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Cheesy Quinoa recipe

Cheesy Quinoa recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Side dish

This quinoa dish has winter comfort food written all over it. It's creamy, cheesy and very hearty. Serve as is or as a side.

46 people made this

IngredientsServes: 12

  • 1 (400g) tin chopped tomatoes, drained
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small stick celery, finely chopped
  • 850ml vegetable stock
  • 340g rinsed quinoa
  • 55g grated Parmesan cheese
  • 125ml evaporated milk
  • 150g frozen peas, thawed
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

MethodPrep:25min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:45min

  1. Preheat oven to 200 C / Gas 6. Adjust oven rack to its topmost position. Lightly oil a baking tray.
  2. Toss the chopped tomatoes with the wine and spread out on baking tray. Roast in preheated oven until the tomatoes have dried a bit, but have not begun to burn, about 15 minutes. When the tomatoes are just starting to turn brown at the edges, remove and allow to rest at room temperature.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic, onion and celery. Cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Pour in vegetable stock and quinoa; bring to the boil over high heat.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, evaporated milk, peas and tomatoes. Season with salt and white pepper.

Ingredient Note

If your quinoa does not say "pre-rinsed" on the package, pour the quinoa into a large bowl and cover with water. Stir it and allow it to soak while preparing the other ingredients. This step is very important, as quinoa contains saponins, which can make it taste bitter or soapy if not well cleaned. Drain before using.


Coconut oil can be found in speciality shops or online. Alternatively, use vegetable or corn oil.

Parmesan cheese

Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(47)

Reviews in English (29)

by Annette Marcelo

This recipe was pretty great as is. The changes I would make next time are: 2 cans of tomatoes (and double the wine), 8oz of fresh sliced mushrooms when sauteing the onions. I added the peas (still frozen) after 15 min and simmered for 5 more min.-21 Aug 2008

by blackbeltman

My fiance and I loved this!!!!! I did some little tweaks to it though. I didn't have any coconut oil so I used olive oil instead and I used fat free condesned milk. I also used tomatoes with chopped chiles to give it a little extra kick. I also shredded some baby carrots into the veggies as well. I also used chicken stock instead of the veggie stock. I will make this again!-17 Apr 2008

by MSP

This was really good! I adapted it slightly - added WAY more veggies than called for and a touch more cheese, broth and evap. milk. Also, used a 29oz can diced tomatoes and I would use even more next time! Also, added diced carrots and am thinking mushrooms and/or asparagus would be a yummy addition next time too. Thanks for a keeper =)-13 May 2008

Cheesy Baked Quinoa and Cauliflower

The phrase &ldquomodern casserole&rdquo can leave something to be desired. But this creamy, cheesy quinoa bake&mdasha combination of golden roasted cauliflower, good-for-you quinoa, and toasted herby breadcrumbs&mdashhas everything we want. Plus you can make it ahead! Roast the cauliflower and cook the quinoa up to a day ahead. Combine everything in a pretty baking dish up to 4 hours ahead and pop the whole thing in the oven when your tummy starts to rumble. Serve with a big leafy salad and a bottle of Sancerre. It&rsquos comfort food worth gathering around.


  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ½ cup chopped yellow onion
  • ½ cup chopped carrot
  • 4 (4-oz.) links sweet chicken Italian sausage, casings removed
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
  • 6 cups chopped fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ½ cup whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)

Bring 2 1/2 cups water and quinoa to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat cover and simmer 12 to 14 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove pan from heat let stand 5 minutes.

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan swirl to coat. Add onion, carrot, and sausage cook 7 minutes, stirring to crumble sausage. Remove sausage mixture to a bowl with a slotted spoon.

Add flour, butter, and garlic to drippings in pan cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add milk and stock bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Reduce heat to medium stir in broccoli, 2 teaspoons thyme, 3/8 teaspoon salt, 3/8 teaspoon black pepper, and red pepper. Cover and cook 2 minutes. Stir in quinoa and sausage mixture.

Coat 2 (8-inch) square microwave-safe glass or ceramic baking dishes with cooking spray. Divide quinoa mixture between dishes. Combine remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and panko in a bowl add remaining 1 teaspoon thyme, remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, and cheddar. Sprinkle cheese mixture evenly over casseroles. Bake at 400°F for 18 minutes or until browned, or follow freezing instructions.

