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Healthy Broccoli Casserole

Broccoli Cheese Casserole is a classic, but much deserving of an update. This healthy broccoli casserole from Cooking Light has zero processed ingredients plus healthy whole grains. All the comfort of broccoli and cheese, but with a major protein punch thanks to the turkey sausage and quinoa.

I have been making this healthy broccoli casserole recipe for years and have shared it with countless friends and family members. Cheesy, crunchy, creamy, and insanely delicious.


Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Claire Spollen



Ready In:

1 hour

Good For:

Lunch, Dinner

Healthy Broccoli Casserole – Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrot
  • 2 (4-oz.) links sweet turkey or chicken Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup chicken stock 
  • 3 cups chopped fresh broccoli florets
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)

Cook’s Note: 

This healthy broccoli casserole recipe is versatile and ingredients may be swapped out depending on what you have on hand.

Don’t have sweet onions? Use shallots or leeks! Don’t have fresh Thyme? Use dried! No Panko? No problem! Toast whatever bread you have on hand and process in the food processor.

I think you get the idea…

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat 8×8 baking dish with non-stick spray, or grease with olive oil or butter.

Step 2

Bring water and quinoa to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 12 to 14 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove pan from heat; let stand 5 minutes.

Step 3

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, carrot, and sausage; cook 7 minutes, stirring to crumble sausage. Remove sausage mixture to a bowl with a slotted spoon.

Step 4

Add flour, butter, and garlic to drippings in pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add milk and stock; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Reduce heat to medium; stir in broccoli, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and red pepper. Cover and cook 2 minutes. Stir in quinoa and sausage mixture.

Step 5

Spoon quinoa mixture into prepared baking dish. Combine remaining tablespoon oil and panko in a bowl; add remaining 1 teaspoon thyme, remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and cheddar. Sprinkle cheese mixture evenly over casserole. Bake at 400°F for 18 minutes or until browned. Serve the Broccoli Cheese Casserole with a sprinkling of fresh thyme, if desired.

Recipe by Cooking Light

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Love this Healthy Broccoli Casserole? Me too. Why not try my Easy Baked Rigatoni?

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