Dinner decisions get doubly fraught come November. Time is in a crunch, but the dreary weather demands comfort food. The impending holiday season and its accompanying endless buffets and stacks of superlative sweets call for an eye toward healthfulness, but the cravings cry for heartiness.
But every once in a while, we come across a dish that fits perfectly for a late-fall evening. This one is full of quinoa, cheese, and broccoli — and it cooks in a single pot to boot. This cheesy chicken and broccoli takes the idea of comforting casseroles and turns it into an easy dinner that's everything we could ever want for a November night.
With good time management, the dish only takes about half an hour to make, thanks to the chicken and broccoli getting chopped up so they cook quickly, right along side the quinoa, with everything finishing up at the right time. Quinoa, a fairly healthful, protein-heavy grain, substitutes in for rice in the version this is based on, but really, the slight nuttiness of it works really well in this casserole-like one-pot dish. Meanwhile, the texture holds up in the cooking. The real key to making sure that your quinoa tastes good is making sure you rinse it really well before using — it naturally has a slight coating which has a somewhat soapy taste.
The nuttiness of the quinoa plays well with the green flavors of the broccoli, and we already know what great mates broccoli and cheddar cheese are — a classic culinary pairing. The only real flavoring added beyond the natural flavors of the dish are a hint of dried thyme and a little salt and pepper — the bulk of the dish's deliciousness just comes directly from the ingredients, which is a rarity these days, and brings tons of heartiness and comfort to the meal.
Get the Recipe: One Pan Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Quinoa from Cooking Classy