Quinoa is perfect for casseroles – I think it might be one of the unusual grain’s best uses. It has a great texture when baked, and it absorbs the flavor of whatever you add with it. This is a rich, comforting casserole, with spinach, pecans, dried cranberries and chorizo sausage. This casserole can be prepared without the sausage for an excellent vegetarian main course. It would also make excellent stuffing for roast turkey.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: Serves 4-6.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarian version)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 links of chorizo sausage, casings removed
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 6 cups spinach leaves
- 3 tablespoons water
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- Place quinoa in a saucepan with the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Cook until quinoa has absorbed all of the liquid, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir cranberries into quinoa. Cover and set aside.
- Add olive oil to a heavy skillet and place over medium heat. Add sausages, crumbling them with a wooden spoon or spatula as they cook. Cook sausages until browned. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Add garlic to same skillet and cook briefly over medium heat, until fragrant. Add spinach and 3 tablespoons water and cook until spinach is wilted and water has evaporated. Remove spinach, drain thoroughly, and roughly chop.
- Preheat oven to 350 degress. Mix sausage and spinach into quinoa. Stir in cream cheese, eggs, cumin, pecans, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Brush bottom and sides of a casserole dish with melted butter. Spoon quinoa mixture lightly into casserole (don't mash quinoa down into the dish), and drizzle with remaining melted butter.
- Bake casserole until heated through and browned on top, 25-30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and serve warm.