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Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli and Quinoa Casserole

Chicken, broccoli and quinoa coated in a creamy cheese sauce and topped with additional melted cheese. The perfect weeknight dinner with make ahead instructions.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 523kcal
Author Lauren
Cost $10.58 / $1.76 per serving


  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 4 cups chopped broccoli florets, about 1 crown
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more to coat the pan
  • kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, about 3 large
  • 1 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¾ cups 2% milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese


  • PREPARE: Preheat oven to 350˚ Brush a light layer of olive oil an 9×13 baking dish. Rinse the quinoa in a mesh sieve until the water runs clear.
  • COOK THE QUINOA & BROCCOLI: Pour the quinoa into a 3 qt saucepan with 2 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Continue to simmer for 12 minutes.
  • Add the broccoli and an additional ½ cup of water to the pot, over the top of the quinoa and continue to steam an additional 5 minutes.
  • COOK THE CHICKEN: While the quinoa cooks, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the chicken to the skillet, cook 5-6 minutes per side or until the center of each reads 160˚F with an instant read thermometer. Allow the chicken to cool.
  • MAKE THE CHEESE SAUCE: Melt butter in the skillet over medium heat, add the onion, thyme and garlic to the pan and cook for 4 minutes or until the onions are soft. Whisk in flour until golden, about 1 minute.
  • Gradually whisk in milk, and whisk constantly, until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add 1 ¼ cup of shredded cheese. Whisk until the cheese melts and the sauce is smooth.
  • ASSEMBLE THE CASSEROLE: Chop the chicken breasts into 1-inch pieces, add it to a large bowl along with the quinoa, broccoli and cheese sauce. Fold to evenly coat everything with the cheese sauce. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared baking dish. Top with remaining ¾ cup cheese and parmesan. Place into oven and bake until cheese has melted, about 8 minutes. Serve right away.


MAKE AHEAD: The entire casserole can be made up to 24 hours ahead. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and refrigerate. Keep the foil on and cook for 10 minutes before removing the foil and cooking until the cheese is melted (around 8 minutes)
  1. Long grain rice can be substituted here with the same timing
  2. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs would be delicious in this also


Calories: 523kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 885mg | Potassium: 707mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 92IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 222mg | Iron: 7mg