So, I kinda love casseroles. And not too long ago I realized I love baking quinoa. Sure, it’s cooked in a pot before hand. And you could probably make this whole thing in the pot and serve it right away, without baking. But quinoa does something kind of awesome when you bake it. The edges get crispy, the top gets golden and crunchy. And it just turns out plain delicious
So, I guess technically this would be a side dish. But I’m not going to lie, I just ate one of these for lunch the day I made them. Maybe next time I’d chop up some veggies that we usually get on pizza, peppers, more onions or maybe even some spinach and mix it in to make it a little more veggie-full. Other than that, I totally recommend this as a meal. Even though I’ve been craving cheese like crazy this pregnancy I actually really liked the one with nutritional yeast. So if you’re dairy free or vegan, you are not missing out! Especially since that one got crispier on top from baking, which I love
Although the cheesy one did photograph nicer I had a seriously hard time narrowing down the pictures.
- 1 C uncooked quinoa cooked in 2 C water or about 3½ C cooked quinoa
- 1 6oz can tomato paste
- 3-4 large cloves garlic, finely minced, grated or pressed
- ½ small onion, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp oregano
- ½ tsp fennel seed
- 1 tsp marjoram
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- ¼ tsp sugar
- ¾ – 1 tsp sea salt
- dash black pepper
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast(optional)
- ½ C mozzarella cheese, to top(optional)
- Rinse quinoa well and combine with water in a small pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, cover and turn down to low and simmer for 15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed, the quinoa is tender and completely cooked. Remove from the heat and leave covered in the pot for 5 minutes while assembling other ingredients.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 4 – 1 cup ramekins, 2 – 2 cup dishes or a larger casserole dish, depending on how you want to bake and serve this.
- In a small bowl, combine the tomato paste with the garlic and onion, water and olive oil. Mix well. Add all the seasonings including the nutritional yeast if using. Mix well again before adding the quinoa. Once the mixture is completely mixed, taste for seasonings and add more salt as needed. Then divide evenly among the dishes for baking, sprinkle with cheese if desired and place in the oven. I baked mine in two larger dishes, but this could easily be done in smaller ramekins for individual servings, or in one larger dish.
- Bake 30-35 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly or until the quinoa on top is golden and crispy. If desired, sprinkle with more nutritional yeast and fresh basil or parsley and serve.