Cheesy Parmesan Mushroom Quinoa is creamy, comforting and easy to make! It's a side dish or a light meatless main meal you'll find yourself craving again and again.
When you need a fancy side dish for a meal, don't make risotto. Make Creamy Mushroom Quinoa!
It has a meaty feel from finely diced mushrooms and cheesy flavor from grated Parmesan cheese. Quinoa is the perfect base for this dish, with its tiny little "grains." Quinoa is not really a grain. It's a seed and part of the spinach and beet family!
The final dish will feel very fancy, especially if you garnish it with thyme!
Preparing Mushrooms for Cheesy Mushroom Quinoa
Several years ago I learned to finely chop mushrooms and use them as a partial or complete replacement of meat. It's called blending. Mushrooms prepared this way have the taste and feel of meat crumbles, but have far fewer calories.
We use this technique in Vegetarian Pasta Fagioli, meatloaf recipes and basically any recipe that calls for a beef crumble. It's a 1 to 1 substitution.
To prepare the mushrooms, finely chop them with a knife or food processor. Yes - you can use a food processor. Just be careful not to process for very long. Saute mushrooms and diced onion in olive oil until softened.
The mushroom mix can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it! If you go this route, consider making extra for use in other recipes.
Tips for Making Creamy Mushroom Quinoa
There's very little room for error when cooking this recipe.
- Make the entire recipe ahead of time, stored in the refrigerator and reheat.
- For a creamier recipe, stir in a few tablespoons of broth, especially if reheating the recipe.
- For a vegan version, add nutritional yeast instead of Parmesan cheese.
- Add beans or meat for an even heartier main dish.
- Use sliced mushrooms instead of diced.
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Cheesy Mushroom Quinoa Recipe
- 1 cup quinoa well-rinsed
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounces mushrooms white or baby bella, finely chopped with a knife or food processor
- ½ white onion diced
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme 1 teaspoon dried
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place quinoa and broth in a pot and bring to a boil.
- Reduce to simmer, cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Grains will be soft and translucent and the germ ring will be visible on the outside of the grain.
- While the quinoa is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Saute mushrooms and onions for about 5 minutes or until softened and tender.
- When quinoa has finished cooking, add it to the skillet with the mushrooms and onions.
- Stir in cheese and thyme.
- Season with salt and pepper, if desired.