Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

Prep 5 mins
Cook 38 mins
Total 43 mins

This Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole recipe is a great healthy side dish to add to any meal. It’s a gluten free recipe that has tons of flavor, a little bit of heat and is so easy to make!

If you love easy casserole recipes you should also try my Best Green Bean Casserole Recipe and my Best Corn Casserole Recipe. They make great side dishes! 

Healthy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole Recipe

Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

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 Recipe

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!

Yield: 4-6 servings

Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole Recipe

This Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole is gluten free, has tons of flavor, a little bit of heat and is so easy to make. It's a great healthy side dish to add to any meal!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 38 minutes
Total Time 43 minutes

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

Instructions

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.

Notes

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!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1 helping

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 591Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 889mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 30g

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Comments

44 Responses
  1. Lauren

    I’ve made this several times and it’s great! Oh yeah, I make it vegan by using almond milk and coconut or soy creamer, Daiya non-dairy cheddar, and non-dairy butter. I add in some breadcrumbs and also top with buttered breadcrumbs instead of Parmesan. It’s simple and good! Thank you for the inspiration!

  2. Debi

    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

  3. Abbey

    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!!

  4. Marcie@FlavortheMoments

    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.

  5. Brittany

    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!

  6. Angie @ Big Bear's Wife

    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!!!

  7. Lainey_Elizabeth

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

  8. Cassie | Bake Your Day

    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!

  9. leslie

    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!!!!!!

  10. Susan

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

  11. Joanne

    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.

  12. Amy

    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 🙂

    1. Jessica

      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!

  13. Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe

    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!

  14. Tina | My Life as a Mrs

    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!!

  15. Holly

    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!!

    1. Jessica

      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. Kim Bee

    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.

    1. Jessica

      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.

  17. Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama

    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.

  18. Diana @ Sweet y Salado

    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.

    1. Jessica

      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.

  19. Christie

    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?

    1. Jessica

      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.

  20. Sam

    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/

    1. Jessica

      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.

    1. Jessica

      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?

  21. Jess @ On Sugar Mountain

    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 🙂

  22. Kristina

    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!

  23. angela @ another bite please

    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!

  24. Hope

    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!

  25. Joanne @ Fifteen Spatulas

    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!

  26. Katie from Katie's Cucina

    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!

  27. Ali | Gimme Some Oven

    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. 🙂

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Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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