Simple Weeknight Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Bake

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Spoon scooping Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Bake with potato chips on top. It's a comfy cozy casserole that's perfect to make ahead for a simple weeknight side or main dish.

I love casseroles.  And one of my favorite combos is broccoli and cheese.  Usually, it’s made with rice, but today I have a healthier version that’s made with Quinoa!  Get ready for a comfy and cozy Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Bake that’s a simple side or main dish any weeknight!

This recipe comes together easily and gives the most amazing flavor.  The quinoa is hearty, creamy, and flavorful, but also super healthy, loaded with fiber and protein! The broccoli brings color, vitamins, and texture. The cheese, well, it’s creamy and delicious! You can make this casserole entirely ahead and reheat any busy night! It’s a balanced meal on it’s own, but you can add chicken, meatballs, or any other easy meat that your family loves.

Quinoa!  

Quinoa is a great side on it’s own or ingredient to bulk up other foods, such as stuffings.  It can replace pasta or rice in most recipes and adds more protein and fiber.

It’s actually a seed, not a grain, but the texture is similar to a grain or even a couscous, but a little more fluffy.  It has a mild, slightly nutty taste, but it’s mild, so it really absorbs any flavors you mix with it. 

But the really magic of quinoa is in the health benefits!  1 cup of cooked quinoa has 8g of complete protein and 5g of fiber.  It also has Iron, Manganese, Lysine, and magnesium!  

Combining quinoa with veggies gives you a complete balanced meal with vitamins, fiber, protein, and other nutrients.

Try these other easy and delicious Quinoa Recipes!

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  But, I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

For this recipe, you need a medium pot with fitted lid for the quinoa, a medium pot for the sauce, and a large (5-6 quart) casserole dish.

Oh, and mincing garlic is made super easy with a Garlic Press.

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR YOUR BROCCOLI CHEESE QUINOA BAKE

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are the steps you prepare in the day(s) in advance and store in the fridge as your meal Kit… (See the recipe below for more details)

This recipe starts with pre-cooking your quinoa.  I do this because it makes the baking part foolproof!  You will never have to worry if the quinoa is cooked fully in the oven because it was pretty much there when you added it.  One of the benefits of quinoa is that it can absorb a lot and maintains it’s integrity. 

Cooked quinoa in pot.

While the quinoa cooks, you can prep the rest of the ingredients…cut off the broccoli florets (if not already done) and mince the garlic.

Ok, and here comes the somewhat strange ingredients.  By the way, this is totally optional, but adds really fun delicious flavor.  

POTATO CHIPS!!  

My Mom used to put crushed potato chips on top of casseroles and I just felt the urge to add it to this one.  So, just toss some chips in a baggie and crush away to get them to small pieces.  Or, leave them out if you want.  They are not needed, so it’s your choice.

COOK YOUR BROCCOLI CHEESE QUINOA BAKE 

Cooking for this recipe starts on the stove and then moves to the oven.  

On the stove, in a medium to large pot, add the vegetable broth and minced garlic. Bring to a simmer on Medium-High heat. While it is heating, make your slurry by mixing the cornstarch into cold milk.  When the broth is simmering, whisk in the milk slurry.  Continue to whisk as it starts to thicken so no clumps form on the bottom.

Garlic and Broth in pot for Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Bake It's a comfy cozy casserole that's perfect to make ahead for a simple weeknight side or main dish.  Cornstarch and Milk slurry in measuring cup for Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Bake It's a comfy cozy casserole that's perfect to make ahead for a simple weeknight side or main dish.

Pouring milk slurry into pot for Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Bake It's a comfy cozy casserole that's perfect to make ahead for a simple weeknight side or main dish.

Once thickened, whisk in the shredded cheese. Stir until melted and smooth. Then turn off the heat. 

To a casserole dish, Add the broccoli florets, cooked quinoa, cheese sauce, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir to completely combine. Place in the preheated oven on center rack and bake for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, add the crushed potato chips to the top of the casserole and place back in the oven for the final 5 minutes. The remove and let rest for at least 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Bake in a bowl with potato chips on top. It's a comfy cozy casserole that's perfect to make ahead for a simple weeknight side or main dish.

Simple Weeknight Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Bake

This Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Bake is a comfy cozy casserole that's perfect to make ahead for a simple weeknight side or main dish. The quinoa is hearty, creamy, and flavorful, but also super healthy, loaded with fiber and protein! The broccoli brings color, vitamins, and texture. The cheese, well, it's creamy and delicious! You can make this casserole entirely ahead and reheat any busy night! It's a balanced meal on it's own, but you can add chicken, meatballs, or any other easy meat that your family loves. #casseroles #broccolirecipes #vegetarian #meatlessmeals #broccolicheesebake

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword broccoli, casserole, cheese, quinoa
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Quinoa, uncooked
  • 4 cups Broccoli florets
  • 2 cups Shredded Cheddar
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 2 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 4 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp Oregano, dried
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Optional Topping: Crushed potato chips

Instructions

Prep Ahead Steps

  1. Pre-Cook Quinoa. Start by rinsing the quinoa thoroughly in a strainer, then adding it to 4 cups water in a medium pot with a fitted lid. Bring the water to a simmer, then turn it down to the lowest setting and cover tightly. Cook on lowest heat covered for 15 minutes. While the quinoa cooks, continue to prep.

  2. Cut off the broccoli florets if not already done for you. Mince the garlic. Place potato chips in a baggie and lightly crush to break them up into small pieces.

Cook

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.

  2. To a Medium-Large pot, add the vegetable broth and minced garlic. Bring to a simmer on Medium-High heat. While it is heating, make your slurry by mixing the cornstarch into cold milk.

  3. When the broth is simmering, whisk in the milk slurry. Continue to whisk as it starts to thicken so no clumps form on the bottom.

  4. Once thickened, whisk in the shredded cheese. Stir until melted and smooth. Then turn off the heat.

  5. To a 10" x 10" or similar size casserole dish, Add the broccoli florets, cooked quinoa, cheese sauce, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir to completely combine. Place in the preheated oven on center rack and bake for 15 minutes.

  6. After 15 minutes, add the crushed potato chips to the top of the casserole and place back in the oven for the final 5 minutes. The remove and let rest for at least 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!

Heavenly Mushroom Sauce, Gluten-Free

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Vegetarian Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Sauce over pasta.  #vegetarian #healthydinner #dinnerideas #mushrooms

This is the sauce that’ll make you weak in the knees!  It’s my creamy and rich Mushroom Sauce that’s absolutely irresistible!  The mushrooms are seared with onions and garlic until they are a perfect deep brown color and salty, nutty, earthy flavor.  Thyme brings in more earthiness and a fantastic herbed backdrop.  Then vegetable broth is added to create the start of a delicious sauce.  Finally, a cornstarch slurry is whisked in to thicken it up to a glorious silky (and gluten-free) creamy finish!

I made this sauce with a veggie ‘burger’.  But you can put this sauce on just about anything…chicken, baked potatoes, pasta, rice, toast, the list goes on!

Veggie Burgers in skillet with Mushroom Sauce in skillet. #vegetarian #healthydinner #dinnerideas #mushrooms

Mushrooms Are Good For You Too

Mushrooms are a weakness for me.  I can eat them for breakfast with eggs or on toast, for lunch, and dinner.  The aroma of sauteed or roasted mushrooms brings a smile to my face.  The earthy and savory flavors are absolutely everything.

So, the fact that mushrooms are also good for me is just icing on the mushroom!  Mushrooms have so many benefits that are linked to risk reduction of health conditions, such as cancer and heart disease.  Click here to read more about this. 

Mushrooms are a great source of antioxidants, which work to get rid of free radicals, a type of chemical that can harm a person’s body cells, potentially leading to cancer.   They also contain fiber, potassium and vitamin C, which help with heart health. 

Mushrooms also contain Selenium, which is a mineral not found in most fruits and vegetables.  Selenium helps with liver enzyme function and can also improve immune response to infection by stimulating the production of T-cells.

So, why wouldn’t you eat mushrooms??  Here are some more recipes to try!

Mushroom Sauce over pasta. #vegetarian #healthydinner #dinnerideas #mushrooms

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  But, I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

You need a large skillet/frying pan for making the veggies and curry sauce. I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning.  It comes with a glass lid, which is perfect for watching your dinner cook!

PREP-AHEAD TO MAKE YOUR MUSHROOM SAUCE

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are the steps you prepare in the day(s) in advance and store in the fridge as your meal Kit… (See the recipe below for more details) 

This entire recipe can be made ahead but is better when you prep the ingredients and make the sauce right before eating it.

So, first dice your onions, mince the garlic, slice your mushrooms.

Knife slicing mushrooms for Vegetarian Salisbury Steak with a thick, creamy, rich Mushroom Sauce. #vegetarian #healthydinner #dinnerideas #mushrooms

Sliced mushrooms for Vegetarian Salisbury Steak with a thick, creamy, rich Mushroom Sauce. #vegetarian #healthydinner #dinnerideas #mushrooms 

COOK YOUR HEAVENLY MUSHROOM SAUCE 

Preheat a large skillet and drizzle or spray with extra virgin olive oil.

If you are making this amazing mushroom sauce to go over chicken or steak, you can cook your protein in the skillet first and then remove it and set it aside, leaving all of the delicious browned meat bits in the skillet to cook with the mushrooms.   

Add the onions, garlic, mushrooms, and thyme to the skillet and stir to mix together.  Then spread out into a layer so as many mushrooms as possible are touching the skillet bottom.

Sliced Mushrooms in skillet for this Heavenly Mushroom Sauce Recipe. #vegetarian #healthydinner #dinnerideas #mushrooms

Let sit without stirring for about 3-4 minutes until the mushrooms get a beautiful browned sear. Then stir so that the other side of as any mushrooms as possible get a sear.

Seared sliced Mushrooms in skillet for this Heavenly Mushroom Sauce Recipe. #vegetarian #healthydinner #dinnerideas #mushrooms

Add a pinch of salt and ground black pepper and then let the mushrooms cook down for another 5 minutes.

While the mushrooms are cooking, making the slurry by mixing the cornstarch into the cold milk until completely dissolved.Adding cornstarch to milk for this Heavenly Mushroom Sauce Recipe. #vegetarian #healthydinner #dinnerideas #mushrooms

Add the Vegetable broth and stir to scrape up all of the browned bits from the bottom.

Add the cornstarch slurry, as this is the thickener. Whisk to ensure you don’t get any clumps. It will thicken pretty fast. Bring back to a light simmer.

Adding broth to cooked sliced Mushrooms in skillet for this Heavenly Mushroom Sauce Recipe. #vegetarian #healthydinner #dinnerideas #mushrooms

Adding slurry to cooked sliced Mushrooms in skillet for this Heavenly Mushroom Sauce Recipe. #vegetarian #healthydinner #dinnerideas #mushrooms

Thick, creamy, rich Mushroom Sauce in skillet. #vegetarian #healthydinner #dinnerideas #mushrooms

Beyond burgers in mushroom sauce in skillet for Vegetarian Salisbury Steak with a thick, creamy, rich Mushroom Sauce. #vegetarian #healthydinner #dinnerideas #mushrooms

Add back your protein or veggie to the sauce or serve the sauce over it.  Or mix this delicious sauce with pasta or rice or quinoa.

ENJOY! 😍 Carrie

Mushroom Sauce over pasta. #vegetarian #healthydinner #dinnerideas #mushrooms

Mushroom Sauce over pasta. #vegetarian #healthydinner #dinnerideas #mushrooms
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Heavenly Mushroom Sauce

This is the sauce that'll make you weak in the knees!  My Heavenly Mushroom Sauce is thick, rich, and irresistible. The mushrooms are seared with onions and garlic until they are a perfect deep brown color and salty, nutty, earthy flavor.  Thyme brings in more earthiness and a fantastic herbed backdrop.  Then vegetable broth is added to create the start of a delicious sauce.  Finally, a cornstarch slurry is whisked in to thicken it up to a glorious silky, and gluten-free creamy finish! #dinnerideas #vegetariandinners #vegetarianrecipes #healthydinners #familydinners

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword mushrooms, vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 10 oz White Button Mushrooms
  • 1 Small Onion (or 1/2 cup diced)
  • 1/2 Clove Garlic (or 1/2 tsp minced)
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Thyme, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 cup Vegetable Broth
  • 1 tbsp Cornstarch heaping
  • 1/2 cup Milk

Instructions

Prep-Ahead Steps

  1. Slice the mushrooms. Dice the onions. Mince the garlic.

    Sliced mushrooms for this Heavenly Mushroom Sauce Recipe. #vegetarian #healthydinner #dinnerideas #mushrooms

Cook!

  1. Preheat a large skillet and drizzle or spray with extra virgin olive oil.

  2. Add the onions, garlic, mushrooms, and thyme to the skillet and stir to mix together. Then spread out into a layer so as many mushrooms as possible are touching the skillet bottom.

    Sliced Mushrooms in skillet for this Heavenly Mushroom Sauce Recipe. #vegetarian #healthydinner #dinnerideas #mushrooms
  3. Let sit without stirring for about 3-4 minutes until the mushrooms get a beautiful browned sear. Then stir so that the other side of as any mushrooms as possible get a sear.

    Seared sliced Mushrooms in skillet for this Heavenly Mushroom Sauce Recipe. #vegetarian #healthydinner #dinnerideas #mushrooms
  4. Add a pinch of salt and ground black pepper and let the mushrooms cook down for another 5 minutes.

  5. While the mushrooms are cooking, making the slurry by mixing the cornstarch into the cold milk until completely dissolved.

    Adding cornstarch to milk for this Heavenly Mushroom Sauce Recipe. #vegetarian #healthydinner #dinnerideas #mushrooms
  6. Add the Vegetable broth and stir to scrape up all of the browned bits from the bottom.

    Adding broth to cooked sliced Mushrooms in skillet for this Heavenly Mushroom Sauce Recipe. #vegetarian #healthydinner #dinnerideas #mushrooms
  7. Add the cornstarch slurry, as this is the thickener. Whisk to ensure you don't get any clumps. It will thicken pretty fast. Bring back to a light simmer for 5 minutes.

    Adding slurry to cooked sliced Mushrooms in skillet for this Heavenly Mushroom Sauce Recipe. #vegetarian #healthydinner #dinnerideas #mushrooms
  8. Serve and enjoy!!

    Beyond burgers in mushroom sauce in skillet for Vegetarian Salisbury Steak with a thick, creamy, rich Mushroom Sauce. #vegetarian #healthydinner #dinnerideas #mushrooms

Recipe Notes

  1. For the Mushrooms, you can use cremini mushrooms as well.
  2. I used vegetable broth, but any broth will work in this recipe.
  3. I used Beyond Burger Patties, but you can certainly use any veggie burger you prefer.  You can also use real beef.  Simply form the ground beef into into a burger patty as you would normally.  Sear it on both sides in the skillet and then let it cook 90% of the way done.  Remove the patties to continue the recipe.