Roasted Broccoli and Cheddar with Crispy Quinoa

This Roasted Broccoli and Cheddar with Crispy Quinoa recipe is a vegetarian twist a classic with homemade cheese sauce and protein rich crispy quinoa.

Roasted Broccoli and Cheddar with Crispy Quinoa

I have such a love / hate relationship with spring. On one hand, it brings more light in the morning and evening, beautiful budding flowers, warmer weather, and delicious rhubarb. On the other, it brings my annual allergies that clog my senses from being able to fully smell and taste all the delicate things spring has to offer.

With spring on the horizon, it won’t be long before everything is rhubarb this and asparagus that so I’m embracing the last few weeks of being able to savor comfort food. This Roasted Broccoli and Cheddar with Crispy Quinoa recipe fancies up the traditional broccoli and cheddar side by swapping out the Velveeta (thank goodness) with a quick homemade cheese sauce and adding a crunchy quinoa top that bring both an extra texture to the dish and a boost of protein. I’ve been enjoying this for lunch lately but it would work great for a light dinner for two or as a side dish.

Day old quinoa works best here because it’s already dried out a bit but it’s not too much of a big deal if you need to make same day. Also, I originally was making this with a sprinkle of roasted red pepper chunks at the end for color but have sense got lazy a few times and the dish still comes out delicious so I made that addition optional in the recipe (didn’t want to omit it completely because it’s in some of the photos).

Roasted Broccoli and Cheddar with Crispy QuinoaRoasted Broccoli and Cheddar with Crispy QuinoaRoasted Broccoli and Cheddar with Crispy Quinoa

 

5 from 1 vote
Roasted Broccoli & Cheddar with Crispy Quinoa

This Roasted Broccoli and Cheddar with Crispy Quinoa recipe is a vegetarian twist a classic with homemade cheese sauce and protein rich crispy quinoa.

Course: Entree
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Servings: 2 servings
Ingredients
For the broccoli
  • 1 bunch of broccoli cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt / Pepper
For the crispy quinoa
  • 1 cup quinoa rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt / pepper
  • roasted red pepper for garnish (optional)
For the cheddar cheese sauce
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp All-Purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese
  • salt / pepper
Instructions
For the broccoli:
  1. Preheat oven 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add broccoli to prepared sheet and toss with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.

  2. Roast for 20 - 25 minutes, tossing often, until browned and tender. Remove from oven and transfer to a serving dish.

For the crispy quinoa:
  1. While the broccoli roasts, bring 2 cups of salted water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once boiling, add quinoa and reduce to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered for an additional 10 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.

  2. Once the quinoa has sat, warm 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Fluff quinoa with a fork and then add to the frying pan. Toast the quinoa by tossing it often and letting the heat dry it out for about 15 minutes or until it has turned golden and crunchy. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the cheese sauce:
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat (you can re-use the one you made the quinoa in if you rinse it out), whisk together 2 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp flour until a thick dough has formed. Slowly add the milk, whisking the entire time, fully incorporating it into the flour mixture. Let the mixture cook for about 5 minutes or until thickened, whisking often. Remove from heat and whisk in the cheese and a dash of salt and pepper. Taste and add more salt, if needed.

To serve:
  1. Pour the cheese sauce over the broccoli and top with crispy quinoa. Sprinkle with roasted red pepper pieces, if using. Serve right away.

Love broccoli? Here are some other Vegetarian ‘Ventures recipes featuring it:

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