On The Table

A collection of knowledge-based articles to inspire overall wellness.

Craveable & Healthy Cheesy Quinoa Recipe

If searching for a healthy cheese recipe, nothing gets cheddar than the one shared right below! Find out how to prepare one delicious and nutritious cheesy quinoa here.

Craveable & Healthy Cheesy Quinoa Recipe

Looking for a healthy cheese recipe? Nothing gets cheddar than this one!

This cheesy quinoa recipe packs loads of flavor and nutrients, especially thanks to the small but mighty seed used. Oh, and one surprising nutritious ingredient that gifts mega creaminess!

Really, this quinoa recipe gives traditional mac and cheese a run for its money. (But this rich, yet healthy King Ranch chicken mac and cheese dish should be added to any recipe bank!)

Without further ado, find out how to prepare one delicious recipe as well as prep and serving tips for the ultimate healthy meal! 

Cheesy Quinoa Recipe

Yield: 12, 4-oz servings 

Nutrition per serving: 130 calories, 6 g fat, 5 g protein, 15 g total carb, 2 g fiber

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes


• 1 cup quinoa, dry
• 4 cups butternut squash, peeled and deseeded, cut into 1" pieces
• 2 Tbsp olive oil
• 1/2 cup milk, reduced-fat
• 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
• 1/2 cup smoked Gouda, shredded
• 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, reduced-fat
• 3 tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp black pepper
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• 1 tsp smoked paprika


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a medium saucepan, cook quinoa in water according to package directions.

2. While quinoa is cooking, place cubed squash on a baking sheet in a single layer and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Roast in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until squash is just beginning to brown and easily pierced with a fork.

3. When squash is finishing roasting, transfer to a blender while hot, along with milk, smoked gouda, cheddar cheese, Dijon mustard, sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. Pulse to combine and then switch to medium speed until the mixture is smooth. If too thick, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until a smooth mixture runs through the blender easily.

4. Uncover quinoa pan and fluff with a fork. Add the butternut cheese sauce and gently mix with a spatula to combine.

Prep & Serving Suggestions

Looking for a delicious pairing for the cheesy quinoa? What about wondering if the recipe is safe for a gluten-free diet? 

These questions (and more) answered in detail right below!

Shake Up a Comfort Meal Classic

Meatloaf and mac and cheese is a classic comfort food pairing but can be laden in fat, sugar, and calories overall. 

Relish in the feelings of comfort while sticking to health goals by pairing the cheesy quinoa with this meatloaf. (Oh, and did we mention it is topped with a honey bourbon glaze?)

Round out the dish with favorite veggies, including Italian seasoned green beans, roasted cauliflower, or a side salad. 

Play with Other Flavors

The cheesy quinoa recipe is nutritious and delicious as is but can be modified with other fun ingredients. The cheese can also be subbed out with other favorites!

Some unique flavor quinoa bowl combos include:

• Italian: parmesan cheese, spinach, and basil

• Mediterranean: feta cheese, cherry tomato, olive, zucchini, garlic

• Pizza: cheddar cheese, mushroom, tomato, oregano, green onion

Really, the options are endless so feel free to experiment with flavors!

Ensure Gluten-Free Cheesy Quinoa

Quinoa and the other ingredients used in this recipe are naturally gluten-free. But mustard, and sauces and condiments in general, may become contaminated with small amounts of gluten during processing

So if following a gluten-free diet, it is still important to ensure the ingredient is devoid of the protein. Check with the brand itself and/or investigate the ingredient list and other labels on the product. 

In addition to being gluten-free, this recipe fits safely fits into an array of specialty diets such as heart-healthy, low-carb, and diabetic meal plans. 

Try Out Other Quinoa Recipes

Loved this recipe? Do not miss out on our other favorite quinoa recipes, including a vibrant Vietnamese quinoa salad and fresh tabbouleh salad with quinoa

And while this simple fried rice recipe uses brown rice, quinoa makes a great substitution!