste
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (leave this for the end, for topping!)

TO MAKE:
1. Start by mixing:

  • 12 oz. jar BBQ sauce of choice (my favorite is Trader Joe’s Carolina Gold)
  • 1/3 c apple cider vinegar

2. Then, combine in your crock pot:

  • 2-3 raw chicken breasts
  • approx. 1/2-3/4 c diced red or white onion
  • the barbecue vinegar mixture made in step one
  • set to LOW and allow to cook for approx. 4 hours

3. Cook 2 cups quinoa according to package directions; this will yield 6 cups cooked quinoa

4. Come back to your chicken in the crock pot, take out the breasts, shred them well using 2 forks, then return them to the crock pot

5. In a large mixing bowl, combine everything except the cheese. The cooked quinoa, chicken along with all the sauce from the crockpot, and everything else from the list above.

6. Divide the mixture between your casserole dishes and top with cheese

7. Bake at 350, covered for 30 minutes then uncovered for an additional 15-20

**Freeze the extra casserole for a rainy day!

COOKING THIS CASSEROLE FROM FROZEN: 

In a perfect world, I take it out 1-2 days before eating and it defrosts in the fridge. However, the world is not perfect. When I know I want this for dinner, I take it out of the freezer the morning of and leave it on the counter all day long to defrost. You can also cook from frozen. In this case, depending on the casserole size, I would add at least 30 minutes to the cooking time. It really depends on the size of the casserole because a frozen 8×8 will cook faster than a frozen lasagna pan size. In any case, cook COVERED till it is completely cooked through then uncover for a final 10-15 minutes to make the cheese nice and bubbly.

Barbecue Chicken Quinoa Casserole

March 2, 2018

By:

Ingredients
  • 12 oz. jar BBQ sauce of choice
  • 1/3 c apple cider vinegar
  • 6 cups cooked quinoa (this is 2 cups uncooked)
  • 1-2 cups shredded chicken
  • approx. 1/2-3/4 c diced red or white onion (I prefer white onion)
  • 1 jar trader joe’s corn salsa
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • (optional) 1 tbs dried chives
  • S&P to taste
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (leave this for the end, for topping!)
Directions
  • Step 1 Start by mixing 12 oz. jar BBQ sauce of choice with 1/3 c apple cider vinegar
  • Step 2 Then, combine in your crock pot 2-3 raw chicken breasts, approx. 1/2-3/4 c diced red or white onion, the barbecue vinegar mixture made in step one
  • Step 3 Set to LOW and allow to cook for approx. 4 hours
  • Step 4 Cook 2 cups quinoa according to package directions. This will yield 6 cups cooked quinoa
  • Step 5 Come back to your chicken in the crock pot, take out the breasts, shred them well using 2 forks, then return them to the crock pot
  • Step 6 In a large mixing bowl, combine everything except the cheese. The cooked quinoa, chicken, along with all the sauce from the crockpot, and everything else from the list
  • Step 7 Divide the mixture between your casserole dishes and top with cheese
  • Step 8 Bake at 350, covered for 30 minutes then uncovered for an additional 15-20
  • Step 9 Freeze the extra casserole for a rainy day!


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