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Veggie Quinoa Mac and Cheese on plate
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5 from 2 votes

Quinoa Mac and Cheese

Looking for a healthier but equally delicious version of Mac and Cheese? Then Quinoa Mac and Cheese loaded with veggies is it! A perfect vegetarian weeknight meal.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings (change as needed): 2 -3 mains (or 4-6 sides)
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

Quinoa

  • 1/2 cup dry Quinoa
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Veggies and Cheese Sauce

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped in small pieces
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, chopped in small pieces
  • 1/2 cup grated or matchstick carrots
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt (or per taste)
  • 1 cup grated cheese (cheddar, gruyere or combo)

Panko Breadcrumb Topping

  • 1 tsp butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • pinch of garlic powder, salt, pepper, Parmesan as per taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • MAKE QUINOA: Rinse quinoa in a strainer. Drain and add to a small saucepan. Add water and salt. Bring to boil. Lower heat to a low simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  • SAUTE VEGGIES: Heat oil in a medium saucepan on medium high. Add onions, carrots and peppers. Saute for 3-4 minutes until tender. Add spinach and stir for a minute until wilted. Scoop veggies into a bowl and set aside.
  • MAKE CHEESE SAUCE AND CASSEROLE: In the same saucepan, melt butter on medium heat. Add flour and stir for two minutes. Add milk, Dijon (if using) and salt. Continue stirring until slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Add cheese, cooked quinoa and sauteed veggies. Stir to combine. Spoon into a small oven-proof casserole dish that has been sprayed with oil (or lined with parchment paper) for easier clean up.
  • ADD PANKO TOPPING AND BAKE: Combine Panko crumbs, melted butter and a pinch of seasonings of your choice. Sprinkle evenly over the casserole. (Note 1 to make ahead.) Bake for 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead: Complete the recipe except for baking. Cool, cover and refrigerate up to 2 days. Bake for 20-25 minutes. 
 
Nutrition values are estimates based on a generous portion of 1/2 the full recipe per person.
Calories: 641kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 1183mg | Potassium: 966mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 11647IU | Vitamin C: 65mg | Calcium: 648mg | Iron: 4mg