PESTO QUINOA & WHITE BEAN BAKE WITH SPRING VEG

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I will be real with you: this is a casserole! It’s cute to call savoury things like this a “bake,” but it is recognizably, undoubtedly a casserole. The spring weather in my area has been a bit of a joke (there were whiteout conditions last weekend!), so the coziness of a warm casserole feels just right. This pesto quinoa one is hearty, but still light and spring-y with the asparagus and herbs. A good dish for a sloooow transition to Spring ;)

You could make the quinoa and white bean base and top this with whatever roasted vegetables you’re enjoying in the moment. I think this would be particularly good with some slow-roasted tomatoes and eggplant on top at the height of summer. The beauty of this dish is that it’s pretty minimal on the ingredients front, and once you have the quinoa cooked, you’re 20 minutes away from dinner time. While the bake… bakes (haha), you can fix up a little salad or something to serve along with. I put a very hearty pinch of ground chili in ours because we cannot get enough of the spice, but honestly the pesto and shallots provide a lot of savoury and comforting flavour here.

While we wait for warmer days, may the coziness of this pesto quinoa bake keep you satisfied. I hope that everyone is staying well out there. We are grateful to be healthy and safe at home as this global event goes on. Sending you love and light this week. Thanks for being here :)

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PESTO QUINOA & WHITE BEAN BAKE WITH SPRING VEG

Print the recipe here!
SERVES:
4-6
NOTES: You can make your own pesto or buy it for total convenience! No judgement from me. Classic basil pesto would be great, but my kale pesto would also be delicious here. For my fellow Ontarians, I buy the Sunflower Kitchen pestos often. They’re great (and nut-free)!
-I prefer a more rich plant-based milk in this recipe. Unsweetened cashew or soy would be my picks.

1 tablespoon olive oil plus extra, divided
1 medium shallot, small dice
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups vegetable stock
1 ¾ cups cooked white beans, drained & rinsed
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
½ cup dairy-free pesto of choice, see headnote
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
pinch of chili flakes, optional
¾ lb asparagus, tough ends trimmed
3-4 radishes
chopped fresh dill, parsley, or chives (or a combination), for serving
vegan “parmesan” sprinkle, optional (but highly recommended)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8×8 (or an 11×7) baking dish with olive oil and set aside. Set an additional small baking sheet nearby.

In a large saucepan, heat 1 ½ teaspoons of the olive oil. Add the diced shallot and saute until beginning to turn translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the quinoa to the saucepan and stir to coat in the oil. Add the vegetable stock and stir. Bring the quinoa to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer until almost all of the liquid is absorbed, about 13-15 minutes.

Take the quinoa off the heat and stir in the white beans, non-dairy milk, pesto, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, and the chili flakes (if using). Once combined, transfer the quinoa mixture to the prepared baking dish. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until slightly browned on the edges and slightly firm.

While the pesto quinoa is baking, cut the asparagus into 2-inch lengths. Place the chopped asparagus on the separate small baking sheet. Toss the asparagus with the remaining olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake the asparagus alongside the pesto quinoa bake for about 15 minutes, or until just-tender.

While asparagus is baking, thinly slice the radishes and chop some herbs for garnish.

Serve the pesto quinoa and white beans bake with the roasted asparagus on top, sliced radishes, and chopped herbs. Enjoy immediately!

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  • KB13/05/2020 - 4:38 pm

    I appreciate your photos so, so much! They are gorgeous! I also love how you use seasonal produce in elegant and unexpected ways.ReplyCancel

  • Marcy youker14/05/2020 - 11:29 am

    love your recipes I tried a few, thank you for sharingReplyCancel

  • Sadie Laurenti-Whitley14/05/2020 - 5:39 pm

    What a delightful treat this recipe is. I had to change a few ingredients to go with what I had at home, and it still tasted delicious. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Stella Weinert14/05/2020 - 11:22 pm

    Made this tonight- was delicious! Added steamed broccoli and roasted tomatoes and Ripple pea milk-creamy. Was fast to put together too- will definitely make this again, thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Samantha21/05/2020 - 12:25 pm

    Okkuurrr! I made this for dinner last night and my oh my …. WINNER! It’s been rainy and cold in Calgary all week so this casserole was the perfect touch of coziness to bring to the table.
    I opted to make homemade pesto as I wasn’t thrilled with any jarred varieties I looked at. The whole dish came together simply and resulted in a lovely meal we’ll be enjoying leftovers from. Also, highly recommend adding some chili flakes, it kicks up the flavor just perfectly!ReplyCancel

  • Marysa28/05/2020 - 8:56 am

    This sounds like an amazing dish! I love pesto and this looks like a delicious combination of flavors.ReplyCancel

  • Sabrina03/06/2020 - 9:01 pm

    love all of these ingredients together, the white beans too, this works really well for me, thank you!ReplyCancel

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