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5-ingredient Broccoli + Quinoa Mac and Cheese

A simple quinoa mac and cheese recipe that requires just 5 ingredients, is made in one pot and takes only 20 minutes to make. Also gluten-free + vegan!

So lately I've been the total queen of lazy-girl cooking. I find myself thinking up all these elaborate recipes in my head and yet when I get into the kitchen all I want is quick, easy and healthy. Maybe it's the change of the season, maybe it's stress, but whatever it is, the easier the better.

Today is a prime example of what a typical weeknight meal looks like for us. Quinoa mac and cheese, made in one pot, with only five ingredients and in under 20 minutes. Probably served with a side of greens dressed in oil and lemon juice. Yep, that pretty much sums up our dinner life these days.

Luckily though, just because something is simple and easy it doesn't mean it's not still flavorful and tasty. In fact, this particular dish is downright delicious. Matt even took a bite and said, “Yummm!” (mind you I don't get that reaction very often when I serve him a vegan meal)

Oh and this recipe is also totally kid- and allergy-friendly. Not gluten, dairy, eggs, soy or nuts, but with the creamy, cheesy flavor of mac and cheese. Plus since there's broccoli, we even sneak in some healthy green veggies.

This ONE POT broccoli + quinoa mac and cheese is seriously one of the easiest dinners ever!

The secret to perfect quinoa mac and cheese? NUTRITIONAL YEAST! So cheesy, so healthy and SO delicious!

So this version of quinoa mac and cheese is a bit different than my others. For starters, you don't have to bake it. (remember, we're talkin' lazy-girl status here). You also don't have to blend anything up; the whole thing is made in just one pot. Third, it's naturally vegan, but still massively cheesy because of the nutritional yeast.

side note: if you don't have any issues with dairy, you could totally sub the nutritional yeast for parmesan.

And finally, it's faster. The whole thing comes together in only 20 minutes, so you can have dinner on the table in no time.

Quinoa Mac and Cheese with broccoli -- made in only ONE POT with just five simple ingredients! [vegan]

5-INGREDIENT Vegan Quinoa Mac & Cheese! Warm fluffy quinoa and broccoli coated in tons of cheesy flavor!

Friends, if you've been depriving yourself of mac and cheese because you think it's unhealthy or takes too much time to, this recipe is for you. And if you're the type of person who's feelin' real lazy one night, this recipe is going to save you.

Your turn…

When you're feeling pressed for time or just don't feel like getting into the kitchen, what's your go-to recipe? I'm always looking for new ideas to make for dinner, and the easier the better if you know what I mean 😉

xo A

p.s. if you end up making this recipe, or any other from the blog, I'd love for you to share a pic and tag @simplyquinoa on Instagram so I can see! (OR if you're on the snap…snap me!! @alyssarimmer)

Don't have time to cook? Think again! This quinoa mac and cheese is made in just one pot, takes less than 20 minutes AND it only uses 5 ingredients! [gluten-free + vegan]

More Incredible Quinoa Mac & Cheese Recipes to try:

5-ingredient Broccoli + Quinoa Mac and Cheese

4.3 from 79 votes
If you've been depriving yourself of mac and cheese because you think it's unhealthy or takes too much time to, this recipe is for you!
author: Alyssa
yield: 4 servings
Don't have time to cook? Think again! This quinoa mac and cheese is made in just one pot, takes less than 20 minutes AND it only uses 5 ingredients! [gluten-free + vegan]
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes



  • Add quinoa, broccoli, broth and water to a large sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, stir and then cover and reduce to simmer for 15 - 20 minutes. You want the quinoa to be fluffy and the water to be absorbed.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in nutritional yeast (or cheese). Taste and add salt and pepper if desired.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!


Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 485mg | Potassium: 457mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 463IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 3mg
cuisine: American
course: Main Course

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QUINOA MAC AND CHEESE with broccoli -- the perfect meal when you think you have no time to cook. Takes just one pot, takes less than 20 minutes AND it only uses 5 ingredients! [gluten-free + vegan]

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67 comments on “5-ingredient Broccoli + Quinoa Mac and Cheese”

  1. Avatar photo
    Michael English

    Thank you so much for your nutrition label. I am 69 and a diabetic and many of your recipes are great for my diet. I have to be very careful about not only carbohydrate consumption but also sodium so nutrition facts are a big help.

  2. Avatar photo
    Cheryl Hutchinson

    Yes! The nutritional info is most appreciated! I hope you will continue to include it with your recipes.

  3. FYI, some of us are sensitive to yeast, and can’t have either the nutritional yeast or cheese, so technically it’s NOT allergy-friendly.

  4. Thank you Alyssa for including the Nutrition facts to the recipe. I really love this addition because I can only use recipes with nutritional facts for my assignments. When I find a recipe that is very good and does not have, I have to calculate those myself using a software. I am a second year nutritional medicine student and next year when I start clinics, I can refer clients to Simply Quinoa so they can browse through your recipes and information they need to know will be there. I have tried very few of your recipes so far for lack of time right at the moment with my study load but I have lots of them saved and on a queue to be tested and tried.

    Thanks once again for your wonderful work!


  5. This was so easy to make and I had all the ingredients on hand for making it tonight!!!! So glad I opened up the email. DELISH!!!! Thank you, Alyssa.

