Mediterranean Quinoa Casserole
Mediterranean Quinoa Casserole- a healthy and flavorful vegetarian dinner made with baby spinach, cherry tomatoes and fresh dill. (gluten-free)
A small percentage of you might recognize the title for this recipe and that’s because it’s one of the first that I ever posted on the blog.
Like many of my earlier recipes (and a few from not that long ago), the photography, the writing and the format makes me want to bury my head in the sand. In fact, if I had the time I would probably redo at least half of them on here. And then two years from now I’ll probably look back and want to change them all again, ha!
I try my best to remind myself that it’s all a part of the process. You have to start somewhere and it might not be perfect but you learn as you go, right?
The funny thing is, even with my awful pictures and cringe-worthy writing this recipe has continued to be one of the most popular on my blog.
I would say that I’m surprised by that but based on the fact that it’s been one of our household favorites for the past 6 years now, it’s not hard to see why.
The combination of healthy ingredients like quinoa, lentils, and spinach paired with the Mediterranean flavors of crumbled feta, cherry tomatoes, and fresh dill makes for one tasty casserole that you can feel good about eating.
Between cooking the quinoa and the lentils and sauteing the spinach, it’s not the quickest of meals but with a little preparation it can come together relatively fast.
I like to cook the quinoa and the lentils the day before to help save time. Then the day of all you have to do is saute the spinach, garlic and onion and combine it with the tomatoes, lentils, and quinoa in a large bowl.
Once that’s done, you mix the feta, egg, and Greek yogurt together in a separate bowl then add the quinoa mixture and stir everything together.
Then you just spread that creamy goodness into a greased casserole dish and bake for about 40 minutes, until a light golden crust forms.
For as good as it tastes, you would never guess that each serving is less than 500 calories. That leaves plenty of room for a side of crispy whole grain pita and a glass of white wine, right?
Mediterranean Quinoa Casserole
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15
Cook Time: 45
Total Time: 1 hour
- 2 and 1/2 cups cooked cup quinoa (approx. 1 cup dry)*
- 1 and 1/2 cups cooked brown lentils (approx. 1/2 cup dry)**
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 10 ounces fresh baby spinach
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 medium size eggs
- 1/2 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt (optional)
- 6 ounces crumbled feta cheese (I used peppered feta)
- 1/2 cup fresh dill (or 2 teaspoons dried dill)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- pinch of black pepper
Start by warming the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and the onion and cook for about 3 minutes. Then add the spinach and stir together. Cover the skillet with a lid and allow to cook for 5 minutes, removing the lid to stir half way through. Once all of the spinach is wilted, remove from the skillet and set aside on a plate lined with paper towels. This will help absorb some of the excess moisture.
Preheat the oven to 375°F and grease a 9 x 13” casserole dish. Combine the cooked quinoa, lentils, spinach mixture and tomatoes in a large bowl and set aside. In a separate large bowl, combine the yogurt (if using), eggs, feta, dill, and salt & pepper then stir together.
Next add the quinoa mixture to the bowl with the eggs and feta and mix until everything is evenly coated. Pour the mixture into the casserole dish and bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until light golden brown on top.
Allow to cool for at least ten minutes then serve hot and enjoy!
Leftovers can be stored in airtight container for up to 3 days. To save time, you can use precooked lentils and quinoa or cook them in advance.