Quinoa… so hot right now. But what exactly should you do with it? Sure, it makes an amazing breakfast (just add chocolate) and is any salad’s nutty-flavored buddy, but there has to be more to this super grain than standing in for oats and being a vegetarian’s protein-packed sidekick.

That’s where quinoa bakes come in. A healthier, tastier version of the comforting casserole, quinoa bakes are packed with herbs, veggies, (optional) meat, and, our personal favorite, cheese. They’re also a great gluten-free option for those avoiding wheat or simply looking for a lighter version of classics like pizza.

Perfect for lunch, dinners you can eat (and not get sick of) all week long, or as a flavorful crowd-pleaser that requires minimal effort in the kitchen, it’s time to embrace the bake—quinoa bake, that is.

Caprese Quinoa Bake Photo: Domesticate Me

1. Caprese Quinoa Bake

We’re crazy for Caprese. Especially when it comes with protein, fiber, and extra basil and garlic. A breeze to make (the hardest part is layering the cheese before you eat it all), and pure joy to eat, the only thing missing from this recipe is a much-deserved glass of wine.

2. BBQ Chicken Quinoa Bake

The days of barbecues may be behind us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t keep the flavors in our hearts. (And, more importantly, in our mouths). Filled with bell peppers, onions, ground chicken, and plenty of spices, this recipe is everything you love about BBQ chicken pizza—crust and post-consumption bloat not included.

3. Quinoa Fiesta Avocado Bake

Fiestas may bring thoughts of seven-layer dip and cheese-induced food comas to mind, but Mexican food can actually be pretty healthy—even when it’s loaded (OK, lightly topped) with queso. Made with black beans, avocado, adobo sauce, and plenty of veggies, you won’t miss the unlimited chip bowl. BYO piñata.

Quinoa Broccoli Casserole Photo: Damn Delicious

4. Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

When Mom told you to finish your broccoli, she forgot to mention it comes with cheese, butter, and more creamy goodness—in this recipe, at least. So gobble up those fiber-filled greens and get an extra dose of protein while at it. Mom will be proud.

5. Chicken Alfredo Quinoa Bake

Chicken Alfredo pasta: Delicious. Chicken Alfredo quinoa: Delicious and healthy. Rich, filling, and oh-so-creamy, this decadent meal is the perfect way to warm up both your body and soul. To make it a touch healthier (and dairy-free) use a cauliflower-based Alfredo sauce.

6. Double-Cheese White Pizza Quinoa Bake

Few things beat pizza when hankering for a cheesy treat served on a glorious pile of carbs, but this recipe comes pretty close. (It might even be better.) Made with cottage cheese, marinated mozzarella, Italian seasonings, and a few other additions, this bake will have you kissing takeout goodbye—today, anyway.

Turkey Taco Quinoa Bake Photo: Mississippi Kitchen

7. Turkey Taco Quinoa Bake

For a fresh twist on Taco Tuesday, try taco-inspired quinoa. Full of ground turkey, black beans, olives, and green onions, and topped with a healthy handful of cheese, you’ll forget all about those crunchy shells. Or you can get adventurous and add some crumbled tortilla crunch to each serving.

8. Cheesy Greek-Style Baked Quinoa

Greeks get it—especially when it comes to whipping up heart-healthy, flavorful meals. This recipe mixes artichoke, spinach, tomatoes, herbs, lemon, and two cheeses to create a dish that feels decadent but won’t set back your nutrition goals.

9. Cheesy Quinoa Vegetable Bake

It’s probably obvious by now, but we’re big fans of cheese. We’re also fans of veggies, making this recipe the perfect combination of tasty and healthy. Simply steam the squash, carrots, and broccoli; mix them with garlic-flavored quinoa; and top with shredded Gruyere and cheddar. Tip: Experiment with fall produce for a seasonal flavor and nutrient boost.

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