How To: FREEZE: Cool unbaked casseroles completely cover tightly with aluminum foil. Freeze up to 2 months. THAW: Remove foil. Microwave at HIGH 20 minutes or until thawed. REHEAT: Cover with foil and bake at 375°F for 25 minutes then broil 5 minutes or until golden brown.

Making the Cheese Sauce

  • ROUX: When making the roux, (mixing the flour with the butter), stir it for 2 minutes before you start adding the milk. This prevents your sauce from having a taste of raw flour.
  • CONTINUALLY STIR: Add the milk gradually. Continuous stirring /whisking andadding the milk slowly is the secret to a good sauce.
  • ADD CHEESE: Add the cheese and mustard and stir until melted into the sauce.

How to Enjoy these Cheesy Quinoa Bites

Tony and I actually like nibbling on these cheesy quinoa bites as is for a snack or side. I also love them atop salads, and in pitas instead of falafel. But they are the perfect match for dips or spreads. I topped them here with bruschetta, but they’re also amazing with red pepper spread, eggplant dip, dairy-free pesto, or olive tapenade. And for special occasions, they make a fun hand-held appetizer that your vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free guests can partake in, but that everyone will savor!

As noted above, this post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill. However, I do purchase all of these products myself and use them regularly in recipes like these cheesy quinoa bites.

Instant Pot Cheesy Quinoa with Broccoli

I have been toying with the idea of trying some of my tried-and-true recipes in the Instant Pot, but I have heard mixed reviews from people who have tried converting their own stove top recipes for the pressure cooker. Some people have great success, but the majority I have read mention that the seasonings and texture are “off”. I finally decided that it was time for me to continue branching out with my Instant Pot, so I set my sights on cooking my favorite quinoa recipe in the Instant Pot.

Now, don’t get scared away by the word “quinoa”! This recipe is PERFECT for people who have never had quinoa before (as long as they like broccoli). I found this recipe when I first started eating quinoa and it is single-handedly what got me used to the new taste and texture.

The smell and taste of the steamed broccoli, which are more familiar, help disguise the smell and taste of the quinoa (which definitely takes some getting used to).

I also discovered that cooking this recipe in a pressure cooker actually helps keep the texture a little more reminiscent of rice and has a little less of the al dente texture of quinoa. Again, this is perfect for someone who is just getting used to quinoa. If you’re a die-hard who loves your quinoa a little more al dente, you will want to play around with the cook time a little bit.

If you need any more convincing, when I recently made this for lunch in the Instant Pot, two-year-old Ladybug (normally more of a grazer who eats a light lunch) devoured two bowls of this quinoa. This was her first exposure to quinoa, too!

The best part of this recipe is that you set it and pretty much forget it. The total cook time is just about as long as it would be on the stove top, maybe about 5 minutes faster, but you don’t have to worry about watching for the water to boil and removing from the heat.

All you do is rinse one cup of quinoa using a fine mesh strainer (for quinoa newbies…this step is ESSENTIAL. You always want to rinse your quinoa before using it.)

Put the quinoa in the Instant Pot and add 1 1/2 cups of cold water.

Then, the beauty of this recipe is that you put about two cups of broccoli florets on top of the quinoa. You don’t need to stir it or anything. It’s going to cook right along with the quinoa.

Add a few dashes of salt and pepper and put the lid in place, making sure to set the valve to “sealing.” Set the Instant Pot to cook for one minute on manual. Yes, you read that correctly…just one minute.

After the pressure builds and the cook time is up, you will let the Instant Pot sit under pressure on the keep warm function for 12 minutes. The lovely thing about the Instant Pot is that it starts counting UP after the cook time is over, so just switch the valve to “venting” once the timer has counted up to 12 minutes. Then remove the lid.

Then you will CAREFULLY fold in one cup of shredded cheddar cheese. I normally just let the cheese sit on top for a minute and start to melt before folding it in. You don’t want to stir just-cooked quinoa too much or it can turn mushy instead of light and fluffy. This is especially true when you cook it in a pressure cooker.

That’s it! A quick and easy lunch (or dinner) OR a delicious side dish. Keep scrolling for the printable recipe with full instructions.

