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Cheesy Sausage, Broccoli, and Quinoa Casserole

Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Claire Spollen 

Active time 30 mins
Total time 50 mins
Yield

Serves 12 (serving size: about 1 cup)

We traded white rice for whole-grain quinoa and kicked out any processed ingredients for a new take on this comfort classic. Freeze an extra pan of this whole-grain main for kid-friendly comfort. To add more flavor to quinoa, try toasting it. Here's how: After you've rinsed and drained the quinoa, heat a saucepan over medium-high heat and add the quinoa. Toast, stirring, until the grains begin to smell fragrant. Then, add the water and cook as normal. 

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 4 (4-oz.) links sweet chicken Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
  • 6 cups chopped fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 296
  • fat 13 g
  • satfat 5.3 g
  • monofat 4.7 g
  • polyfat 2.3 g
  • protein 17 g
  • carbohydrate 28 g
  • fiber 4 g
  • cholesterol 48 mg
  • iron 2 mg
  • sodium 399 mg
  • calcium 154 mg
  • sugars 4 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 0 g

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. Bring 2 1/2 cups water and quinoa to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 12 to 14 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove pan from heat; let stand 5 minutes.

  3. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, carrot, and sausage; cook 7 minutes, stirring to crumble sausage. Remove sausage mixture to a bowl with a slotted spoon.

  4. Add flour, butter, and garlic to drippings in pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add milk and stock; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Reduce heat to medium; stir in broccoli, 2 teaspoons thyme, 3/8 teaspoon salt, 3/8 teaspoon black pepper, and red pepper. Cover and cook 2 minutes. Stir in quinoa and sausage mixture.

  5. Coat 2 (8-inch) square microwave-safe glass or ceramic baking dishes with cooking spray. Divide quinoa mixture between dishes. Combine remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and panko in a bowl; add remaining 1 teaspoon thyme, remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, and cheddar. Sprinkle cheese mixture evenly over casseroles. Bake at 400°F for 18 minutes or until browned, or follow freezing instructions.

  6. How To: FREEZE: Cool unbaked casseroles completely; cover tightly with aluminum foil. Freeze up to 2 months. THAW: Remove foil. Microwave at HIGH 20 minutes or until thawed. REHEAT: Cover with foil and bake at 375°F for 25 minutes; then broil 5 minutes or until golden brown.