Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Casserole

I generally consider casseroles to be sad, overcooked, under-spiced concoctions served lukewarm at church dinners with low expectations.

But lo! It is not so!  This recipe changed my mind and I can’t get enough of it. No… really, I try not to eat the whole pan in one sitting. After trying this at a friends’ home where two kiddos live, I modified it from the original recipe for a more adult palate. My significant other tops it with hot sauce for a bit more punch.

Ingredients

It’s not gonna win any beauty contests, but it is a fiiiine piece of comfort food eating.

10 oz can condensed cream of broccoli OR cream of mushroom soup
– 1/3 cup mayonnaise (I use canola mayonnaise to avoid trans fats)
– 2 TBS milk or milk-product
– 1 1/2 cups-ish reduced fat sharp cheddar shredded cheese
– 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
– 1 TB white sugar
– 1 tsp black pepper
– 4 TBS+ whole grain mustard (Don’t skip this)
– 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (Don’t overdo this)
– 1 tsp+ salt, to taste
– 32 oz bag of frozen broccoli, thawed in the microwave and coarsely chopped
– 1 1/2 cups  COOKED quinoa (see below)

Directions

1.  Cook quinoa: combine 3/4 cup quinoa, 1 1/2 cups water and 1/4 tsp salt. Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low and cover.  Cook for 18-20 minutes, or until fluffy and the white ring/tail is visible.  Fluff with a fork.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a shallow 9×13 casserole dish with vegetable cooking spray.

3. In a large bowl combine the soup, mayonnaise, milk, shredded cheese, sugar, pepper, mustard, 1/2 cup Parmesan and nutmeg until well mixed. Stir in the quinoa and chopped broccoli.

4. Spoon mixture into prepared dish.  Top with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until bubbly on the edges and golden. Let it cool for 10 minutes before serving — or dive in and scald your tongue.

Makes 6 adult-sized portions.

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