Cheesy Kale & Quinoa Casserole

By Ashley Jennings | Last Updated: September 21, 2015

Cheesy Kale and Quinoa Casserole

Cheesy Kale and Quinoa Casserole

It’s that time of the year that I inevitably start to crave comfort foods. Yet with the weather still sort of lingering between summer heat and cooler fall temperatures, I’m not quite ready for anything too heavy or overly hearty. Comforting yet bright, this cheesy kale and quinoa casserole is the perfect dish for the transition of the seasons.

Kale is sautéed until nice and tender with onion, garlic and vegetable broth, which all help to infuse it with plenty of flavor. The kale is then mixed with cooked quinoa, lemon zest, cannellini beans and Greek yogurt, before being baked in the oven with plenty of mild cheddar cheese.

Cheesy Kale and Quinoa Casserole

Now, if you are not a huge fan of Greek yogurt, have no fear! It is used here to help keep the quinoa from drying out while baking. The flavor is not prominent in the final dish. It also adds a little extra protein, in addition to that already coming from the cannellini beans and the quinoa.

You can cook the quinoa in advance so it is ready to go come dinnertime. However, be sure to warm it back up before mixing it in with all the other components. Otherwise it will take longer to heat up in the oven and the dish could dry out.

Go to Cheesy Kale & Quinoa Casserole recipe

Cheesy Kale & Quinoa Casserole

Prep Time:

15 minutes

Cook Time:

15 minutes

Total Time:

15 minutes

Yield:

4 to 6 servings

ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale (about 9 to 10 ounces), stems removed and leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, cooked according to package directions
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt   
  • 2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese, divided
  • Salt and red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1/4 cup raw walnut halves, chopped
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instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease a 2 to 3 quart baking dish with olive oil spray and set aside.
  2. Add the olive oil to a large skillet set over medium heat. When hot, add in the onion and cook until tender and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in the kale and vegetable broth. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the kale has wilted down and the broth has evaporated. Remove from the heat.
  3. Add the vegetable mixture to a large bowl, along with the quinoa, lemon zest, cannellini beans, Greek yogurt and 1 cup of the cheddar. Mix until well combined. Season with salt and red pepper flakes to taste.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 cup of cheddar cheese and the walnuts.
  5. Bake for about 10 to 13 minutes, until heated through and the cheese is melted.

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Comments

New favorite web site. So many tasty vegetarian options– YUM. Quick qs. Any recommendations for prepping this recipe ahead of time for busy weekend nights? Would you recommend precooking up to final oven baking time or would you just cut up everything and premeasure ingredients with final cooking the night to be used? Thanks for advice

Hi Susan! If it was me, I would make the quinoa in advance and even cook the veggies ahead of time too (and pre-measure other ingredients like you said). And then leave the final assembly / cooking for the night of. I would rewarm or bring the quinoa / veggies back to room temp (otherwise it will take longer to heat up during the bake time and could dry out). The dish does reheat well as leftovers too!

What would you recommend to use instead of quinoa? I’ve never had it or cooked it, so I don’t want to chance buying,cooking it and making it only to ruin the rest of the meal.

Your (or anyone’s tested) Ideas?:)

While we haven’t tested it any other way, I would think that other whole grains would work here too … bulgur, farro, rice, etc. Let us know if you do try it with something else!

I am so happy to have discovered your website.
What would you substitute for the Greek Yogurt that is non-dairy?
Thanks so much!

I love when something nutritious (nutrient content) tastes like comfort food. Love this recipe, and it’s relatively easy to make. I tried it with some salsa on the side, and it was delicious.

Calories? If who ever posted this recipe originally could please provide the calories, fat, carbs and protein content for each serving, size of serving?

Thank you,
Dina

Hi ,I came across your recipe and i am going to make it, looks yummy. Could you give me the nutrition facts because i am a weight watcher and need to track everything. Thanks in advance!!

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