Baked Caprese Quinoa

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If you’ve been reading my blog, you know my love for quinoa.  This is a fun twist on the typical tomato/basil/mozzarella caprese trio.  It’s full of cheesy goodness and uses a few simple fresh ingredients.  You can serve it as a entree or as a side dish.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a small baking dish with non-stick spray.

Before you cook your quinoa, make sure to rinse it.

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I like to cook mine in vegetable broth for extra flavor, but you can use water, too.

Combine your pasta sauce and tomato paste in a small saucepan over medium heat.  While that’s warming up, slice your tomatoes in half and set aside.

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Here are the rest of your ingredients:

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Add the half and half, parmesan, half of the mozzarella, and seasonings to your pasta sauce.

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Stir to combine.  Then remove from heat and add your tomatoes, fresh basil, and cooked quinoa. (Reserve a few of your tomatoes for later.)

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Pour the mixture into your prepared baking dish.

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Top with the remaining mozzarella and tomatoes.

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Bake for 10-15 minutes (I baked mine for 15 minutes).  Then broil for an addition 1-2 minutes until the cheese begins to brown and the tomatoes shrivel.  Garnish for some additional fresh basil.

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Let it cool for 5-10 minutes.  Then serve.  Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

2 cups cooked quinoa***
1 cup pasta sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/3 cup half and half
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan
1 cup shredded mozzarella, divided (I used reduced-fat, and this still tasted great)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise (set a few aside to top the quinoa with)
6 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced into ribbons, plus extra for garnish

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a small baking dish with non-stick spray, and set aside.

Combine the pasta sauce and tomato paste in a saucepan over low heat, and cook until warm. Add in the half and half, parmesan, half the mozzarella, and seasonings, and stir to combine. Remove from heat, and mix in the halved tomatoes, sliced basil leaves, and cooked quinoa.

Pour the quinoa mixture into the prepared baking dish, top with the remaining mozzarella and the intact grape tomatoes. Bake for 10-15 minutes, then turn the broiler on and broil for 1-2 minutes until the cheese starts to brown and the grape tomatoes shrivel.

Garnish with fresh basil before serving.

*** Quinoa directions:

Take 1/2 cup quinoa (rinsed), add to 1 cup vegetable broth (or water), and bring to a boil.  Then lower heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until cooked.

#choosejoy

Recipe adapted from: A Bitchin’ Kitchen

12 thoughts on “Baked Caprese Quinoa

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