Chicken Enchilada Quinoa by Mike Hart

Today’s guest cook is Mike Hart. Mike is a long-time friend and neighbor with superb culinary talents, as well as a fabulous mixologist with cocktails! I know first-hand since I’ve sampled a few of his drinks! During the stay at home restrictions, we’ve had to change cocktail hour on the deck to a Zoom get-together on the computer. And on the foodie side, we often share dishes back and forth to get honest opinions to recipes new and old. I even featured one of Mike’s zucchini recipes in my cookbook, “From Vine to Table: The Unexpected Joy of Zucchini’s Magic.”

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A little bit about Mike

He is retired from a career in management, mostly in the print/mail industry. He enjoys fine wines, dabbles in photography, and old Fords. He has a beautiful mustang he is currently restoring. Mike says he turned to cooking because he likes to eat. 

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Mike’s story and recipe:

I often start with a recipe that catches my interest and build from there. So, credit where credit is due, this started with a recipe I saw on delish. I can never seem to leave well enough alone so I add, delete, and rework it into something that sounds really good to me. This is a great example of that, very much different from where I started.

Note: This is a great recipe to use leftover chicken. And quinoa is a nice change from rice and potatoes. 

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I had to laugh that Mike used frozen corn in this recipe because I have a great story about Mike, his wife, my hubby, and I trying to find the farm where we buy our summer corn. In case you didn’t read that story in a previous blog I’ll just summarize it by saying that all of us have missed the turnoff to the farm year after year (because of poor signage). The year Mike drove to the farm he found it right away (they changed the signage to the right side of the road which made it more visible). And after bringing the bushels of corn home, we cleaned, shucked, stripped off the cob, and sealed many, many packages of corn for our freezers. P.S. It only took me six months to find all the stray corn kernels that escaped in my kitchen that day!

So I love any excuse to use up the frozen corn we have in our freezer! Thanks, Mike!

Prep veggies.







The finished dish looks yummy!

Chicken Enchilada Quinoa by Mike Hart

Yields 4-6

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  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium (yellow or red) onion, diced
  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeno, minced – more or less according to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1 cup frozen sweet corn
  • 1 cup red enchilada sauce
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
  • ½ cup freshly grated Cotija cheese
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • For the garnish – diced avacodo, diced tomato and freshly chopped cilantro


  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. In a small sauce pan combine quinoa and chicken stock. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minures, until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy.
  3. In a large skillet, heat oil. Add onion. Red pepper, jalapeno and garlic and cook until tender, about 6 minutes.
  4. Add cumin and chili powder and stir until combined and fragrant.
  5. Add chicken, corn, black beans and enchilada sauce, reserving 1 tablespoon for the garnish. Stir until combined.
  6. In a lightly greased 3 quart baking dish, add the quinoa and press to make a base layer. Cover evenly with the enchilada mixture and top with cheeses.
  7. Bake until cheese is melty and bubbly, about 15-20 minutes
  8. Garnish with the tomato, avocado and cilantro and drizzle with the reserved enchilada sauce. And maybe a squeeze of fresh lime too.

Thanks Mike!

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