Healthy Quinoa Make Ahead Casserole

Healthy Quinoa Make-Ahead Casserole | A healthy and easy way to stay on your healthy lifestyle! www.asweetpeachef.com

When I first started eating healthyOpens in a new tab. and following a lot of the clean eating guidelinesOpens in a new tab., I knew I had to give up my beloved pasta.

Or, at least, I assumed I wouldn’t be able to eat pasta.  Or noodles.  Or breads.

Because…that’s what happens when you eat “healthyOpens in a new tab.,” right?  No carbs are allowed?

Well, that’s what I thought, at least…

Healthy Quinoa Make-Ahead Casserole | A healthy and easy way to stay on your healthy lifestyle! www.asweetpeachef.com Healthy Quinoa Make-Ahead Casserole | A healthy and easy way to stay on your healthy lifestyle! www.asweetpeachef.com

BUT then I started really learning about clean eatingOpens in a new tab..  I learned that it’s not about cutting carbs. It’s not about removing pasta.  It’s not about taking and taking and taking until there’s no more joy in the food you’re eating.

This VERY much intrigued me and made me oh so happy.

Rather, I learned that clean eatingOpens in a new tab. is actually about choosing whole, real foods.  It’s about finding nutritious, unprocessed foods that are good for you and removing all the stuff that isn’t.

In other words: it’s about finding ways to enjoy the foods you love, just in a healthier wayOpens in a new tab..

Healthy Quinoa Make-Ahead Casserole | A healthy and easy way to stay on your healthy lifestyle! www.asweetpeachef.com

So.  How does this apply to this tasty, cheesy, satisfying healthy quinoa penne make ahead casserole you’re drooling over right here?

Well, I’ve got some good news for ya: this pasta is HEALTHY.  Yep, I use quinoa penne noodles which are super tasty, full of fiber, and protein.  They are also gluten-free, if you’re into that sorta thing.  (If you’re wondering, the brand of pasta I use is Ancient Harvest Organic Quinoa Penne PastaOpens in a new tab. and it’s super tasty).

In other words, I found a wayOpens in a new tab. to enjoy pasta and still live this healthy lifestyle and you can, too. And it is tasty, let me tell ya.

I also LOVE make ahead foods that I can meal prep on the weekends when I have more time and then just reheat on those busy weeknights while I’m hanging with my kiddos.

Healthy Quinoa Make Ahead Casserole

If you’d like to learn more about clean eating, check out my free guide on how to start eating clean for beginnersOpens in a new tab..

5 from 1 vote
Healthy Quinoa Make Ahead Casserole Square Recipe Preview Image
Healthy Quinoa Make Ahead Casserole
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 
Healthy and easy come together in this delicious make ahead casserole using quinoa penne noodles.
Categories: casserole, gluten free, Healthy, make-ahead, pasta
Difficulty: Easy
Keyword: healthy make ahead casseroles, healthy quinoa pasta recipe, make ahead casserole recipes
Servings: 6
Calories: 609 kcal
Author: Lacey Baier of A Sweet Pea Chef
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb lean ground beef 90/10
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 7 cremini mushrooms sliced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp kosher salt. divided
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 box quinoa penne noodles
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese sliced or shredded
  • parmesan cheese optional for garnish, grated
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Fill a deep stock potOpens in a new tab. halfway with water and heat over high heat. Add 1 tsp. kosher salt and the noodles once boiling.
  3. When al dente (almost tender), about 8-10 minutes, drain and set aside.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large skilletOpens in a new tab. over medium-high heat.
  5. Add the ground beef to the oil. Break into crumbles and brown well. Once well-browned, remove the meat from the skillet and set aside in a bowl, reserving the drippings in the pan.
  6. Return heat to medium-high. Add onion and shallot and cook until onion begins to sweat.
  7. Add garlic, mushrooms, and tomatoes, and cook until onion and mushrooms are tender.
  8. Return the ground beef to the skilletOpens in a new tab. and stir to combine. Add the seasonings (oregano, basil, thyme, salt, and pepper) and the tomato sauce and stir to combine. If too thick, add 1/4 cup water to loosen.
  9. Once the mixture begins to simmer, add the drained noodles and mix well.
  10. Pour the mixed meat sauce and noodles into a 9x16 casserole dishOpens in a new tab. and cover with a thin layer of mozzarella cheese,
  11. Place into the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbling.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts
Healthy Quinoa Make Ahead Casserole
Amount Per Serving
Calories 609 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 6.7g34%
Cholesterol 79mg26%
Sodium 870mg36%
Carbohydrates 58g19%
Fiber 5.4g22%
Sugar 8.6g10%
Protein 36g72%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post contains affiliate links for products I use frequently and highly recommend.

Lacey Baier

Hey y’all, I’m Lacey Baier and I’m so glad you’re here! I’m a healthy lifestyle influencer and the creator of this clean-eating blog and YouTube channel, A Sweet Pea Chef. My recipes have been published on Food Network, Good Morning America, FoxNews, Tastemade, Fitness Magazine, and much more. I live in Dallas, Texas with my husband and four kiddos. Let’s get started!

6 thoughts on “Healthy Quinoa Make Ahead Casserole

  1. I cannot find the exact pasta you are using in this recipe. The closest I can get to the picture you show in the video here is a 9.6 oz. box of Ancient Harvest Gluten free Penne (from to f box says organic super grain pasta and ingredients are organic corn floured organic quinoa flour). The front of my box reads “Penne in big bold letters, but does not say “Quinoa” as your box does. Is this the correct pasta I should be using for this recipe? Is 9.6 oz the correct amount?
    Please advise!

  2. 5 stars
    Oh wow! So nice of you Lacey 🙂 Even I used to think the same as you thought, but after reading your article you just brainwashed me. In short motivated me to find more healthy ways of eating my loved foods 🙂 Thankyou so much Lacey.

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