Quinoa and Vegetable Ziti Casserole Extraordinaire: A Nutritious Fusion of Italian and Superfood Goodness

Quinoa and Vegetable Ziti Casserole Extraordinaire: A Nutritious Fusion of Italian and Superfood Goodness

This wholesome casserole combines the hearty textures of ziti pasta with the nutrient-dense qualities of quinoa and a medley of fresh vegetables. Perfect for a family dinner, this dish offers a delightful culinary journey that is both delicious and nutritious. Bursting with flavors and rich in vitamins, it is a surefire way to please everyone’s palate while keeping things health-conscious.

– 1 cup uncooked quinoa
– 8 oz ziti pasta
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 medium red onion, chopped
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 medium zucchini, diced
– 1 red bell pepper, diced
– 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
– 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
– 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
– 1 tsp dried oregano
– 1 tsp dried basil
– 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
– Salt and pepper to taste
– 1 jar marinara sauce (24 oz)
– 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
– 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
– Fresh basil leaves for garnish


1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

2. In a medium saucepan, cook the quinoa according to the package instructions. Set aside once cooked.

3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the ziti pasta until al dente, according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

4. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped red onion and cook for about 3 minutes until it begins to soften. Add the garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.

5. Stir in the diced zucchini, red bell pepper, and yellow bell pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

6. Add the cherry tomatoes and spinach to the skillet. Cook for 2-3 more minutes until the spinach has wilted. Season with dried oregano, dried basil, red pepper flakes (if using), salt, and pepper.

7. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, ziti pasta, sautéd vegetables, and marinara sauce. Mix until everything is well combined.

8. Pour the mixture into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan evenly over the top.

9. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and slightly golden brown.

10. Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Garnish with fresh basil leaves before serving.

Enjoy this Quinoa and Vegetable Ziti Casserole Extraordinaire as a standout centerpiece for your next meal, full of vibrant flavors and wholesome ingredients!