Make Ahead

Baked Quinoa with Roasted Butternut Squash & Gruyère Casserole

November 21, 2016
8 Ratings
Photo by Alexandra Stafford
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

"Quinoa bakes" are new in my world, but this one surprised me with its familiarity and comfort. Simple, delicious, crowd-worthy. A good one to know this time of year. —Alexandra Stafford

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup quinoa (I like red for visual appeal)
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided plus more for greasing
  • 4 cups 1/2-inch cubes butternut squash (about), 1.25 lbs. post peeling
  • 2 cups diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced herbs, any combination of thyme, sage, and rosemary
  • 1 cup milk, any milk fat you like (I use whole)
  • 4 ounces grated Gruyère cheese (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs (about 1 1/2 English muffins pulsed in the food processor)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa, 2 cups of water, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
  2. Meanwhile, grease a rimmed sheet pan lightly with olive oil. Place cubed squash and diced onion on pan. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with 1 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt (depending on your tolerance — if you are sensitive, use 1 teaspoon), and toss to coat. Spread vegetables out into an even layer. Transfer to the oven and roast for 25 to 30 minutes or until squash and onions are just beginning to brown. Remove pan from oven. Increase oven temp to 425°F.
  3. Uncover quinoa pan and fluff with a fork. Add 1 tablespoon of the herbs, the milk, and half of the cheese, and mix with a spatula to combine. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the roasted squash and onions and fold gently to combine. Transfer mixture to a lightly greased 9x13-inch baking dish. Cover evenly with the remaining cheese.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the remaining herbs, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss with your fingers until the breadcrumbs are fully saturated and seasoned. Spread this evenly atop the cheese. At this point, the pan can be stashed in the fridge for as long as a day (maybe longer) and baked when needed. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until evenly golden. Let cool briefly before serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • OPTOMontheEdge
  • lgoldenhar
  • Molly
  • Awads
  • Susan
I write the blog alexandra's kitchen, a place for mostly simple, sometimes fussy, and always seasonal recipes. My cookbook, Bread Toast Crumbs is available everywhere books are sold.

33 Reviews

OPTOMontheEdge March 1, 2023
This was delicious. Very mild flavored, and easily modified. Crowd pleaser with great crunch.
lisa November 17, 2018
I doubled the recipe and made this last Thanksgiving as the main dish for all the vegetarians I love but it turned out EVERYONE ate it! I used panko (just easier), only 1 tsp of salt and folded in spinach (healthy!) -3 cups loosely packed then cut in a wide chiffonade-with the squash and onions. Made the day before and cooked day of but think would be just as good reheated the next day, unfortunately there was nothing left over so I can't comment about freezing it!
Alexandra S. November 18, 2018
So happy to hear this, Lisa! Love the idea of spinach and love the idea of making this for Thanksgiving. One year, a vegetarian friend brought a butternut squash lasagna to Thanksgiving and EVERYONE ate it. It's been a favorite ever since. Happy Holidays!
Josh April 15, 2018
I've made this dish a few times and I love it! Any idea how this would hold up in the freezer?
Alexandra S. April 15, 2018
I think it would do really well in the freezer. Are you hoping to freeze it pre or post baking?
Josh April 15, 2018
Post-baking! I already made it this morning and was thinking about freezing half of it
Alexandra S. April 15, 2018
Perfect, go for it! I think it will freeze beautifully post baking.
Ruby April 12, 2018
I made this for a family dinner this evening and we all loved it!! I didn't have any gruyere so i used parmesan instead and it was delicious deff going to be making this again!! was so tasty and very easy to make!
Leslie October 10, 2017
This was a cozy vegetarian weeknight dinner that satisfied my omnivore family. Next time, I’ll add frozen spinach for greens.
lgoldenhar April 11, 2017
This came out really well. I decided to make this kosher for Passover using ground matzoh for the bread crumbs. It came out really well. This would be really nice as a vegetarian option for a seder (unless you're serving meat and do not mix meat and dairy).

I agree with others about the amount of salt. I ended up using 2 1/2 tsp.
lgoldenhar April 11, 2017
One more thing. I used white cheddar instead of gruyere because it was what I had on hand. It was a good substitution.
Alexandra S. April 12, 2017
Love this idea! Thanks so much for writing in with your adaptations. I'd love to bring this to a Seder.
Marsha February 5, 2017
This dish is amazingly yummy!! I also made a note to cut back on the salt although I am a salt lover. But that's the only change I would make.
Alexandra S. February 5, 2017
Wonderful! I will make a note about the salt as well.
Mary A. January 30, 2017
Warm and wonderful, crunchy and delicious... comfort food at its best! Not just my vegetarian daughter and I loved it, even my non-vegetarian husband thought it was great.
Alexandra S. January 31, 2017
So happy to hear this, Mary! The carnivores in my family love this one, too :)
jodi January 30, 2017
I made this last night and this is a weird comment for me to even be considering writing because I LOVE salt, but did anyone else think the 3 1/2 teaspoons of salt was a lot?
Jennifer January 30, 2017
While I LOVE salt, it was a bit salty for me day one. But after it rested overnight, it was perfect on the second day. I may use a wee bit less salt next time. I used Maldon.
Alexandra S. January 31, 2017
I definitely tend to go big on the salt, and I do also season at every step. I probably could cut back the 2 tsp. of salt called for for roasting the squash, which would probably tone it down a bit. I'll make a note!
Jennifer January 30, 2017
Made this deliciousness tonight with panko. LOVE the crunch crust it makes. Thanks! :)
Alexandra S. January 30, 2017
So happy to hear this!
Jennifer January 30, 2017
It's even better—if that's possible—the next day. Just ate for lunch. Love that it's so light while being comforting and filling. Many thanks again! Big kiss! xx
Alexandra S. January 30, 2017
I love this day old as well ... cold, straight from the fridge. So glad to hear you do too. Big kiss to you as well!!
Paula G. December 31, 2016
I don't keep a lot of bread/English muffins around, so I'm wondering if panko or that type of crumbs would work?
Alexandra S. December 31, 2016
Panko should work just fine. With panko, the topping might cook/brown faster, so keep an eye on it during the final baking.
Molly December 11, 2016
Do the remaining herbs go in the breadcrumbs? I don't see them mentioned.
Alexandra S. December 11, 2016
Shoot, yes! Thanks for catching that. Will edit recipe now.
Molly December 12, 2016
Great, thanks. Made it last night, and it was delicious!
Alexandra S. December 12, 2016
Oh, fantastic! Great to hear.
Awads December 5, 2016
This recipe is going in my "keepers" file. I made it last night, but subbed in some mushrooms and zucchini b/c it was also clean-out-the-fridge night (and i was short on butternut squash by about half) It was delicious! I'm excited about how well it takes to variations and my family really loved it. Thanks for this!
Alexandra S. December 5, 2016
So happy to hear this! It is definitely a format that lends itself to variation. We are loving this one as well.
Susan December 4, 2016
Yum!! I discovered too late that I was out of quinoa, but I went ahead anyhow, subbing in what I did have - pearl barley. Not quite as nutrious but still delicious.
Alexandra S. December 4, 2016
Totally nutritious! I love it. So happy to hear this worked out for you!