Quinoa Caprese Casserole
If you’re looking for more ways to eat super-healthy quinoa you should try this delicious casserole from the Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book. Full of fresh summery flavors, it combines tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil to imitate the flavors of a classic Caprese salad.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 2 Cups water
- 1 Cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
- ½ Teaspoon salt
- 1½ Cup marinara sauce
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- ⅔ Cup finely shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
- ⅓ Cup whipping cream
- ½ Teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ¼ Teaspoon black pepper
- 1½ Cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 Cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)
- ¾ Cup shredded fresh basil
- 6 Ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into ½-inch cubes
- Crusty Italian bread (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 2-quart square baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. In a medium saucepan combine the water, the quinoa, and salt. Bring to boiling and then reduce the heat. Simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Let the quinoa stand for 5 minutes and then uncover the dish and fluff the quinoa with a fork; set aside.
In a large saucepan, combine the marinara sauce and tomato paste. Stir over low heat until smooth. Stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano, cream, crushed red pepper, and black pepper. Bring to a boil and then remove from the heat. Add the cooked quinoa and mix gently. Using a rubber spatula, fold in ¾ cup of the tomatoes, the shredded mozzarella cheese, and ¼ cup of the basil. Spoon the quinoa mixture into the prepared baking dish, spreading evenly. Top with the fresh mozzarella cheese.
Bake, uncovered, about 30 minutes or until heated through. Top with the remaining ¾ cup tomatoes and the remaining ½ cup basil. If desired, serve with bread.