A summery dinner solution filled with nourishing quinoa, sweet corn, and protein-packed chicken
Soooo, I totally scored on some fresh corn at the grocery store the other day. I’m in love with fresh corn. Do you know what else I love? Bakes and casseroles.
They are one of my favorite weeknight meal options. What’s not to love? I pack mine with veggies and protein to make life easy. No need to make sides or accompaniments, all you need is the casserole to have a complete and balanced meal.
A lot of traditional casseroles are loaded with cheese, sodium filled canned soups and topped with processed breadcrumbs. Eh, not really my idea of a healthy meal.
Besides the corn (oh, oh, and green chilies) I think my favorite part of this dish is the almond meal topping. Not only does it provide the meal with an extra dose of healthy fats and a protein punch, but it develops this sweet and nutty flavor that I’d pick over a typical cheese or breadcrumb casserole topping any day.
In my sweet boyfriend Jared’s words “anything you put this almond stuff on is awesome”. There you have it, folks. The man himself has spoken.
I started by cutting the kernels of corn off the cob while placing a pot of water on to boil for quinoa. Place corn in a bowl and set aside. When your water boils, cook the quinoa according to the directions on its packaging.
Go ahead and dice up your chicken breast while heating a large pan or skillet on medium high. Add 1 tbsp. of olive oil to your pan. Place the chicken in the pan and cook until the chicken is slightly browned on all of the edges. Remove the chicken and set it aside.
Add the other tbsp. of oil to the pan, and add your onions and bell pepper to sauté. Let these sizzle for 3-5 minutes before adding the corn, zucchini, garlic, chilies, and spices. Allow this to cook for 5 minutes until everything softens. Add the chicken, beans (with the juice), cooked quinoa and 1/3 cup of almond meal.
This gives you some really nice moisture and thickness with the juice from the can of beans and the almond meal. Turn your burner off. Pour the mixture into a baking dish and top with the remaining almond meal.
Place in your preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. My oven is really overzealous and I had to pull mine out around 22 minutes, but it always cooks things too quickly. You’ll want the almond topping to be slightly browned and the edges to be bubbly.
*Side note: This casserole made a TON for me and my little household. I was able to keep this covered in the fridge and reheat for about a week and it was still awesome. You could even put it in a tortilla or lettuce wrap topped with avocado and tomato for a nice, quick taco! Or, if you’re serving a larger crowd, this is a super simple but impressive solution. It’s an all around win.
DON’T FORGET TO PIN THIS FOR LATER:
- 1 lb of chicken
- 2 cups of cooked quinoa (one cup of dry quinoa cooked according to package)
- 2 tbsp. of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
- 1 onion - diced
- 1 green
pepper - diced
- 2 cloves of garlic - minced
- 4 ears of corn - kernels cut off the cob
- 1 zucchini thickly grated
- 1 can of green chilies
- 1 can of white beans WITH juice - NO SALT ADDED
- 1 cup of almond meal-divided ( ⅓ for the filling ⅔ for the topping)
- 1 tsp. of cumin
- 1 tsp. of coriander
- ½ tsp. of cayenne* omit this is you’re not a spicy food fan
- 2 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. pepper or to taste
- Remove corn kernels from their husks.
- Boil water and cook quinoa according to package directions.
- Cube chicken breast.
- Heat a large pan with EVOO; cook chicken until juices run clear.
- Remove chicken and set on a separate plate.
- Chop onion and pepper.
- Heat remaining tbsp. of EVOO in a pan.
- Cook onions and peppers for 3-5 mins.
- Shred zucchini.
- Add zucchini, corn, chilies, garlic and spices into the pan. Cook for 5 mins until soft.
- Pour in chicken, beans (with juice), quinoa, and ⅓ cup of almond meal.
- Remove pan from heat and pour mixture into a casserole dish sprayed with oil.
- Top with remaining almond meal.
- Bake for 20-25 mins until the topping is brown and the edges bubble.
Note: This is a Miss Allie’s Kitchen original recipe, meaning this was lovingly formulated by yours truly . I’d love for you to try this one out, but if you’re posting this on your blog, site or social media account, make sure to link back to this original post. Please email before using any of my photographs in the Contact Me section above. Thank you!