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!

Mediterranean Sheet Pan Dinner with Sausage, Chickpeas, & Zucchini

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This Easy Mediterranean SHEET PAN DINNER has hearty and satisfying chicken sausage, creamy and bright zucchini. and crispy nutty chickpeas.  Serve over quinoa with a few dollops of seasoned Ricotta. #sheetpandinner #chickpeas
Mediterranean SHEET PAN DINNER with chicken sausage, parmesan zucchini. and crispy chickpeas. Serve over quinoa with dollops of seasoned Ricotta. #sheetpandinner #chickpeas

I love cooking, but I hate doing dishes.  I don’t know about you, but in my house, there are always dishes piling up!  That’s one of the reasons I LOVE this Mediterranean SHEET PAN DINNER for easy cleanup!  It has hearty and satisfying chicken sausage, creamy and bright zucchini. and crispy nutty chickpeas.  Everything is infused with Mediterranean flavors from the garlic, oregano, and olive oil.  Serve over quinoa with a few dollops of seasoned Ricotta and you gotta one heck of a delicious dinner!

Mediterranean SHEET PAN DINNER on a plate with chicken sausage, parmesan zucchini. and crispy chickpeas over quinoa with dollops of seasoned Ricotta. #sheetpandinner #chickpeas

Loaded with Protein & Fiber!

Sometimes feeding kids leaves you wondering if they are getting enough protein, vitamins, nutrients, and fiber.  This Sheet Pan Dinner has you covered, with over 18g of Fiber and 52.5g Protein!   The average sedentary woman needs 46g of Protein per day and about 25g of Fiber per day so this meal definitely keeps you on track to meet your daily needs!

The reason this recipe packs such a punch in both Protein and Fiber is because you are getting high quality inputs from different sources here.  While many foods give protein, not all are the complete proteins that you can get from meat, meaning they contain all 9 Essential Amino Acids.  Chicken, Chickpeas, and Quinoa ALL provide complete proteins, so this is especially important here.  Chickpeas and Quinoa are also great sources of Fiber.

Other Sheet Pan or One Pot Dinners packing a punch:

For with bite of zucchini, chickpeas, sausage, and ricotta. Mediterranean SHEET PAN DINNER has hearty and satisfying chicken sausage, creamy and bright zucchini. and crispy nutty chickpeas.  Serve over quinoa with a few dollops of seasoned Ricotta. #sheetpandinner #chickpeas

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

Nothing special for this one! Just a large sheet pan (I use a 17×11) and a small-medium pot with lid for the quinoa.

PREP-AHEAD TO MAKE YOUR MEDITERRANEAN SHEET PAN DINNER

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)

Ingredients for Mediterranean SHEET PAN DINNER with chicken sausage, parmesan zucchini. and crispy chickpeas. Serve over quinoa with dollops of seasoned Ricotta. #sheetpandinner #chickpeas

For this recipe, you can prepare all of the ingredients in advance and simply roast them in the oven the night you want to eat this!

  1. Prep the Chickpeas
  2. Slice the Zucchini
  3. Slice the Sausage
  4. Cook the Quinoa
  5. Mix the Ricotta

Start by draining the chickpeas and rinsing them under cold water.  Store them in the fridge until ready to cook.

Slice the zucchini lengthwise in half and then cut 1/4 inch slices.Sliced zucchini on cutting board with knife for Mediterranean SHEET PAN DINNER with chicken sausage, parmesan zucchini. and crispy chickpeas. Serve over quinoa with dollops of seasoned Ricotta. #sheetpandinner #chickpeas

You can make the Quinoa up to 4 days in advance and store it in the fridge as well!  Start by measuring out 1 cup of uncooked quinoa and rinsing it in a strainer with cool water in the sink.  Then put the rinsed quinoa in a small-medium size pot with fitted lid.  Add 2 cups of water and 2 tsp of Chicken Base or a Bouillon cube.

Rinsing quinoa in strainer for Mediterranean SHEET PAN DINNER with chicken sausage, parmesan zucchini. and crispy chickpeas. Serve over quinoa with dollops of seasoned Ricotta. #sheetpandinner #chickpeas

Spoon adding chicken base to quinoa for Mediterranean SHEET PAN DINNER with chicken sausage, parmesan zucchini. and crispy chickpeas. Serve over quinoa with dollops of seasoned Ricotta. #sheetpandinner #chickpeas

Bring the water to a soft boil and stir to make sure the base or bouillon is dissolved.  Turn the heat down to the lowest setting, cover with fitted lid and cook for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, turn the heat off, but keep it covered for another 5 minutes or so as it starts to cool down.  Then fluff with a fork and transfer to storage container to store in the fridge until ready to reheat and eat.

