Cheesy Chicken Caprese Casserole Recipe (Low Carb + Gluten-Free) (2024)

Cheesy Chicken Caprese Casserole Recipe (Low Carb + Gluten-Free) (1) Jessica Randhawa

4.79 from 52 votes


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Easy and delicious, this Cheesy Chicken Caprese Casserole Recipe is made with quinoa, cauliflower rice, shredded chicken, and mozzarella cheese. Low-carb, gluten-free, and easily frozen the whole family is guaranteed to love this fantastic Caprese Casserole.

Cheesy Chicken Caprese Casserole Recipe (Low Carb + Gluten-Free) (2)

Caprese Casserole

As a food blogger, it’s not very often that I make recipes over and overand over again. It’s the nature of my job, I suppose.

However, it remains one of the most frequently asked questions – what are my go-to repeat recipes? Well, aside from basics like baked chicken breasts or chicken noodle soup, or seasonal favorites like this butternut squash lasagna or butternut squash soup, this Cheesy Chicken Caprese Casserole remains one of my favorite.

Healthy and PACKED with vegetables, this easy dish has a little something for everyone – including loads of yummy melted cheese.

Cheesy Chicken Caprese Casserole Recipe (Low Carb + Gluten-Free) (3)

Cheesy Chicken Caprese Casserole Ingredients

The ingredients in this easy Caprese casserole include:

  • Chicken – To pump up the protein I chose to add shredded chicken breast. In this particular recipe, I poached a few chicken breasts, but you may also choose to save time and simply use leftover rotisserie chicken (or perhaps a mix of each).
  • Vegetables – There are a handful of vegetables in this recipe, but you’ll get started with diced yellow onion and red bell pepper. You may easily add additional vegetables such as diced carrots or celery.
  • Garlic – No need to be shy with the garlic here. I added five large cloves of minced garlic and could have easily added more. That said if you aren’t a huge fan of fresh garlic, five cloves will be plenty.
  • Seasoning – There’s no need to go crazy with the seasoning in this recipe. All you need is a little salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and red chili flakes (if you like a little kick).
  • Tomatoes and Tomato paste – A lot of tomatoes are going into this delicious baked Caprese casserole. Tomato paste is needed to thicken things up a bit, canned tomatoes mix with the quinoa and cauliflower rice to make the base, and cherry tomatoes line the top. Of course, these are simply recommendations. Feel free to use whatever tomato combination you prefer.
  • Balsamic vinegar – A little balsamic vinegar adds loads of flavor.
  • Kale – I am a big fan of kale in this cheesy chicken and Caprese casserole! Of course, it’s completely optional, but I highly recommend trying it. If you already know that you don’t care for kale, spinach is a great alternative.
  • Quinoa – Gluten-free and loaded with protein (and fiber!), quinoa is a great compromise when you’re looking to eat fewer carbs. Of course, feel free to skip the quinoa altogether and add additional cauliflower rice, however, keep in mind that the results may be somewhat more watery without the quinoa to help absorb the extra liquid.
  • Cauliflower rice – Delicious, vegan, low-carb, gluten-free, and easy sneaky way to get kids to eat more vegetables.
  • Cheese – This recipe really loves cheese. So, unless you hate cheese, don’t be afraid to add it. I added parmesan and, of course, mozzarella (as it is the classic cheese used when making a Caprese salad), but feel free to have fun and add all the cheese.
  • Basil – Last, but not least, you will need fresh basil. Add as much or as little as you like, but please, add fresh basil somewhere!

Cheesy Chicken Caprese Casserole Recipe (Low Carb + Gluten-Free) (4)

How to make this Easy Caprese Casserole Recipe

To make this Caprese Casserole, simply:

  1. Cook the chicken. If you’re cooking chicken (and not using leftovers) you’ll want to bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the chicken and return the water to a rolling boil. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside to “poach” (cook) for approximately 25-30 minutes. Carefully remove chicken from the pot and set aside to cool before shredding.

  2. Preheat oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and spray a large casserole dish or lasagna pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

  3. Sauté the onion, bell pepper, and garlic.Add the olive oil to a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for approximately 4-5 minutes, or until softening and translucent. Add the bell pepper and continue to cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, mixing often. Add the minced garlic and stir continuously for approximately 30 seconds.

  4. Add the seasoning and tomato paste. Still stirring, mix in the salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and red chili flakes (if using) with the onions and bell pepper. Once incorporated, add the tomato paste and mix well to combine thoroughly, taking care not to burn.

    • You may need to reduce heat to medium or medium-low to prevent the tomato paste from burning.
  5. Add the tomatoes and simmer. Add the diced tomatoes and balsamic vinegar to the pot, mixing well to combine. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat and simmer until liquid has reduced by approximately half (remember, we want all the yummy flavor! Just not all liquid that comes with it). Add the shredded chicken to the tomatoes.

  6. Add the kale, quinoa, and cauliflower rice. Add the kale. Mix well to combine. Allow the kale to cook for 1-2 minutes, or until softened, before adding the cauliflower rice. Allow the cauliflower rice to cook for 1-2 minutes before adding the

    cooked

    quinoa. Mix to combine and cook, stirring often, until everything is heated through.Remove from heat.

    • If you’re adding frozen cauliflower rice, you may need to cook for an additional 1-2 minutes before adding the cooked quinoa.
  7. Stir in the cheese. Stir in the shredded parmesan cheese and half of the mozzarella cheese. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.

  8. Transfer to the prepared casserole dish. Transfer the prepared quinoa and cauliflower rice mixture to your prepared baking dish. Top with fresh chopped basil followed by additional shredded cheese halved mozzarella balls, and cherry tomatoes. You may also do this in layers (like lasagna) but found this to be easier and just as delicious.

  9. Bake. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees F. for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and golden.

Cheesy Chicken Caprese Casserole Recipe (Low Carb + Gluten-Free) (5)
Cheesy Chicken Caprese Casserole Recipe (Low Carb + Gluten-Free) (6)

Cheesy Chicken Caprese Casserole Recipe (Low Carb + Gluten-Free) (7)

Tips, Tricks, and Variations

  • If you’re poaching chicken breasts, try not to let the chicken cook for much more than 30 minutes in the boiled water as it tends to dry out.
  • On the other hand, to save overall cooking time, you may use leftover rotisserie chicken or any other pre-cooked chicken of your choice.
  • Kale is great, but be sure to trim away the thick, tough woody stems. This is especially true to Tuscan kale.
  • Alternatives to quinoa include brown rice (gluten-free), barley, farro, freekeh (not gluten-free). I’m particularly fond of freekeh, but any of these options will offer a delicious, filling, somewhat nutty taste.
  • Swap some (not all) of the mozzarella cheese for ricotta cheese.
  • Make this Caprese casserole vegetarian and leave out the chicken. If you’re looking for more protein, crumbled tempeh would be an awesome alternative.
  • Feel free to addjust cauliflower rice orjust quinoa or an equal mix of each.
  • You may substitute 1 can of tomato sauce in place of one of the cans of diced tomatoes if you prefer a “saucier” cauliflower and quinoa mixture.
  • A drizzle of balsamic glaze at serving is highly recommended.

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How to store leftover Cheesy Chicken Caprese Casserole

It’s easy to store leftovers of this cheesy Caprese casserole and is highly recommended as they taste just as delicious the next day as they did fresh out of the oven!

Simply cover with plastic wrap or foil (or a lid if one comes with your baking dish) and keep stored in the refrigerator.

To reheat, simply place in the oven at 350 degrees F for approximately 20-30 minutes, or until heated through. You may want to tent with foil to prevent the cheese and tomatoes from burning. Of course, the microwave is also great for reheating and is usually what I use as I’m typically too impatient to wait.

Can you freeze this Caprese casserole recipe?

Yes! Absolutely.

In addition to these Chicken Enchiladas or this Easy Baked Ziti, this Cheesy Chicken Caprese Casserole is one of my favorite recipes to double up on and freeze for later.

For best results,

  1. Add the quinoa and cauliflower rice mixture to a casserole or lasagna dish with a tight-fitting lid.
  2. Top with shredded cheese and mozzarella balls, however, wait to add the halved cherry tomatoes and fresh basil until just before baking (this is a personal preference and not a rule).
  3. Do not bake in the oven before freezing. Cover with the lid and transfer to the freezer.
  4. When ready to enjoy, simply transfer the baking dish to the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Top with halved cherry tomatoes and basil and bake as instructed (though it may take additional time since you will be starting with a cold casserole dish).
  5. Enjoy within 3 months or so.

Cheesy Chicken Caprese Casserole Recipe (Low Carb + Gluten-Free) (9)

What to serve with this Caprese casserole recipe

I could easily argue that this recipe doesn’t really need anything else. After all, it has dairy, lean animal protein, TONS of vegetables, and a sprinkle of high-fiber grains to tie it all together.

However, if I were serving this to a larger group of people, a few of my top picks would include:

  • Salad – a light green salad isalways a welcome addition. Something lightly dressed in a simple vinaigrette with a base of arugula and crisp cucumbers.
  • Fresh bread – I realize this goes completely against the “low-carb” appeal, but you never know how everyone else feels.
  • Roasted vegetables – roasted vegetables are always a good idea. A few of my favorites include Roasted Asparagus and Brussels Sprouts.
  • Fruit – A big fruit salad is a great way to offset even the strongest of cravings. Serve with a scoop of whipped cream and make it dessert “official”.

For more casserole recipes, check out:

  • Tomato Baked Vegetarian Beans with Tangy Feta
  • BBQ Chicken Spaghetti Squash Casserole with Kale
  • Sweet Potato and Sausage Egg Casserole Recipe
  • Mediterranean Baked Fish with Artichokes and Olives
  • Pumpkin French Toast Bake

If you try making this Cheesy Chicken Caprese Casserole Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know!I always love to hear your thoughts.

Cheesy Chicken Caprese Casserole Recipe (Low Carb + Gluten-Free) (10)

RECIPE CARD

Cheesy Chicken Caprese Casserole Recipe (Low Carb + Gluten-Free) (11)

Cheesy Chicken Caprese Casserole Recipe

4.79 from 52 votes

AuthorAuthor: Cheesy Chicken Caprese Casserole Recipe (Low Carb + Gluten-Free) (12)Jessica Randhawa

Easy and delicious, this Cheesy Chicken Caprese Casserole Recipe is made with quinoa, cauliflower rice, shredded chicken, and mozzarella cheese. Low-carb, gluten-free, and easily frozen the whole family is guaranteed to love this fantastic Caprese Casserole.

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Prep Time 15 minutes mins

Cook Time 45 minutes mins

Total Time 1 hour hr

Course Main Course

Cuisine American

Servings 8 servings

Calories 484 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions - diced
  • 1 red bell pepper - seeded and diced
  • 5 cloves garlic - minced
  • salt and pepper - to season
  • 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes - (optional)
  • 3 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cup kale - tough stems removed, chopped (note 1)
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 4 cups cauliflower rice
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese - shredded
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese - shredded (divided)
  • 12 ounces mozzarella pearls - halved
  • Fresh basil - chopped
  • 15 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes - halved

Instructions

  • Poach the chicken. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the chicken and return the water to a rolling boil. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside to "poach" (cook) for approximately 25-30 minutes. Carefully remove chicken from the pot and set aside to cool before shredding. (note 2)

  • Preheat oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and spray a large casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

  • Sauté the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Add the olive oil to a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for approximately 4-5 minutes, or until softening and translucent. Add the bell pepper and continue to cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, mixing often. Add the minced garlic and stir continuously for approximately 30 seconds.

  • Add the seasoning and tomato paste. Still stirring, mix in the salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and red chili flakes (if using) with the onions and bell pepper. Once incorporated, add the tomato paste and mix well to combine thoroughly, taking care not to burn.

  • Add the tomatoes and simmer. Add the diced tomatoes and balsamic vinegar to the pot, mixing well to combine. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat and simmer until liquid has reduced by approximately half. Add the shredded chicken to the tomatoes.

  • Add the kale, quinoa, and cauliflower rice. Add the kale. Mix well to combine. Allow the kale to cook for 1-2 minutes, or until softened, before adding the cauliflower rice. Allow the cauliflower rice to cook for 1-2 minutes before adding the cooked quinoa. Mix to combine and cook, stirring often, until everything is heated through. Remove from heat.

  • Stir in the cheese. Stir in the shredded parmesan cheese and half of the mozzarella cheese. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.

  • Transfer to the prepared casserole dish. Transfer the prepared quinoa and cauliflower rice mixture to your prepared baking dish. Top with fresh chopped basil followed by additional shredded cheese, halved mozzarella balls, and cherry tomatoes.

  • Bake. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees F. for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and golden.

Video

Jessica's Notes

Note 1 - If you're not a fan of kale, any other leafy green will work. Spinach or chard make great alternatives.

Note 2 - You may also use leftover rotisserie chicken or any other pre-cooked chicken of your choice to save on total cooking time.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 484kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 602mg | Potassium: 1114mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 4741IU | Vitamin C: 110mg | Calcium: 547mg | Iron: 3mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword caprese casserole

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Cheesy Chicken Caprese Casserole Recipe (Low Carb + Gluten-Free) (2024)
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