Cheesy Quinoa Casserole

Quinoa casseroleAh, nothing like a nice -39 with wind chill. I am think this week is setting us up for a cold winter. I rally need to invest in a good parka, and possibly even some snow pants. Until I do however, my plans are staying inside, by the fire, nice and toasty warm. My oven has been on quite a bit lately, this weather just screams, soups, muffins and casseroles. When I saw this recipe over at The Novice Chef, I knew it would be perfect, baked cheesy goodness. I made it, we ate it, we loved it.

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 (depending on your heat tolerance)
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1 cup 2% milk
1/4 cup fat free half & half
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
2 heaping cups steamed broccoli (can also boil & drain broccoli)
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese


1. Bring water and pinch of salt to a boil. Add quinoa. Cover and reduce for a simmer. Cook for 0 minutes, until all water has been absorbed, and fluff with fork. Place in greased 11×7 inch casserole dish.

2. Steam broccoli, place on top of cooked quinoa.

3. To make sauce, melt butter in large saucepan. Add cornstarch and whisk for 30 seconds. Add onions and garlic, cook until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in cayenne, and mustard. Add milk, and half-and-half slowly, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until thickened. About 7 minutes. If to thick add a bit more milk. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar. Season with salt and pepper. Pour on top of quinoa and broccoli and gently stir. Top with parmesan cheese.

4. Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.

5. Eat and enjoy!

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