Italian Chicken Sausage

Next slice the Chicken Sausage and store it in the fridge as well. 

For this recipe, I used pre-cooked Italian Chicken Sausage.  There are several brands now at stores.  If you want to use Raw Italian Chicken Sausage, you will have a choice between links or bulk.  If you buy links, you will want to pre-cook it yourself and then slice it for the recipe.  Or you can squeeze it out of the casings into bite-size pieces and cook them on the sheet pan. 

I used Italian Chicken Sausage from Hungyroot!  It’s a subscription box service that sends you pre-prepped fresh and healthy food products every week.  The food products range from fresh produce that’s been peeled, chopped, diced.  To healthy proteins like cooked chicken and meat alternatives, such as Beyond Burger, and other vegetarian and vegan products. For a limited time, Hungyroot is running an amazing  promotion!  New customers get $50 off their first 2 orders ($25 off each order)!  Just click here to check it out!

Sliced sausage on cutting board with knife for Mediterranean SHEET PAN DINNER with chicken sausage, parmesan zucchini. and crispy chickpeas. Serve over quinoa with dollops of seasoned Ricotta. #sheetpandinner #chickpeas

Sliced sausage on cutting board with knife for Mediterranean SHEET PAN DINNER with chicken sausage, parmesan zucchini. and crispy chickpeas. Serve over quinoa with dollops of seasoned Ricotta. #sheetpandinner #chickpeas

Ok, the final prep-ahead step is to mix the Ricotta with garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper.

COOK YOUR MEDITERRANEAN SHEET PAN DINNER

Preheat your oven to 400 F degrees.  

Add the Chickpeas to a Large Sheet Pan. Drizzle with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt, pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and 1 tsp dried oregano. Toss the chickpeas in the seasoning until dispersed evenly and then spread them out into a single layer on the pan. Roast the Chickpeas in the oven for 15 minutes.

Chickpeas on pan for Mediterranean SHEET PAN DINNER with chicken sausage, parmesan zucchini. and crispy chickpeas. Serve over quinoa with dollops of seasoned Ricotta. #sheetpandinner #chickpeas

Chickpeas on pan for Mediterranean SHEET PAN DINNER with chicken sausage, parmesan zucchini. and crispy chickpeas. Serve over quinoa with dollops of seasoned Ricotta. #sheetpandinner #chickpeas

After 15 minutes, push the chickpeas to the side of the pan and add the zucchini slices in the center and the sausage slices on the other side. Drizzle olive oil on the zucchini and sprinkle with salt, pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp Oregano. Flip the zucchini over and do the same to the other side. Bake in the oven for another 15 minutes.Mediterranean SHEET PAN DINNER with chicken sausage, parmesan zucchini. and crispy chickpeas. Serve over quinoa with dollops of seasoned Ricotta. #sheetpandinner #chickpeas

After 15 minutes, take the sheet pan out and add parmesan cheese on top of the zucchini. Place back in the oven for another 5 minutes either under the broiler or back on center rack to get golden brown.Hand sprinkling parmesan on zucchini for Mediterranean SHEET PAN DINNER with chicken sausage, parmesan zucchini. and crispy chickpeas. Serve over quinoa with dollops of seasoned Ricotta. #sheetpandinner #chickpeas

Mediterranean SHEET PAN DINNER with chicken sausage, parmesan zucchini. and crispy chickpeas. Serve over quinoa with dollops of seasoned Ricotta. #sheetpandinner #chickpeas

While everything is roasting in the oven, warm up the Quinoa in the microwave for 1 minute. Or you can put it in a pot on the stove with a tbls of water. Cover and reheat on low heat for 5 minutes, stirring to ensure it doesn’t burn.

To serve, plate a large scoop of Quinoa and top with some sausage, zucchini, and chickpeas. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and add a dollop or two or three of the seasoned Ricotta. 

ENJOY!

😍 Carrie

Mediterranean Sheet Pan Dinner: Sausage, Chickpeas, Zucchini

This Easy & Delicious Mediterranean SHEET PAN DINNER has hearty and satisfying chicken sausage, creamy and bright zucchini. and crispy nutty chickpeas.  Everything is infused with Mediterranean flavors from the garlic, oregano, and olive oil.  Serve over quinoa with a few dollops of seasoned Ricotta and you gotta one heck of a delicious dinner! #sheetpandinner #easydinner #healthydinner #familydinner #dinnerideas #onepandinners #30minutemeals #chickpeas #quinoa

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword chicken sausage, chickpeas, sheet pan dinner, zucchini
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 747 kcal
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Sheet Pan Ingredients

