Okay, so it’s not the shortest name, but just call it delicious and comforting, because that’s what it is! I am a huge fan of creamy, comforting broccoli rice casserole, and have tried many versions of the lighter and healthier broccoli quinoa casserole but always felt like it was missing something. This version is a marriage of both versions. The added quinoa gives the dish a protein boost, which is a plus when I’m feeding my picky vegetarian toddler, but the rice, cheese, and slurry offer the creaminess that I have come to expect from this dish.
This one-pot meal is quick and easy to make, stores well, and can be made ahead (either completely, or in stages). Like many casseroles, it is also a great way to use up odds and ends and leftovers (whether proteins or vegetables) that you may have in the fridge. I also find it highly addictive and comforting…a wonderful combination that usually has me eating it from the stovetop before I even have a chance to plate it! This is a comfort meal that isn’t relegated to the colder seasons, either. It doesn’t feel like a terribly heavy meal to eat, so can be enjoyed year round.
As a side or on its own, this casserole doesn’t disappoint!
Broccoli Quinoa Rice Casserole
1 cup rice, uncooked
1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked (I use tricolour, but any quinoa will do)
1 1/2 tbsp cooking oil (avocado, vegetable, etc.)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium head of broccoli, stalk and florets separated and chopped (about 1/2 cup of chopped stalk, and about 1 1/4 chopped florets)
1 1/4 cup white button mushrooms, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp vegetable boullion
1 tsp salt, or to taste
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp garden vegetable cream cheese
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup 2% milk
1 cup water
1/3 cup grated cheese
- Cook rice and quinoa together, either in a rice cooker or on stovetop. (Both will cook at the same rate, so there is no need to cook separately.)
- While the rice and quinoa is cooking, in an oven safe pan, sauté the onions, chopped broccoli stalk, and chopped mushrooms over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
- Add the garlic and allow to cook for another 3-4 minutes. Meanwhile, blend together the cream cheese, flour, and milk.
- At this point, preheat oven to 350.
- Add all your spices to your pan and mix well to combine. Add the slurry to the mixture.
- Slowly add in 1 cup of water. Allow to cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Add the broccoli florets and allow to cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Add the cooked rice and quinoa and half of the shredded cheese, making sure everything is nicely coated with the base.
- Sprinkle the rest of the shredded cheese on top of the casserole and transfer the pan to the oven for 10 minutes to allow cheese to melt and casserole to set.