Thursday, February 19, 2015

Ooey Gooey Caprese Chicken & Quinoa

Cody and I have been on a quinoa kick lately. Mmm correction - I have been on a quinoa kick. Cody is willingly along for the ride. He's pretty great like that - no matter what I come up with in the kitchen, he's down. Even when I make something that doesn't turn out the best. He eats it. I've got a good one, my friends.

I've been doing little things here and there to better our eating and our habits. We've been trying to eat more veggies, swap out regular pasta for all wheat when we can, and we've been eating a lot of quinoa. It's been fun finding all the different ways you can make quinoa! Who would have thunk? So far, it's been a pretty yummy journey!

I found the following recipe a couple weeks back in yet another awesome collection of yummy recipes on BuzzFeed. I knew I'd be all over it but I knew Cody would be looking for a protein - of the meat variety, not just the quinoa variety. So I made my own twist, added some chicken, and gave this quinoa dish some extra oomph.

Anything for my man, right?

The dish came out super yummy - the grape tomatoes literally burst with flavor in every bite and the moist chicken covered in Italian seasoning gave it some zest. We really enjoyed it in all its cheesy gooey glory and I know you will, too!

Ooey Gooey Caprese Chicken & Quinoa

Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 cups your choice of tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 5-6 leaves fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Sprinkle some Italian seasoning over the chicken breasts and bake in oven until breasts are cooked, about 20-25 minutes. Once cooked, remove from oven and slice into bite size pieces.
  3. While the chicken cookes, prepare quinoa as directed on package. Set aside.
  4. In a medium saucepan, warm your tomato sauce and tomato paste on medium-low heat.
  5. Once warm, stir in the heavy cream, parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the quinoa.
  7. Add in half the mozzarella cheese and the tomatoes.
  8. Once combined, begin layering your chicken and quinoa mixture in an 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish/pan (spraying your pan first). I laid down the first chicken breast slices first, covered it with the quinoa mixture, laid down the second chicken breast slices, and then topped with the rest of the mixture.
  9. Top with extra mozzarella, some Italian seasoning, and a few extra grape tomatoes as desired.
  10. Bake for 15 minutes and then turn on the broiler for a couple minutes until cheese is all ooey gooey.