So of course the day I decide to make casserole it hits 90 degrees.
I mean, it’s been warm here for a few months. But 90? Already?
Not to worry because this is one of those summer dishes that is worth turning your oven on for. It’s a casserole that tastes like summer. Don’t ask me why or how but it does.
Delicious local tomatoes? Don’t mind if I do.
This recipe came about after seeing a headline for a broccoli casserole recipe on the Food Network’s website. Although typically delicious dish, it’s also typically swimming in cheese. Good for once in awhile but not every week.
This meal is good for every week. I still used a generous amount of cheese leaving this dish creamy but not greasy. I added 1 egg with the cheese, which also adds to the creaminess. This is packed with a million and one other ingredients, topped with sliced tomatoes, and then broiled with a breadcrumb + cheese mixture on top. Quinoa was used as the base of the casserole which stays extremely moist, takes on other flavors easily, and is quite the nutrient dense little seed.
[after baking – before adding the topping]
I cannot remember the last time I made a casserole and now I’m wondering why in the world that is.
You have leftovers for days!! This will be eaten cold straight out of the fridge, re-heated in a pan with an egg on top, and dumped cold onto a huge bowl of leafy greens and drizzled with balsamic.
I know not everyone is a leftovers fan but anything that means less clean-up and no prep totally works for me!
Quinoa Broccoli Casserole [serves 6-8 generous portions]
- 2 cups dry quinoa, rinsed well
- 4 cups veggie stock, no-sodium
- 5 cups broccoli, chopped
- 3 cups spinach, chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes, sliced thinly
- 1.5 cups chickpeas, rinsed
- 1 large egg
- 1, 8oz block of sharp cheddar or pepperjack cheese, grated
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4c flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 Tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes [opt]
- 1/2 - 1 tsp salt [adjust if using stock with sodium]
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 4 slices of gluten free bread or 2 slices non-gf bread, ground
- 1/2 cup grated cheese [from the 8oz block above]
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- black pepper
- Prep all vegetables and then preheat your oven to 400* F.
- Rinse + drain the quinoa and add to large pot over medium heat, then pour in the veggie stock and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, stir 1-2 times, cover with a lid and let cook 15-20min until the liquid is absorbed. Turn the heat off and keep covered for 10min then fluff with a fork. Do not stir or uncover while it’s cooking.
- While the quinoa is cooking, toss 2 Tbsp of oil with the broccoli, chickpeas, onion, garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, and black pepper on a large baking sheet.
- Roast for about 25min until just starting to brown. Stir once halfway through.
- In a large bowl mix together the roasted veggie mixture, fluffed quinoa, spinach, parsley, oregano, red pepper flakes [if using], 1/2t salt [if using no-sodium stock] and black pepper.
- In a small bowl whisk the egg and mix in the grated cheese, reserving 1/2 cup of the cheese for the breadcrumb topping. *Grating cheese fresh is worth your time!
- Mix the cheese + egg mixture with the quinoa mixture and spread in a 9x13 baking dish, then lightly pat down and top with a single layer of sliced tomatoes.
- Bake uncovered for 25-30min, until the top is starting to brown and tomatoes are just wilting.
- For the breadcrumb topping, make sure your GF bread is fully thawed. If it’s frozen, toast lightly to defrost. Grind into crumbs in a food processor, blender, etc. then mix with all remaining topping ingredients in a bowl.
- Set your oven to broil with a rack in the top position, sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture on top of the casserole, and broil for 2-4 minutes [watching closely!] until golden brown.
- Remove and serve.
Don’t let the long ingredient list and instructions intimidate you. There is nothing tricky about this recipe and just think about all of the leftovers! Unless you’re planning to serve this for a crowd. Then don’t think about the leftovers or the dirty dishes you’ll be cleaning. I’m keeping this one all to myself! Okay…I did invite Kelsey + Eric to dinner and Chris of course ate too. He’ll have this for lunch tomorrow, and I will still have 3 servings of leftovers all to myself. Ohhh yes.