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Well Mom, you rubbed off on me, even if I still like to have things my way. Just ask this Broccoli Quinoa Casserole.

Cheesy broccoli quinoa casserole in a baking dish

Inspired by the Healthy Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole that was a fixture on our childhood dinner menus, today’s elevated vegetarian version keeps the spirit of the casseroles I remember my mom cooking.

Like hers, it’s creamy, cheesy, and comforting.

From there, I’ve taken a number of liberties to lighten it up and give it extra flair, like roasting the broccoli and using real-deal, fully-flavored cheese.

In line with the classic Midwestern casserole spirit, you’ll find a crunchy casserole “lid” (mandatory!) and a rich, velvety sauce.

For the grain, instead of rice which is more classic in casseroles, I used whole grain, protein-rich quinoa.

It’s a delicious pairing with broccoli—just ask this Broccoli Quinoa Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing and this One Pan Broccoli Quinoa Skillet with Parmesan and White Beans.

Most unlike the casseroles you might have grown up with, this casserole leans heavily on the broccoli.

But not just any broccoli—roasted broccoli.

Easy broccoli quinoa casserole with melted cheese

Roasting the broccoli before adding it to the casserole makes it lightly crispy and caramelized. Even vegetable skeptics will struggle to resist—especially once you’ve factored in the cheese.

As kids, we were suspicious of green, but now I think it’s what makes any casserole, from this Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole to this Broccoli Rice Casserole stand out among the rest.

Thanks to the addition of white beans and the fact that quinoa is a complete protein, this vegetarian casserole is plenty filling. We eat it most often as a meatless main, both at dinner and reheated for lunch the next day.

Of course if you or your family prefer, you can easily add meat and make this a chicken broccoli quinoa casserole (see notes below).

Looking for an extra scrumptious side dish? This casserole works well here too. The extra touches like roasted broccoli and herbs make it memorable, even as a part of a larger spread.

Above all, this broccoli casserole is delicious.

It’s made with real, simple ingredients. You won’t find any canned soups or processed cheese product. Just true broccoli cheddar goodness.

Carrots on a wooden cutting board, and broccoli and beans in bowls

How to Cook Creamy Chicken Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

While all-American at its roots, this recipe takes a slight Italian quinoa casserole spin. Crowd-pleasing additions like mozzarella and Italian herbs enhance its flavor and heighten its appeal.

The Ingredients

  • Quinoa. High protein with a lightly nutty flavor, quinoa is a perfect choice for this vegetarian casserole. You could also swap cooked rice or another grain of your choice. To achieve the perfect quinoa, check out How to Cook Quinoa.
  • Broccoli. Roasting the broccoli is my secret flavor weapon! It adds depth to the casserole and gives it irresistible flavor. Broccoli is also packed with Vitamin-C and fiber (see more broccoli nutrition information here).
  • Carrots. I couldn’t resist sneaking in another tasty, nutritious veggie.
  • Flour. Helps thicken the sauce. To make the casserole gluten free, you can use your favorite 1:1 gluten free flour.
  • Greek Yogurt. More protein! It makes the casserole extra creamy, without the need for heavy cream.
  • Cheese. The attention-grabbing factor of this casserole. I used mozzarella and cheddar for the ultimate crowd-pleasing flavor. For the most luscious, melted cheese texture, don’t buy the pre-shredded stuff. I promise it’s worth the extra step to grate it yourself!
  • Cannellini Beans. Beans give the dish a hearty boost. Besides making it more filling, they also add cozy, creamy texture to the casserole. White kidney or great Northern beans work here as well.

