This kid-friendly Quinoa Mac n Cheese offers all the creamy yumminess of traditional Mac n Cheese with the health benefits of quinoa.
From that age of ten, my signature dish was Macaroni and Cheese.
From a box.
My culinary contribution was adding fresh ground black pepper, or if the mood struck me lemon pepper. (I’m not sure what I was thinking with the lemon pepper. You are welcome for refining my tastes before sharing recipes with the world.)
Although it has been more than twenty years since I’ve touched the boxed stuff, I still love my Mac n Cheese.
These days, I am constantly trying to think up ways to make it fit into a wholesome diet a little better.
Surprisingly, the results have been quite good. Take, for example, this Skinny Cauliflower Mac n Cheese. It is one you really should try.
This Quinoa Mac n Cheese is another one that I will make again and again. It has all the creamy yumminess of traditional Mac n Cheese with the health benefits of quinoa.
If you are looking for a way to get your kids to embrace quinoa, this is one of the best ways out there!
- 2 cups quinoa, rinsed
- 2 1/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 3 ounces gluten free or whole wheat bread
- 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 2 tablespoons organic cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
- 6 ounces Colby cheese
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with olive oil.
- Place quinoa in a medium saucepan and heat to medium high. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add chicken or vegetable broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and place a clean dish cloth over the pot. Return lid to pot and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Place bread in a food processor and pulse until coarse crumbs are formed. Transfer crumbs to prepared baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes and then turn the oven off. Allow to sit in the oven for another 20 minutes, until crumbs are crispy. Remove from oven and increase oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- Heat a medium saucepan to medium heat. Add butter and cook until it melts. Whisk in cornstarch or arrowroot powder. Cook, stirring often for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and whisk in for 30 seconds. Gradually add in milk, whisking to combine. Cook, stirring often, until milk mixture thickens, about 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in mustard, cayenne, cheddar and colby. Stir quinoa into cheese sauce and transfer mixture to prepared pan. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and lightly spray breadcrumbs with olive oil.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes prior to serving.