Baked Quinoa Mac and Cheese

by M Caroline
affiliate disclosure

This baked quinoa mac and cheese is creamy, rich and so good that even your kids will love it.

baked quinoa mac and cheese

We’re trying to eat healthier. And for the most part, our little kids (and the one big kid – he knows who he is) have been pretty good about it. 

But there are some things that I just haven’t been able to mess with without causing all out preschooler rebellion in our house. And mac and cheese is one of them.

So I got sneaky. And sneaky’s name is quinoa. 

This recipe is really dead simple: an old-fashioned creamy mac and cheese (with elbow macaroni) made healthier with the addition of quinoa, that trendy superfood that’s high in protein and riboflavin.

And it’s really good. So good, in fact, that the preschooler’s didn’t complain one little bit about the new quinoa addition to their mac and cheese. Mission healthier accomplished.

Baked Quinoa Mac and Cheese

This is what you’ll need. Oh, and don’t worry – this isn’t fancy pants French milk – just regular milk classed up a little with a French label.  I’m so used to seeing bilingual labels here in Canada that I didn’t notice that I took a photo of the French side. 

Ingredients for Adding the Quinoa to Quinoa Macaroni and Cheese

To start, you’ll need to make a roux. If you don’t know what that is, don’t sweat it, you’ve probably made one before.

First, melt the butter.

Melting the butter Adding the cheese into the roux Ingredients for Adding the Quinoa to Quinoa Macaroni and Cheese

Then add the flour.

Adding the flour to the roux for Quinoa Macaroni and Cheese

Stir until it’s deliciously melted and bubbly.

roux for Quinoa Macaroni and Cheese

Now, add the milk. Not all at once now, maybe a cup at a time.

Adding the milk to the roux for Quinoa Macaroni and Cheese

Stir until a the milk is hot, then add the cheese.

Adding the cheese into the roux Ingredients for Quinoa Macaroni and Cheese

Keep stirring, let the cheese melt.

Melting the cheese into the roux Ingredients for Quinoa Macaroni and Cheese

Now, get the cooked quinoa and cooked macaroni together.

Adding the Quinoa to Quinoa Macaroni and Cheese

Add the melted cheese sauce, stir, sprinkle some cheddar on top and pop into the oven.

And it will come out looking like this little wonder. Mmmm… melty, cheesy goodness. You kids won’t even know the quinoa is hiding in there.

This recipe is really dead simple: an old-fashioned creamy mac and cheese (with elbow macaroni) made healthier with the addition of quinoa, that trendy superfood that’s high in protein and riboflavin.

It’s good. So good, in fact, that my preschooler didn’t complain one little bit about the new quinoa addition to their mac and cheese.

That’s it! Simple, easy homemade goodness. And your kids will never guess the quinoa’s hidden in their mac and cheese!

Love cheese? Try our hot Asiago and artichoke dip or incredible Asiago Alfredo sauce, or follow our Cheesy Goodness Pinterest board.

Looking for a new baking dish? I’ve fallen in love with this gorgeous Rachael Ray Stoneware casserole

Baked Quinoa Mac and Cheese

Baked Quinoa Mac and Cheese

This baked quinoa mac and cheese is creamy and rich and packed with goodness.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 cups pre-cooked elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups pre-cooked quinoa
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 4 cups medium cheddar cheese
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  1. Precook the elbow macaroni and quinoa according to package directions.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 F.

Make the cheese sauce:

  1. Melt butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
  2. Stir in the flour.
  3. Cook until the flour and butter mixture turns a very light tan color. Do not overcook!
  4. Whisk in milk.
  5. Bring roux to a gentle boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to simmer, whisking occasionally for about 5 minutes, until roux begins to thicken.
  6. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of cheese, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Assemble the mac and cheese:

  1. Put cooked macaroni and cooked quinoa into baking dish.
  2. Pour the sauce over top and stir.
  3. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until cheese on top is bubbly and golden brown.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 710 Total Fat: 38g Saturated Fat: 21g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 13g Cholesterol: 106mg Sodium: 1337mg Carbohydrates: 59g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 2g Protein: 31g
All information and tools presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information should only be used as a general guideline.
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9 comments

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9 comments

Sarah @ Living As We February 19, 2014 - 10:25 am

Hiding healthy food inside of my little one’s faves is the perfect way to get some extra nutrition. I haven’t tried cooking with quinoa before, but would love to try it! This looks delicious.

Reply
pamela Rote February 19, 2014 - 12:51 pm

I’ve made quinoa once and the family wasn’t too impressed–I’ll have to give it a try with this recipe -Cover almost anything in cheese and my kids WILL eat it!!

Reply
Elisebet F February 19, 2014 - 3:35 pm

Yummy! I love that you used real cheese. When I make Mac & Cheese, it’s always from scratch with real cheese. And quinoa is delicious. We eat it all the time!

Reply
Michelle F. February 19, 2014 - 4:07 pm

I have been wanting to try quinoa. This might be the perfect recipe for me to jump in.

Reply
lisa jones February 19, 2014 - 5:45 pm

Looks So Yummy Will Have To Make For My Kids!!

Reply
Debbie @ Live from La Quinta February 20, 2014 - 12:11 pm

To heck with the kids! This looks pretty good for adults too. I’ve been having a craving lately.

Reply
Ria C February 22, 2014 - 4:49 am

Wow, healthy quinoa in my fave Mac and Cheese! I haven’t tried this kind of recipe but I think it’s worth it considering the addition of quinoa which is high in fibre.

Reply
Kassondra from Motherhood Community March 2, 2014 - 4:35 am

We love quinoa in this house but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t try this recipe. It looks delicious! Thanks so much for sharing!

Reply
Diane March 7, 2014 - 3:34 pm

I have been sneaking Quinoa / rice blends into various dishes so i will def give this one a try!

Reply

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