Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

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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.

Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

4 from 34 votes
Cheesy broccoli quinoa casserole made healthy! This version has protein-packed quinoa, fresh broccoli florets and a homemade sauce instead of canned soup.
Broccoli quinoa casserole with cheddar cheese in a baking dish.
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 10

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
 

  • Lightly coat a casserole dish (I used an 8x8 square dish) with non-stick spray or lightly grease.
  • 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.
  • While quinoa is cooking, steam broccoli for 5-6 minute or until bright green and crisp tender.
  • Meanwhile, shred cheese by using a food processor with the shredding attachment or with a handheld grater.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • 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.
  • Pour cheese sauce over quinoa and broccoli. Toss well to combine.
  • Transfer to greased baking dish and top with remaining shredded cheese.
  • Bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until the casserole is heated through and cheese has melted. Serve warm.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 207kcal Carbohydrates: 18g Protein: 10g Fat: 11g Saturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 30mg Sodium: 523mg Fiber: 3g Sugar: 1g
Course: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: broccoli quinoa casserole

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




    65 comments
    1. Caroline
      June 1, 2021 AT 2:56 pm

      5 stars
      Really loved the recipe though I used coconut instead of almond milk. Well done and thank you!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 2, 2021 AT 10:38 am

        So glad this recipe was a hit!! Thanks for the review, Caroline. I really appreciate it!

    2. Bob
      May 15, 2021 AT 5:56 pm

      4 stars
      Added orzo and rice to the quinoa (all I had was black quinoa, and used alfredo sauce (all I had) would have been a 5 star if I had the right ingredients). I had never heard of friendship before I was put off until I looked up the meaning. Thanks for the update to my vocabulary..

      1. Brittany Mullins
        May 17, 2021 AT 12:24 pm

        So glad you enjoyed these casserole, Bob! Thanks for the review 🙂

    3. Paige
      March 31, 2021 AT 3:28 pm

      One question- isn’t 2 cups equal to 8oz? If you add 2 cups of cheese to the mixture where are you getting the leftover cheese top top with?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 1, 2021 AT 6:49 pm

        Hey Paige – I think what happens is that I measured 2 cups and loosely threw the cheese in the measuring cup so I had a bit leftover! So my cheese was packed loosely vs. tightly packed! Hopefully that helps. 🙂

    4. Nana Kym
      March 4, 2021 AT 10:01 pm

      5 stars
      I’m pretty new to quinoa and roux but had to give this a try. I was not disappointed! I used oat milk and gluten-free flour and added in a handful of pine nuts. We aren’t big on onions, so I left them out. This casserole turned out amazing and will be a regular on our dinner table, as a side or with shredded chicken added in. Thank you!

      1. Nana Kym
        March 5, 2021 AT 9:14 pm

        5 stars
        Confession time: I liked it so much, I made it again for a second night in a row! 🙂 This time, though, I used Swiss cheese and a broccoli/cauliflower/carrot blend… it was a great switch up! It’s just me and hubs, so I split it up in 3 containers and froze 2 for later – helloooo meal prep! 🙂

    5. G Barron
      February 28, 2021 AT 12:52 pm

      5 stars
      Great recipe. Love, LOVE that you list nutritional info, that’s a biggie for me.

      Have made this a few times now. I’ve increased the broccoli by a cup or two and increased the sauce by half. Our family is big on the broccoli/rice casserole and we like spice so ours is made with jalapeños. Just added jalapeños to this already amazing recipe- perfection! Cannot wait to make for family gathering.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 28, 2021 AT 11:25 pm

        So glad you’re loving this recipe!! Thanks for the review. I so appreciate it!

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