The Directions

  1. Cook the quinoa. Fluff and set aside.
    Roasted broccoli on a baking sheet
  2. Roast the broccoli at 400 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through. (Need a super short cut? Try my Roasted Frozen Broccoli).
  3. Sauté the onion, carrots, and garlic.
  4. Scatter flour over the top, and stir. Whisk in the broth and milk. Simmer until the sauce thickens. Add the spices.
    Beans, broccoli, and quinoa in a Dutch oven
  5. Stir in the quinoa, beans, and roasted broccoli.
    A Dutch oven with broccoli quinoa casserole
  6. Stir in the yogurt and cheeses.A baking dish of broccoli quinoa casserole with cheese
  7. Pile the mixture into a baking dish, and top with the remaining cheeses. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Broil for 3 to 4 more minutes, until the cheese is browned (don’t let it burn!). Let it sit for a few minutes, then top with fresh herbs and ENJOY!

Variation – Chicken Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

For an extra protein boost (and to satisfy any diehard meat-lovers at your table), try adding cooked pieces of chicken breasts or thighs to the casserole. You can use the chicken in addition to the white beans or use it as a replacement.

Either diced, sautéed chicken or shredded chicken are excellent options. For the ultimate time savings, you can use meat shredded from a store bought rotisserie chicken, or follow one of these easy chicken cooking methods:

Fans of the chicken addition: be sure to check out this Mexican Chicken Casserole too.

A Dutch oven with broccoli, beans, and quinoa

What to Serve with Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

While this casserole can stand on its own as a hearty vegetarian dinner, here are a few ideas of what you could serve with it:

Creamy broccoli quinoa casserole in a baking dish

Make Ahead, Storage, and Reheating Tips

  • To Make Ahead. Chop the broccoli, onion, and carrots up to 1 day in advance. Store them in separate airtight storage containers in the refrigerator.
  • To Store. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. Rewarm the casserole in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F until warmed through. It can also be reheated in the microwave.
  • To Freeze. Place leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

More Healthy Casserole Recipes

Broccoli quinoa casserole on a plate with melted cheese

Recommended Tools to Make This Recipe

Could broccoli quinoa casserole be the new classic? I’d love to hear what you think!

If you make this recipe, please leave a comment to let me know how it came out for you. Your comments and 5-star ratings mean the world to me and are ultra helpful for other readers too!

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

4.80 from 34 votes
This creamy broccoli quinoa casserole is a healthier version of the beloved classic made with real, simple ingredients like Greek yogurt and cheddar cheese.

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total: 1 hour 25 minutes

Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth or low sodium chicken broth divided
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided, plus additional as needed
  • 1 pound chopped broccoli florets about 4 broccoli crowns (a little over or under is fine)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt divided
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper divided
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 3 medium carrots cut into 1/4 to 1/3-inch dice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic about 2 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour to make gluten free, use a gluten free all purpose flour blend
  • 1 cup non-fat milk
  • 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated mozzarella fontina, or provolone cheese — divided
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese divided
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans rinsed and drained
  • Chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, dill, or thyme — for serving

Instructions
 

  • Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of your oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Generously coat 2 large rimmed baking sheets with nonstick spray. Coat a 9x13-inch or similar casserole dish with nonstick spray and set aside. (The dish you see in these photos is 8 x 10 and is very full.)
  • Place 2 cups broth and the quinoa in a large saucepan, then bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  • While the quinoa cooks, roast the broccoli: place the broccoli in a very large bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Toss to coat the florets. If any seem dry, drizzle in a bit more oil as needed. Divide the broccoli between the two baking sheets, spreading it into an even layer and ensuring that the broccoli does not overlap.
  • Roast the broccoli on the upper and lower thirds of the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and use a spatula to lightly toss the broccoli and spread it back into an even layer to promote even browning. Return the pans to the oven, switching their positions on the upper and lower racks. Continue baking until the broccoli is browned and the tips are becoming crisp, about 5 to 10 additional minutes. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F.
  • In a Dutch oven or similar large, deep sauté pot, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots. Sauté until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, remaining 1 teaspoon salt,and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Stir and let cook just until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Sprinkle the flour over the top. Let cook until the flour is golden and smells lightly nutty, about 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring until no white bits remain.
  • Slowly pour in the remaining 1 cup broth, then the milk, adding a few splashes of liquid at a time. Whisk constantly and pause as needed to break up any lumps. Increase the heat to bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat and let gently bubble until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes, stirring often.
  • Stir in the oregano and cayenne. Remove from the heat.
  • Slowly stir in the quinoa, then fold in the white beans and roasted broccoli. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  • Slowly stir in the Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread evenly in the pan. Top with remaining cheddar and mozzarella.
  • Bake, uncovered, until the cheese is melted and the casserole is hot, about 15 minutes. Turn the oven to broil, then continue cooking until the cheese is lightly browned, about 3 to 4 additional minutes, watching carefully so that the cheese does not burn. Let rest 5 minutes, sprinkle with chopped herbs and serve.

