Santa Fe Chicken Quinoa Casserole Recipe

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Alter Eco Quinoa in Santa Fe Chicken Quinoa Casserole

Quinoa is an AMAZING food.  So versatile, so healthy, and so filling.  And I can’t tell you how many times it took me to get it right.  The first time I cooked it it was crunchy like caviar, and we all thought it tasted kind of funny.

I’ve since learned the proper water to quinoa ratio, and discovered that cooking the quinoa in broth vs. water does wonders…And now we love it!

I have a habit of perusing Pinterest clicking on yummy looking recipes and then simply storing them away in my mind for a later time.  Such was how this Santa Fe Chicken Quinoa Casserole recipe came about.  Unfortunately, I didn’t save the recipe and when I went to make it, I couldn’t quite remember a few of the ingredients.  It turned out okay, but not something I’d make again.  My second attempt I was out of a couple ingredients so I made a couple risky substitutions.  Not a good move.

Third time is a charm right?

I made sure I had the right ingredients for what I had in mind. I’m notorious for just using what I’ve got. If I don’t have what I need, I just throw in something else and hope it works! Alter Eco sent me some of their Rainbow Quinoa to use in my Santa Fe Chicken Quinoa Casserole recipe so I was all set there. I gave myself enough prep time–key in this recipe. And voila!

Santa Fe Chicken Quinoa Casserole

My Santa Fe Chicken Quinoa Casserole recipe turned out perfect!  This quinoa casserole serves 6 to 8 people. It’s a one-dish meal so you don’t have to worry about prepping any sides! Plus, the leftovers are just as yummy as the first day.  That’s a huge plus in my book!

Yields Serves 6-8

Santa Fe Chicken Quinoa Casserole Recipe
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  • 4-5 chicken breast tenderloins or 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts -- shredded
  • 2 cups quinoa (I used Alter Eco Rainbow Quinoa )
  • 1 tsp Better than Bullion
  • 3 cups water
  • (*Optional: Substitute water and bullion for Chicken broth)
  • 1 bell pepper (I prefer the flavorful yellow bell)
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup kefir, Greek yogurt, or sour cream
  • 3 tbsp your favorite salsa
  • 6 oz cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 10 oz can red enchilada sauce
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • *Optional: Garnish with cilantro and green onion


    Prepare the chicken ahead of time by using one of the following methods:
  • Saucepan: Place chicken breasts into a saucepan and pour in enough water to cover. Place over medium heat, bring to a boil, and simmer until chicken meat is no longer pink, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Pressure Cooker: Place chicken breasts in pressure cooker. Sprinkle with some of the same spices you'll be using later. Add 2 cups of water, turn stove onto high, and seal the lid on. Once pressure cooker starts hissing turn heat down to med or med-low. Cook for 40 minutes. --This is my preferred method.
  • Slow Cooker: Place chicken breasts in the crock pot with some spices. Turn to high and cook 3 hours.
  • Quinoa Prep:
  • Cook quinoa following the directions on the package. For tastiest results, add 1 tsp Better than Bullion to the cooking water.
  • Casserole Prep:
  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Shred cooked chicken
  • Mince onions and bell pepper. Transfer to a large frying pan and sauté in oil. When onions and bell pepper have softened a little, add in the cooked, shredded chicken, cumin, chili powder, minced garlic, paprika, kefir (or your alternate ingredient), and salsa. Continue cooking 3-5 more minutes until onions begin to become translucent.
  • Grease 9x13 inch baking pan.
  • Layer quinoa, shredded chicken mixture, half the can of enchilada sauce, and cheese. Repeat one more time ending with the cheese on top.
  • Cover with tin foil and bake 20 minutes if your ingredients are still warm. If your ingredients have cooled, bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • Let cool 5-10 minutes and serve.

Santa Fe Chicken Quinoa Casserole


About Amy @ Oh So Savvy Mom

Amy is mom to three, wife to one, and a sister and aunt to many. Her family is a former military family now settled in Lehi, Utah. Oh So Savvy Mom began as a way for Amy to share parenting and product advice with others. Just as she has evolved, Oh So Savvy Mom has evolved into a resource for Healthy Living for Families, Food, Parenting, and Family Travel.


  1. Lisa Walker says
    Thanks for the great recipe idea! I've been wanting to try quinoa and this sounds like the perfect way!
  2. christina moore says
    this sounds yummy
  3. This recipe sounds amazing and one that I can actually handle thank for sharing I have to try this one.
  4. Michelle Tucker says
    This recipe looks so yummy. I've never used quinoa before, but I've been hearing so much about it. I think it's about time I've tried.
  5. Looks delicious! Thank you for the recipe
  6. nicole dziedzic says
    What a awesome recipe, I love using Quinoa! Even my kids would eat this!
  7. BILL HOFF says
    We are always looking for different ways o prepare chicken...thanks!
  8. Looks tasty! I love trying out new quinoa recipes. My family loves quinoa.
  9. I adore quinoa, my husband (so far) not so much. Maybe I'll try this on him, he likes those flavors.