Side Dish Staple

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I found this next recipe at Half Baked Harvest and I have already made it twice! The first time I made it as a side dish and the second time I ate it for my main dish over several nights.  It is packed with protein, flavor, and cheesy goodness.  It makes a small 8×8 side dish or you can double the recipe and make a 9×13 or larger casserole.  Enjoy!

 

Creamy Caprese Quinoa Creamy-Caprese-Quinoa-Bake-1

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella, divided
  • 1/2-1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large bunch fresh basil, cut into ribbons
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

 

 

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

 

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 half of the 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 the remaining tomatoes.

 

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.  Remove from the oven and top with fresh basil ribbons.  Allow to sit five minutes and then serve.

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