The combination of ingredients in this vegetarian quinoa casserole create a dish full of flavor that’s also packed with lots of nutrition. Make this easy broccoli quinoa bake for a quick weeknight meal or lunch on the go. It’s perfect for meal prep too!
A casserole is simply a baked dish. Ingredients are combined and then baked in the oven to cook. The idea of cooking ingredients together in a pot has been around for ages in most of the world, but the casserole as a one pot meal really came about in the United States in the 1950’s.
The main components of a casserole generally include…
- Some type of protein, most commonly meat. Vegetarian casseroles will include beans, quinoa and other vegetarian protein sources.
- Starchy ingredient such as potatoes, pasta, rice, quinoa and other grains
- Sauce or seasoning to add flavor
- Cheesy or crunchy topping for the top of the casserole dish
Why incorporate casseroles into meal prep?
I grew up on casseroles and yes they feel a bit dated and 1970’s-ish. In my mind, the first thing I think of when a casserole is first mentioned, is canned soup, canned veggies, lots of butter and all that stuff. However, there are actually so many reasons why casseroles, like this vegetarian quinoa casserole should be a part of your vegetarian meal prep routine.
- Making casseroles is an inexpensive way to create meals with lots of flavor without spending tons of money.
- Casseroles can easily be made ahead.
- Casseroles work great to freeze until you are ready to use.
- Preparing casseroles even works well if you are only cooking for 1 or 2 people. What I do when I am preparing casseroles is use smaller dishes to cook my casseroles. That way I can place the extra in the freezer until I’m ready to use. The other option is to simply portion it after cooking into containers and freeze to reheat later on.
- Reheating casseroles is super easy and sometimes they taste even better on the second or third day as the flavors have sat together.
Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Bake
- 1 T olive oil
- ½ small red onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup quinoa tri-colored or red
- ½ cup brown rice
- 1½ cup broccoli chopped
- 1 cup cauliflower chopped
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup gouda cheese shredded
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
Cook quinoa and brown rice
- Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. When hot, add onion and cook about five minutes or until translucent stirring frequently to keep onions from burning. Add garlic and cook for one minute longer then add rice stirring to combine with cooked veggies and oil.
- Add 1 cup of water, cover with lid, bring to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, add quinoa and an additional 1 cup of water and stir to combine. Replace lid and cook another 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. It’s ok if quinoa and rice are not completely cooked as they will cook more in the oven.
- Fill a pot with about 1 inch of water and heat to a boil. Add cauliflower and broccoli and cook for five minutes, remove from heat, drain and submerge in ice cold water.
- Place egg and milk in a small bowl and mix well with a whisk.
- Combine quinoa and rice with the veggies. Then add the egg and milk mixture and stir until well-combined. Add half the cheese to the quinoa and stir well.
- Transfer to an 8 x 8 casserole dish or similar size. Top with remaining ½ cup of cheese and bake in a 350 degree F oven and cook for 30 minutes.
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Here are some of my favorite ingredients and tools to use when I cook this dish.
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