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Course: Mains
Keyword: Casserole, Gluten-Free, Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole, Vegetarian

Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole

Quinoa and broccoli casserole on Alton Brown's vintage china.
ACTIVE TIME: 55 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 40 minutes
Yield: 8
Cheesy mushroom and broccoli quinoa casserole. My single favorite way to ingest this protein-packed (and gluten-free, if you care about that kind of thing) ancient grain.
Yes, the casserole has some fat, but I figure it's all balanced by the great nutrition from the quinoa. You could, in fact, live on this stuff and nothing else.
A note about quinoa: quinoa seeds are coated with substances called saponins that act as a natural pesticide. Most of the saponin, which is quite foamy and soapy, is cleaned off during processing, but trace amounts typically remain, so always rinse your measured amount of quinoa in cool water; a hand sieve is perfect for the job.
This recipe first appeared in Season 1 of Good Eats: The Return.
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  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, divided
  • 12 ounces broccoli florets, chopped
  • 8 ounces button or cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 3 cups half-and-half
  • 1 large egg
  • 16 ounces sharp Cheddar, grated
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
Quinoa and broccoli casserole on Alton Brown's vintage china.
ACTIVE TIME: 55 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 40 minutes
Yield: 8

Procedure

  • Place the quinoa in fine sieve or strainer and rinse thoroughly under cool running water and allow to drain.
  • Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350ºF.
  • Bring the quinoa, chicken stock, and 2 teaspoons of the salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, stir, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. When 5 minutes remain, add the broccoli right on top of the quinoa and replace the lid.
  • Heat a large, straight-sided saute pan over high heat and add the mushrooms and 1/3 cup of water. Cook until the mushrooms collapse, 2 to 3 minutes, then add 2 tablespoons of the butter and cook until browned. Remove to a large bowl.
  • Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan along with the onions and the remaining teaspoon of salt. Reduce the heat to low and sweat the onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Then stir in the mustard, smoked paprika, black pepper, cayenne, and white pepper, and cook for 1 minute more. Add the half-and-half to the pan and heat until warm.
  • Whisk the egg in a medium bowl and temper with 1 cup of the hot liquid, continuing to whisk to prevent curdling. Then whisk the egg mixture back into the saute pan and add the cheese, stirring until melted.
  • Add the quinoa, broccoli, mayonnaise, and the melted cheese mixture to the bowl with the mushrooms and stir to combine.
  • Pour the quinoa mixture into an ungreased 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. Bake until set and just beginning to brown, about 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 205ºF to 210ºF. Cool 10 minutes before serving.
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