Especially with the longer days, when we take Carlos-dog on his after-dinner walk, Robbie and I find ourselves asking each other what’s for dinner. I may have a vague idea, but you know what, half the time there’s no solid dinner plan. This recipe for Rainbow Quinoa Egg Bake comes out of one of those evening walks.
Once home we get rolling. We give diced carrots a quick sauté with green onions. We stir in leftover tri-color quinoa, a dollop of our favorite cottage cheese, sun-dried tomatoes from the pantry, and golden-browned vegetarian sausage crumbles. And of course, 4 eggs. With a sprinkle of grated sharp cheese and a dusting of red Aleppo pepper, 20 minutes in the oven, and we’re good to go. Easy. Delicious.
Rainbow quinoa egg bake is simply nourishing tasty leftovers held together with eggs and cheese, and baked until hot. It’s an easy recipe template for enjoyable spur-of-the-moment meals.
Here’s how the conversation flows: What do we have in the fridge? Well, there’s the rainbow quinoa from last night. We’ve got gorgeous yellow farm eggs; we’ve got that wedge of cheese we can grate. For sure, fresh veggies. What’s in the pantry for bright color and flavor? Oh that sounds good. Let’s mix everything together and pop it in the oven. No plan becomes a plan. Ta-da! I kid you not, these dinners happen a lot.
Rainbow Quinoa Egg Bake recipe notes:
- Use a well-seasoned oven proof cast-iron or non-stick skillet, or any casserole pan sprayed with cooking spray.
- I’ve included the quinoa cooking step in the recipe in case you don’t already have a stash of cooked quinoa.
- Following the template, get creative. Be sure to include a colorful vegetable, like carrots, or maybe diced sweet potatoes, especially if you’re using up rice or barley and not tri-color quinoa.
- Also think about what you have around for brightening flavor, like the veggie sausage and sun-dried tomatoes in this recipe. Diced artichoke hearts or salty Kalamata olives are nice to have in the pantry for last minute egg bakes.
- I found a bunch of green onions about to go bad in the crisper, so in they went. For your aromatic you could use red onions instead.
- When preparing quinoa, or rice or another grain, cook more than you need–the trick is to have leftovers. (If you think your leftovers might turn into a science experiment before you get around to using them, stash them in the freezer. 😉 Defrost in a saucepan, on low flame, adding a couple tablespoons of water. Or defrost in the nuclear oven, aka microwave.)
- Egg bakes remind me of frittatas—though I wouldn’t call them that–frittatas use at least twice the eggs.
Wishing you a fabulous day–get in the kitchen and cook something delicious!
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This skillet bake is an easy delicious way to use what you have on hand. Use it as a template to come up with your own version!
- 3/4 cup rainbow quinoa, rinsed (2 cups cooked)
- 1 ½ cups water
- 2 teaspoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, plus another teaspoon for baking.
- 2 carrots, cut in 1/2-inch dice, (2/3 cup)
- 2/3 cup chopped green onion
- 4 ounces vegetarian “sausage”, optional
- ½ cup cottage cheese
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- ¼ teaspoon Real Salt
- About 3 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
- ½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- ¼ teaspoon Aleppo pepper or freshly ground black pepper
- Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. Add a pinch of salt and the rinsed quinoa. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cook about 15 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. You should have about 2 cups of cooked quinoa.
- Preheat over to 350°F.
- Heat the first 2 teaspoons of oil in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium flame. Add the carrots and sauté 5 to 8 minutes, until they begin to soften. Stir in the green onion and sauté a few more minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside. Wipe out the skillet.
- If using vegetarian sausage, cook it: Heat a teaspoon of oil in the skillet. Chop the “sausage” into chunks, add to the skillet, and cook. Breaking up the chunks with a wooden spoon, stir occasionally until the “sausage” crumbles are golden brown. Transfer to the bowl with the carrots and onions. Wipe out the skillet. Coat the skillet with the remaining teaspoon of olive oil.
- Stir the quinoa, cottage cheese, beaten eggs, sun-dried tomatoes, and salt into the bowl with the vegetables and “sausage.” Transfer the mixture to the oiled skillet.
- Scatter the grated cheese over the top and sprinkle with pepper.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until the eggs are barely set, and have begun to puff up on the edges.
- Let cool a few minutes. Serve in wedges with a crisp green salad.