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Feb 16
81

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Bake

Cheesy, spicy, creamy, hearty, warm, comforting, and only around 300 calories? Pinch me.

Being a home-grown Buffalo girl, anything with Buffalo chicken flavor is an automatic win in my book. Lately I’ve been daydreaming of a Buffalo Chicken casserole and after considering a pasta bake, I decided to make it a little healthier and use quinoa. For those of you who are only familiar with quinoa from the recent Bud Light commercial (pro-tip: it’s actually pronounced like keen-wah), quinoa is a grain that is high in protein and fiber and is naturally gluten-free. Once cooked it takes on sort of a bubbly appearance which I personally think makes it fun to eat. Quinoa is cooked in a similar manner to rice and can be used in many of the same types of dishes where you might usually use pasta or rice.

This dish was exactly what I had been craving. I used a half cup of wing sauce so mine was plenty spicy, the celery and carrots added little bits of crunch and the protein packed chicken and quinoa made for a very satisfying serving. Plus, it was creamy, cheesy and warm and made perfect comfort food on a cold day. I know y’all are going to ask if you can use ranch dressing instead of blue cheese dressing. For those of you who have been with me for a while, you know the Buffalo girl in me screams “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!” but the food blogger in me says “alright, if you must.” ;)

Can’t get enough Buffalo chicken goodness? Try Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas, Buffalo Wing Hummus, Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese Muffins, Buffalo Chicken Pizza, Buffalo Chicken Chili, Buffalo Chicken Wonton Cupcakes, Buffalo Chicken Roulades, Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken, Buffalo Cheese Bread, Buffalo Chicken Meatballs, Buffalo Chicken Bites, and Buffalo Chicken Wraps.


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Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Bake

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup plain, fat free yogurt
  • ½ cup light blue cheese dressing (such as Marie’s Chunky Lite or Marzetti Chunky Lite)
  • 1 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 - ½ cup Buffalo Wing sauce (the actual wing sauce, not straight hot sauce) – ½ cup is spicy
  • 10 oz cooked, shredded chicken breast (this is about how much I got from cooking 1 lb raw)
  • ½ cup diced carrots
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa (about ¾ cup uncooked quinoa makes about 3 cups cooked)
  • 4 oz 50% reduced fat sharp cheddar, shredded (I used Cabot brand)
  • 1 oz crumbled blue cheese

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, blue cheese dressing, cream cheese and wing sauce and stir to mix. Add the shredded chicken, carrots and celery and stir to combine. Add the quinoa and stir until well combined.
  3. Transfer the quinoa mixture into a 2 quart casserole dish (I used a 7x11, but you can use an 8x8 or 9x9) and spread evenly. Sprinkle the cheddar across the top and follow with the crumbled blue cheese. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until heated through. Turn the oven to broil and move dish to a higher oven rack. Broil for 1-2 minutes until cheese is golden and bubbly.

Weight Watchers Points Plus:
8 per serving(P+ calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)

Nutrition Information:
304 calories, 19 g carbs, 13 g fat, 29 g protein, 2 g fiber (from myfitnesspal.com)

An Emily Bites Original

   

81 Responses to “Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Bake”

  1. #
    1
    Anonymous — February 16, 2014 @ 6:50 pm

    This looks amazing! I just scratched tomorrows dinner plans in lieu of this! Can’t wait to try. Thanks for all your amazing recipes.

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    Cindy — February 16, 2014 @ 6:59 pm

    1/2 cup wing sauce plus bleu cheese dressing ?? Sunds good, but I’d be bloated for a month with all that sodium..any way of making the spicy sauce low sodium without using buffalo sauce?

    • Emily Koenigsberg replied: — February 16th, 2014 @ 7:03 pm

      You need hot sauce or else it’s not Buffalo chicken! Sorry to hear this isn’t the recipe for you.

    • Emily Koenigsberg replied: — February 16th, 2014 @ 7:04 pm

      Feel free to use less wing sauce if you like…1/2 cup makes it pretty spicy, that’s why the recipe has a range.

