It's already been a couple years since I posted my thoughts on Damn Delicious' Broccoli Quinoa Casserole. It's become such a favourite that I can make it from memory and by eyeballing the measurements.
That's a win in my books.
Of course, since making this recipe the first time, I've made some changes (aka shortcuts!) and I recently experimented with making one of our favourite "healthy comfort food" recipes vegan.
I will be the first to admit that it was a challenge. And maybe it wasn't 100% the same as the original. But the little one gobbled it down and hubby liked it well enough too.
I will also add that this dish can get a bit heavy, so I'd save it for a chilly fall evening instead of a hot summer dinner. Just take my word for that one.
I'm going to include both the original changes I made to the recipe as well as the vegan version.
This casserole is actually pretty healthy… Yes it's got some cheese (ok, a bit more than some), but it uses milk and Greek yoghurt instead of cream, has a good amount of lean chicken and broccoli, and as a bonus it tastes amazing. You can easily halve or double the recipe too.
Ok, so let's get started.
- Original Yield: 1 9×13 casserole (8 servings)
- Modified Yield: 1 3-quart sauté pan (4 servings)
- Original Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Modified Prep Time: 15 minutes (longer if your using tofu… pressing it takes about 12 hours/overnight)
- Original Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Modified Cook Time: 30 minutes
Vegan Ingredients List:
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 small head broccoli, cut into florets and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 package firm tofu, pressed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup cashew milk (you could use almond milk in a pinch)
- 1/3 cup cauli-power alfredo sauce (from Oh She Glows)
- 1/2 cup shredded vegan cheddar cheese (optional)
cooked the vegan version in the same way as I did the original.
Notes or comments from the author:
- For the vegan version, swap out chicken for firm tofu, skip the rue (butter and flour), swap cow's milk for cashew or almond milk, and swap Greek yoghurt for cauliflower alfredo sauce.
- I haven't yet tried it yet, but I'm thinking to try swapping tofu for northern beans next time!
- I found it easiest to cut up the chicken into cubes, season it, and cook it instead of cooking the breasts and chopping them up after. It took 6 minutes to cook the cubed chicken and the flavour was all there.
- You could easily make this with precooked/leftover/rotisserie chicken. Skips the cooking and it works just as well!
- You don't have to transfer the casserole to a baking dish, especially if you halve it and/or if you have a big enough oven-proof skillet. I cooked everything in the skillet (except for the quinoa and broccoli), then mixed everything together in this same skillet at the end, topped the casserole with cheese, and popped it in the oven. Saved me from cleaning at least one dish!
Verdict: Success (with modifications)! This recipe was a total success. Hubby loved it, it makes leftovers, it's pretty healthy, and it was easy to make. It's also very comfort-food-y (I'm making that a thing, by the way), which makes it perfect for the cool weather coming in. Ignore the warning labels and try this one at home!
** Please note, the original recipes for Broccoli Quinoa Casserole and Cauli-Power Alfredo are in no way mine. The views and experiences above are my own and not endorsed/influenced by Damn Delicious, Oh She Glows, or any other third party.