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!
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!
- 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
- 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!
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.
Watch the video here:
If you like this make-ahead quinoa casserole, check out these others:
- Easy Baked Ziti
- The BEST Gluten-Free Lasagna
- Overnight Cinnamon Roll French Toast Casserole
- Maple Blueberry Baked Oatmeal
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!
- 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)
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- In a sauce pan heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic until softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
- Add chicken stock, parsley, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
- 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.
- Cover with tightly with aluminium foil and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes, or until the quinoa has completely absorbed the water.
- Meanwhile preheat the broiler.
- Carefully remove the foil (look out for steam) and sprinkle cheddar cheese over the top.
- Place under the broiler, and broil until cheese is melted, about 2-4 minutes.
- Top with additional parsley or chives and serve.
- 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.
- See post for directions on freezing and re-heating.
May 31, 2020
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