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.
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
1/2 cup whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
Est. added sugars 0g
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°F.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.