  3. #
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    Katie Adams — February 16, 2014 @ 9:45 pm

    This looks amazing!!! I’m definitely making it soon.

  4. #
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    Anonymous — February 17, 2014 @ 12:33 am

    Am I supposed to cook the quinoa first or does it cook while baking ? I’m new to using quinoa

    • Emily Koenigsberg replied: — February 17th, 2014 @ 12:34 am

      This recipe uses cooked quinoa :)

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    Anonymous — February 17, 2014 @ 12:38 am

    Emily, if I use pasta instead of quinoa, how much should I use to keep the points the same? I’m just not sure about the quinoa. Thanks!

    • Emily Koenigsberg replied: — February 17th, 2014 @ 12:41 am

      I only calculated the points with the ingredients I used, but in the recipe builder it says the quinoa contributes 16 points to the overall recipe, so…however much pasta equals 16 points :)

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    Anonymous — February 17, 2014 @ 1:31 am

    This looks great! The family is not crazy about blue cheese….Could you substitute ranch dressing?

    • Emily Koenigsberg replied: — February 17th, 2014 @ 3:06 am

      Haha, I knew someone would ask! See the second paragraph ;)

  7. #
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    c.m.c — February 17, 2014 @ 2:46 am

    Great recipe, Emily! Are your servings sizes 1 cup?

    • Emily Koenigsberg replied: — February 17th, 2014 @ 3:06 am

      When I make casseroles I just cut it into 6 servings, grid style.

  8. #
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    Anne — February 17, 2014 @ 12:48 pm

    This looks SO yummy and it is in my dinner lineup for the week!

  9. #
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    Nicole858 — February 17, 2014 @ 6:40 pm

    Sounds good! I’m not crazy about quinoa. I saw someone asked about pasta. Do you think that or brown rice would be a better substitution?

    • Emily Koenigsberg replied: — February 18th, 2014 @ 11:17 pm

      Actually I’m thinking something like orzo or farro would be a better sub

  10. #
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    Me — February 17, 2014 @ 11:51 pm

    This looks amazing ! Every recipe of yours that I’ve made has been a home run – thank you :)

    As another Buffalo girl, I’m not sure what actual “wing sauce” is – so it’s not straight Frank’s? Or would it work?

    • April Wiesner replied: — February 18th, 2014 @ 10:50 pm

      Frank’s makes a wing sauce. So does Wegman’s, Anchor Bar…. Check out the hot sauce/bbq sauce/marinade section. Wegman’s wing sauce is the best.

  11. #
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    Amy — February 20, 2014 @ 5:00 am

    Made it tonight and it was phenomenal!!! Thanks!!

  12. #
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    βιολογικά όσπρια — February 20, 2014 @ 12:14 pm

    Thanks for your delicius recipe!
    Greatfood Greece

  13. #
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    Meagan Montalto — February 20, 2014 @ 5:52 pm

    i made this last night and it was DELICIOUS!

  14. #
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    Haley Tilling-Cascalheira — February 20, 2014 @ 11:24 pm

    Thinking of subbing the celery for small diced broccoli as that’s what I have on hand. Going to try this on the weekend!

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    Luci's Mom — February 23, 2014 @ 2:49 am

    Made this for dinner tonight! Was a big hit. Used a little over 1/3 cup wing sauce, but next time will use the 1/2 like you did! Used red quinoa, as that is what we had on hand. The red gave it a yummy earthy flavor. Thank you for another keeper recipe.

    • Emily replied: — March 16th, 2014 @ 10:19 am

      I’ll have to try it with red next time! Glad you liked it :)

  16. #
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    Becky — February 23, 2014 @ 4:32 pm

    I made this for dinner yesterday. Both my hubby and I LOVED it!! He is generally on the picky side–but said this recipe is a keeper!! Thanks for the great new addition to “the lineup”!!

    • Emily replied: — March 16th, 2014 @ 10:20 am

      Woohoo, picky hubby approved! :)

  17. #
    17
    Anonymous — February 23, 2014 @ 10:57 pm

    When I put this in my recipe builder, I get 12 points per 6 servings…? unsure what’s up with that, however, this is totally worth it, delicious!

    • Emily Koenigsberg replied: — February 23rd, 2014 @ 11:06 pm

      Hm, could you be tracking the quinoa as uncooked? I ran the recipe through both the ww rexipe builder and the nutrition calculator on myfitnesspal and got the same points both times so I’m not sure how you’d get 12. Glad you liked it!

    • Tami Harmon replied: — February 28th, 2014 @ 11:42 pm

      I ran it throw the builder and got 6 points for a 6th of the casserole.

  18. #
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    jstevens786 — February 24, 2014 @ 2:26 am

    I made this recipe tonight and it was perfect! My family and I loved it. We went with a 1/2 cup wing sauce and I think the spice level was pretty good (I like it spicy)! And, I added onion for some extra flavor, but it was hardly noticeable with everything else going on. Thank you for sharing!

    • Emily replied: — March 16th, 2014 @ 10:20 am

      So glad it was a hit!

  19. #
    19
    Tami Harmon — February 28, 2014 @ 11:35 pm

    I made this tonight. The only thing I would change is to sautee the carrots and celery first. They didn’t cook at all in the 20 minutes it was in the oven. I’d prefer them soft, not crunchy. I used extra hot sauce (I only had the hot sauce, I didnt have the wing sauce). It was delicious!!

    • Emily replied: — March 16th, 2014 @ 10:21 am

      I liked the bit of crunch, but I totally understand some people might not. So happy you enjoyed it anyway!

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    CardsgalintheCity — March 3, 2014 @ 4:04 pm

    Made this for Oscar night last night and looooved it (only change was upping the carrots to 1 cup because we had a ton and adding 1/2 an onion). I’m betting it would be easy to tweak this into an enchilada casserole!

    • Emily replied: — March 16th, 2014 @ 10:21 am

      Yum, probably! So glad you loved it :)

  21. #
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    Talia — March 4, 2014 @ 7:13 pm

    I made this for dinner last night and I have to tell you it was delicious! My husband thinks I am obsessed with Buffalo Chicken everything (he might be right) and always makes a face when I serve it (maybe because the results are often so-so!). And he complains endlessly about how weird quinoa is and “can’t we just have pasta”! haha! But I divided this into 6 portions and he ate FOUR of them!! I had to wrestle the last serving away so I could have it for lunch today! Thank you!!

    • Emily replied: — March 16th, 2014 @ 10:22 am

      That’s an awesome reaction!! I’m so happy to hear he loved it. Thanks for sharing that!

  22. #
    22
    Anonymous — March 10, 2014 @ 12:01 pm

    This was very good. I agree that celery and carrots need to be sauted before adding as they remain a little crunchy. Used 1/2 cup of sauce but didn’t think it was too spicy (but I like heat).

    • Emily replied: — March 16th, 2014 @ 10:23 am

      Glad you liked it! I enjoyed the crunch but definitely suggest sauteeing them first if you don’t like it.

  23. #
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    Amy Huneycutt — March 12, 2014 @ 6:06 pm

    I took the idea of this recipe (because we had your buffalo chicken pizza the night before) and made it into more of a chicken pie recipe. I subtracted the blue cheese and wing sauce for 1/2 can of cream of chicken and follow the rest of the recipe, it came out really delicious! Definitely going to do the original recipe soon.

    • Emily replied: — March 16th, 2014 @ 10:24 am

      Yay for getting creative! Glad it turned out great!

  24. #
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    Amanda Nicole — March 13, 2014 @ 1:14 pm

    This was fantastic!!! My hubby hates quinoa with a passion and absolutely devoured two servings of this. I did not feel like I was eating a diet friendly recipe at all- it was that good!! Definitely keeping this as my go to when I am craving chicken wings! Thank you.

    • Emily replied: — March 16th, 2014 @ 10:24 am

      Ooh, that’s a great endorsement! So happy you both loved it :)

  25. #
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    The Diet-Free Diva — March 13, 2014 @ 3:57 pm

    I wasn’t sure I was going to like the carrots and celery not cooked first but I LOVED the crunch! This recipe was so easy to follow and it was a big hit!! I’ll definitely be keeping this on our menu!

    • Emily replied: — March 16th, 2014 @ 10:16 am

      So happy you loved it! :)

  26. #
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    Anonymous — March 13, 2014 @ 5:30 pm

    All I can say is…YUM!! Made this tonight and quite honestly, I could eat the whole casserole without making any excuses, it’s that good! My 91 year old mother had seconds (I only had one portion since I am the one on WW), but I am already looking forward to lunch tomorrow! The only change I made was I cut back even a little more on the wing sauce, since mamma was afraid it would be too hot for her, and it was still delish. If I was making it for me and my husband I would use the 1/3 cup measurement without any qualms. So don’t be afraid to alter that ingredient to your personal taste. This would also make a great dip! Thanks for creating it!

    • Emily replied: — March 16th, 2014 @ 10:14 am

      I’m so happy you loved it! Thanks for letting me know :)

  27. #
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    Meghan — March 15, 2014 @ 3:24 pm

    So delicious I made it two weeks in a row – I might have a slight obsession!

    • Emily replied: — March 16th, 2014 @ 10:17 am

      Haha,good obsession to have! :)

  28. #
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    Alicia — March 17, 2014 @ 4:53 pm

    Just made this for dinner tonight and it may just be my new favorite!! Anything buffalo chicken is a hit in my house, but I was worried about the quinoa because I can’t get my husband to ever eat it, but he had seconds tonight! Thanks for another great recipe!

    • Emily replied: — March 17th, 2014 @ 8:53 pm

      Oh yay, I’m thrilled it was such a hit! Thanks for letting me know :)

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    Laura M — March 18, 2014 @ 8:48 pm

    Just tried this tonight — came out FABULOUS! Glad you made the note about the 1/2 cup of wing sauce being HOT — I used 1/3 cup, and I usually like things on the spicier side, and 1/3 cup was perfect for my taste. From one home-grown Buffalo (well…Cheektowaga) girl to another, great job (as always) and thanks for sharing!

  30. #
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    Doris — March 23, 2014 @ 7:09 pm

    I made this a couple of weeks ago and it was amazing. I have tried over and over to like quinoa to no avail but this was so creamy and spicy I just had to go buy more quinoa! This is definitely going into the regular rotation. I also like the crunchy celery and carrots it does seem like buffalo chicken without that crunch.

  31. #
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    Maegan — March 30, 2014 @ 10:13 pm

    Just made this for my lunches this week and my hubby and I love it! It’s the fPerfect combination of creamy and spicy! This is the first recipe I have tried from your site and can’t wait to try more. Thanks!

  32. #
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    Ashley — March 31, 2014 @ 6:06 pm

    Holy Yum! My friend Bevin introduced me to your site, and I have made many of your delicious recipes. But, this one deserves a comment. This is amazing!! The only thing I did different was cook the carrots a bit. I honestly cannot believe how great this tastes.

  33. #
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    Kathy D — April 1, 2014 @ 9:35 pm

    Loved this! I made mine using a cup of frozen peas & carrots (thawed out in the microwave first) since I’m not a fan of celery and it turned out great! It’s the first time I’ve made a dish with quinoa that my husband liked enough to go back for seconds.

    Thanks Emily! :)

    • Emily replied: — April 1st, 2014 @ 11:11 pm

      Yay, I’m so glad it was a hit! :)

  34. #
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    Tiff — April 6, 2014 @ 5:13 pm

    Wow! Cooked this for dinner tonight for me and my fiancé and it was amazing! Definitely hit the spot and was very satisfying!! Will be making again and again!!!! Thank you for such a wonderful WW recipe. :)

  35. #
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    Catherine — April 9, 2014 @ 9:32 pm

    This is delicious! I may have to only make it when I have family around or am going to a party-I find myself getting to the fridge for second and thirds!! Love it.

  36. #
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    Tamara — April 10, 2014 @ 10:20 pm

    Delicious!! Any idea how it might freeze?

  37. #
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    Tamara — April 11, 2014 @ 12:01 pm

    I’m going to freeze a few pieces of it, so I will report back!

    Also: I only had a 9×13 pan, so I tweaked the recipe to produce a bit more volume; then I cut it into 8 pieces. I didn’t really measure, just added a little more of just about everything. :)

  38. #
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    Shelly S — April 12, 2014 @ 3:32 pm

    Would this recipe freeze well?

    • Emily Bites replied: — April 14th, 2014 @ 9:13 pm

      I’ve never frozen it, but definitely give it a try!

  39. #
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    Heidi — April 19, 2014 @ 2:00 pm

    Made this for dinner tonight, it was amazing!

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    Kelley — April 21, 2014 @ 1:08 pm

    Awesome! It freezes REALLY well (great for individual weeknight meals when the family isn’t eating something WW friendly.)

  41. #
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    Beth — May 6, 2014 @ 12:51 am

    I could no get enough. Hubby wasn’t sold so I had to “suffer” through the leftovers on my own! ;-)

  42. #
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    Becca — May 12, 2014 @ 5:10 pm

    This was so good – and I am loving the leftovers (no freezing needed for this)! The boyfriend still “doesn’t get” what quinoa is, but he loved it too!

  43. #
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    Charlsye — May 19, 2014 @ 12:32 pm

    This looks so good! How prominently does the yogurt feature? Would I be able to swap it for plain greek yogurt or do you think that might be too tangy?

    Thanks!

  44. #
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    LA — June 19, 2014 @ 6:00 pm

    I’ve made this 3x times and it’s a definite favorite!!! I have one casserole in the freezer as we speak for an upcoming vacation. I am a huge fan of anything buffalo, and the combination of healthy ingredients is very tasty to my boyfriend & me. What we don’t eat the first night is quickly polished off the ext day for lunch & dinner, lol!
    Thank you so much for sharing ;)

  45. #
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    LA — June 19, 2014 @ 6:01 pm

    I’ve made this 3x times and it’s a definite favorite!!! I have one casserole in the freezer as we speak for an upcoming vacation. I am a huge fan of anything buffalo, and the combination of healthy ingredients is very tasty to my boyfriend & me. What we don’t eat the first night is quickly polished off the next day for lunch & dinner, lol!
    Thank you so much for sharing ;)

  46. #
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    Jessica — August 23, 2014 @ 5:47 pm

    This was a such a great recipe!!! I made it tonight for dinner for me and my hubby and it was such a hit!! I didn’t add the blue cheese or the cheddar cheese… It tasted great even without these. I was wondering what the point count was without these? Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  47. #
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    Kristin — September 5, 2014 @ 10:59 am

    Buffalo girl here who loves all things buffalo flavored. Made this a few weeks ago and have been raving about it ever since. I’m a single gal who makes one recipe a week so I rarely make something twice. This will be made again for sure!!

    Going to experiment this weekend and try to make a Mexican version

  48. #
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    Justine — September 15, 2014 @ 7:25 pm

    Had this for lunch today and wasn’t hungry HOURS later. Your recipes are wonderful for a teacher like me with after school responsibilities who tries very hard to stick to her points for the week…..went on a five hour cooking spree yesterday, so I have about a months worth of lunches and dinners….. Love all things Buffalo (downstate NYer here) and you have so many yummy ones to select from….. Thank you!!!!!

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    Laura — September 22, 2014 @ 6:24 pm

    Making this for the second time tonight, my parents aren’t fans of quinoa but I got them to try this and they love it! Such an easy dish to reheat for lunches as well!!

  50. #
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    NYC — September 30, 2014 @ 9:24 am

    Just made this – delicious! My grocery store only had red quinoa, which I didn’t think would work, so I substituted farro – worked great! First time cooking with farro too – will use again!

    • Emily Bites replied: — September 30th, 2014 @ 6:53 pm

      Yum, I love farro! I’ll have to try it that way!

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    Amy — October 5, 2014 @ 11:12 am

    YUM! These look so good and I’m a big buffalo chicken fan so this is a must try. Thanks Emily!!!

    • Emily Bites replied: — October 9th, 2014 @ 7:59 pm

      Hope you love it!

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