May 16, 2012

Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

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My inspiration for this recipe came from wanting to do a healthier remake of the classic comfort dish Broccoli Rice Casserole. This recipe leaves out the butter, cans of condensed soup, and uses quinoa instead of rice. Even though it's inspired by broccoli rice casserole, it's not your typical ooey-gooey casserole. We love it just the way it is, but adding 1-2 beaten eggs to the mix before baking will help achieve a little bit more of a typical casserole consistency if that's what you prefer.


Ingredients
1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
1/2 onion
2-3 cloves garlic
1 large head broccoli (or 3-4 cups broccoli florets)
8 oz. mushrooms
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar, more for topping
1 tsp. paprika
Salt/pepper
1-2 eggs, lightly beaten (optional)

Directions
Rinse quinoa well. Cook in 3 cups boiling, salted water for 15-20 minutes, or according to package directions.
Meanwhile, dice onion and mushrooms, mince garlic, and chop broccoli florets.
Preheat oven to 375.
Saute onion and mushrooms with salt over medium-high heat for about 5-7 minutes or until slightly softened. Remove any extra liquid from the mushrooms.
Steam broccoli for 2-3 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients with the hot quinoa. Mix well.
Add to a lightly sprayed 9x13 baking dish. Spread out mixture evenly and lightly press down. Sprinkle additional cheddar cheese on top.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes.


{Freezing instructions}
You can freeze this before or after baking. If freezing after baking, let it cool completely before freezing.
Place in a freezer safe and oven safe container. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, then foil.
Before serving, it's best to thaw casserole in the refrigerator overnight if possible. If not, be sure to leave extra time for baking.
Heat in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes or until center is hot. Add additional time if casserole isn't thawed completely before baking, checking every 10-15 minutes. If the top is browning too quickly, cover with foil and continue baking until heated through.

Tip: you can also freeze smaller portions in individual containers to reheat a single serving or a couple servings at a time.

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36 comments:

  1. I bet this feeds you two for a month! I can't wait to try quinoa!

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  2. Yum! This looks really delicious and sounds like it be a great healthy dish.

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  3. Had to pin this recipe ... love the ingredients without canned soup!

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  4. Any suggestions for an alternative to mushrooms? I hate mushrooms, but love every other ingredient in this recipe!

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    1. Hi there! You could just leave out the mushrooms altogether without a replacement. They aren't a necessary component to this dish. I had some in my fridge at the time and decided to toss 'em in at the last minute :)

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  5. Hi! It was hard to find quinoa here (Costa Rica) but hopefully we got some. We did it yesterday and tastes great! Congratulation for those inspiring recipes!

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    1. Well hi down there in Costa Rica! Great to hear you found some quinoa and tried this recipe. Thanks so much for coming back to let me know you enjoyed it :) Take care!

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  6. I made this and changed it a bit. I stirfried the brocolli with a little shredded cabbae and carrots. Used 4 eggs no mushrooms. Added half chedar and half feta.
    YUMMY

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    1. Oh my gosh, that sounds AMAZING! I love that you used more veggies and added feta. I can never get enough feta! Thanks so much for letting me know, I will have to try your variation next time - so excited! :)

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  7. This sounds great I'm making a list of things I need to buy. I am trying to eat healthier and have started incorporating quinoa into my diet, I just don't know what on earth to do with it other than mix it with my brown rice. Thanks Can't wait to try this and your other quinoa recipes.

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    1. Hi Emily! That's great to hear. I've found quinoa to be pretty versatile - hope you find some recipes you love! :)

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  8. Can I use Millet instead of Quinoa? I just have too much Millet with me

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    1. Hi Ester! I've never tried that but it's certainly worth a shot! Millet and quinoa can often be used interchangeably I think. Let me know if you end up trying it - would love to hear how it turns out!

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  9. I made this for the family last week and my very picky little eaters loved it! They even asked for more.

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    1. Hey Jennifer! Wow that's awesome!! So happy to hear your picky eaters were pleased. Thanks for coming back to let me know. I bet that makes a happy momma too! ;)

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  10. Made this last night and it was DELICIOUS! My husband even loved it (and had seconds). Thanks for the great recipe.

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    1. Woohoo! So great to hear Page!! Glad you tried it. And yay for husband approval! ;)

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  11. Hi, I only have red quinoa on hand, would you happen to know if I could use the red instead of the white? And if so, what adjustments should I make?
    Thank you!

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    1. Hi Kim! Go ahead and substitute red quinoa. It has a slightly nuttier flavor but should be great as well. No need to make any adjustments! Enjoy :)

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  12. I made this recipe this weekend & loved it! I didnt pay attention, & boiled the quinoa in more than 3 cups of water. I drained the excess, but my quinoa was still fairly saturated with water. The result was incredibly creamy, more like the traditional rice casserole, but so much healthier. Thank you for this recipe!

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    1. Hey Meggin! AH that's awesome!! Don't you love when little cooking "mishaps" turn it into something better? I'm totally going to do that with the quinoa next time I make this! Thanks for leaving the message :)

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  13. Made this tonight and LOVED it! I forgot to put the egg in and it turned out fine! I try to avoid white rice and the brown takes so much longer to cook that I usually don't use it. This was great, even my picky eater kids liked it! Thanks!

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    1. Wonderful! Finding meals for picky eaters makes a happy mama I bet!! :)

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  14. I'm having this tonight - very excited to try out a new quinoa recipe! Question for you: where does the 1 tsp. of paprika come in? I reread the recipe and couldn't find what to do with it, so I finally mixed it with the eggs, which I then mixed with the rest of the dish. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Katherine! The paprika was meant to be added during the step "In a large bowl, combine all ingredients with the hot quinoa." Though I can see how it's a bit odd since I didn't mention it before then - sorry for the confusion! :) What you did was perfect! Hope you enjoyed it last night!!

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  15. Do you think this will work with Daiya vegan cheese? I just started a gluten& dairy free diet. I love quinoa and this looks delicious.

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    1. Hi there! Definitely! Daiya should work just fine in this :) I love that you started a gluten and dairy free diet. Enjoy!

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  16. Anything with a broccoli/cheese combo is an instant "SOLD" for me!

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  17. Hi! I'd like to make this but don't want to pre-cook anything. Do you know if I could just put all the ingredients in the baking dish and just bake for a longer time??

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    1. Hey Megan! I've never tried that but I bet it would work.The onion and broccoli might be a little crunchier, but sounds good to me! Would love to hear if you try it and how long you let it bake!

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  18. Tried this today. First time for quinoa and my picky husband loved it. Went back for a bigger serving of seconds. I also really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe! Misty

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    1. Hi Misty! Yay - glad you gave quinoa a try!! And liked it! Awesome to hear it even pleased your picky eater ;) Thanks for the comment!

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