    1. So glad you enjoyed it!! Don’t you love how easy it is? And so many ways to change it up by adding different veggies. I think spinach and peas would both be delish!

  6. Didn’t want to simmer all the nutrition out of the broccoli so added it for the last five minutes of cooking time – came out bright green with just bit of a crunch – perfect.

  7. Alyssa, yes thanks for the nutritional value. My quinoa must be overcooked, never looks like yours 😉 I will be trying 20 minutes. I wonder what the nutritional yeast tastes like, maybe cheddar cheese…?

    1. How long do you normally cook your quinoa for? It really shouldn’t go longer than 15, but this recipe takes a bit longer because of the broccoli. The nutritional yeast has a distinct, cheesy flavor but I’m not sure I could pin-point the *exact* cheese that it tastes like 🙂

  8. Avatar photo
    Emilie @ Emilie Eats

    Yessss healthy comfort food ftw! Mac and cheese was always my favorite food (or really anything with cheese) before I went vegan, so I love versions like this. My favorite lazy girl meal is chickpeas pancakes (1/3 cup chickpea flour + 1/3 cup water) with either a whole bunch of burrito ingredients (black beans, lettuce, salsa, guac) or jus avocado.

  9. My go to meal is roasting a bunch of veggies in the oven (squash, beets, carrots, parsnips) and making an avocado toast with a poached egg. It’s so filling, easy, and tasty! I don’t go a day without avo in my diet and my brother thinks I live off avo toast. Can’t wait to try this recipe, I am not vegan but I have never experimented with nutritional yeast.

    1. LOVE AVO TOAST!! Like soo much! It makes the best lunch, dinner, snack, breakfast, you name it. And yes, I have avocado every single day – I can’t image life without it 🙂

  10. This looks wonderful. I can’t wait to try it. One question: I don’t see the recommendation to “wash” the quinoa before adding to the pan. Did I miss it, or do you eliminate that step when using quinoa? Thanks!

    1. I don’t personally rinse my quinoa, but you might find this video helpful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPoxNBno5Cc

      1. I made this tonight and it was disappointing. I did rinse the quinoa. But the broccoli was way overcooked. Steaming separately, or adding toward the end would be a better idea. Also, the nutritional yeast, which I cook with several times a week, didn’t really mix in very well. I’d be inclined to make sure there was still some liquid in the bottom of the pan so it “creamed up.”

        The flavor was just ok. It might benefit from some garlic and/or onion powder. But as written, we were disappointed in the final product. Sorry….

        1. Sorry you felt that way – others have really enjoyed it! Definitely feel free to change it up for your own personal preferences next time around 🙂

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  12. 10/10! Even my 4 year old loved this! I opted to use cheddar cheese. I’m glad I made enough to eat it for a couple days.

  13. I really liked this recipe! It’s so simple and easy to make. It was also my first time trying out nutritional yeast and I actually liked it a lot more than I thought I would. Thanks! 🙂

    1. Woohoo! Thrilled you enjoyed it 🙂 And glad you liked the nutritional yeast – it’s such a great ingredient to use!

  14. Just made this for a lazy supper after getting home from work. Like others, I steamed the broccoli separately instead of cooking it with the quinoa and I made mine spicy!! Added two slit thai chiles to the cooking liquid and stirred in sambal oelek and cilantro at the end. Topped with scallions and chopped jalapeno peanuts. Delicious!

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  17. I’ve seriously made this 3 times in the past 2 weeks. I use Parmesan and the whole family loves it, including our 6 year old. Does it taste exactly like Mac and cheese…no. Does it matter…no. It’s cheesy in flavor, creamy in texture and packed full of good things. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

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  21. I’ve never tried quinoa before and this was really good! I’m not vegan so I switched the veggie broth to chicken broth but I loved it ☺️

  22. Have you ever tried it with cauliflower? I have that in the refrigerator so I just wondered! Thank you!

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  24. I was really surprised with how well this turned out. I stirred the quinoa with the broth and water and then dumped the broccoli (and some leftover cauliflower) right on top to prevent the veggies from overcooking. They were still well done at 15 minutes, but not completely mushy, and the quinoa was done. I also think the key to it having any flavor with just the five ingredients is using a good stock and not just water. I used Imagine Vegetarian no-chicken broth and it was very flavorful. This is a perfect recipe for when you are in a hurry and don’t have anything planned ahead, or in my case, an easy meal to make when camping. Thank you!

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  28. I can’t say enough about this great little recipe. I am always on the hunt for vegetarian dinner recipes and while I find great ones, they are normally TONS of ingredients, tons of steps and a huge mess. This was one of the most simple AND the most tasty I’ve come across. Thank you for posting something that truly only took a few minutes to prep and make!

  29. Mine tasted a bit bitter….. I used a vegetable stock and broccoli florets (great value). I am going to add some cashew milk when I re-heat for lunch and see if that helps. Did any one ever have this happen?

  30. I’m a little confused about the nutritional information breakdown. Isn’t a 1/4 cup of quinoa = to 32g of carbs? So if this recipe calls for 1 cup of quinoa for 4 servings, shouldn’t it be at least 32g of carbs (plus more including broccoli and nutritional yeast)?

  31. What would you say a serving size is? Or when you reference 4 servings, are you suggesting this as a meal? Very delish. Thank you!