Caprese Quinoa Bake

I’ve had this recipe Pinned for a long time, and earlier this week I finally got the opportunity to try it out!  A-MA-ZING.  Seriously.

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It’s like a baked pasta dish but substitutes quinoa for the pasta, which is far healthier and is naturally gluten-free.  Always a plus 🙂

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I love finding new quinoa recipes and I’ll definitely be making this one again.  You mix quinoa with some pasta sauce, tomato paste and parmesan cheese to create a creamy base for the dish.  And then top it off with a nice handful of mozzarella cheese!

Caprese Quinoa Bake

The original recipe called for topping it with sliced grape tomatoes, but I thought the sliced tomatoes on the vine would provide a pretty presentation similar to an actual Caprese salad.  I also added a bit more red pepper flakes because we like heat in our house, but you can adjust based on how spicy you want this to be.

This is even yummy cold as leftovers.  Go make it!  I promise you will love it, too.

What you’ll need: quinoa, pasta sauce, tomato paste, heavy cream, parmesan cheese, mozzarella, grape tomatoes, tomatoes on the vine, fresh basil, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper.

Cook your quinoa according to the package instructions.  While that’s cooking, heat tomato sauce and tomato paste over low heat in a large saucepan.  Once warm, stir in heavy cream, parmesan, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper.

Remove from the heat and stir in the quinoa.  Fold in half of the mozzarella and grape tomatoes, then chop 6 fresh basil leaves and add them in too.

Once combined, spray an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish with non-stick spray and pour the entire quinoa mixture into the dish.  Top with fresh mozzarella rounds or shredded mozzarella and enough tomato slices to cover the top of your dish.

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Bake for 10 to 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven and then turn the broiler on and broil for 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.  Remove from the oven and top with fresh basil ribbons.  Allow to sit five minutes and then serve.

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Caprese Quinoa Bake
Recipe adapted ever so slightly from Half Baked HarvestServes 4

Ingredients
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella, divided
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 or 2 tomatoes on the vine, sliced into 1/2 inch thick rounds
  • 1 large bunch fresh basil, cut into ribbons
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Steps
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat tomato sauce and tomato paste over low heat in a large saucepan.
  3. Once warm, stir in heavy cream, parmesan, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the quinoa.
  5. Fold in half of the mozzarella and the grape tomatoes, then chop 6 fresh basil leaves and add them in, too.
  6. Once combined, spray an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish with non-stick spray and pour the entire quinoa mixture into the dish.
  7. Top with fresh mozzarella rounds or shredded mozzarella and enough tomato slices to cover the top of your dish.
  8. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes and then turn the broiler on and broil for 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.
  9. Remove from the oven and top with fresh basil ribbons.  Allow to sit five minutes and then serve.

Hugs, kisses & yummy dishes… xoxo
Lauren

5 Responses to Caprese Quinoa Bake

  1. gwedke@yahoo.com says:

    This looks delicious!!!

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Kali says:

    I’ve made this same mixture, but put it in bell peppers!! It’s delicious 🙂

  3. Jen Usellis says:

    This is so good… so so SO good. Definitely a keeper.
    The only thing I ran into was a slight issue with the bake time/temp which was verly likely due to using fresh mozzarella throughout. It’s wetter than shredded mozzarella and decided to release all that water during baking. 🙂
    I boosted the temp to 375 and gave it another 15 minutes and it was perfect.
    Did I mention this is SO GOOD?

    • hugsnkitchen says:

      This makes me so happy!!! I’m so glad you liked it! I bet the fresh mozzarella did release a lot more liquid, but I bet it was incredibly fresh and tastier than the packaged shredded mozz I used! I will have to try that next time 🙂

      It also helps to let it sit for a little bit before you serve it which thickens everything up, too. I also thought it was yummy cold the next day!

      I am so happy you loved it as much as I did!

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