Pin this post if you want to come back to it later! Or, better yet, to follow me on Pinterest to see many more time-saving and time-savoring ideas!

This Healthy Casserole Recipe Has Tons Of Flavor

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!

Cheesy Quinoa

For vegetarians, it can be tricky to get all of the protein you need every day. Especially if you have just committed to a vegetarian diet and are learning to cook all over again. Eating proteins with whole grains is important. Combinations like rice and dahl, or corn and beans, provide all of the amino acids necessary for a ‘whole protein’ which your body needs to survive. Quinoa is a seed (not a grain) that contains all of the amino acids necessary for a whole protein. So it’s very good to include in your diet.

On the other hand, it’s a small seed with a very mild, nutty flavor, and can be somewhat boring on its own. It’s easy to prepare, cooked almost exactly like you would cook rice, and quite versatile. So rather than serve it at home like I would serve rice, I had to make it a little fancy to convince my family to even try it at first.

As a general rule, I know my family will eat almost anything with cheese on it, so I came up with this cheesy quinoa recipe to get them interested. By now they’re used to the many ways I make quinoa, but this is still a family favorite. Like I said, cheese is always popular!

1 cup quinoa
2 tablespoons soup starter*
1 3/4 cups water
2 tablespoons butter / olive oil
1/2 teaspoons salt
Pepper to taste
1/2 pound shredded cheddar cheese

*You can use the soup starter from our recipe, or your own, or use vegetable bouillon or vegetable stock. You can just use water with salt and pepper, but preparing your quinoa with a broth or stock gives it a much richer flavor. Essentially you want to start with 1 3/4 cup of liquid to make the quinoa.

1. Put the soup starter and water into a 1.5 to 2 quart sauce pan, and put this on a medium heat. Pour in the quinoa (depending on the type you have, you may need to rinse this first) and stir until all of the seeds are wet. Cover and bring to a boil.

2. As soon as this comes to a boil (or starts bubbling), turn down to a very low heat and let cook until there’s no more water in the bottom of the pot. This is exactly how you would cook rice, but it cooks just a little faster. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

3. Remove from heat and add butter (or olive oil), salt, and pepper. Once you stir this up, add all but about ½ cup of the shredded cheddar, and carefully mix this up. The cheese will probably start melting, but keep mixing until it’s evenly spread throughout.

4. Transfer your cheesy quinoa to an oven-safe casserole dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top (or add even more!). I usually top with a little more pepper before putting this into the oven.

5. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese looks all melted and delicious. When you take this out of the oven, let it sit for about 10 minutes to settle before serving (after offering to Krishna of course).

Quinoa can be a little heavy, so I suggest making it part of a balanced meal, with some lovely veggies and interesting sides, or a big salad.

Cheesy Mushroom and Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

Cheesy Mushroom and Broccoli Quinoa Casserole is a hearty meatless casserole that will get two thumbs up from the whole family!

This post may contain affiliate links.

Hi everyone – happy Monday! Can you believe the weekend is already over? Did you do anything fun?

I got bit by the cleaning bug (must have been that sweet cleaning chart in last week’s Friday Favorites,) and scrubbed all the upstairs bedrooms and bathrooms, then laundered every article of washable fabric in the house. I figured that by starting my spring cleaning a little early, mother nature would take notice and deliver a nice warm weekend. No dice.

On Saturday I enjoyed a latte + haircut (feels amazing to get rid of my dry ends, plus I found a stylist I really like at Estilo,) then wine + girl time with a friend and her daughter, who introduced me to the movie Frozen. Ummm, kind of loved it! Yesterday, dunh dunh dunh, the boys and went to Monterrey for lunch. I know, total shocker. All in all a fabulous little weekend filled with equal parts work and play. :)

I also typed up today’s recipe for Cheesy Mushroom and Broccoli Quinoa Casserole – the hearty, meatless meal you’re going to want to whip up ASAP. Because, you know, it’s freezing, and casserole helps!

