January 26, 2015

Cheddar ham and broccoli quinoa casserole

Casserole on the baking dish with a serving spoon.

This is a total comfort food dinner for a cold evening. This dish is something we've eaten multiple times, mostly with ham, but occasionally with chicken. 

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It's a versatile dish that you could use different add-ins for, but I love the broccoli + ham combination with cheddar. I originally came up with the recipe when I was cleaning out the cupboard and found some quinoa that needed to be used up, plus we had some leftover ham and frozen broccoli. I threw it all together and it was a winner. 

So I've tweaked it a bit and measured out the ingredients so I could share it with all of you. This casserole is sure to be a hit. 

It should serve about four people. It's a complete meal in itself, but a side salad is a nice addition.

Serving spoon scooping cheddar ham and broccoli quinoa casserole.

Cheddar ham and broccoli quinoa casserole
1 cup quinoa
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 cups frozen broccoli florets, thawed
1 large carrot, grated on the large whole of a box grater
2 cups diced cooked ham
2 cups extra sharp white cheddar cheese, divided
2 teaspoons dried parsley, divided

Butter a baking dish (I used a deep 8 x 8 inch dish) and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer until the water runs clear. Pour the quinoa into a medium saucepan and cover with cool water. Add a good pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the quinoa until it just begins to "pops" open, about 10 minutes. Drain the water through the fine-mesh strainer.

While the quinoa cooks, make the cheese sauce. in a large saucepan, warm the butter over medium-low heat and add the garlic. Cook until fragrant and then stir in the flour. Cook for about one minute and then whisk in the milk until all the flour is smooth. Bring to a low boil and reduce to a simmer. Continue to cook, whisking often, until the milk begins to thicken. While the milk is thickening, stir in the carrot and broccoli. When the milk is thickened, remove from the heat and whisk in 1-2/3 cups of the cheddar until smooth. Season well with salt and pepper.

Gently stir the qunioa, ham, and 1 teaspoon of parsley into the sauce until well-combined. Pour the mixture into the baking dish. Top with the remaining 1/3 cup of cheddar and the remaining 1 teaspoon of parsley.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until the top is golden and the casserole is bubbly.

Top view of finished cheddar ham and broccoli quinoa casserole.


  1. making casseroles with quinoa is one of my new favorite things! it's so delicious with cheese :)

  2. Definitely comfort food! And I love that you used quinoa---maybe this will be the recipe that will transform the hubby into a quinoa fan :)

  3. I bought a GIANT bag of quinoa at Costco- I know just where some of it is going! Looks yummy! :)

  4. I love that this has the comforting casserole elements of cheese and ham and a b├ęchamel sauce but also the healthy elements of quinoa and broccoli. Perfect winter week-night meal! Hope you're staying warm!

  5. Even without the ham, I am sure it would be absolutely delicious! I would love to try this recipe :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  6. I have never thought to put quinoa in a casserole, what an awesome idea!

  7. Delicious looking casserole, and what a great idea to add quinoa!

  8. Ooh, I love a hearty, flavorful casserole like this! I make a lot of casseroles with rice, but I don't think I've tried quinoa in one yet. Must change that!

  9. A very hearty and delicious casserole! I love the idea of using quinoa here.

  10. This looks AWESOME. I love quinoa, and I love how it plays into this updated casserole. Yum.

  11. Sounds fantastic, looks fantastic and then....,I love quinoa.
    All in all a recipe I'll try out very soon. Thanks for the inspiration, Amy!

  12. Terrific way to use quinoa! Love this idea, and who can resist ham? Such a nice, comforting dish for the winter, too. Thanks!

  13. You know what they say about great minds...because I just made a video on this---love that there's ham involved and the grated carrot is a great idea!

  14. Dear Amy, I am just starting to cook with quinoa - and this sounds like an absolute fabulous, comfort-style recipe to make for my family!
    Thank you for all your inspirations,


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