Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole*

Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole from www.thenovicechefblog.com

As I mentioned last week, Jorge and I are getting ready to pack our bags (and boxes and cars and a big moving truck) to head back home to Tampa — Sayonara, Jacksonville! The countdown is here and we are 3 weeks away from the move. We went down this weekend and found a rental house that has a nice big kitchen with an island and a big backyard for Brody. Happy Wife + Happy Dog = Happy Husband. So it’s all set…now I just have to get started packing.

In preparation for the move, I went through my pantry and got rid of everything that was near it’s expiration date.  And then I started a list of things that I want to use up before we move. It just makes no sense to go out and buy more food to just have to pack it up and move in a few weeks. And when I realized I have an abundance of quinoa, couscous and lentils, I turned to Facebook and asked you guys for ideas on how to use them all up.

Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole from www.thenovicechefblog.com

One of the recipes that really jumped out at me (from Eating Well, Living Thin) was for a casserole that is a spoof on the classic Broccoli and Rice Casserole. That casserole has made it’s appearance at just about every potluck since the beginning of potlucks. I loved the idea of swapping out rice for quinoa, but did not want to use a can of cream of crap (not that cream of crap isn’t tasty, but I would rather not use it!) and I hate mayo. I also wanted to use more quinoa and wanted some heat and flavor added. So with some seasoning and cooking process changes, I made a Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole that was perfect for us.

Jorge and I both really enjoyed this and I am happy to have a tasty gluten free side dish in the new weekly rotation. You don’t miss the rice at all and the cheesy crusted top is possibly the best part!

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Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

Yield: serves 4-6

Recipe Note: To save on time/effort, I bought one of those bags of the broccoli florets that you just steam in the bag in the microwave. Yes, it's lazy...but it's fast!

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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 seasonings (mustard and cayenne pepper) and cook for 30 seconds more.

Slowly whisk in cold milk and half & half. 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.

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49 Responses to “Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole”

  1. 1

    Ali | Gimme Some Oven — January 29, 2013 @ 3:52 am

    Love, love, love that you made this classic a little healthier! This looks like a crazy delicious way to enjoy some quinoa.

    Thinking of you two with the upcoming move! Hope that you can find some time to rest and enjoy your final weeks there. :)

  2. 2

    Katie from Katie's Cucina — January 29, 2013 @ 7:00 am

    Woohoo Congrats on the big move! Sad I never got to see you in Jacksonville! This looks awesome and what a great way to use up food!

  3. 3

    Joanne @ Fifteen Spatulas — January 29, 2013 @ 8:27 am

    YAY! I hope you’re feeling less stressed about moving now that things are more set up. I am so making this tonight….I have broccoli that needs to be used up, and also some cheese, and a ton of Quinoa (bought an enormous bag from Costco). Thanks!

  4. 4

    Hope — January 29, 2013 @ 8:48 am

    Looks delish! I have never eaten quinoa, I think I def must try this very soon!

    You sound much more relaxed…things will fall into place for you! Good Luck!

  5. 5

    angela @ another bite please — January 29, 2013 @ 8:48 am

    this sounds great…isn’t it the best feeling to use up ingredients in your pantry.. i alwasy feel so accomplished. lol good luck with all your packing!

  6. 6

    Kristina — January 29, 2013 @ 9:42 am

    if you feed me deliciousness like this, I will come pack your house! I love quinoa, broccoli AND cheese, I just need to train my brain to think casserole… cannot wait to make this!

  7. 7

    Jess @ On Sugar Mountain — January 29, 2013 @ 9:51 am

    OH man this is so neat. My nana is GF and she would LOVE THIS. Totes sending it her way. Thanks for an awesome recipe :)

  8. 8

    danielle — January 29, 2013 @ 10:14 am

    I like my broccoli with a little crunch, could you use fresh raw broc instead of steaming it?

    • Jessica replied: — January 29th, 2013 @ 12:02 pm

      Of course you can, but it might be really crunchy…like uncooked broccoli. If you just want it to have a slight crunch, maybe just steam it for half the time on the bag. That way it’s not over done?

  9. 9

    Sam — January 29, 2013 @ 10:53 am

    Ah, so you did use Annie’s original recipe. Way to cite her for your very lightly adapted version. www .annies-eats.com/2012/09/17/cheesy-broccoli-quinoa-casserole/

    • Jessica replied: — January 29th, 2013 @ 11:58 am

      Hmm, well I just looked at the recipe on Annie’s Eats. For starters, it is from 2012, when the recipe I mentioned above the recipe as my inspiration was posted on Eating Well, Living Thin in 2011 (http://eatingwelllivingthin.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/blast-from-the-past-with-a-new-twist/_ …however Annie just posted it in 2012. You can even see where someone shared the Eating Well, Living Thin recipe with me on FB as I mentioned where I got the idea above.

      Also if you actually look at the ingredients/amounts the recipes are different. For example, the recipe on Annie’s eats has more quinoa, less broccoli, more butter and flour instead of cornstarch. It also uses just milk, no half and half…and it also has chicken?

      I never claimed that the idea was mine. However the recipes are all very different from ingredients to quantities to the directions.

  10. 10

    Christie — January 29, 2013 @ 11:21 am

    Nice rip off of Annie’s recipe. You didn’t even bother to change the title. Funny use of the cornstarch at the beginning too. It should be added later as a thickener, but whatever you need to do for the “change three things” rule, right?

    • Jessica replied: — January 29th, 2013 @ 11:58 am

      Hmm, well I just looked at the recipe on Annie’s Eats. For starters, it is from 2012, when the recipe I mentioned above the recipe as my inspiration was posted on Eating Well, Living Thin in 2011 (http://eatingwelllivingthin.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/blast-from-the-past-with-a-new-twist/_ …however Annie just posted it in 2012. You can even see where someone shared the Eating Well, Living Thin recipe with me on FB as I mentioned where I got the idea above.

      Also if you actually look at the ingredients/amounts the recipes are different. For example, the recipe on Annie’s eats has more quinoa, less broccoli, more butter and flour instead of cornstarch. It also uses just milk, no half and half…and it also has chicken?

      I never claimed that the idea was mine. However the recipes are all very different from ingredients to quantities to the directions. So yes, this does make it “my” recipe.

  11. 11

    Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) — January 29, 2013 @ 11:40 am

    Ohh I love that you made this a little bit healthier! The addition of quiona is awesome!

  12. 12

    Diana @ Sweet y Salado — January 29, 2013 @ 11:45 am

    I’m sorry but I’ve stared at both recipes for almost 30 minutes and I don’t see how this is a rip off. Of course SOME ingredients will be SIMILAR because we’re talking about a cheesy broccoli quinoa casserole. However, they’re very different in so many ways, starting with the amounts, here we have the use of ½ & ½, as well as parmesan cheese, cornstarch and even the broccoli. PLUS, the way they’re written, light and day. So, I have no idea why you’re saying it’s a copy and that she should cite the “original” when there is nothing to cite from that other web site. If I had a dime for every recipe I’ve come up with in my own kitchen and then found a similar one online, I’d be laughing all the way to the bank.

    • Jessica replied: — January 29th, 2013 @ 12:01 pm

      Thanks Diana. Ya, I just responded with pretty much the same thing. The ingredients, quantities and directions are all different. And not to mention, I also linked to my inspiration that was posted way before the Annie’s Eats posted it.

  13. 13

    Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama — January 29, 2013 @ 12:16 pm

    The recipes are so different… there are a million and one cheesy quinoa casserole recipes on the internet the idea is not new, so Annie’s Eats certainly does not own any rights to the idea of it! Plus… you cited your work!

    PS this looks SOOOO good! I make something similar but with spinach. I want to try your version for dinner this week.

  14. 14

    Kim Bee — January 29, 2013 @ 12:22 pm

    Jessica I totally dig this recipe. My hubby would go bananas for this one.

    Dude you always site your inspiration so don’t sweat what others say.

    Are you going to FBF this year? Would love to have a dole and chat if we can squeeze in some time.

    • Jessica replied: — January 29th, 2013 @ 12:51 pm

      Thanks Kim! :)

      And I WISH I was going to FBF! It happens to fall on the same weekend as my friends wedding in GA, so I don’t get to go this time. Total bummer.

  15. 15

    Holly — January 29, 2013 @ 2:02 pm

    This sound yummy…but one question – What about heating the FF half & half? Everytime I have tried to use it in anything hot it looks curddled??

    At “Sam” and “Christie” WOW – what is the big deal Jessica stated where she saw the original recipe – didn’t claim she “made-it-up” RELAX!!

    Jessica – You are terrific!!

    • Jessica replied: — January 29th, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

      It won’t curddle when you add it.

