This dish is a twist on mac n’ cheese, but made with quinoa, which lends an even creamier texture since quinoa is so much smaller in shape than pasta. We added tomatoes and basil to round out this quick and tasty recipe, which uses a modified version of TheKitchn's macaroni and cheese sauce and can easily be made gluten free.
RECIPE: Tomato Basil Quinoa n’ Cheese
Serves 4 - 6
- 2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock (or water seasoned with salt and a generous glug of olive oil)
- Olive oil
- 1 ½ - 2 cups grape tomatoes
- 1 ½ cups whole or 2% milk
- 2 Tablespoons flour (we’ve substituted gluten free flour in this recipe before and it was just fine)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups freshly grated cheddar cheese
- 1 cup loosely packed basil, washed and chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine the uncooked quinoa and stock in a pot, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until cooked.
- While the quinoa cooks, cook the tomatoes by combining them in a pan with some olive oil and salt. Follow Smitten Kitchen’s directions for burst tomatoes by covering over high heat for a few minutes, tossing occasionally, until you hear them bursting. When most have burst, turn off heat and set aside.
- When quinoa is done, start the cheese sauce (modified from TheKitchn) by heating 1 cup of the milk in a saucepan over medium. While this heats mix the rest of the milk with the flour in a separate bowl. When the milk in the pan starts to steam, add the flour and milk combo and whisk for a few minutes until it thickens, without letting it boil, then turn to low. Stir in the cheese and ½ teaspoon salt until cheese is melted and it becomes a sauce. Taste and add more salt if needed before turning off the heat. Add a few cracks of fresh black pepper.
- Add quinoa to the cheese sauce, stirring to coat. Gently stir in tomatoes and basil. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.