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Quinoa Mac and Cheese

If you are looking for a quinoa recipe that kids love, give this kid-friendly Quinoa Mac and Cheese a try. This Quinoa Mac is the perfect marriage of the creamy yumminess of traditional Mac and Cheese with the health benefits of quinoa. It is Vegetarian and Gluten Free and can be made vegan with the use of unsweetened cashew milk and vegan cheese.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword creamy
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 353kcal
Author Wendy Polisi


  • 2 cups quinoa rinsed
  • 2 ¼ cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons organic cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • ¾ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese grated
  • 6 ounces Colby cheese grated
  • 3 ounces gluten free breadcrumbs


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with olive oil.

Cook Quinoa

  • Place quinoa in a medium saucepan and heat to medium high. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. 
  • Add 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.


  • 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 stir 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. Cook over low until the cheese is melted.


  • 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.


Calories: 353kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 677mg | Potassium: 320mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 525IU | Vitamin C: 3.2mg | Calcium: 386mg | Iron: 1.9mg