Let me just start out by saying that I was totally blown away by how much this tasted like actual mac and cheese.
It tasted just like it!! Which brings me to the conclusion that mac and cheese is alllllll about the sauce. Because if it tastes just as good with quinoa as it does with macaroni, it has to be about the sauce, right??
That is my theory anyway. Which I obviously will have to test many more times just to make sure I’m right.
What a hard life….
Let me also start out by saying it’s FfffRRRRiiiidddDDDaaaAAAyyyYYYY!!!! Had to go back to my middle school roots there of capital/lowercase mixing (all the cool kids were doing it).
Fridays are SO much more exciting to me now that I am working full time, not from home.
Okay, so about this “mac” and cheese. Like I said earlier….all about dat sauce.
The sauce is made from scratch, but it’s really easy!! Do not fear. First you make a simple roux (butter and flour), pour in some milk, let that thicken, and then dump in some cheddaaaa cheese. Heaven.
Oh, hello beautiful cheesy, saucy goodness.
I’m Annie. I made you. And I want to eat you for every meal.
The fact that the most difficult part of this recipe is the sauce really says something about this dish. Because the sauce is easy.
Other than the sauce, all you have to do is cook some quinoa. And then stir it all together.
And then this magic happens:
Yeah, I know.
If you want to learn all about why quinoa is the best thing EVA, check out this article. It literally contains every awesome, wonderful fact about quinoa, including its many health benefits. If you are a quinoa lover like me, you will eat it up (just like you’ll eat up this mac and cheese ?).
Okay okay okay okay it’s Friday, GO HAVE AN AWESOME WEEKEND!!
- 2 cups quinoa
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 cups 2% milk
- 2 cups cheddar cheese + ¼ cup for topping
- 5 grates fresh nutmeg
- ¼ cup whole wheat panko
- Arugula, chopped (for garnish)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
- Bring 4 cups of water and 2 cups of quinoa to a boil in a medium pot. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, covered
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt your butter
- Whisk in your flour and let that cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring constantly
- Add your milk and whisk together
- Let this mixture come to a simmer and thicken slightly
- Remove from the heat, add your cheese, add your nutmeg, and season to taste with salt and pepper
- When your quinoa is done cooking, add it to the skillet with your sauce and mix together
- Season to taste with salt and pepper
- Pour your "mac" and cheese into a 9x13 inch baking dish
- In a small bowl, combine the panko and remaining ¼ cup cheese
- Sprinkle this mixture over your "mac" and cheese, enough to coat the top (you don't need to use all of it)
- Bake for 10 minutes, turn your oven to broil, and broil for another 5 minutes, or until the top is golden brown
- Optional garnish - Arugula: I chopped some and topped the mac and cheese with it - we thought it was wonderful!
If you make this or any of my other recipes, be sure to Instagram it and hashtag #thegarlicdiaries!
In the mood for more cheesy dishes? Check these out: