Creamy Pork and Quinoa Casserole
The basis for this delicious dish is Mel’s excellent Creamy Chicken and Quinoa Cordon Bleu Casserole.
I made a few modifications due to ingredient availability:
- used shredded pork left over from my BBQ pulled pork sandwich attempt;
- subtituted the quinoa with a quinoa & bulgur mix since that’s what I had;
- I accidentally ate the ham earlier in the morning, so instead of a cup of ham it was mostly a cup of thinly-sliced-to-look-like-ham cranberry pork sausage (and a little bit of ham);
- sprinkled some crushed red pepper on half of it because I like spicy things.
It was great, still.
The recipe is fairly straightforward and the hands-on time minimal: I’d say 5 minutes, 10 at best.
If we discount the time it took to prepare the pork (5-6 hours in slow-cooker), we’re looking at about 1 hour of cooking.
Couple of ideas/variations:
- probably best idea would be to put breadcrumbs on top;
- baring that, I think crushes tortilla chips would be great too;
- replacing the Swiss cheese with cheddar would make for a stronger (not necessarily better) tasting casserole;
- I bet smoked gouda would be phenomenal;
- I wonder how would it taste with added sauteed mushrooms and/or roasted red pepper
- 2 10oz condensed cream of chicken soup (highlight chicken as most casseroles I’ve made, few as they were used cream of mushrooms);
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well and drained (or quinoa and anything mix)
- 2 cups cooked, diced pork
- 1 cup chopped deli ham (or leftover ham of any sort) or 1 cup of chopped sausage
- 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 2 cups broccoli crowns, chopped, steamed
- 1/4 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
Lightly grease a 9 x 11 or 9 x 13 inch pan.
- In a large bowl, stir together the condensed cream of chicken soup, broth, salt, pepper, quinoa, pork, ham/sausage, Swiss cheese and Monterey Jack cheese.
- Spread the mixture evenly in the pan.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove the casserole from the oven, uncover, and give it a good stir.
Return to the oven and bake uncovered for about 12-14 more minutes.
- While the casserole bakes, steam the broccoli (I used this microwave method). Stir the broccoli into the casserole, sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top and bake for another 10 minutes until the quinoa is plump and tender and the edges are golden and bubbling.
- Remove the casserole from the oven and let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Letting it sit is really important as it will help the casserole to firm up and also make sure the quinoa is completely tender.
- Serve warm - don’t wait too terribly long to serve it as it gets less creamy the longer it sits.
Serves 6 (serving size 1 or 1.5 cups). Probably 300-500 calories per cup, lots of fat from the cheese.
Per Mel’s notes on the original recipe, the casserole can be pre-made if you stop right after putting the mix in the pan and refrigerate it instead of putting it in the oven. The steamed broccoli can be refrigerated too, although given it only takes a few minutes to make I’m not sure it’s worth it.