- 2 cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- Cooking spray
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 4 tablespoons Darigold unsalted butter
- 3 ½ cups Darigold FIT milk
- 3 ⅓ cups shredded Darigold Sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 16 ounces (about 8 cups) frozen broccoli florets, thawed (see notes)
- 12-14 Ritz-style crackers
Broccoli: To quickly thaw, rinse frozen broccoli under hot water for 30-60 seconds, just until stems are no longer icy on the inside; pat dry. If using fresh broccoli, blanch the florets in salted, boiling water for 2-3 minutes beforehand and transfer directly to an ice bath to prevent overcooking.
- Prep the oven and baking dish. Preheat your oven to 350F and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Cook the quinoa. In a medium saucepan, combine 4 cups of water and rinsed quinoa and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook until all of the water has been absorbed, about 15-20 minutes.
- Make the sauce while the quinoa cooks. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook until lightly browned and bubbly, about 30-60 seconds. Add the milk and whisk constantly until the mixture comes to a simmer and thickens. Reduce heat to low; add 2 ⅓ cups shredded cheese and stir until the cheese has melted. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and remove from heat until the quinoa is done cooking.
- Assemble the casserole. Transfer cooked quinoa, broccoli florets, and cheese sauce in your prepared baking dish and mix until well combined. Top with remaining 1 cup shredded cheese. Crumble the crackers evenly over the top and lightly spray with cooking oil again.
- Bake and enjoy! Bake the casserole on the center rack until heated through and the cheese on top is melted, about 12-15 minutes. For a golden finish, place the pan under the broiler until the crackers are a deep golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately.