Want to know the best way to your man’s heart??
Yep. This cheesy full-of-yummy-comforting-goodness casserole dish filled with rotisserie chicken, quinoa, fresh tomatoes and basil. I’ve always loved caprese dishes….the combination of mozzarella, tomatoes and basil is pure HEAVEN in my book and I figured it was absolutely necessary that they be thrown into a cheesy casserole.
I wanted this dish to be hearty enough for my hubby’s tastes while still being relatively healthy. I used rotisserie chicken because, well duh, rotisserie chicken always has SO much flavor plus it really makes preparing this dish quick and simple. You could of course cook up some chicken breasts to use, but this just makes things a little easier and I am all about convenience these days. I also used quinoa rather than pasta which not only adds more nutritional value to the overall dish, but the quinoa soaks up the sauce so perfectly I actually prefer it over pasta! Oh and speaking of the sauce – um you guys this is legit. I mean it’s creamy, tomatoey, has just the perfect amount of heat with the added crushed red pepper and when tossed together with the cheese and fresh basil, it’s quite literally awesome-sauce.
Yeah I can’t believe I just said that…
I’m kind of obsessed with casserole dishes because you can easily throw everything into one pan, toss it in the oven and boom, you have a delicious dinner along with a bunch of leftovers for the week! This recipe makes a TON, but heating it up the next day is just as delicious (if not better!) – trust me on this. This casserole also freezes really well too. Just let everything cool completely, cover tightly with plastic wrap then cover again with foil. Then when you’re ready to bake it, just top with tomatoes and pop it in the oven. Your family will thank you!
I must say I’ve been pretty busy these past few months which is the reason for the lack of recipes lately, but I have some exciting ones headed your way in the next few days! We are currently in the process of building our “forever” home, so that has taken up the majority of our time, but I can’t wait to share all the details with you! I’ll definitely miss this home I’m in now, but I’d be completely lying if I said I wasn’t ready to move myself into my brand new white kitchen ASAP!
Feel free to follow along with our new home build on Instagram as well as get updates on all new recipes and more. Hope you all enjoy this dish as much as we did! With Fall swiftly approaching, I’m all about weeknight hearty casserole dishes and this one is definitely a new favorite to add to our rotation!
- 3 cups diced rotisserie chicken (or any other cooked chicken)
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups crushed tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup half and half
- ¼ to ½ tsp. crushed red pepper (this is optional)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- Handful fresh basil, chopped
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- To make quinoa, rinse and soak for about 10 minutes in warm water. Bring 2 cups of chicken broth to a boil in a small saucepan, drain quinoa and add to boiling broth. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer, cooking for about 12 to 15 minutes. Turn heat off and allow quinoa to sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork; set aside.
- To make the sauce, combine crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and balsamic vinegar in a saucepan on medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add half and half, crushed red pepper and salt/pepper and continue cooking until heated through.
- In a large bowl, mix together chopped chicken, quinoa, Parmesan cheese and a ½ cup mozzarella cheese, then add sauce to quinoa mixture; mixing well.
- Pour quinoa mixture into a prepared 9x13 baking dish and top with the remaining mozzarella cheese and tomatoes.
- Bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and casserole is heated through. Top with fresh basil, serve and enjoy!