Yep, you read correctly, Quinoa Mac N’ Cheese! This recipe originally came about when my daughter asked for some macaroni and cheese, but I didn’t have enough pasta. I added some quinoa to the dish and instantly wondered why I hadn’t been “sneaking” it in all along.
I tried many different variations to get the pasta and quinoa ratio right, and when I took my first bite into version I knew I had created something both decadent and healthy. Try it out yourself, and if you can get a hold of some, make it with the Truffle Oil and the Truffle Salt it adds so much rich flavor and transforms this comfort food dish into a foodies’ dream dish!
This is the perfect side dish for chicken, steak, even barbecue! Looking to make this dish a meal? Instead of dividing into 9 portions divide into 6 and enjoy the best homemade lunch of your life! Or add in left over cooked chicken and veggies and turn this into a delicious casserole.
WHAT YOU NEED:
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup chicken broth (vegetable broth or water will also work)
1 cup whole wheat pasta (elbow and small shells work best)
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon truffle oil (optional)
2 tablespoons organic all-purpose flour
2 cups skim milk (whatever milk you have will work fine)
1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon truffle salt (or sea salt)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- In a small sauce pan bring the chicken broth and quinoa to a boil, bring down to a simmer and cover. When all the liquid is absorbed remove from heat and set aside.
- Bring 3 cups water to a boil and add in pasta, cook until al dente then drain and set aside.
- In a large sauce pan add the butter and truffle oil, turn heat to medium and melt the butter. Once melted add flour and mix in a figure 8 motion until it forms a paste, about 5 minutes.
- Add milk to the butter flour paste and whisk to remove any lumps, cook on medium heat stir often until it thickens enough to coat your spoon, about 20 minutes.
- While your sauce thickens, make your crunchy topping by combining 1/3 of the cheese, Panko crumbs, garlic powder and truffle salt in a bowl and set aside.
- Once your sauce is thick, reduce heat to low and add in the pasta and quinoa. Mix until all is coated, then add in 1/3 of the cheese and mix together.
- Remove from the heat and add in the remainder 1/3 of the cheese, mixing until it is all dispersed but not melted. Tumble into a 9 by 9 casserole dish and top with the cheese and breadcrumb topping.
- Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the top is crisp and the cheese sauce has thickened. Place under the broiler for one to two minutes if needed to help crisp the top.
- Let set for 10 minutes before serving so the sauce can firm up.
Each serving (9 total) has: