White Pizza Quinoa Casserole

The title says it all. Just imagine white pizza flavors, full of garlic + cheese, all wrapped up in a quinoa vegetable casserole.

You know, ooey-gooey-cheesy-goodness. A sometimes life necessity.

White Pizza Quinoa Casserole | edibleperspective.com #glutenfree #pizza

This was largely inspired by my drooling over Chris’s white veggie pizza the other night while we were at dinner. I wanted white pizza, too!

White Pizza Quinoa Casserole | edibleperspective.com #glutenfree #pizza

With a basil plant screaming “use me!!!”, a plethora of kale and baby spinach [yay sales!], and a stack of mozzarella cheese [again, yay sales!] some sort of pizza concoction was calling my name.

White Pizza Quinoa Casserole | edibleperspective.com #glutenfree #pizza

But I wanted this to be STUFFED with toppings. More toppings than any pizza crust can hold.

White Pizza Quinoa Casserole | edibleperspective.com #glutenfree #pizza

And that’s when this happened.

White Pizza Quinoa Casserole | edibleperspective.com #glutenfree #pizza

White veggie pizza toppings + cheese, tangled around crunchy bits of quinoa.

White Pizza Quinoa Casserole | edibleperspective.com #glutenfree #pizza

SPOON TO FACE.

White Pizza Quinoa Casserole | edibleperspective.com #glutenfree #pizza

Print this!

inspired by: A Couple Cooks Roasted Broccoli Cheddar Millet Bake

White Pizza Quinoa Casserole gluten-free // yields 5-6 servings

for the quinoa:

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

for the casserole base:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion thinly sliced, about 1/2 cup
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 3 cups ribboned lacinato kale, about 1/2 head
  • 6-8 handfuls baby spinach
  • 3/4 cup chopped artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/3 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes, not oil-packed
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup sliced kalamata olives, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1-2oz finely grated mozzarella, for topping

for the cheese mixture:

  • 3/4 cup full-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup 2% or whole milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 4oz [1+ cup] large grated mozzarella
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

for the quinoa: Place a medium-sized pot over medium heat with the oil. Once hot, add the quinoa and stir frequently for about 3-4 minutes. Slowly pour in the water and salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and cover with a tight fitting lid for 15-20 minutes, until water is absorbed. Do not stir while it cooks. Remove from the heat and let sit with the lid on for 10-15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

for the casserole: Heat your largest pan [12-inch works well] over medium-low heat with the oil. Once hot, add the onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir frequently and let cook down for about 10-12 minutes.

While the onions cook, stir together the ricotta and milk until smooth. Stir in the cheese and pepper.

Pre-heat your oven to 350*. Add the garlic to the onions and stir for another 2-3 minutes until the garlic is just starting to brown. Stir in the oregano and basil for another 30 seconds. Next, stir in the kale and spinach for about 2-3 minutes until just starting to wilt. Remove from the heat and stir in the artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, additional 1/4 teaspoon of salt and black pepper.

Measure 4 cups of the fluffed quinoa and fold it in to the pan of vegetables. Next, empty the ricotta mixture into the pan and fold in until the cheese is evenly incorporated. Taste and add more salt/pepper if needed.

to bake: Pour mixture into a 2-3qt [or ~9x13] casserole dish and evenly spread but don’t pack down. Cover with a lid or foil and bake in the center of your oven for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and set to broil. Sprinkle remaining 1-2oz of mozzarella on top and broil for 3-5 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Watch closely to avoid burning.

Remove and let sit for about 5 minutes then serve with a sprinkle of fresh herbs + red pepper flakes if desired. Let cool to room temperature before storing in a sealed container in the fridge for about 4-5 days.

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notes: I used less water in cooking the quinoa to give it a nice bite and to soak up some of the moisture from the vegetables + cheese while baking. I used 8 handfuls [not fistfuls] of baby spinach but feel free to use less spinach and more kale or vice versa. I highly prefer buying blocks of cheese and freshly grating before using.

variation ideas:

  • add another 1+ teaspoon of garlic for a more pungent garlic flavor
  • try incorporating other types of Italian cheeses for a more complex flavor
  • feel free to change up the “pizza topping” ingredients to your liking
  • if you want to up the protein, I suggest adding 3/4 cup cooked beluga lentils [the small black lentils that have a good bite to them]

White Pizza Quinoa Casserole | edibleperspective.com #glutenfree #pizza

A definite crowd pleaser or perfect to hoard all for yourself for and eat throughout the week.

Pizza in a bowl. My new favorite.

Ashley

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p.s. Apologies for the delay in announcing the winner from the Straight From the Earth cookbook giveaway a few weeks ago. The winner was Yoojin who commented: “my favorite plant-based recipe has to be simply roasted vegetables in coconut oil and a herbs de provence! i could eat it everyday, especially topped with hemp seeds and avocado chunks for increased protein :)” Thanks so much to all who entered!