Home > Recipes > One Pot Quinoa Mac and Cheese with Spinach
January 24, 2017

by Alyssa Rimmer

One Pot Quinoa Mac and Cheese with Spinach

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This healthy quinoa mac and cheese recipe is made in just one pot, is high in protein and packed with nutrient-dense ingredients. It's also a great way to sneak some greens into your meal without even noticing!

Facebook logoTwitter logoPinterest logoCreamy Quinoa Mac and Cheese with spinach! Made in just ONE POT and comes together in less than 15 minutes!

I woke up yesterday with this major hankering for mac and cheese. I was watching an episode of Always Sunny in Philadelphia and they kept eating mac and cheese, and honestly, it was the only thing I could think about.

But traditional mac and cheese that's packed with dairy, gluten and saturated fat? Sounds good, but not so good for my insides.

So instead, I whipped up a new version of quinoa mac and cheese, and it totally hit the spot. All the creamy, cheesy flavor, but without the bloat and gas. Just another reason why real, whole food ingredients win every single time.

Facebook logoTwitter logoPinterest logoCreamy Quinoa Mac and Cheese with spinach! Made in just ONE POT and comes together in less than 15 minutes!

I'm excited to be partnering with my friends at Bob's Red Mill to bring you today's recipe! You guys know how much I adore their entire product line; no matter what meal I'm whipping up, I know I can turn to Bob's to find the product I need.

And today is no different.

We're using their fluffy white quinoa, which is part of their ancient grains line, combined with nutritional yeast to give us that cheesy flavor without the addition of real cheese!

Facebook logoTwitter logoPinterest logoCreamy Quinoa Mac and Cheese with spinach! Made in just ONE POT and comes together in less than 15 minutes!

What's great about this recipe, aside from the fact that you can make it in just one pot and it comes together in under 20 minutes, is that it actually does taste like mac and cheese!

Of course, we don't have the noodles or the crunchy breadcrumb topping, but the creaminess, the heartiness and the flavor are all there. Honestly, I had to stop myself from eating the entire pan before taking pictures!

Facebook logoTwitter logoPinterest logoCreamy Quinoa Mac and Cheese with spinach! Made in just ONE POT and comes together in less than 15 minutes!

The trick to this mac and cheese is to add the spinach just before the quinoa is done cooking. That way it cooks down but doesn't lose its shape entirely.

We also want to undercook the quinoa just a bit. Leave a little bit of water still in the bottom and stir in all the remaining ingredients while it's still hot. When we do this, the quinoa sticks together a bit and helps ensure we're getting that nice creamy texture.

Facebook logoTwitter logoPinterest logoCreamy Quinoa Mac and Cheese with spinach! Made in just ONE POT and comes together in less than 15 minutes!

The final secret to this dish? The spices!

Last time I made a broccoli and quinoa mac and cheese, I added in some garlic powder and it kinda blew me away.

So this time, not only did I add some garlic powder, but I also stirred in a bit of smoked paprika (my fave) and the teeniest pinch of nutmeg. Yes, the nutmeg might sound out of place, but trust me it's SO good!

Facebook logoTwitter logoPinterest logoCreamy Quinoa Mac and Cheese with spinach! Made in just ONE POT and comes together in less than 15 minutes!

But I think best of all, and what you'll be happiest about, is that this mac and cheese is healthy. And not just a lightened up version where we use low-fat versions of the original. Nope, we're talking nutrient-dense, high-protein, legit healthy.

30 grams of protein, 15 grams of fiber and only 5 grams of fat per serving. Whoever said you can't get enough protein from eating plants clearly has never combined quinoa and nutritional yeast before. Total powerhouse couple!

It makes for a completely plant-based meal that keeps well for a few days (hello, meal prep!) and will keep you full and satisfied, but not overly stuffed or bloated. Which means… leftover lunch party at your desk tomorrow!

More Healthy Quinoa Side Dishes to Try:

One Pot Quinoa Mac and Cheese with Spinach

This healthy quinoa mac and cheese recipe is made in just one pot, is high in protein and packed with nutrient-dense ingredients. It's also a great way to sneak some greens into your meal without even noticing!
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 176kcal
Author Alyssa Rimmer
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Facebook logoTwitter logoPinterest logoCreamy Quinoa Mac and Cheese with spinach! Made in just ONE POT and comes together in less than 15 minutes!
3.17 from 6 votes

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Add quinoa and water to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce to simmer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, add spinach to the pot, recover and continue to cook for another 3 - 5 minutes.
  • Remove quinoa from the stove and stir in the remaining ingredients.
  • Serve immediately or store in sealed glass containers in the fridge for 3 - 5 days.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 3g | Calories: 176kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 337mg | Potassium: 474mg | Fiber: 4g | Vitamin A: 2190IU | Vitamin C: 6.4mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 3.4mg

This post was brought to you in partnership with Bob's Red Mill. Thank you for supporting the companies that I believe in! xo

 

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Facebook logoTwitter logoPinterest logoThis HEALTHY Quinoa Mac and Cheese recipe is made in just one pot, is super high protein and a great way to sneak in some greens! || 340 calories, 30g protein per serving

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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

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  1. I don’t understand your instructions. 2 of the steps say to add the spinach to the quinoa, but the other ingredients are not mentioned at all.

    • I haven’t tested it in a crockpot, so I’m not entirely sure. If you do try, I’d love to hear how it turns out! xx

  2. I’m not the biggest fan of the taste of nutritional yeast, do you think I could just add real cheddar instead? I know it’s not as healthy haha. Thanks!

  3. Hi Alyssa! Just discovered your website and videos and I’m a fan!
    Question…
    Does Nutritional Yeast have a shelf life? I bought it in bulk about 5 months ago and put it in the kind of plastic container you are given at a grocery store deli section (side note: I’m ordering the glass lock and pyrex containers you’ve mentioned and tossing out all of my old plastic containers!
    Thanks,
    Linda

  4. This recipe looks very easy and yumi! Thanks for posting. I think i will also add some mushrooms. But one question, have you tried this with fresh garlic? Maybe pan fry it before adding the quinoa and water to the saucepan? Thanks

  5. Just made this with one hand — literally having just had surgery on my right, dominant hand wrist 2 days ago. Aside from subbing froz spinach and adding in some grated parmesan as I was down to 1/4 c. nutritional yeast, oh & regular milk for almond , this was VERY tasty & most importantly, easy enough for me to accomplish given current circumstances. Thank you for this delicious recipe.

    • Sorry, I think it’s just confusing! You add it in step one, and then when you remove the lid from the pot, the spinach is going to just be sitting on top of the quinoa, so you need to stir it together. Does that make sense?

  6. Hi I enjoy your recipes and your videos, thank you. Please speak slower especially when you were mentioning the products. I had to play the video over several times to hear the word nutritional yeast.
    Can’t wait to try the recipes today.

  7. You indicated in step 1 to add the spinach and then again in step 2 you say to stir in the spinach. Wasn’t that already done in step 1?

    • Sorry for the confusion! It gets add in step one, but then it will be just sitting on top of the quinoa, so you stir it all together in step two. Does that make sense? I’ll update the directions to be more clear!

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