Broccoli Cheddar Casserole with Quinoa (or Tart!)
Moderately easy vegetarian comfort dish of broccoli, quinoa and cheddar - perfect for chilly night. This high protein dish can be main or side, and served as a casserole or in a pie dish with a shell.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
- 4 cups chopped broccoli, stalk and florets cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup cooked quinoa, freshly made or store-bought frozen
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups low fat shredded cheddar
- 1 cup plain low fat Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 10-inch tart shell optional
Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
Steam the broccoli in a medium pot until it just begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Stir the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl until it looks like a smooth batter. Stir in the broccoli and quinoa. Pour it into a 9-inch X 13-inch casserole dish, if you prefer, a tart shell set into a 10-inch pie plate.
Bake on the middle rack for 30 minutes, or until set in the middle.
Prep Tips - Get It Done Quickly!
The 2 biggest reasons to take time to cut broccoli into neat, even-sized pieces is for appearance or even cooking. Because the broccoli is going into a casserole, this isn't so important. I purchase broccoli with the stalks.
To make quick work of prepping broccoli for this recipe, start with the stalk. Using a sharp chef's knife, slice off the bottom of the stalk, including parts that are split and browned. Slice the remaining stalk into 1/2" thick disks. Next slice the head of broccoli into quarters. Chop each quarter into bite sized pieces.
Obviously, an even faster way is to purchase a bag of frozen pre-cut broccoli. Follow the directions on the bag to cook.
Quinoa expands 2 - 3 times its volume when cooked.
I often have either a jar of quinoa I've already cooked up or have a package of frozen quinoa in the freezer. This allows me to add quinoa to salads, soups, and casseroles very easily for some additional protein.
If you make your own, here's a post on the best way to cook up a pot of quinoa.
To save time, you can purchase cheese pre-grated, but I think it’s well worth the extra 3 – 4 minutes to grate your own. Pre-grated cheese typically is coated with cellulose to keep it from sticking together, which dulls the flavor.
To grate it, use the largest holes on a flat or box grater.
Broccoli Cheddar Casserole Cooking Tips
- If you prefer cooked brown rice in place of quinoa, you'll lose some protein, but have at it.
- If you like a crunchy top, throw on some breadcrumbs sautéed in butter and lemon zest.
- If you want a little extra protein, add 2 tablespoons hemp seed hearts for 3 additional grams of protein.
- The type of yogurt used will affect the consistency of the dish. I used Chobani Plain Low-Fat Greek Yogurt. When I tried it as a tart, as pictured, I was able to cut the resulting pie into wedges, reminiscent of a quiche. If you prefer a gooey casserole, use regular yogurt instead, and serve in an 8-inch x 8-inch casserole dish with a big spoon.
- For a low-carb approach to this dish, prepare it without the crust.
Tips for the Omnivores at the Table
Add 1 cup chopped roasted chicken pieces to the casserole and bake. The baking time shouldn't be affected.
Nutrition profile and calories were calculated using the VeryWell Fit calculator, and do not include the pie shell, since it can also be served as a casserole.
Calories: 241kcal | Carbohydrates: 25.2g | Protein: 20.3g | Fat: 6.8g | Saturated Fat: 2.8g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 686mg | Potassium: 457mg | Fiber: 3.8g | Sugar: 2.7g | Calcium: 245mg | Iron: 2mg