Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

Cheesy broccoli quinoa casserole made healthy! This version has protein-packed quinoa instead of instant rice, freshly grated cheddar cheese and a homemade sauce instead of canned soup.

Last year I revamped my mom’s healthy sweet potato casserole recipe. I made it vegan and gluten-free and it was absolutely delish. Everyone at our Friendsgiving loved it! Since that recreation went well, this year I decided to try my hand at making a healthier version of her broccoli rice casserole recipe — with quinoa!

Baking dish with cheesy broccoli quinoa casserole. A wood spoon and dish towel are around the dish.

Isaac requested that I still use regular cheese so this version isn’t dairy-free, but it’s still vegetarian, gluten-free and healthier than traditional broccoli cheese casserole. Woot woot! If you are vegan or dairy-free, you can always use a dairy-free shredded cheese and vegan butter instead of the real deal.

This casserole is almost identical to my mom’s version. It’s flavorful, cheesy and loaded with big broccoli florets (my favorite part)! I’m pretty sure my family would gobble this up without even realizing that I tweaked the recipe by using protein packed quinoa instead of instant rice, organic cheese and natural soup rather than the canned condensed stuff that’s loaded with extra sodium and fat.

Baking dish with cheesy broccoli quinoa casserole. A wood spoon and dish towel are around the dish.

Ingredients in This Healthy Broccoli Casserole

  • quinoa
  • fresh broccoli florets
  • seasoning – yellow onion, garlic, salt and pepper
  • cheddar cheese – I recommend using block of cheddar cheese for this recipe to skip the added ingredients and cost that comes with pre-shredded cheese! Shredding your own cheese only takes a few minutes. I used my food processor with the slicing blade and it was super simple.
  • butter, milk and flour – to make a roux to thicken the sauce.

Wood spoon, spooning up a serving of cheesy broccoli quinoa casserole.

How to Make Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

Lightly coat a baking dish with cooking spray. Prepare the quinoa using water or vegetable broth, according to package directions. While the quinoa cooks, steam the broccoli florets until they’re bright green in color and tender.  Shred the cheddar cheese and set aside. When your quinoa is fluffy and all of the liquid is absorbed, remove from the heat and place the cooked quinoa in a large bowl. Add the broccoli to the quinoa.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together milk, flour and garlic powder and set aside. Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until fragrant. Whisk the milk mixture into the saucepan and allow the sauce to simmer and thicken while whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cheddar cheese until melted.

Pour the cheese sauce over the quinoa mixture. Toss well to combine. Transfer to your prepped baking dish and top with the rest of the shredded cheese. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until the casserole is heated through and the cheese is melted.

Baking dish with cheesy broccoli quinoa casserole. A wood spoon and dish towel are around the dish.

Love Quinoa? Here Are More Quinoa Recipes to Try!

If you try this cheesy broccoli quinoa casserole recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how it turned out! Your feedback is super helpful for the EBF team and other EBF readers.

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Broccoli quinoa casserole with cheddar cheese in a baking dish.

Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole


  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 10

Description

Cheesy broccoli quinoa casserole made healthy! This version has protein-packed quinoa, fresh broccoli florets and a homemade sauce instead of canned soup.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (I love Ancient Harvest)
  • 2 cups water or low sodium broth (for cooking quinoa)
  • 4 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons oat flour (all-purpose will work too)
  • 1 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 8 oz block of good quality cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Lightly coat a casserole dish (I used an 8×8 square dish) with non-stick spray or lightly grease.
  2. Prepare quinoa using water or broth, according to package directions. You should end up with about 3 cups of cooked, fluffy quinoa. Place in a large mixing bowl.
  3. While quinoa is cooking, steam broccoli for 5-6 minute or until bright green and crisp tender.
  4. Meanwhile, shred cheese by using a food processor with the shredding attachment or with a handheld grater.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  6. Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Meanwhile in a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together milk, flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Pour milk mixture into saucepan with the onions and garlic. Allow sauce to simmer, whisking continuously until sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese until melted.
  7. Pour cheese sauce over quinoa and broccoli. Toss well to combine.
  8. Transfer to greased baking dish and top with remaining shredded cheese.
  9. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until the casserole is heated through and cheese has melted. Serve warm.
  • Category: Lunch/Dinner
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: about 1 cup
  • Calories: 207
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Sodium: 523mg
  • Fat: 11g
  • Saturated Fat: 6g
  • Carbohydrates: 18g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 10g
  • Cholesterol: 30mg

Keywords: broccoli quinoa casserole

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    53 comments
    1. snausage
      December 22, 2020 AT 11:50 am

      Loved this! I just made it for lunch. I cut the recipe down so that I wasn’t eating it all week. I could see this going well Andouille sausage. YUM!

