Cheesy Quinoa Broccoli Casserole
I recently taught this soul-satisfying recipe at Bob's Red Mill Cooking School. I could tell that at first, people were apprehensive. Broccoli? Quinoa? And it's supposed to be good comfort food?! But I promise you: this recipe pans out! There's something about the cheese, breadcrumbs, and roasted broccoli that pairs so well together. In fact, it's what's on my table for dinner tonight!
Pssst....Be sure to scroll down for the best DIY breadcrumbs recipe!
What You’ll Need:
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Organic Whole Grain Quinoa rinsed under running water in a mesh sieve for a minute and drained
- 3 cups of broccoli florets, either pre-packaged or from a couple large bunches of broccoli
- 2-3 tbsp. EVOO
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- A liberal amount of black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese + more for sprinkling on top
- 1/2 cup shredded gouda cheese (if you prefer a smoky flavor)
- ¾ cup milk
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- 3-4 Tbsp. salted grass-fed butter
- 2 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
- 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
- 3/4 cup bread crumbs* (Store-bought will do, but I’ve included a homemade breadcrumb recipe below)
- Preheat the oven to 400-degrees F. Prepare a 9x9 casserole dish and set aside.
- Cook the quinoa after rinsing by bringing vegetable broth to a boil. Add the quinoa, reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 17-20 minutes (or until broth is absorbed). Toss to fluff, then cover and set aside off of heat.
- Roast the broccoli by chopping large broccoli florets in half and assuring all broccoli florets are relatively similar in size. I prefer to chop broccoli into small bits for this recipe.
- Transfer broccoli to a clean baking sheet and drizzle with 2-3 Tbsp. EVOO, salt, garlic, and pepper. Use clean hands to coat broccoli and pan with oil, then bake for about 20 minutes. When broccoli is finished, remove from oven and set aside.
- To toast breadcrumbs, combine 1 tbsp. butter and breadcrumbs in a small frying pan over medium heat. Turn breadcrumbs to coat thoroughly until ‘toasted’ – about 4-5 minutes. Then, remove from heat.
- To make cheese sauce, combine minced garlic and 2 Tbsp. butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Slowly pour in milk, keeping heat low. Add in cheese a half cup at a time and stir until dissolved. Then, add in cooked quinoa, parsley, and broccoli. Transfer the mixture from saucepan to casserole dish. Top with additional ½-cup of cheese and toasted breadcrumbs.
- Bake uncovered for 25 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Enjoy!
For the Perfect DIY Breadcrumbs:
- Preheat the oven to 300-degress F. Take 3-4 pieces of your favorite fresh bread (any brand will do, and this bread can be gluten-free) and beak the bread into small pieces and place on a dry baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes.
- When bread is out of the oven and crisp, place it in a blender or food processor and pulse until the texture is to your liking. Viola! You have fresh breadcrumbs.