Cheesy Quinoa Bake: Swap Your Homestyle Mac&Cheese for THIS.

HI!  Happy Hump Day!  Following along with the #beautyofitall share time on Instagram hosted by The Paisley Kitchen?  NO?!  Go to my Instagram account at the bottom of the page to be inspired by the beauty around us to get through this rough and frigid winter!

When I was little, a true comfort to me was mac and cheese.  MMMMMMMMMM…warm and cheesy.  When I got older, mac and cheese became a comfort AND an affordable purchase in college and beyond.  If you’ve ever looked at the labels on packaged mac and cheese mixes you may be shocked at the contents and sodium levels.  It may be a comfort food but it is not doing much for you nutritionally and it FOR SURE isn’t helping out your waistline.

Swap your mac and cheese for a healthy spin on this comfort food.  Try this super easy Cheesy Quinoa Bake to get the same satisfaction AND some nutritional value!

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What You Will Need:

  • 2 cups COOKED quinoa
  • 1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large bunch of fresh basil, cut into strips
  • 1/3 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of your fave tomato sauce (I used organic tomato basil)
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 cup of mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/2 cup of asiago cheese, shredded (parm can be subbed)
  • salt, pepper, dried basil, thyme, and dill ALL TO TASTE
  • (optional) shredded spinach would be a GREAT addition and I plan on adding it to mine next time.

What You Need To Do:

  1. Be sure to cook your quinoa!
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  3. “Grease up” a baking dish (8X8 or 9X5 which I think I used?).
  4. In a large sauce pan, heat the oil, sauce, and tomato paste.  Stir for about 2 minutes and add in your heavy whipping cream.  Continue to stir together for another 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add the quinoa, half of the tomatoes, half of the mozzarella cheese, basil shreds, and seasonings to the large pan.  Turn the mixture over a few times to evenly distribute all ingredients.
  6. Scoop the mix into your baking dish and flattened it out.  Top it with the remaining cheeses (1 cup altogether) and place the other half of tomatoes on top as well!
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Take it out and place it in your broiler for an additional 2 minutes to make the cheese topping crunchy!
  8. Garnish with some basil leaves.

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This is delicious and cheesy!  If you try it out with spinach, please be sure to leave a comment to let me know how it is 😉

Much love and have a great rest of your week!

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2 responses to “Cheesy Quinoa Bake: Swap Your Homestyle Mac&Cheese for THIS.

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