Healthy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

This homemade Broccoli Quinoa Casserole is healthy, nutrient-dense and so delicious. Made with just a few minimal ingredients, this casserole is optionally dairy-free, vegan and it’s freezer-friendly. Put this on your must-make list!

A broccoli cheddar Quinoa Casserole in a baking dish.Chickpea and Broccoli Casserole

As the due date nears for the birth of our baby girl, I’m planning all the meals to stock the freezer for after her arrival and none is better than a nutrient-dense, yet delicious casserole! Casseroles have a reputation for being unhealthy. But it doesn’t have to be that way! This freezer-friendly Chickpea and Broccoli Casserole is not only simple to make, but it’s a casserole you can feel good about serving because it’s made with simple wholesome ingredients. This quinoa is baked up with either chicken or veggie stock or bone broth, chickpeas, and then optionally topped with cheddar. I adore that little bit of cheesiness on top, but this dish is still great without it!

An unbaked broccoli Quinoa CasseroleIngredients Needed

  • Quinoa
  • Frozen Broccoli (we found that this cooks up better in this casserole than using fresh)
  • Chickpeas (you can alternatively use small diced chicken breast or thighs here for additional protein)
  • Onion + Garlic
  • Vegetable or Chicken Stock
  • Salt + Pepper
  • Parsley
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese (optional)

Is Quinoa gluten-free?

Yes! Quinoa is a “pseudo-cereal” grain or a grain that is similar to a cereal grain with a similar nutritional profile but that is not actually a cereal grain or wheatgrass. It’s safe for those with a gluten allergy or intolerance to consume as it is gluten-free. Though, some people find they have sensitivities to quinoa. Quinoa is not considered Paleo if you follow a paleo diet.

What does quinoa taste like?

Quinoa has an earthy flavor and actually is related to the beet, chard, and spinach family of plants. It tastes somewhat similar to brown rice with a very fluffy texture!

A broccoli cheddar Quinoa Casserole in a baking dish.How to Freeze and Reheat a Quinoa Casserole

Casseroles are famously easy to make ahead of time and freeze and this Quinoa Casserole is no exception. To freeze it, bake it fully without cheese, according to the instructions in the recipe. Then, let the fully cooked casserole briefly cool at room temperature (remember, without cheese) before cooling completely in the refrigerator. Then wrap tightly in the container with plastic wrap twice and transfer to the freezer.

Ideally, you’ll need to plan at least 12 hours in advance before you want to reheat the casserole to defrost it properly. Hands down, the best way to defrost food is in the refrigerator, overnight. This is ideal in terms of food safety, but it’s also your best bet in preserving the taste and integrity of the food.

Once the casserole is defrosted add the recommended about of cheese, if desired, loosely cover it with foil and bake at 350ºF, for about 20-30 minutes until the center of the food reaches at least 165ºF. 

Quinoa casserole with broccoli and cheese on a plate.

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5.0 rating
1 reviews

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

 This homemade Broccoli Quinoa Casserole is healthy, nutrient-dense and so delicious. Made with just a few minimal ingredients, this casserole is optionally dairy-free, vegan and it's freezer-friendly. Put this on your must-make list!


Yield 4
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Recipe Type: Casserole
Cuisine American
Difficulty: Easy
Author: Lexi's Clean Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter or oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced fine
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups veggie or chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, or 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well and drained
  • 1 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 6 ounces frozen broccoli (not thawed)
  • ½ cup grated cheddar cheese (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. In a sauce pan heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic until softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add chicken stock, parsley, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  4. Add rinsed quinoa, chickpeas, and frozen broccoli to a 9” baking dish. Pour the boiling stock over the top and gently stir. Push any pieces of visible quinoa into the liquid. 
  5. Cover with tightly with aluminium foil and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes, or until the quinoa has completely absorbed the water.
  7. Meanwhile preheat the broiler.
  8. Carefully remove the foil (look out for steam) and sprinkle cheddar cheese over the top.
  9. Place under the broiler, and broil until cheese is melted, about 2-4 minutes.
  10.  Top with additional parsley or chives and serve.

Recipe Notes

  1. For vegan use oil, veggie stock and omit cheese. Optionally you can add-in 1-2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast for a "cheese-y" taste.
  2. See post for directions on freezing and re-heating.

Nutrition

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15 comments
May 31, 2020

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15 Responses

  1. This recipe looks great! I’m one of those people with quinoa sensitivities. If I wanted to sub rice, would the water/grain proportions be the same?

    1. Hi Stephanie. You can sub rice. Use a ratio of 1 part rice to 2 parts liquid. You also will need to cook it for about 40-45 minutes!

    1. You can use it. It might be slightly overcooked/soft, which is why we’ve suggested frozen broccoli.

  2. What do you do if the quinoa isn’t cooked when you take it out and let it sit for 5 minutes? Cook it again for a few minutes or keep letting it sit? Thanks!

    1. Hi! Yes, I’d put it back in for about 5 minutes or so. It’s hard to tell why you are having that issue, but definitely bake it for a bit more.

  3. I doubled the recipe and subbed in White Basmati (2 cups rice to 4 cups chicken stock), omitted the chickpeas and added chopped bbq chicken at the end (mixed it in before adding the cheese) and it turned out PERFECT! Cooked for exactly 45 min plus 4 min to broil. WOW! Kid approved, super delicious!! Will be making this again, thank you Lexi and team for another WINNER!!

    5.0 rating

  4. Wondering what type of quinoa you used? I used a tricolor mix from Trader Joe’s and it was in the oven for 35 mins and the broth was still not absorbed. The flavor was great so I’d like to try it again, hopefully more successfully!

    1. We used white quinoa. We haven’t tested it with anything other than the “traditional” quinoa. What type of pan did you use to bake it?

  5. This was my second time making this, great “go-to” dinner that’s simple to put together! The first time I made it, it came out perfectly with white quinoa. The second time I used a blend that contained a bit of red quinoa mixed in; this took 10 more min to cook in the oven, but otherwise still worked out great!

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Author: Lexi

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