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Cheesy Quinoa and Vegetables

“Mommy, pasta has lots of protein.” Sigh. I’ve started trying to teach my 3 year old about nutrition as we are sitting around our table. I tell him things like, “You need to eat “X” because it has lots of protein that will keep you full,” or, “Those fruits/vegetables have lots of vitamins and minerals that will make you strong like daddy.” The problem is that he likes to apply these great qualities to his favorite foods in order to justify eating more of them. That’s preschool logic for you, right there.

Let’s face it, your kids (and probably you too) can eat bowl after bowl of pasta and still ask for more. But this meal takes some of those mac and cheese like flavors and applies them to quinoa (full of protein by the way!) and adds in some veggies for extra nourishment. If your family doesn’t care for broccoli and carrots, but loves other vegetables, feel free to substitute your favorites. You can even add meat to this dish if you desire. Anyway you mix it, it is a crowd pleasing lunch or side dish at dinner.

Cheesy Quinoa and Vegetables


Kim @, adapted from Around the Table


  • 1 Tablespoon butter (#1)
  • 0.67 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 cup finely chopped broccoli
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 cups dry quinoa
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoons butter (#2)
  • 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 0.25 cups whole milk (or to desired texture)
  • salt and pepper to taste


In a medium pot melt butter #1 over medium heat. Add carrot, broccoli, and garlic, and sautee for 2-3 minutes. Add quinoa and chicken broth, increase heat, and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and reduce heat to medium low. Cook 10-15 until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed. Stir in butter #2, cheddar cheese, and milk to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Freezing Directions:

Prepare as directed above. Allow quiona to cool. Divide among indicated number of freezer bags, label, and lay flat to freeze. TO SERVE: Thaw and reheat over stove top or in microwave.

Servings: 8


**conversion chart image provided by Erik Spiekermann

13 Responses to “Cheesy Quinoa and Vegetables”

  1. nuts4knits says:

    I just happened to be wondering what to make for supper when this popped in my inbox. Though I’m at the end of my groceries (and my freezer is depleted), I just also just happened to have all these ingredients on hand, so I had to go for it.

    This is delicious! Even my picky eater liked it. Great side dish. Easy and plentiful. Leftovers are going in the freezer — and this recipe is a keeper.

  2. Bonnie says:

    One member of my household is unable to eat broccoli. Do you think this would work with cauliflower instead?

  3. Kristin says:

    Would I be able to substitute vegetable broth?

  4. Jaclyn Stevens says:

    Made it tonight and my kids actually ate some. :) That doesn’t sound impressive, but they’ve NEVER eaten quinoa before (more than a fork-full) and I’ve been trying for months and months and months! Thanks for the recipe. It isn’t mac & cheese, but it is yummy enough to qualify as comfort food and no crazy ingredients.

  5. Amanda Taylor says:

    Made this a few days ago with servings for 8. At first I wasn’t fond of the texture, it was almost soupy(I had only added half the milk). I thickened it with cornstarch we had lunch and I froze the rest. Tonight, I pulled out a serving and just finished heating on the stove. The texture is awesome, still cheesy, but dry almost like risotto. Perfect! I am not sure if it was the cornstarch or the freezer…

  6. Jackie says:

    I just made this. Soooooooo good! Going in my recipe box!

  7. Erin says:

    Hmm…not quite sure where I went askew, but there was a lot of liquid left after 15 minutes of simmering. So, I didn’t add any milk. It still tasted good though:)

  8. Robyn says:

    This recipe was a hit with my 3 kids and quinoa-wary husband. I added shredded chicken breast on top and they all gobbled it up.

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