Quinoa "Mac" and Cheese

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I love cooking, but usually, my M.O. with weekday meals is to keep things as easy (or easier) than boxed macaroni and cheese without actually eating macaroni and cheese every day of the week. Because that would get pretty boring, pretty fast. In the age of the quarantine, we have plenty of mac on hand and are eating it regularly, but we’re also trying to keep variety in our meals as much as possible.

Even when making quick and easy weeknight meals (or eating #quarantinefood), I still generally try to build my meals in the same way, including a source of protein/carb/fat/produce and a hefty side dish of satisfaction. When my husband and I stocked up on food, we pretty much just bought a month’s supply of the staple items we eat on a regular basis. So, right now we’ve got a freezer full of green beans and cauliflower rice, and about five pounds of quinoa. So, we’ve been eating a lot of green beans, but that’s fine. And we’ve also been eating Quinoa “Mac” and Cheese which is more than fine…it’s excellent.

What I love about this recipe is that it’s extremely versatile, and doesn’t really require measurement. I add ingredients to the pot with shakes, sprinkles and handfuls, but for the purposes of this post, I measured them. If you try this recipe and like it, I encourage you to experiment with different flavor combos — anything you’d be willing to try with regular macaroni and cheese. It won’t disappoint.

Quinoa “Mac” and Cheese


  • 1 cup dried quinoa
  • 2-1/4 cups chicken broth (or water + 1/2 tsp salt)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk, cream, or half-and-half


Combine quinoa, onion powder, and broth (or water + salt) in a small pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Stir in cheese, butter, and milk until melted. Serve hot, garnished with more cheese.

Ideas for additional toppings:

  • Pesto sauce
  • Marinara + meat sauce
  • Shredded chicken + more cheese
  • Taco meat + fixings
  • Pulled pork and coleslaw
  • Pizza ingredients (pepperoni, sausage, marinara, olives)
  • …anything else you have on hand!


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