      This was my first time making a roux this way — usually I mix the flour in with the butter before adding the milk, but I liked this technique and plan to use it for my next mac’n’cheese. 🙂 Thanks for another great recipe, Brittany!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 22, 2020 AT 6:33 pm

        You’re so welcome, Kelly! I’m so glad this dish was a hit. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it. 🙂

    2. Rafaela
      December 7, 2020 AT 1:48 pm

      This recipe was fantastic! Easy to make and so delicious!! So glad you posted it and now I have a new dish to make!! Thank you!

    3. Madeline Cliffe
      December 6, 2020 AT 8:39 pm

      Super delicious! Great for a side, main course, or potluck dish. I loved how comparatively low in fat and high in protein it was. Totally deserves 5 stars!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 8, 2020 AT 1:14 am

        Ahh thank you, Madeline. So glad this casserole was a hit! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I appreciate it. 🙂

    4. Allison Gollin
      November 24, 2020 AT 12:43 pm

      I can’t wait to make this recipe for Thanksgiving! Do you think I can make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until I reheat it on Thursday?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 24, 2020 AT 7:02 pm

        Hey Allison – I think that would be just fine! 🙂 Let me know how this turns out for you!

    5. Carrie Johnson
      November 22, 2020 AT 11:34 am

      This is so delicious. I’ve been eating it all week, and want to make it again for this week’s prep. I add a little grilled chicken and it is just a perfect meal. Thank you!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 23, 2020 AT 10:51 pm

        Ahh yay, so glad this casserole has been a hit! I appreciate you coming back to leave a comment + star rating. 🙂

    6. Joy A Greth
      November 20, 2020 AT 10:15 pm

      Hey! I am making this tomorrow evening and I was wondering if I could use regular flour as I am trying to get rid of things before I venture out into other things. BTW, this looks divine!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 21, 2020 AT 6:46 pm

        Hey Joy! Yes, all-purpose flour will work just fine – I note that in the blog post. 🙂

    7. Brennan Allen
      November 18, 2020 AT 10:44 pm

      As some one who replied “casserole” when asked their favorite food, this casserole is a favorite to top the favorite list. Was expecting a broccoli/rice/chicken divan dish but this far exceeded that in texture and taste. Definitely a dish that we will make frequently!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 20, 2020 AT 3:22 pm

        Ahh yay! So glad you loved this casserole, Brennan. Thanks for trying it and for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it. 🙂

    8. Natalie
      October 15, 2020 AT 12:10 pm

      I made this recipe over 6 months ago and loved it. I wanted to leave a review now because I JUST defrosted the frozen leftovers and the casserole is just as tasty as the day I made it! 6 months later 😋 My only tweak would be to go scant on the onion. I found the onion flavor to be a bit strong for my taste. Thanks for the great adaptation!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 16, 2020 AT 2:41 am

        Ahh yay!! I’m so glad to hear that this casserole froze well and still tasted good. Thanks so much for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I really appreciate it, Natalie.

    9. Jeannine Bammann
      September 25, 2020 AT 10:08 pm

      Very tasty and satisfying. A good recipe for diabetics.

    10. Kena Shah
      August 7, 2020 AT 6:46 pm

      I came across your Instagram awhile ago and I’m so glad I did I’ve made many of your recipes and they are all so easy and delicious! This is one of my fav weeknight meals! Thank you for creating and sharing all these recipes!! 🙂

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 8, 2020 AT 6:40 pm

        Ahh yay! I’m so glad you’ve been loving the recipes, Kena. 🙂

    11. Mallory Luzyzyn
      July 8, 2020 AT 12:53 pm

      Do you think I could substitute cauliflower instead of broccoli? Just currently out of broccoli!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 8, 2020 AT 4:48 pm

        Totally! I think that would work just fine. 🙂

    12. Sherry
      June 25, 2020 AT 8:39 pm

      Loved this recipe! My kids ate it up and it’s easy to make for a week night meal 🙌🏻

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 25, 2020 AT 11:38 pm

        Yay!! So glad this recipe was a hit with your kiddos. 🙂 Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I appreciate it!