      Not sure how you have used it before where it curdled, but I based this recipe kind of off my white gravy recipe. It’s the same idea, cook the starch & butter and then whisk in milk/cream. :)

  16. 16

    Amanda — January 29, 2013 @ 3:07 pm

    Swoon!! This looks gorgeous girl!! Love it!! :)

  17. 17

    Tina | My Life as a Mrs — January 29, 2013 @ 3:36 pm

    Looks AWESOME! My doctor wants me to do the gluten free thing for a while (shoot me… i FREAKING love carbs haha)… this looks like something I could get down with!!

  18. 18

    Karly — January 29, 2013 @ 4:15 pm

    This looks so yummy! My family isn’t a big quinoa fan, but this might just convince them!

  19. 19

    Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe — January 29, 2013 @ 4:35 pm

    Love it! Quinoa is one of my favorites and I will rarely turn down a dish with cheesy + casserole in the title! Good luck with your move!

  20. 20

    Amy — January 29, 2013 @ 7:34 pm

    Hi Jessica this looks delicious, here in australia we dont have anything called half &half, what exactly is it so i can find something to replace it?
    thanks :)

    • Jessica replied: — January 31st, 2013 @ 1:26 pm

      Half and Half is half light cream and half milk.

      So you could make a mixture of a little milk and some heavy cream to equal 1/4 cup to add.. or I think if you just used 1 1/4 cup whole milk, you would be fine too!

  21. 21

    Lauren — January 29, 2013 @ 8:14 pm

    Yum! How much dry mustard is to be used? It is not stated in the ingredients! Can’t wait to make!

    • Jessica replied: — January 31st, 2013 @ 1:25 pm

      It is above in the ingredients, 1/2 teaspoon! :)

  22. 22

    Joanne — January 29, 2013 @ 8:27 pm

    Quinoa is one of those grains that I always seem to have in abundance so this is so getting made! I love how creamy delicious it looks.

  23. 23

    Susan — January 29, 2013 @ 8:29 pm

    Looked so good (and had all the ingredients) that I made it for dinner! Delicious, and very satisfying. Thanks for another great recipe!

    • Jessica replied: — January 31st, 2013 @ 1:24 pm

      Awesome! Glad you liked it!!

  24. 24

    leslie — January 30, 2013 @ 9:31 am

    Geeze…people get their panties all in a wad! Barely any recipes out these are 100% original.
    It looks amazing.

    Anywho..I am soooooooooooo excited you are moving back to Tampa!!!!!!! Well will have to get together!!!!!!

  25. 25

    Cassie | Bake Your Day — January 30, 2013 @ 10:24 am

    I am down with this, girl. Good luck with the move – we are doing the same thing tomorrow and pretty sure I’m making this as soon as I can find my quinoa!

  26. 26

    Lainey_Elizabeth — January 30, 2013 @ 3:52 pm

    I seriously made this last night and it was so good! I linked over to you today with a shout out. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jessica replied: — January 31st, 2013 @ 1:24 pm

      So glad you liked it! :)

  27. 27

    ErinsFoodFiles — February 6, 2013 @ 4:45 pm

    Christie & Sam are asshats. I wonder if they know my buddy Jay?

  28. 28

    Angie @ Big Bear's Wife — February 8, 2013 @ 2:30 pm

    Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole was always a favorite when I was growing up. I am 100% sure that I will LOVE Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole!!!

  29. 29

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  31. 31

    Brittany — February 14, 2013 @ 4:23 pm

    I made this last night and my kids devoured it! I wrote about it on my blog today and linked back here. Thanks for a great recipe!

  32. 32

    Marcie@FlavortheMoments — February 14, 2013 @ 7:38 pm

    YUM! This looks so good. I really like quinoa, but I’ve never made it cheesy like this. I’m really craving it right now.

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  35. 35

    Abbey — April 17, 2013 @ 6:21 am

    Three letters sum up this dish, W-o-w! During this quinoa craze, I had always turned my nose to it. I had yet to find a recipe that made me think I wasn’t eating a terrible, bitter grain but this has altered my opinion! The hubs wants this on our regular dinner list and we each had 2 helpings!

    I used a roasted chicken breast from the grocery store, fresh broccoli steamed in the microwave (takes just as much time as the bag-o-veggies), and a little more cream than listed (b/c if Im eating this healthy of a dish, whats a little more cream). Delish!!

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  39. 39

    Debi — February 2, 2014 @ 9:17 am

    I will definitely be trying this recipe this week. My daughter (we think) may have a gluten issue. We are on Day 2 (of 30) to see if she feels any better. She’s never had quinoa and I am new to it as well, but she’s understanding that she has to be more open minded about trying new foods this month and I think this is one that might work. Thanks! I’ll let you know

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