So Zach just told me that there is a chance of snow towards the end of the week (he’s an atmospheric scientist … so he finds this sort of thing exciting … ugh, I know)! Imagine my dismay when I found out this terrible, terrible news. I was just getting into the spring groove, and bam, mother nature decides to play a cruel trick on us. I love snow. I truly, truly do, but I like consistency, and this is NOT consistent. Ugh. Oh well. To prepare for the doom that awaits us, I started getting myself in a casserole state-of-mind. Don’t get me wrong. I love casseroles, bakes, and skillets all year long, but there is something seriously comforting about a warm casserole baking in the oven on a chilly night. The only thing this recipe is missing is fresh peas, which I just thought of at this very moment, would have been an INCREDIBLE addition. Next time. In the mean time, this creamy chicken and mushroom quinoa casserole is one of our favorite dinner recipes. It’s so simple, comforting and hearty.
I’m going to be real with you guys for a second. I don’t LOVE rice in casseroles. Actually, let me take that back. I don’t like when I put rice in casseroles. Anytime anyone has made me a casserole with rice in it, it has been amazing. Every time I put rice in a casserole, it turns out mushy. It doesn’t get that yummy crusty bottom. It’s just a big old pile of mush, and I hate it.
As a result, I never put rice in casseroles, but I was getting sick of noodles and potatoes gracing every casserole I make. Enter quinoa. Quinoa is another thing I’m very hit or miss with. I do not find it satisfying on it’s own. Let’s be honest. It’s boring. I do however like it in salads and in breakfast bowls. I love it the most in casseroles, bakes and skillet bakes. I don’t know how it does it, but quinoa comes out perfectly each and every time I bake it in a casserole.
The quinoa in this creamy chicken and mushroom quinoa casserole is definitely the star. It adds some texture to an otherwise one note dish, and mingles with the creamy sauce so well. It’s the dish you need on a cold wint…I mean spring night.
Pair this creamy chicken and mushroom quinoa casserole with a brown ale. I love, love, love brown ales with mushrooms. They are often nutty in flavor and aroma, and this stye of beer really highlights the flavorful mushrooms. I hope everyone is surviving this Monday! See you all tomorrow! xo