I was actually reminded of this recipe as I was typing up last week’s 17 Warming Comfort Foods Recipes, which included my Creamy Cheesy Chicken and Garlic Quinoa Bake. Back when I originally made that dish I had this fresh combo of sauteed mushrooms and broccoli in mind, but went with the chicken version instead. Lately I’ve been getting requests for more meatless meals here on IGE though, so I thought I’d whip it up for ya’. Like I always say, ask and I’ll try my best to deliver! :)

Sauteed mushrooms, steamed broccoli, and fluffy quinoa are mixed with a homemade creamy (no cream!) mushroom sauce, and an honorable amount of freshly shredded cheese (I am trying so hard to cut back on cheese but it’s my kryptonite!) then baked until golden brown and bubbly. This casserole is goooooooood. Comforting, creamy, just cheesy enough (like me!) satisfying, and hearty.

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Green Bean Casserole

I used chicken broth in this recipe because I love it and always have at least half a dozen cartons on hand at home, so it’s not vegetarian, though you could easily swap in vegetable broth to make it so. This recipe makes enough to feed five or six, but if you’ve got a smaller household, no problemo, leftovers reheat beautifully. I’ve also got a Cheeseburger version of this casserole, if you’re interested? Let me know in the comments section below. But first…

Start by rinsing 1-1/2 cups quinoa under cold running water to remove a naturally occurring bitter coating on the outside of the quinoa. I always wet a fine mesh sieve first, then add the dry quinoa. It seems to lessen the amount that falls through the cracks.

Bring 2-3/4 cups chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan then add the quinoa, place a lid on top, turn the heat down, and then simmer until the liquid is nearly absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes.

Finally, add 2 cups small chopped broccoli florets on top of the quinoa then place a lid back on top of the pan and let it sit off the heat for 10 minutes to steam. Make sure your broccoli is cut small, by the way. If it’s too big it might be a little crunchy in the final dish.

Ok! While the broccoli and quinoa are doing their steamy dance (oolala!) get to work on the mushroom portion of the program. You know I love ’em! First melt 2 Tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat then add 8oz sliced mushrooms, 1 chopped shallot or 1/4 small onion, and salt and pepper. Saute the mushrooms until they’re golden brown then add 3 minced garlic cloves and saute for one more minute.

Add an additional 2 Tablespoons butter then, once it melts, sprinkle in 2 Tablespoons gluten-free flour (or all-purpose flour if you don’t need the dish to be GF.) Stir the flour around then cook for 1 minute. I like Bob Red’s Mill Gluten-Free Rice Flour for thickening soups and sauce, by the way!

Slowly stream in 1 cup each chicken broth and milk (I used 2%) while whisking, then bring the mixture to a bubble while stirring constantly. Turn the heat down to a simmer then season generously with salt and pepper and cook until the mixture is thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes. This is the creamy, cream-free mushroom sauce I mentioned. It’s absolutely fantastic!

Add the quinoa and broccoli to the skillet along with 1-1/2oz each shredded sharp cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack cheese then mix until combined. Taste then add salt and pepper if needed.

Scoop into a nonstick sprayed 8࡮ baking dish then top with an additional 1-1/2oz each cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, and then bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees, or until golden brown and bubbly.

Let the casserole sit and thicken for 10 minutes (if you can…my mousehole was created immediately,) then scoop and serve!

Mushroom Quinoa Side Dish

To make this recipe, all you need is a skillet and these ingredients:

  • quinoa (cooked or uncooked)
  • coconut oil
  • baby bok choy
  • kale (optional)
  • mushrooms
  • cannellini beans
  • garlic powder
  • coriander
  • nutritional yeast (optional)

Start by cooking the quinoa (if it isn’t cooked yet), according to the package directions. Set aside.

Next, i n a large wok or pan, add the coconut oil, bok choy, kale, mushrooms, beans, and the garlic powder and coriander.

Cook over medium heat a few minutes, or until kale is wilted and the mushrooms and bok choy are softened.

Lastly, toss in the cooked quinoa and nutritional yeast and stir. Add salt and cracked pepper to taste. That’s it – it’s ready to serve!

I love how fancy it looks, especially for such a simple dish. Serve on its own, or with chicken, salmon, tofu, etc.

Here are some yummy main courses this mushroom quinoa side dish could go really well with:

The full recipe is at the bottom of this post. Enjoy!

If you like this recipe, try some of my other satisfying vegan dishes, too: