All summer I practiced with my slow cookers, adapting recipes from cookbooks and blogs, modifying some of my own stove top and oven favorites to the low-and-slow cooking style of these wonderful little machines. I knew the day would come when I would give zucchini a try, yet I feared turning it to complete and utter mush with hours of cooking. The solution? Add it at the end, so it stays firm and flavorful. This quinoa with zucchini, mushrooms and chicken sausage, a satisfying one-pot meal, requires just five minutes of prep, and delivers big flavor, with no mush. Practice makes perfect.
Slow cooker quinoa with zucchini, mushrooms and chicken sausage
1-1/2 cups quinoa (I use red quinoa), rinsed
3 cups chicken stock
12 oz flavorful chicken sausage, sliced (I use sun-dried tomato with basil sausage)
1 small onion, diced
6 sun-dried tomato halves, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 cups diced zucchini (1 giant zucchini)
3 cups roughly chopped mushrooms
Fresh black pepper, to taste
In a 4- or 5-quart slow cooker, add the quinoa, chicken stock, sausage, onion, tomato, thyme, oregano and garlic. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2-1/2 hours, or on LOW for 5 hours.
If you have cooked on LOW, turn the cooker to HIGH and add the mushrooms and zucchini right on top of the quinoa. Do not stir it in; cover and cook on HIGH for 30 minutes.
Stir the vegetables into the quinoa, cover, and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
Then, cook partially covered for 15 minutes more, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Gently fluff the quinoa. Taste, and season with black pepper.
Serve hot, or transfer to containers and allow to cool completely before refrigerating or freezing.
More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Quinoa turkey meatloaf
Chicken and vegetable quinoa stir-fry
Red quinoa, beet and pecan salad with pomegranate-orange vinaigrette
Chickpea, quinoa and spinach salad with preserved lemon vinaigrette
Fregula sarda with leeks and sausage
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Quinoa chicken salad, from My Colombian Recipes
Spicy sausage and quinoa stuffed bell peppers, from Quick and Dirty in the Kitchen
Quinoa sausage bake, from Mele Cotte
Chicken, broccoli and quinoa casserole with creamy curry sauce, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Hearty chicken stew with butternut squash and quinoa, from Cookin' Canuck
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