Rainbow vegetable quinoa bake

Sometimes, it’s good to find a new way of cooking a familiar ingredient. Typically, I cook quinoa in a pan of boiling water, drain it, and then serve it as a side dish much like rice or potatoes. But unlike rice or potatoes, who occasionally get to star in a risotto, or a delicious dauphinoise, quinoa usually sits on the side-lines. Until now…!

I considered cooking the quinoa risotto style – adding stock gradually and stirring – but I suspect the grains aren’t starchy enough to develop a creamy texture the way arborio rice does. (Also, I didn’t feel up to standing around stirring.) I browsed umpteen recipes, and eventually concocted the idea for a quinoa bake, studded with delicious vegetables and topped with cheese. I think Americans would call this a casserole (erroneously). Yum yum yum.

As I was making this, Kipper announced that she wanted pasta and pesto for dinner. I began to explain that I wasn’t making pasta, and anyway we didn’t have any pesto, and she began to strop. A sudden inspiration! But this is a rainbow quinoa bake, I said. Rainbow She paused. “What’s it made with then?” she enquired, suspiciously. Rainbow deliciousness, I replied. She reluctantly agreed to try it…

I didn’t feel like too much of a liar. Almost all the colours of the rainbow are represented here, one way or the other:

  • Red – pepper
  • Orange – carrots
  • Yellow – onions
  • Green – leek, courgette and pepper
  • Blue – OK, no blue food, sorry 
  • Purple – Kalamata olives

In the end it was a big hit all round. DH must either have been really hungry or really liked it, because he ate just over half by himself! Kipper and I saw off the remainder – she ate some of the quinoa then excavated all the vegetables and ate them separately. 

So, I’d say this serves 2-3. 

Rainbow vegetable quinoa bake

Rainbow vegetable quinoa bake.

Rainbow vegetable quinoa bake
Serves 2
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
738 calories
80 g
201 g
38 g
24 g
8 g
872 g
1248 g
19 g
0 g
27 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 738
Calories from Fat 334
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 38g
Saturated Fat 8g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 21g
Cholesterol 201mg
Sodium 1248mg
Total Carbohydrates 80g
Dietary Fiber 14g
Sugars 19g
Protein 24g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 2 medium onions
  2. 1 leek
  3. 3tbsp olive oil
  4. 2 medium carrots
  5. 1 red pepper
  6. 1 green pepper
  7. 1 large or 2 smaller courgettes
  8. 12-15 kalamata olives
  9. 125g quinoa
  10. 1 tsp ground black pepper
  11. 400ml hot vegetable stock
  12. 2 eggs
  13. 75-100g grated cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Peel and chop the onions. Trim the leek and cut into 6-8mm slices. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over a medium heat, then fry the onions and leek.
  3. Peel the carrots, halve lengthways and slice into 4-5mm slices. Add to the pan and stir.
  4. Deseed the peppers and cut into dice. Add to the pan and stir.
  5. Trim the courgette, cut into quarters lengthwise and slice into 4-5mm slices. Add to the pan and stir.
  6. Finally, slice the kalamata olives into 3-4 slices each, and add to the pan. Mix everything well.
  7. Stir in the quinoa and season with the pepper. Add the stock and mix well. Cover and simmer for 5-6 minutes.
  8. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for a few moments. Beat the eggs and quickly stir into the quinoa mixture. Tip everything into a baking dish, sprinkle the grated cheese over, and transfer to the oven.
  9. Bake at 180C for 25 minutes, until the quinoa is cooked and the cheese is melted and golden. Serve.
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Rainbow vegetable quinoa bake

Rainbow vegetable quinoa bake


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