Pistachio Quinoa Dukkah Crusted Chicken Fingers with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto.
So, this is what I call healthy comfort food.
I know spring is supposed to be all about lighter eats and well, less cheese, but come on? Where is the fun in that? Plus, we all know that the month of April has plenty of showers, or in my snow. Ugh.
Yes, it’s still snowing here in the Rockies and yes, I HATE it.
And yes, this is why today you are seeing cheesy, comfort food. BUT this dish is full of all things healthy, so it really is healthy comfort food. And well, as far as the cheese goes, you don’t have to add as much as I did…
But you should. Just sayin.
So let me just tell you about all the things I love about this little bake here.
>>>It’s probably got to be the easiest thing you can make. You literally dirty just one dish and one spoon/fork or whatever you decide to use. You may have to dirty two if you don’t have any leftover quinoa in the fridge, but lately I have been cooking up big batches of grains (ok, I know that quinoa is not technically a grain) on Sunday so I have easy sides for dinners, or as a way to hearty up salads and such for the week. Wow, that sounds so grown up and all.
Man. My brothers are right, I am so old for my age. I need to act a little more “21-ish” sometimes.
>>>Aside from this being insanely easy to make on any given night of the week, it’s also insanely delicious. Like insanely. I basically took the idea of my dad’s Friday night pasta and swapped the pasta for quinoa and added some sun-dried tomato pesto + roasted artichokes. It’s such a good combo of ingredients and definitely one of my favorite dishes. Like I have been making it once a week for the past month.
>>>The colors!! I just love, love, love the pretty vibrant colors (and flavors) going on here. Can you say color freak? YUP.
>>>Though this is ideal for busy weeknights or a day when you want to prep dinner before work and then cook when you get home, I personally love this on a Friday or Saturday night. It’s just something about those peppers and cheese together. For me, that combo will always scream “it’s the weekend, lets relax!”. Kind of odd, but I am learning I am a pretty odd person. And I am OK with that.
>>>It’s a foolproof recipe with a ten minute prep time and about 40 minutes in the oven…which clearly means that the 40 minutes in the oven gives you 40 minutes for a beer (wine, margarita, whatever you drink), talk time with a friend or significant other, or just time to read a trashy magazine and relax…. OK, fine that only happens in a perfect word, but maybe you can drink the wine while vacuuming? Life.
>>>Finally, you can totally adapt this and make it vegan!! Yes, vegan. Just leave out the cheeses all together or swap in some vegan cheese. I can’t say it will be just as good because I love cheese, but it will still be completely awesome. You could even make it into a quinoa salad and just skip baking this all together, toss everything in a bowl and eat warm or cold. Perfect for on the go lunches!!
Also, how pretty are those tomatoes?? I know tomatoes are not in season just yet (well, the heirlooms are!!), but they looked too pretty not to buy, and wow, they actually tasted amazing!!
Have any of you started your summer gardens yet? If so, I ENVY you. I want so badly to have a garden full of veggies and fruits, but where I live, there are only 30 nights a year where the temps do not go below freezing. I know people have gardens up here, but it’s just a lot harder to manage. I am currently trying to convince my dad that we should build a greenhouse…unfortunately I think little Asher has him heavily distracted with this whole “daddy will you please buy me a horse thing”. The girl has the poor guy pretty well wrapped around her sweet little finger. Poor Dad!
Anyway, the point of this rambling is that I really want you guys to make this one-pan spring Tuscan quinoa bake.
And make it soon!!
SO. You all know what you are all making for dinner one night this week, right?
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K. Cool. Let’s do this!
Do you make your own sun dried tomato pesto?
For this recipe I just used store bought. Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love the recipe! xx
This was my first Quinoa recipe and oh my god! was soo good, healthy dinner. I didn’t have pita so I substituted to corn tortillas. I loved it! definitely gonna make it again.
Thank you Jazz! I am so happy this turned out so well for you! xTieghan
Would this work if I substituted Harissa for the sun dried tomato pesto and substituted cooked Italian sausage for the pepperonis?
That would work, it would just have different flavoring. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan
Yes!!! This was so good! We made chicken and paired it with this as our side. I used 2 c of quinoa and didn’t change the quantity of anything else. I loved the flavors and the subtle kicked from the crushed red pepper. I’ll be making this over and over again!
Thank you so much! I hope you continue to enjoy this and other recipes of mine! xTieghan
Can you prep this ahead of time, put in the fridge,and then bake when ready? How much ahead could you do that and would it change the baking time? Thanks!
Hey Jennifer, yes this work great to prep ahead and keep in the fridge. You can keep in the fridge for up to 3 days before baking. I would add 10-15 minutes to the baking time to ensure the dish is warmed throughout. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan
Do you bake this uncovered?
Hi Katherine! Yes, I bake uncovered. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan