A few weeks ago, I was looking for something to make for dinner. Artie was out of town so I was left to my own devices in the kitchen (which can either go really well or really bad). We had veggies in the fridge – a few mini peppers, some spinach, and a bag of broccoli – and some other random ingredients. I was craving comfort food, like a casserole, but I didn’t want anything too heavy. Quinoa is a very popular grain right now so I looked up a handful of recipes on Pinterest and came up with my own version of a quinoa casserole (there are links to the recipes that inspired this one at the bottom of the post).
- 1-1/4 to 1-1/3 cups quinoa
- 2 cups chicken broth or stock
- broccoli (1 bag or head of broccoli – a few cups at least)
- handful of baby peppers, sliced
- small to medium onion, sliced
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- cup of spinach, chopped
- 1 cup milk (I used 1%)
- 8 ounces cheese of your choice, shredded
Rinse the quinoa and cook according to package directions using chicken broth. This will take about 20 minutes. While this is cooking, chop the broccoli, peppers, and onions. Toss the veggies with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
In a bowl, combine quinoa, garbanzo beans, roasted veggies, and spinach. Gently stir in the milk and cheese. Pour everything into a lightly greased casserole dish. Bake at 400 for 20 – 30 minutes.
The top would also be good with a breadcrumb or cheese topping. It would brown up nicely and give the top a good crust.
I used a yummy cheese from Publix because it is what we had in the fridge but I imagine mozzarella, cheddar, or Colby jack would work just as well – anything that melts well. I will say shredding your own cheese is preferable to using shredded cheese.
I chose to roast the veggies because I prefer the flavor of roasted vegetables (and as a bonus while the veggies were in the oven and the quinoa was cooking, I loaded the dishwasher and did a few dishes), however, if you prefer, you could just as easily saute or boil the veggies. The main idea is to precook the veggies so they get softened a bit and they don’t leach out too much water and make the casserole soupy.
You can use any of the veggies you have on hand. I bet zucchini, mushrooms, leeks, or anything not too mushy (avocado) or wet (tomatoes) would work well. Actually, cherry tomatoes might work well… I like this because you can sort of clean out the refrigerator and use whatever veggies you have on hand.
Inspired by these recipes from Pinterest:
Cheesy Quinoa Mac and Cheese from Around the Table: Loving Food in RI and Beyond
Quinoa Spinach Mac and Cheese from Two Peas and Their Pod
Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole from Annie’s Eats
Spinach and Cheese Quinoa Casserole by Eat, Live, Run
Quinoa Broccoli Casserole by Edible Perspective