Quinoa, Cheddar and Zucchini Bake

By Ann Fulton

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Delicious recipes that allow for seasonal adjustments rank high in my book.  Originally, I developed this baked quinoa dish because I wanted to use this healthy grain in a new way–and my 10-year-old isn’t fond of the texture when presented as a salad or pilaf, let alone all by itself.

So, I incorporated eggs, cheese, veggies, and a few other odds and ends.  Guess what?  It was a hit!  I truly love this dish, too.  If I am lucky enough to have leftovers, this dish makes a perfect lunch or second dinner.  Occasionally, I top my piece with chopped avocado and tomatoes to make a delicious, satisfying meal.

As for  the seasonal component, broccoli, kale, and spinach are excellent options to the zucchini.  I haven’t included sautéed mushrooms yet, but that–mixed with kale–is next on my list.  (If you try it first–maybe with some Asiago cheese–please provide feedback!)  Feel free to change up the herbs and cheese as well, and consider trying the rinse-and-sauté method of cooking the quinoa.  It adds to the nutty flavor and takes practically no extra time!

Quinoa, Cheddar and Zucchini Bake
For a great vegetarian meal, simply omit the ham.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (about 3/4 cup uncooked, see note)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (see note)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1/2 cup finely diced ham
  • 1/3 cup chopped herbs (i.e., basil, thyme, chives, oregano, or a mix of several)
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Lightly beat the eggs with the milk in a large bowl. Add all remaining ingredients except the Parmesan or Asiago and spread in a greased, 9×9 baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes or until just set and the top is slightly golden.
Notes
  • To achieve a slightly nutty flavor, I recommend rinsing the quinoa and then sautéing over medium-high heat in about a tablespoon of olive oil until dry and slightly toasted. Stir frequently so as not to burn as quinoa dries. Then, add the liquid and simmer, uncovered, over low until cooked through, about 12-15 minutes. To get the correct amount for this recipe, use 3/4 cup of quinoa and, after sautéing, add 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water. You could also cook the quinoa in chicken or vegetable stock for added flavor.
  • I grate the zucchini on the coarse side of a box or hand grater then squeeze excess moisture out with a paper or hand towel.
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Comments

  1. Jennifer

    this looks delicious! too bad not vegan tho (egg-free), as my son is allergic! have you or anyone else tried this without egg or with something to replace the egg?

    Reply
  2. Karen McKenzie

    made this for dinner tonight, my first time cooking quinoa, was amazing, my BF even gave it a 10 ot of 10, definite addition

    Reply
  3. Jamie Duncan

    I doubled this batch, and OMMITTED the HAM, and got 8 servings. It was delicious.

    As calculated on MyFitnessPal, Per serving 182 calories, Carbs 8, Fat 10 g, 10 grams protein

    Reply
    1. Ann

      I am thrilled you were inspired by the original recipe and adore your adaptations! I just shared a link on my Facebook page along with your mouth-watering photo!

      Reply
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  5. Kim

    Just had this for dinner tonight and it was awesome. Omitted the ham to keep it vegetarian. This will be a frequent dish in the summer as we try to use up all the zucchini in the garden.

    Reply
  6. Sandi

    I just saw your recipe and I have all of the ingredients. Guess what we are having for dinner? Sounds so yummy!

    Reply
    1. Ann

      One of the things I love about this recipe is that it’s so easy to adapt. It will be great without the ham, too! Cooking the quinoa in vegetable or chicken stock will add extra flavor as well.

      Reply
    1. Ann

      What a wonderful surprise! Thank YOU for choosing my recipe. I feel honored to have it chosen amidst so many delicious dishes!

      Reply
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    1. Ann

      This recipe is one of my favorites for many reasons–but especially because it is the one way my kids actually enjoy quinoa–so that truly makes me happy. Thank you so very much, Amee!

      Reply
    1. Ann

      I have eaten the leftovers cold because I wasn’t patient enough to let them reach room temperature! This dish is good cold; I like to top with chopped tomato and avocado for a salad-like spin also. Room temp would probably be better yet. Leftovers are also delicious reheated gently in the microwave.

      Reply
  8. Anita

    Do you have any nutritional info….mainly calories per serving? I have printed the recipe and can’t wait to try it…..beautiful!

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Hi Anita,
      As of yet, I have not done nutritional information. I have heard there are programs into which you can type ingredients to get the specifics but have not researched them yet. I will say there are lots of nutritious ingredients in this baked quinoa, and it’s tasty and really satisfies me: ) Let me know if you try and thanks for the comment!

      Reply
      1. Anita

        Made it tonight and it was stellar! I will be making this again and again. According to Caloriecount.about.com one serving is 344 calories…I used an 9×9″ square dish totaling 6 servings. Thanks again for such a wonderful recipe!

        Reply
        1. Ann

          I am thrilled you enjoyed it, Anita, and appreciate your passing along the calorie count. Very good to know! To me, that sounds like a very satisfying serving with a very reasonable calorie intake!

          Reply
    1. Ann

      Thanks, Jackie! I thought the texture would be really good. It was an experiment that has been a hit here!

      Reply
  9. Nadine Osborne

    This looks so good. I just got more quinoa today, I have fresh zucchini, and a potluck dinner after church this week. I know what I’ll be taking….thank you.

    Reply