Strangely enough, there is something about broccoli that my kids absolutely love – my 3 year old will walk around the house with a head of broccoli and chomp at it as if it’s the next chocolate bar.
Broccoli isn’t exactly chocolate to me though, is it to you? I doubt 🙂
When we have a head or two of broccoli, we usually put it to use in broccoli cheesy rice in the Instant Pot, or.. we try to whip it into broccoli soup. However.. with Thanksgiving coming up, I did want to try to make something that I knew would be a great option at the table alongside Turkey and that was broccoli casserole.
Considering I’m not trying to pack on a ton of extra weight before family and friends get here to spend the holiday, I needed to lighten up the traditional broccoli casserole and make it a bit healthier. Eating fatty foods is great, i just don’t need to do it right now per se… so this casserole does a great job of making things light but still amazingly delicious.
I love healthier alternatives – do you?
- 1 C. quinoa, uncooked
- 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 C. bread crumbs
- 2 Tbsp butter + 1 Tbsp butter, separated
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 2 C. milk (we used raw)
- 1 1/2 C. shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 1/3 C. greek yogurt (we used homemade)
- Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- To make the quinoa: use your instant pot to speed the process. Rinse the quinoa in a mesh strainer for 1 minute or so to remove the film.
- Add quinoa to instant pot and cover with 1 1/2 C. water. Put the lid on the instant pot and close the valve; set the time for 1 minute (high pressure/manual) and after it beeps, allow 10 minutes for the pressure to release before removing the lid.
- If you do not have an instant pot, cook the quinoa to the package directions.
- Place a layer of parchment paper on a rimmed cookie sheet and spread the broccoli in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place the rimmed cookie sheet in the oven and roast the broccoli for 10-15 minutes or until soft. Then remove and set aside.
- Melt the 1 Tbsp butter in the skillet over medium, and add the breadcrumbs - stir until lightly toasted, 2-3 minutes. Put in a bowl and set to the side for later.
- Melt the 2 Tbsp butter in the skillet over medium heat; whisk in the flour until a thick paste forms, and then gradually add the milk and stir frequently until the sauce thickens up nicely - 4-5 minutes.
- Stir in the greek yogurt, 1 C. of the cheese, broccoli and quinoa and combine well.
- Season the mixture with salt and pepper, then pour into a greased baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 C. cheese.
- Sprinkle the toasted bread crumbs atop the casserole dish.
- Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F, and bake 10-15 minutes or until cheese has melted and bread crumbs on top have browned nicely.
- Optional: For a non-meatless entree, add 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, that have been cooked, seasoned and diced into small pieces.