Quinoa Broccoli and Cheese Bake [Recipe]

Holy goodness gracious the healthy-ish food goods have answered all my prayers. One of my favorite comfort foods is a Broccoli Cheese Pasta Bake however, the way I have always made it is so far from healthy that it is probably equivalent to eating a whole tub of butter #sorrynotsorry. Although I don't claim to be a super fit or overly healthy person, I do recognize that that isn't ideal so I needed an alternative. Since J and I are trying to be healthier and more conscious of what we eat, I have been trying all kinds of alternatives to things high in fats or carbs such as pasta. Quinoa has really been one of our favorite go-tos. Alas, our version of a traditional Broccoli Cheese Bake:

What You Will Need
-3-3/4 cup chicken broth, divided

-1-1/2 cups dry quinoa, rinsed under cold running water 

-2 cups small broccoli florets

-2 tablespoons butter, divided
-8oz sliced mushrooms (optional)
-1/4 small onion, chopped
-salt and pepper
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-2 Tablespoons red mill gluten-free flour
-1 cup milk (I used 2%)
-3oz Monterey Jack cheese
-3oz sharp cheddar cheese 

What You Will Do
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8x8 baking dish

2. Bring 2-3/4 cups chicken broth to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan then add quinoa, place a lid on top, turn heat down to medium, and then simmer until nearly all the liquid has been absorbed and quinoa is tender, 20 minutes. Add broccoli then place lid back on top, remove from heat, and let steam for 10 minutes.

3. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and shallots, season with salt and pepper, then saute until mushrooms are golden brown. Add garlic then saute for one more minute.

4. Add remaining tablespoon of butter then sprinkle in flour when melted and saute for one minute. Slowly stream in remaining 1 cup chicken broth and milk while whisking to avoid lumps. Season generously with salt and pepper then bring mixture to a bubble while stirring constantly. Turn heat down to medium then simmer until thick and bubbly, 5 minutes.

5. Remove from heat then stir in the broccoli and quinoa, and half the cheese, then scoop mixture into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top then bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown and bubbly. Let sit for 10 minutes before scooping and serving. 

What is your favorite comfort food?


  1. This looks so good! I am with you I have my favorite foods that I love but I really need to find healthier recipes for them!

  2. Looks so delicious! Broccoli and cheese = great combo!

  3. Totally in need of a great cheesy pasta bake that is low in carbs and high in taste. My belly - health and Weight watchers will be thanking you for this post. Lol. Thanks!! Totally pinning and going to attempt it this weekend.

  4. This looks SO good. OMG!! Just want to take a big bite out of it!

  5. This combines three of my favorite things and almost sounds like a warm comfort meal, but not as bad for me. I will definitely be trying that out this winter when it's a bit colder outside.

  6. Yum! Love incorporating quinoa into my meals. Marli is still acquiring the taste, but I think she might like this since it involves cheese :)

  7. That looks really good! We are constantly trying to balance healthy and delicious when we make meals. I will definitely try this!


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