I was looking for more ways to use this super food and came across a recipe for ‘Quinoa Mac & Cheese.’ Well, I do love macaroni & cheese, so that caught my eye. I wanted to give it a try, but decided I didn’t like the name. Rather than think of this dish as a mac & cheese substitute, why not just appreciate it as a yummy quinoa dish! To make it truly gluten-free, substitute GF bread crumbs or other crunchy topping for the Panko.
Baked Quinoa & Cheese
- 1 – 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ – 1 cup sliced leek (white and light green parts) or scallions (~one leek or one bunch scallions)
- About a 1 cup diced bell pepper (&/or other veg of choice) [This time I used red bell pepper, chopped spinach, and a few baby broccoli florets]
- 1 ½ cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
- salt & pepper to taste
- red pepper flakes to taste
- paprika to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup milk (I use whole milk)
- 2 – 3 cups grated Cheddar cheese
- Panko or other bread crumbs (I recommend tossing with melted butter before adding to baking dish)
- Heat oil in med. saucepan over med. heat. Add leek/scallions, then the other veg., cover and cook 5 mins or until tender. Stir in quinoa and garlic, and cook, uncovered, 3-4 mins, or until grains start to turn opaque. (They will not fully be cooked yet.)
- Add 3 cups water and season with salt & pepper, red pepper, paprika. Cover and reduce heat to med-low and simmer 5-10 mins more, or until most liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand 5 mins.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Coat 13×9 inch dish with cooking spray. Whisk together eggs and milk in large bowl. Fold in quinoa mixture and most of the cheese a little at a time. Stir well and let some of the cheese melt. Transfer to prepared baking dish, top with the last of the cheese and the bread crumbs, then bake 30-35 mins (or until browned around edges.)
- Serve with hot sauce/salsa, sour cream/yogurt, sliced scallions
I do all the sauteing/simmering in my Le Creuset french oven (one of the best gifts I’ve ever received), combine the quinoa mixture in a large bowl with the egg & milk , then pour it all back into the french oven for baking.