This healthy enchilada quinoa bake features shrimp, poblanos and loads of flavor. It’s a one-pan meal that is perfect for busy weeknights!
Who’s ready for a delicious, healthy one-pan dinner?? Meeeeeee!! Let me tell you, I’m all about the quick-and-easy meals these days. By the end of a long workday, all my eight month pregnant body wants to do is kick my feet up, watch TV and get a healthy, tasty meal brought to me in my brand new Pottery Barn Kids recliner. And if anyone wants to deliver this Healthy Shrimp and Poblano “Enchilada” Quinoa Bake to our door on any night of the week, we certainly won’t be complaining 😉
While we’re still working on the whole me not having to cook a thing part, the hubs has been great at at least helping out with dinner prep for the last few weeks. He’s a master at the grill, so we’ve been making most of our protein that way and then supplementing with either an easy salad or some sort of veggie. But every once in a while we crave something just a little fancier, and this quinoa bake is just the answer!
I can’t remember how it came to me, but a few weeks ago I suddenly got the urge to make some sort of Mexican-themed dish pairing shrimp and poblano peppers. I thought about it for a while, and wavered between making ACTUAL enchiladas, nachos or tacos. But then I thought about how NOT to complicate my life and instead make something that was (a) healthy and that (b) I could easily throw together and just pop in the oven. With the extra pop of protein it provides, a quinoa bake seemed like the perfect way to get the flavor combinations I was craving while also having a filling, delicious meal on hand in the refrigerator to heat up at a moment’s notice.
To be fair, if you count cooking the quinoa and making the cashew cream, this may not be considered a “one-pan dinner.” But, let’s be real, you really should have some cooked quinoa on hand at all times (meal prep Sunday anyone?) and if you haven’t yet tried your hand at cashew cream you are truly missing out on life. I’ve basically started using it in every recipe where I’m craving a creamy sauce and it is soooooo good you don’t even miss the cream. (See these Healthier Chicken Pot Pie Pockets, this Healthy (Vegan) Green Bean Casserole and this Curry Gnocchi with White Lamb Bolognese, for example.)
So here’s the scoop on how to make this life-changing Healthy Shrimp and Poblano “Enchilada” Quinoa Bake: First, make sure you have some cooked quinoa and cashew cream on hand. I recommend cooking the quinoa using vegetable or chicken broth to add an extra punch of flavor, and I’ve included my go-to recipe for cashew cream below for your ease and convenience (save it, make it, memorize it!)
After that, it’s just a matter of tossing all the ingredients together in a bowl, transferring them to a baking dish, topping with some cheese and popping the whole thing in the oven! The greatest thing about this Healthy Shrimp and Poblano “Enchilada” Quinoa Bake? It’s ready to devour in just 15 minutes!! Now that’s the perfect dinner if I ever saw one.
And, although the hubs and I EASILY polished off at least half of the bake in one sitting, I also love the fact that it reheats beautifully, which means this preggo mama can have a delicious, healthy, protein-packed meal or snack at a moment’s notice.
What do you think? Have I convinced you yet? I double dare you to give it a shot this week. And, as always, be sure to tag @caligirlcooking in any of your creations so I can share them all over social media! Xo
A healthier take on enchiladas featuring fresh shrimp and poblano peppers, a cashew cream sauce, cheese topping and plenty of flavor!
- 1 1/4 cup dry quinoa
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup cashews, soaked at least 4 hours or overnight
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 poblano (or pascilla) peppers
- 1/2 teaspoon each cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne and paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- Dash of pepper, plus more to taste
- 10 ounces peeled and deveined shrimp, tails removed and cut in half (if large)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 of an onion, chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Jack cheese
- Cilantro and avocado, for garnish
Soak cashews in water overnight at least one night before you plan to make the quinoa bake. The next morning, drain the cashews and add them to a blender with the rest of the cashew cream ingredients. Puree until a smooth cream forms and set aside.
You can also prepare the quinoa one day (or more) in advance of making the dish. Simply add the quinoa and vegetable stock to a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed by the quinoa.
Once you have the cashew cream and quinoa prepped, the rest of the meal will come together in a flash. Using a gas grill or stovetop, hold each pepper with a pair of metal tongs and place over a medium flame until the skin is nicely charred. Remove from heat and destem and chop into bite-size pieces once cool enough to touch. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne, paprika, ¼ teaspoon salt and dash of pepper.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and get out a 3-quart baking dish.
In a large mixing bowl, toss the shrimp with the prepared seasoning blend, then add the cooked quinoa, charred peppers, garlic, onion and tomatoes. Finally, add the entire batch of cashew cream you prepared in advance. Stir to combine.
Transfer quinoa mixture to the 3-quart baking dish and top with shredded Jack cheese. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Garnish with fresh cilantro and sliced avocado and enjoy!