    13. Charlotte Eveleth
      May 31, 2020 AT 5:56 pm

      When do you add the salt and pepper? The recipe doesn’t say.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 2, 2020 AT 5:38 pm

        Hey Charlotte – Sorry for the confusion, you should add it with the garlic powder and milk. I just updated the recipe so it’s in there now. 🙂

    14. Jillian
      May 27, 2020 AT 1:43 am

      I loved this dish! It was one of my first recipes of yours to try. I even tossed in some cauliflower too. Delicious dish – thanks, Brittany!

    15. Kat
      May 19, 2020 AT 2:04 pm

      Made this last night and it’s a keeper (and even better the next day)!

      Some tweaks I made:
      – I used 1:1 GF flour (Bob’s Red Mill) and it worked like a charm.
      – Added some GF bread crumbs + butter to the topping – would definitely recommend this! I overcooked the broc (oops) so this gave a nice crunch that would’ve been missing.
      – Also added smoked paprika to the mixture and the topping for extra flavor and color – it worked great here.

      Thanks for the great recipe! Will be a summer WFH lunch staple, I can already tell.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        May 19, 2020 AT 6:36 pm

        I’m so glad you enjoyed this dish, Kat!! Thanks for sharing the subs you made, it’s super helpful to other readers. 🙂

    16. Dana
      April 14, 2020 AT 9:46 am

      Can you use frozen broccoli in this recipe?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 14, 2020 AT 12:49 pm

        Yes! You should be able to just add the frozen broccoli straight to the casserole for baking. 🙂

    17. Dana
      April 10, 2020 AT 10:25 pm

      This recipe looks amazing. Do you think I can substitute the oat flour for almond flour? Thank you!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 13, 2020 AT 10:39 pm

        Hey Dana – I think that almond would work just fine. You can also use AP if you have that. 🙂

    18. Lisbeth Wastlund
      March 8, 2020 AT 1:33 pm

      This was a delicious and versatile recipe to make. If I don’t have quinoa, I use brown rice instead. If I want to add extra protein, I add chicken. My husband and I love to drizzle it with chipotle hot sauce. YUM!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 9, 2020 AT 4:38 pm

        Yay!! So glad you and your husband enjoyed this casserole, Lisbeth. Thanks again for taking the time to leave a comment and star rating. I so appreciate it!

    19. Christine
      February 17, 2020 AT 7:48 pm

      This looks delicious! Have you ever frozen this and cooked at a later time?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 18, 2020 AT 3:18 pm

        I haven’t tried freezing it yet, but I’m sure it would do just fine! Let me know if you end up trying it and how it turns out.

    20. Stacy Kempf
      February 16, 2020 AT 7:06 pm

      Such a yummy way to serve quinoa! I can’t wait to enjoy the leftovers tomorrow!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 16, 2020 AT 8:27 pm

        Yay!! So glad you tried and enjoyed this recipe, Stacy! I so appreciate you coming back to leave a comment + star rating. 🙂

    21. Kacie Seyfert
      January 31, 2020 AT 3:53 pm

      My husband and I love this recipe! We add shredded chicken to add a little extra protein. It reminds me of my mother’s broccoli and cheese casserole but this one is much healthier! It’s been making almost weekly appearances to our Sunday meal prep!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 1, 2020 AT 7:08 pm

        Woot woot!! That makes me so happy to hear, Kacie. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment + star rating. I really appreciate it!

    22. Kathryn Seville
      January 15, 2020 AT 9:02 am

      I have made this a couple of times. It means my husband eats healthy without knowing it. When he hears cheese is in it then he loves it. I don’t need to mention quinoa.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 16, 2020 AT 1:57 pm

        Woot woot! So glad the cheese factor of this recipe makes it so that your hubs is on board. And thank you so much for coming back to leave a comment and star rating. I so appreciate it.

    23. Cara
      November 11, 2019 AT 9:19 pm

      This recipe was so delicious it turned out really really well! My kids helped me make it, and they ate it too and it was very tasty! I highly recommend it.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 12, 2019 AT 8:03 pm

        I’m so happy to hear that both you and your kids enjoyed this casserole! Thank you so much for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it. <3

    24. Hayley
      November 11, 2019 AT 9:14 am

      How do you recommend adding chicken to this recipe? My husband is all about the meat lol

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 11, 2019 AT 4:12 pm

        I would add shredded or pre-cooked chicken to the dish before baking it.

    25. Debra
      November 6, 2019 AT 9:31 pm

      Do you know the sodium content? I am trying to find some lower sodium items to make. This one looks yummy.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 7, 2019 AT 9:32 am

        Hi Debra. Just added the sodium content to the recipe for you.

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