Cheesy Quinoa and Sausage Broccoli Casserole
This broccoli casserole is made a bit healthier, with extra protein from the quinoa and chicken sausage... a complete, one pan meal, or versatile side dish!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins
Servings: 12 servings
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots
- 4 4 oz links chicken sausage (I used chicken and apple links) chopped
- 6 cups fresh broccoli florets, chopped
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
CREAMY CHEDDAR SAUCE:
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2/3 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
COOK THE QUINOA:
Bring water and quinoa to a boil in saucepan. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 12 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.
Remove from heat, let stand 5 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
To a large skillet, add 1 Tbsp olive oil and heat over MED heat. Add chopped onion, carrot and chicken sausage and saute 5-7 minutes, until vegetables are softened and sausage is lightly browned. Remove to a large mixing bowl, reserving the pan drippings in the skillet.
While onions, carrots and sausage are sauteing, add broccoli florets to a large microwaveable bowl with a splash of water. Cover bowl with a plate and microwave on high for 4-5 minutes, to steam. Drain broccoli and add to the large mixing bowl.
Add butter and garlic to pan drippings, melt. Add flour and whisk until mixture is combined and no flour lumps remain.
Add milk and chicken stock, whisking to remove any lumps from the flour/butter mixture. Bring to a high simmer and cook, whisking often for 2-4 minutes. Mixture will thicken quite a bit.
Add thyme, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, stirring to combine. Add in 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, whisking to melt cheese into sauce.
Add cooked quinoa to large mixing bowl with other cooked ingredients. Pour in cheese sauce and stir to combine well.
Spray a 3 qt. casserole dish (13x9") with non-stick cooking spray and transfer 1/2 the mixture to dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, the top with remaining half of mixture.
Toss panko breadcrumbs with remaining 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, and sprinkle over top of casserole. Top with 2/3 cup cheddar cheese and 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, until lightly browned and bubbly.
- Recipe adapted from Cooking Light magazine.
- Cool UNbaked casserole completely, then cover tightly with foil.
- Freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- Bake, covered, at 375 degrees F, for 25 minutes.
- Broil for 5 minutes, until cheese is browned and bubbly.