Cajun Shrimp Quinoa Casserole

We didn't really have a winter here but there were a few weeks where it was a little chilly. By chilly I mean 50°f. However, considering we just came from the 115° desert this past summer, 50° feels like winter to us. So I started searching for casserole dishes that I could make that would not only be hearty but easy to make. That's when I found this recipe. I had some extra frozen shrimp in the freezer from new years eve that I had been wanting to use and this was the perfect recipe for it. 

This is definitely something new that we've never had before. I don't think I've ever had cheese on shrimp before. However, considering I've made and enjoyed shrimp with cheesy bacon polenta I figured this wouldn't be too far off. This was pretty delicious. I'm not familiar with cajun food so I can't say that this was authentic or reminded me of Loisianna but I can say it was different from anything I've had and it was tasty. I particularly enjoyed that you make everything in the one pan (if it's oven safe). So there aren't multiple dishes to clean up afterwards. The only downside to this dish is that you kind of have to eat it all while it's fresh. We had a lot of leftovers and they weren't quite as good after being nuked in the microwave the next day.

 recipe adapted from This Gal Cooks

  • 3/4 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 medium tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 c. chopped sweet onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2½ tsp cajun seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2½ c. cooked quinoa
  • 1 c. shredded fontina cheese
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish
  1. Cook quinoa according to package, set aside.
  2. Toss the shrimp and 1 tsp Cajun seasoning together, set aside.
  3. Toss the tomatoes with 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp Cajun seasoning, set aside.
  4. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a cast iron skillet (or any oven-safe skillet) Cook the shrimp until opaque, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  5. Add the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pan along with the onion, jalapeno and garlic. Cook until the onion and jalapeno are tender, stirring often. Mix in the quinoa, tomato paste, ½ tsp Cajun seasoning and tomato chunks. (If you don't have an oven safe skillet then transfer ingredients to a 9x9 baking dish and follow remaining steps) Top with the shrimp and then sprinkle with the fontina cheese.
  6. Place in the oven and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. During the last 2 minutes, turn on the broiler to high and broil until the cheese is slightly brown and bubbly.
  7. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

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