Easy Southwestern Chicken Quinoa Bake with Spinach

Easy Southwestern Chicken Quinoa Bake with Spinach | 31Daily.com

When it comes to easy weeknight dinners, this Southwestern Chicken Quinoa Bake with Spinach is the best! Loaded with healthy nutrients and protein, not to mention incredible Southwestern flavor, it’s a family favorite every time it shows up on the dinner table.

What are the Nutritional Facts of Quinoa

“Overall, quinoa has an incredible nutrition base. Compared with refined grains, whole grains like quinoa are considered better sources of fiber, protein, B vitamins, and iron, according to the Mayo Clinic. But aside from these key nutrients, one of the greatest nutrient profiles quinoa can offer is its level of protein.”

“Because protein makes up 15 percent of the grain, as reported by the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council, quinoa is a high-protein, low-fat grain option. It’s also naturally gluten-free, high in fiber, and provides many key vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B and magnesium. Because it is so nutrient-rich, quinoa is a wonderful choice for people on a gluten-free diet or any generally healthy diet.”

According to the nutrition facts stated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), 1 cup of cooked quinoa amounts to:

222 calories
39 grams (g) of carbs
8g of protein
6g of fat
5g of fiber
1g of sugar

What is the Difference between Red and White Quinoa?

Quinoa comes in three main varieties: red, black and white. Of these, white quinoa is the most common. All three, however, are similar in nutritional content. The red and black varieties take slightly longer to cook.

Easy Southwestern Chicken Quinoa Bake with Spinach | 31Daily.com

Make Ahead Tips for Quinoa Bake

To make this an incredibly quick dinner, meal prep the quinoa on the weekend. For me, I will make a quick batch in the rice cooker or Instant Pot (affiliate links) and refrigerate until ready to use.

The recipe also calls for cooked chicken. Leftover rotisserie chicken is, obviously, the easiest. Or, meal prep the chicken ahead and either refrigerate or freeze.

One of my speedy tips for weeknight meals is when purchasing a rotisserie chicken, I’ll buy two. One for the meal, another to shred and freeze so it’s always on hand.

Easy Southwestern Chicken Quinoa Bake with Spinach | 31Daily.com

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Easy Southwestern Chicken Quinoa Bake with Spinach

Easy Southwestern Chicken Quinoa Bake with Spinach | 31Daily.com

When it comes to easy weeknight dinners, this Southwestern Chicken Quinoa Bake with Spinach is the best! Loaded with healthy nutrients and protein, not to mention incredible Southwestern flavor, it’s a family favorite every time it shows up on the dinner table.

  • Author: Stephanie Wilson
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes (with cooked chicken and quinoa)
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Mexican
Scale

Ingredients

11/2 cups uncooked quinoa
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn
11/2 cups salsa
salt and pepper to taste
Finely chopped scallions and cilantro as garnish

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cook the quinoa according to the package directions. Or cook the quinoa the night before, which makes this an incredibly quick and easy dinner. Once cooked, remove from heat and transfer the cooked quinoa into a large bowl.

Fold in the cooked chicken, shredded cheese (Colby jack, cheddar, Mexican blend), 1/2 cup of the shredded mozzarella, spinach, drained black beans, corn, and salsa. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine.

Lightly spray a 12-inch oven-safe skillet with non-stick spray, and transfer the mixture into the skillet. Top with the remaining mozzarella cheese and bake for about 20 -25 minutes, or until the top layer of cheese is bubbly and melted.

Remove the skillet from the oven and garnish with green onions and cilantro; serve.

This is delicious as a meal all on its own — or add pita or tortilla chips for a game day dip!

Keywords: Quinoa, Quinoa Bake, Chicken Quinoa Bake

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Easy Southwestern Chicken Quinoa Bake with Spinach | 31Daily.com
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4 thoughts on “Easy Southwestern Chicken Quinoa Bake with Spinach

  1. Marjorie

    We loved this recipe. We will have it again. It was fantastic.

    1. Awww – Thanks so much!! We love it too!

  2. Todd

    Terrific recipe, easy and fast. I will definitely be doing this again.

    1. So glad you liked it!! It’s nice to have a few easy weeknight dinners in your back pocket!! 😊

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