Quinoa, Cheddar and Zucchini Bake
Yield: 6 servings
This all-in-one offers a family friendly way to enjoy quinoa and comes together in a snap. Use pre-cooked quinoa for added speed. The small amount of ham offers a lovely hint of flavor, although you could substitute several strips of cooked and crumbled bacon, cooked sausage, or simply omit for a vegetarian meal.


  • 2 cups (290g/10.2 oz) cooked quinoa (from ¾ cup uncooked, see notes)
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ cup (60ml/2oz) milk
  • 1 cup (4½-5oz) shredded zucchini, squeezed of excess moisture (see notes)
  • 1 cup (4oz) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup (55g/2oz) finely diced ham (your favorite deli ham works well; see headnote for options)
  • ⅓ cup mix of mild chopped herbs (like basil, chives, parsley, and dill; omit or add ½ dried Italian seasoning if you don’t have any on hand)
  • ¼ cup minced yellow onion
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 375℉ and lightly grease a 9×9-inch baking dish.
  2. Lightly beat the eggs with the milk in a large bowl. Add all remaining ingredients except the Parmesan or Asiago and spread into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until just set and the top is lightly golden. If desired, stop cooking a minute or two early and broil, watching carefully, to further brown the top.


Quinoa Tips: Always rinse and drain well before cooking; this will eliminate any trace of bitter flavor. Red, white, or tri-color quinoa may be used. Leftover or previously cooked quinoa works very well in this recipe. This How to Cook Perfect Quinoa post offers specific details and troubleshooting.

Flavor upgrade for the quinoa: To achieve a slightly nutty flavor, you can sauté the rinsed and drained quinoa 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, start with ¾ cup (141g) of dry quinoa and, after sautéing, add 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (10oz) water. You could also cook the quinoa in chicken or vegetable stock for added flavor.

The zucchini: I grate the zucchini on the coarse side of a box or hand grater then squeeze out the excess moisture with a paper towel or clean tea towel.

• Broccoli is an excellent alternative to the zucchini. Frozen and thawed broccoli that has been similarly squeezed of its moisture works well, as does chopped leftover roasted broccoli. When roasted, enough moisture has been cooked out that squeezing is not necessary.
• You could also try spinach, treating frozen the same way as the zucchini or frozen broccoli. Fresh spinach should be steamed or sautéed to wilt, and then the excess moisture should be removed.
Mixing up the cheese is fair game (an Italian blend or crumbled feta would be nice), and cheese lovers may absolutely go a heavy on the measurement.
• A handful or sliced olives offers another complementary flavor addition.

More recipes at FountainAvenueKitchen.com