Notes

  • TO STORE: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 
  • TO REHEAT: Rewarm the casserole in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F until warmed through. It can also be reheated in the microwave. 
  • TO FREEZE: Place leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 
  • TO MAKE GLUTEN FREE: Swap a 1:1 GF baking flour like this one for the all-purpose flour.
  • TO MAKE VEGAN: Dairy is important in this recipe for the best texture. For this reason, I do not have a vegan swap I recommend.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 6)Calories: 447kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 25gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 29mgPotassium: 988mgFiber: 9gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 5903IUVitamin C: 71mgCalcium: 386mgIron: 5mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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88 Comments

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    1. Hi Shandi! Yes I have. There is a section in the blog post (and you’ll find the same information in the recipe card) called “Make Ahead, Storage, and Reheating Tips” this will give you suggestions on freezing the casserole. Hope you enjoy it!

    2. This recipe is fantastic! My boyfriend and I have a cheesy broccoli quinoa bowl we love, so we were really looking forward to a similar dish that had a bit more of a comfort food feel. The flavor was really complex, and the roasted broccoli left perfect little crispy bits in the casserole. We’re already looking forward to leftovers tomorrow night! Thank you for sharing, Erin!5 stars

  1. Oh Em Gee!!! This casserole is SOOO delish!! I found myself looking forward to the bites with the roasted broccoli. YUM!! I am a vegetarian and finding delicious “casseroles” that are meat free can be hard but this is a winner! And I loved that it’s so healthy with all the veggies and quinoa! I will be making this one often!5 stars

  2. This is a major disappointment. I thought this site was going to be about whole foods plant based recipes. I am sad that I cannot use these recipes as I am pretty much a vegan as of recently and always looking for more recipes to add to my repertoire. This website is not that and I will not be coming here again.

    1. Hi Nancie, I am not a plant based blogger and I do not promote myself as such. If you are looking for vegan recipes I highly encourage you to check out my vegan recipes: https://www.wellplated.com/category/recipes-by-diet/vegan/

  3. Definitely not a recipe for a busy week night. A lot of prep and steps before ready for the oven. Results were bland and lacking in texture.4 stars

    1. I’m sorry this recipe wasn’t to your tastes, Karen. I (and many other readers) have truly enjoyed it, so I wish you would’ve too!

  4. This does have a lot of steps. Another person had said very bland. I made according to directions but did add piccorino cheese which did add more flavor. We really enjoyed this recipe but there has got to be an easier way to make it.3 stars

  5. This was SO tasty! I loved the texture of the roasted broccoli against the creaminess of the beans. And the combo of sharp cheddar and mozzarella was just right. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers tomorrow!
    It may not be a quick meal for a busy weeknight but it easily could be with a little prep. Many people clean and chop veggies ahead of time and also make batches of quinoa to use in recipes throughout the week. Doing either or both of these things would save some time. Either way, I think it’s worth giving the recipe a try.5 stars

  6. This casserole is crazy delicious! I didn’t use mozzarella because I didn’t have any, so only used cheddar. I also omitted the carrots. There is a bit of prep but the directions were clear and easy to follow. Roasting the broccoli gives it great flavor. I made the casserole earlier in the day, popped it in the fridge, then took it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before baking it for dinner. It smelled heavenly! So satisfying on a cold evening.
    I will definitely make this again.
    Thanks!5 stars

  7. I gotta say I was pretty disappointed in this dish, esp with how many steps and prep time it took. Followed directions to the T and had to add a lot more seasoning; evenso I found it bland and lacking something. Thanks for the healthy recipe, but I probably won’t make it again.3 stars

    1. I’m sorry to hear that it wasn’t to your taste Aly. The recipe has worked well for myself (and others) but I know how frustrating it can be to try a new recipe and not have it work out, so I really wish you would’ve enjoyed it!

  8. Yum. I thought it was tasty filling. Sure, there are some steps, but they are easy and I enjoyed the process of making this dish. I omitted the beans bc I didn’t have them on hand but I’ll use next time. Great meal for meatless Monday and a hit for my resident picky eater which make it a win for me:-) Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

  9. Loved this! The only change I made was when it came to roasting the broccoli. I added nutritional yeast and put all the broccoli on one sheet pan for simplicity sake. Excellent!5 stars

  10. This was really good and pretty easy to make. I added more cheese though, because…cheese:) It wasn’t bland at all. Also, add more broccoli. It is so good in the casserole. I wished I had doubled it!5 stars

  11. I want to use this recipe but it literally made my computer crash trying to load 500 video ads at the same time. I understand that’s how blogs make money, but the fact that I have to restart my computer (which is not old and is a nice mac) is just ridiculous. Plus it’s hard to read the recipe because ads cover it, or while I’m trying to read it jumps on the screen when another loads. It’s really irritating and that’s probably not the feeling you want to give people visiting your blog.

    1. I’m truly sorry for any inconvenience the ads caused you, Jane! I will certainly keep paying close attention to the number of ads and how they load, as I never want them to hinder your ability to view the recipe or the blog post. I do truly appreciate your feedback and apologize again for the inconvenience! Also, there is a quick and convenient “jump to recipe” button that will help you get to the recipe faster and a print button to have the recipe quickly at your fingertips. Hope this helps!

  12. Your recipes are delicious, but it’s so annoying that almost every time I print out one of your recipes there’s an ad that partially covers the ingredients list. Please fix it or I’ll be leaving your site for good.

    1. I’m truly sorry for any inconvenience the ads caused you, Lori! I will certainly keep paying close attention to the number of ads and how they load, as I never want them to hinder your ability to view the recipe or the blog post. I do truly appreciate your feedback and apologize again for the inconvenience! Also, there is a quick and convenient “jump to recipe” button that will help you get to the recipe faster and a print button to have the recipe quickly at your fingertips. Hope this helps!

      1. Yes, it’s after I’m on the recipe and hit the print button. If doesn’t show up on the print preview, but an ad almost always prints out partially covering the ingredients list. Thank you for looking into this.

        1. Hi Lori! Thanks for following up. I tried it myself and at first there was no ad that came up and my print view was ad free. When I waited for the ad to load and then hit print. It did cover some of the text in the recipe. Next I exited out of the ad and then hit print again and was able to print ad free. Could you try to exit out of the ad before hitting print and let me know how it goes? Thank you!

  13. This was SO good- full of plenty of flavor, despite what other reviewers said. I subbed diced seasoned chicken thighs for the beans to appease my meat-loving family but it was a smash hit all around. We devoured it!5 stars

  14. Perhaps I shouldn’t leave a comment since I made some adjustments, but here goes…
    Subbed red peppers for carrots, that’s what I had. Used all cheddar, didn’t have mozz around. topped with both cheese and panko crumbs. Added a tnch of Worcestershire with the cheeses.
    Everything else as written, though I did find the finished product needed to cook longer than noted at 350, more like 20-23 minutes.
    Delicious and enjoyed by many picky eaters! Glad to get some good nutrition into them. :)5 stars

  15. I really haven’t liked quinoa in anything I’ve tried so far.. Until this. This is delicious, hubby and I went back for seconds. I doubled the garlic, because I always do for everything, otherwise followed directions as listed and will definitely be plugging this into rotation. I think we’ll double the beans next time, or add in some mushrooms like another commenter mentioned. Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

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