Sunday, July 1, 2012

Quinoa "Mac" & Cheese

By now, y'all know I can't go too long without posting some quinoa. I do love it so. Why? Here are some good reasons listed in my original quinoa post. With this recipe, I am especially smitten, because instead of having some carb-y macaroni, you have a nutty, protein-packed substitute. It makes you feel not so bad about all the cheese you are about to ingest (although it's really not too bad per serving). 

I was in the mood for a little spice, so I added some sauteed red pepper with jalapeno, although you could add whatever veg you please! Other great variations would be broccoli and onion or tomato and leek, to name a couple. Just make sure to cook the veg before you add it to the mix. After you prepare your cheesy-quinoa-veg mixture, top it off with a little more cheese and Panko bread crumbs. What you end up with is a warm, gooey, and slightly spicy center, with a topping that goes crrrrunch as you make your way through. It's really quite a satisfying experience.

Are you ready for some guilt-free comfort food??

Makes about 8 servings.

* 1 1/2 cups quinoa
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 large jalapeno, small diced (if you want less heat, remove the seeds and ribs)
* 1-2 red bell peppers (depending on the size and how much you want - I would lean toward 2)
* 2 eggs
* 1 cup milk 
* 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
* 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
* 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
* Optional: 2 large pinches cayenne (if you really want some heat)
* 1 cup Panko (Japanese style bread crumbs)
* Garnish Ideas: chives, green onions, sour cream, more jalapeno, crumbled bacon (always)

* Preheat oven to 350F.
* Cook quinoa according to package directions. 
* On medium heat, warm the olive oil in a saute pan, and saute your red pepper and jalapeno for about 3 minutes (until al dente- cooked, but still has some some crunch).
* In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and spices. 
* Gently fold the cooked quinoa, sauteed vegetables, and 1 cup cheddar cheese (reserving 1/2 cup) into your egg/milk mixture. 
* Pour your mixture into a buttered baking dish. 
* Top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and Panko. 
* Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes, or until golden brown. 

* Let cool for about 15 minutes before digging in...


Note: I've seen so many variations of this recipe, it's hard to say where I originally got the idea.


  1. This is such a great idea! I'm pinning this to make on a future date.

  2. This looks amazing. My family would love this! By the way, I've nominated you with the Liebster Blog Award. Check out my blog for details.

  3. ....and I've awarded you with the Addictive Blog Award too.

    1. Wow, thank you so much for your support! It is truly appreciated :)

  4. Estupenda receta soy fan de la quinoa me encanta,lindo plato,abrazos hugs,hugs.

  5. Thanks Leah, fantastic idea! Will pin and share :-)

  6. Really original Quinoa recipe, must try it.