Vegan Quinoa 'Macaroni and Cheese' Casserole With Spinach

Baked quinoa casserole with cheese

Marci / Flickr

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Yield: 1 casserole
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
135 Calories
5g Fat
18g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 135
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 7%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 356mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 10mg 50%
Calcium 104mg 8%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 318mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This quinoa casserole recipe is perfect for vegetarian and vegan kids (and adults!) who love a cheesy taste and need to get their protein. Filled with quinoa and spinach, this is a healthy twist on traditional comfort food and southern-style baked macaroni and cheese casserole.

If you need this recipe to be gluten-free, use cornstarch or gluten-free flour in place of the regular flour, since all of the other ingredients are wheat- and gluten-free.

Like cooking with quinoa? If you like quinoa, you might want to branch out and try some other whole grains, too, such as kaniwamillet, and teff! Whole grains such as these are versatile, and, if you buy them in bulk, they're a bargain! If you like quinoa already, here are some more healthy whole grains which you've got to try.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup soy milk

  • 1/4 cup shredded vegan cheese

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or kosher salt

  • 1 (10-ounce) bag fresh spinach

  • 2/3 cup Italian-seasoned vegan breadcrumbs

  • 2 tablespoons vegan margarine

  • 2 tablespoons vegan Parmesan cheese substitute

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Bring about 4 cups of water to a rolling simmer and add quinoa. Cook, partially covered, for about 12 minutes, or until quinoa is cooked and fluffy.

  3. Meanwhile, lightly grease a 9 x 12 baking dish and preheat oven to 375 F.

  4. In a separate small pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add flour, mixing to form a paste. Once the paste forms, add soymilk, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder, stirring to combine. The mixture will begin to thicken. Add vegan cheese or nutritional yeast and spinach and combine well. Heat just until vegan cheese has melted and spinach is just beginning to wilt.

  5. Stir in quinoa, then spread evenly in the prepared casserole dish.

  6. Combine the melted vegan margarine, breadcrumbs, and 1 tbsp nutritional yeast or vegan Parmesan. Arrange this topping on top of the quinoa and season with a bit of extra salt and pepper, to taste, if you'd like.

  7. Bake for 20 minutes.

  8. Turn oven up to 450 F and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until breadcrumbs are lightly crisped.

  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

  10. Enjoy!

Recipe Variations

  • The same amount of nutritional yeast is a good substitute for vegan cheese, as well as the vegan Parmesan cheese.
  • If you can't find Italian-seasoned vegan breadcrumbs, use regular breadcrumbs mixed with two tablespoons Italian seasoning.