This quinoa mac and cheese has all the beloved ooey gooey of the classic comfort food updated for the health-conscious, modern-day cook.
For more sides like this quinoa mac and cheese visit my Healthy Side Dishes page.
Can we just have a moment for that alliteration up there ^^? All those lovely hard “c”s! Shakespeare would be proud. Hmmmm. Stay tuned and you’ll see what Shakespeare could possibly have in common with quinoa mac and cheese.
Today we’re whipping up quinoa mac and cheese, a cheesy casserole that hits the classic mac and cheese comfort food zone without sending our cholesterol, blood sugar, and calorie intake through the roof. Sound good?
What if I also told you it’s a great way to use my brown butter crouton recipe?
Aaaaand, it’s vegetarian.
Quinoa is a nutritional rock star. I was particularly psyched to learn that quinoa is loaded with zinc. I’m trying to take care of my thyroid so it doesn’t konk out on me and zinc is a big part of that effort.
In spite of all that good news, this quinoa mac and cheese is solid comfort food, folks.
But the bite isn’t actually from the cheese.
*grins expectantly and more than a little geekily*
Heatlhy Quinoa Mac and Cheese Recipe
Still here? Yay!!
Marmite is a divisive character, indeed. I’m in the “love” camp. My husband? Not so much. In the midst of really enjoying this one night, he innocently asked what was in it.
I was afraid to just come right out and say it. My reply went more like this:
“Well, milk. *pause* Cottage cheese. *pause* Real cheese, of course. *nervous laughter trailing off into a biiiiiig paussssse* And marmite!”
I said it really brightly. Like you could hear the exclamation point I put after it. Like it was a musical. Like Oliver! Marmite! I may have even used my jazz hands.
It didn’t work.
He gave me the side eye, put down his fork and hasn’t eaten it since.
OR, to bring it back to Shakespeare, (who I’m certain loved marmite) caviar to the general!
All I am saying/is give marmite a chance.
I bet John Lennon loved it, too.
Even if you know deep down in your soul that you hate it, I encourage you to try it in this quinoa mac and cheese. To me, it makes perfect sense. Instead of a hard sharp cheddar, you can use a mild cheese that melts really nicely like a gouda or fontina and you don’t have to add any salt. The marmite takes care of that in one fell swoop.
The only bummer about the marmite is it’s the only thing keeping this from being truly gluten free, assuming you used gluten free bread to make the croutons. If you follow a gluten free diet and leave the marmite out, I would recommend using a sharper cheese and a little salt.
So, where do you stand on marmite? If you disagree with me we can still be friends. But, inside, I will always feel superior 😉
Get the Crouton Recipe Here
If you’re looking for more ways to use quinoa, check out my quinoa page.
- 1 cup quinoa cooked according to package instructions
- 1 cup milk I've only ever used whole for its creaminess
- 1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 Tablespoons tapioca starch
- 5 oz mild cheese fontina or gouda, grated
- 1/2 tablespoon marmite
- 1/2 cup crushed brown butter croutons or panko bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly oil a baking or casserole dish (I use a 9x9 square ceramic dish.)
Combine milk and cottage cheese in a food processor until smooth and foamy.
In a large pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add tapioca starch and whisk until combined and roux starts to darken a little.
Add milk and cottage cheese mixture. Whisk to combine.
Add grated cheese little by little until completely melted.
Remove from heat and add quinoa. Mix well.
Pour into baking dish.
Sprinkle top with crushed brown butter croutons (or bread crumbs.)
Bake for 15 minutes.
This recipe was inspired by the White Pizza Quinoa Bake at With Salt and Wit.