  • 15 oz Chickpeas
  • 1 Zucchini, large
  • 4-5 links Pre-cooked Chicken Sausage, Italian
  • 2 tsp Oregano, dried
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder

Other Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1 cup Quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 cups Water or Chicken Broth (add 2 tsp Chicken base or bouillon cubes to water)
  • 1 cup Ricotta Cheese, whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano, dried

Instructions

Prep-Ahead

  1. You can make the Quinoa up to 4 days in advance and store it in the fridge.  Start by measuring out 1 cup of uncooked quinoa and rinsing it in a strainer with cool water in the sink.  Then put the rinsed quinoa in a small-medium size pot with fitted lid.  Add 2 cups of water and the chicken bouillon. Stir and bring to a simmer. Turn down to the lowest heat setting, cover and let cook for 20 minutes. At 20 minutes, turn off the heat, but leave the lid on until ready to serve.

    Rinsing quinoa in strainer for Mediterranean SHEET PAN DINNER with chicken sausage, parmesan zucchini. and crispy chickpeas. Serve over quinoa with dollops of seasoned Ricotta. #sheetpandinner #chickpeas
  2. Drain the chickpeas and rinse them under cold water.  Store them in the fridge until ready to cook.

  3. Slice the zucchini lengthwise in half and then cut 1/4 inch slices.

    Sliced zucchini on cutting board with knife for Mediterranean SHEET PAN DINNER with chicken sausage, parmesan zucchini. and crispy chickpeas. Serve over quinoa with dollops of seasoned Ricotta. #sheetpandinner #chickpeas
  4. Slice the sausage and store in fridge until ready to cook.

    Sliced sausage on cutting board with knife for Mediterranean SHEET PAN DINNER with chicken sausage, parmesan zucchini. and crispy chickpeas. Serve over quinoa with dollops of seasoned Ricotta. #sheetpandinner #chickpeas
  5. In a medium-size bowl, mix the Ricotta with 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder, 1/2 tsp Oregano, 1/2 tsp Salt, 1/2 tsp Black Pepper. Store in the fridge until ready to eat.

Cook

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees

  2. Add the Chickpeas to a Large Sheet Pan. Drizzle with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt, pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and 1 tsp dried oregano. Toss the chickpeas in the seasoning until dispersed evenly and then spread them out into a single layer on the pan. Roast the Chickpeas in the oven for 15 minutes.

    Chickpeas on pan for Mediterranean SHEET PAN DINNER with chicken sausage, parmesan zucchini. and crispy chickpeas. Serve over quinoa with dollops of seasoned Ricotta. #sheetpandinner #chickpeas
  3. After 15 minutes, push the chickpeas to the side of the pan and add the zucchini slices in the center and the sausage slices on the other side. Drizzle olive oil on the zucchini and sprinkle with salt, pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp Oregano. Flip the zucchini over and do the same to the other side. Bake in the oven for another 15 minutes.

    Mediterranean SHEET PAN DINNER with chicken sausage, parmesan zucchini. and crispy chickpeas. Serve over quinoa with dollops of seasoned Ricotta. #sheetpandinner #chickpeas
  4. After 15 minutes, take the sheet pan out and add parmesan cheese on top of the zucchini. Place back in the oven for another 5 minutes either under the broiler or back on center rack to get golden brown.

    Hand sprinkling parmesan on zucchini for Mediterranean SHEET PAN DINNER with chicken sausage, parmesan zucchini. and crispy chickpeas. Serve over quinoa with dollops of seasoned Ricotta. #sheetpandinner #chickpeas
  5. While everything is roasting in the oven, warm up the Quinoa in the microwave for 1 minute. Or you can put it in a pot on the stove with a tbls of water. Cover and reheat on low heat for 5 minutes, stirring to ensure it doesn't burn.

  6. To serve, plate a large scoop of Quinoa and top with some sausage, zucchini, and chickpeas. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and add a dollop or two or three of the seasoned Ricotta. Enjoy!

    Mediterranean SHEET PAN DINNER on a plate with chicken sausage, parmesan zucchini. and crispy chickpeas over quinoa with dollops of seasoned Ricotta. #sheetpandinner #chickpeas

Recipe Notes

Sausage: If you are using raw sausage links, you have a choice:

  1. cook the sausage links whole first - you can put them on the sheet pan first and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Then slice and follow the recipe to add the chickpeas and Zucchini and bake another 20 min. Or...
  2. Remove the raw sausage from the casing and separate it into bite-size chunks. Then cook according to the recipe. 20 min should be enough at the 400F high heat to cook the raw sausage through.