i had a love/hate relationship with quinoa until i learned how to cook it properly. i was somehow ending up with either really mushy quinoa, bitter quinoa or under cooked quinoa. learning how to cook it was a game changer for me. i stumbled upon the kitchn’s “how to cook fluffy, tasty quinoa” recipe and it was all over from there.
i now make this baked quinoa (or a variation of it) every sunday for my lunches for the week.
some other variations to consider are:
baked greek quinoa: replace the corn and black beans for 1/2 cup chopped artichoke, 1/2 cup black olives, 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes and 1/4 cup feta (maybe some sliced red onion, if you’re into that kind of thing).
baked italian quinoa: replace the corn and black beans for 1/2 cup chopped salami, 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, 1 cup cubed zucchini and basil instead of cilantro.
baked indian quinoa: season the cheese sauce with curry powder and replace the corn and black beans for 1 cup chopped paneer cheese and 1 cup peas.
baked cuban quinoa: season the cheese sauce with cumin and replace the corn and black beans for 1/2 cup chopped mango, 1/2 cup black beans, and a 1/2 cup green bell pepper. serve it up with grilled plantains and slow cooker pork.
if you’re feeling lazy bones, disregard making the cheese sauce and add 2 cups of your favorite alfredo sauce.
the formula is easy: 1 cup uncooked (3 cups cooked) quinoa, 2 cups sauce, 2 cups of mixed vegetables/meat and some sort of crunchy bread crumb topping. bake at 350 for 25 minutes, broil for last 5 minutes.
hello, darling. you are a meal planning queen.
- 1 tbsp oil (or butter)
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed (rinsing helps remove the bitterness)
- 2 cups water or chicken broth
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp flour
- 2 cups non fat milk, warmed
- ¾ cup mozzarella or cheddar cheese, plus extra for sprinkling on top
- 1 cup canned corn
- 1 cup black beans
- 1 tbsp jalapeno, chopped (optional)
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
- 1 tsp lime zest
- preheat oven to 350
- in a saucepan or pot heat about 1 tbsp of butter or oil over medium
- add in rinsed quinoa, stirring to coat
- add in your water or chicken broth and bring to a boil
- reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan
- let simmer for about 20 minutes
- while the quinoa is simmering, prepare the cheese sauce
- in another sauce pan, heat 3 tbsp of butter over medium heat
- add in flour and whisk to combine
- the mixture should look sandy
- continue whisking and gently pour in the warmed milk
- allow the sauce to come to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low
- the sauce should thicken within 5 minutes
- once thickened, remove the pan from the heat and stir in cheese
- once the quinoa is cooked, fluff with a fork
- add in the canned corn, black beans and jalapeno
- pour in the cheese sauce and mix to combine
- in a greased baking pan (i used a pie pan), pour in mixture
- combine the panko, cilantro, lime zest
- sprinkle over the top of the quinoa
- sprinkle extra cheese over the top
- bake for 25 minutes
- for the last 5 minutes broil until top is brown and crispy