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 a gluten-free flour in place of the regular flour, since all of the other ingredients are wheat- and gluten-free.
Like cooking with quinoa? I know I do! If you like quiona, you might want to branch out and try some other whole grains, too, such as kaniwa, millet and teff! Whole grains such as these are versatile, and, if you buy them in bulk, they're a bargain! And of course, I love shopping in bulk! If you like quinoa already, here's some more healthy whole grains which you've got to try.
See also: More high-protein vegetarian meals
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa
- 4 cups water for cooking quinoa
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. flour
- 1/3 cup soy milk
- 1/4 cup vegan cheese (shredded; or nutritional yeast)
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt (use sea salt or kosher salt)
- 1 bag fresh spinach
- 2/3 cup vegan breadcrumbs (Italian seasoned or regular breadcrumbs plus 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning)
- 2 tbsp. vegan margarine
- 2 tbsp. vegan parmesan cheese substitute (or nutritional yeast)
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
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.
Meanwhile, lightly grease a 9x12 baking dish and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a separate small pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add flour, mixing to form a paste. Once a paste forms, add soymilk, salt, garlic powder and onion powder, stirring to combine. 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.
Stir in quinoa, then spread evenly in prepared casserole dish.
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.
Bake for 20 minutes. Turn oven up to 450 degrees F and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until breadcrumbs are lightly crisped.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before cutting and serving.
See also: What is quinoa? Quinoa cooking tips
More healthy vegetarian quinoa recipes to try:
More easy vegetarian baked casserole recipes: