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