The Baker Upstairs: cheesy broccoli and quinoa casserole


cheesy broccoli and quinoa casserole


So you know how I've said before that I'm not really sold on quinoa? Scratch that! One bite of this casserole, and I was head over heels in love with it. I guess my theory holds true that adding cheese to anything makes it taste delicious! What's more, I served this to my family and not a single person complained about the quinoa. (The broccoli was a different story, but I'm still counting it as a victory.) This was so amazingly yummy! It tastes like a cheesy ricey casserole, but has all the awesome health benefits of quinoa. And it's gluten free, for those who swing that way. But really, I would make it again anyway, even if it wasn't healthy, just because it tastes so darn good. I served it with some baked salmon and fresh fruit salad, and it was a delicious healthy dinner.
Cheesy Broccoli & Quinoa Casserole
adapted from The Novice Chef

2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
2 heaping cups steamed broccoli (I did mine in the microwave)
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 9x9 baking dish and set aside. In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add quinoa and salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook for 18-20 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and set aside.

While quinoa is cooking, melt butter. Whisk in cornstarch, cook for 30 seconds. Add onion and garlic, sauté for 5 minutes - stirring as needed. Stir in mustard and cayenne pepper, and cook for 30 seconds more. Slowly whisk in milk. Simmer for 7-9 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar cheese, stirring until completely melted.

In a large bowl, toss cooked quinoa and steamed broccoli together. Carefully pour sauce over quinoa/broccoli, stirring to coat. Transfer to prepared baking dish and top with grated parmesan cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is slightly browned. Serve immediately.


  1. I love quinoa and am always looking for new recipes to use it in!

  2. I can't read the ingredient amounts, will you darken the font please.