Vegan Quinoa "Macaroni and Cheese" Casserole With Spinach

quinoa on wooden spoon and in glass dish
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    65 min
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This quinoa casserole recipe is perfect for vegetarian and vegan kids (and adults!) who love a cheesy taste and need to get their protein. Filled with quinoa and spinach, this is a healthy twist on traditional comfort food and southern-style baked macaroni and cheese casserole.

If you need this recipe to be gluten-free, use cornstarch or a gluten-free flour in place of the regular flour, since all of the other ingredients are wheat- and gluten-free.

Like cooking with quinoa? I know I do! If you like quiona, you might want to branch out and try some other whole grains, too, such as kaniwamillet and teff! Whole grains such as these are versatile, and, if you buy them in bulk, they're a bargain! And of course, I love shopping in bulk! If you like quinoa already, here's some more healthy whole grains which you've got to try.

See also: More high-protein vegetarian meals

What You'll Need

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa
  • water for cooking quinoa
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/3 cup soy milk
  • 1/4 cup shredded vegan cheese or nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 bag of fresh spinach
  • 2/3 cup vegan Italian seasoned breadcrumbs (or regular breadcrumbs plus 2 tbsp mixed Italian seasoning)
  • 2 tbsp vegan margarine
  • 2 tbsp vegan Parmeasan cheese substitute or nutritional yeast
  • extra salt and pepper, to taste

How to Make It

  1. Bring about 4 cups of water to a rolling simmer and add quinoa. Cook, partially covered, for about 12 minutes, or until quinoa is cooked and fluffy.
  2. Meanwhile, lightly grease a 9x12 baking dish and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. In a separate small pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add flour, mixing to form a paste. Once a paste forms, add soymilk, salt, garlic powder and onion powder, stirring to combine. Mixture will begin to thicken. Add vegan cheese or nutritional yeast and spinach and combine well. Heat just until vegan cheese has melted and spinach is just beginning to wilt.
  4. Stir in quinoa, then spread evenly in prepared casserole dish.
  5. Combine the melted vegan margarine, breadcrumbs and 1 tbsp nutritional yeast or vegan Parmesan. Arrange this topping on top of the quinoa and season with a bit of extra salt and pepper, to taste, if you'd like.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn oven up to 450 degrees F and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until breadcrumbs are lightly crisped.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

See also: What is quinoa? Quinoa cooking tips

More healthy vegetarian quinoa recipes to try:

More easy vegetarian baked casserole recipes: