This cheesy caprese quinoa casserole is a delicious main dish with added chicken or a unique vegetarian side dish! Topped with fresh basil, it’s a pretty, fresh, and light Italian-style dish.
Like most recipes on the blog, this caprese quinoa casserole is really simple. It’s a healthy and relatively light Italian-style dish. As a girl who LOVES her pasta, I love adding more options to my repertoire of Italian recipes.
There’s quinoa, a homemade tomato sauce (or substitute in your favorite pasta sauce), parmesan cheese, and spices, and for the caprese part, balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, and mozzarella. I typically add plain shredded chicken for a main dish, but you could also serve this as a side dish alongside grilled chicken or another protein.
All you have to do is cook the quinoa (which takes about 15 minutes, tops), make the quick sauce, mix the quinoa and sauce together, add a sprinkle of cheese, transfer the quinoa mixture into a baking dish, top with more cheese, and bake it in the oven. Then, dig in!
I’ll often double this recipe and bake it in a 9×13 inch baking dish to have leftovers for lunch. Hope you love this quinoa casserole recipe!
If you try out this caprese quinoa casserole, feel free to let me know in a comment or take a picture and tag me @livbane on Instagram. Hope you enjoy!
Cheesy Caprese Quinoa Casserole
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes (or substitute 2 cups of your favorite pasta sauce)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped, divided
- 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 roma tomato, diced, or 1/2 cup diced cherry tomatoes
- To a medium saucepan, add quinoa and 2 cups water. Bring water to a boil on high and then turn heat down to medium-low to simmer for 10-15 minutes until quinoa kernels have "popped." Transfer to another bowl.
- In the same pan, add cooking oil and saute onion until soft. Add crushed tomatoes (or pasta sauce), balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Simmer sauce on medium-low for 10-15 minutes. Add chicken, quinoa, and and 2 tablespoons of fresh basil to sauce.
- Transfer quinoa mixture into a greased 8x8 inch baking dish and top with mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, and chopped fresh tomatoes.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, and then turn the broiler on for the last 60 seconds or so to just slightly toast the cheese. (Keep an eye on it!) Top with remaining 1 tablespoon of fresh basil and serve.
Inspired by this recipe
Agreed with Ellie. I love anything with pasta sauce; it’s like a comfort food for me. And then you add cheese on top of it, and it’s just perfect.
I hope the wedding is such a beautiful, memorable wonderful time. Whenever we go to a Christian wedding, it’s always such a precious reminder of Jesus and His bride.
The wedding was incredible! The ceremony was perfect, the weather was perfect, and it was such a fun day!
Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves says
Some of my favorite things in one dish!!
Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy says
Pinned for later – this look so cheesy and delicious. I hope your sister’s wedding is amazing – I love when the family comes in for weddings 🙂
Thanks for pinning, Sarah! And yes, the wedding was amazing! So fun to have all of our family in town and it was a really special day!
A quinoa casserole? Yes, please! Hope you’re having a great weekend <3
Kristy from Southern In Law says
Yummm! This looks like the perfect meat free meal! <3
Natalie Smith says
I adore Cassrrole, this recipe is amazing and very tasty, i recommend.
I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed this recipe, Natalie! Thanks for reporting back!
Leo Tat says
This casserole is so cheesy, love it. Also, the quinoa filling makes it healthier.
I’m so glad to hear that you liked this recipe!
Marissa Kronk says
Seriously cannot get enough of this meal! I feel like I *shouldn’t* make it more than once a week, but I secretly realllllly want to. Alex and I both devour it and swear it gets better every time (I think it’s just because we missed how good it tastes). Could not recommend enough!
I’m so glad you enjoy this quinoa casserole, Marissa! I love it, too!
Carol Eiseman says
What a dish! Try it!