Crispy Quinoa Roasted Broccoli

quinoa-crusted-broccoliI am all about getting the kids to eat more vegetables.

And the boys are all about avoiding anything green.    I’ve heard of mom’s calling broccoli Shrek trees and other such creative methods to get their little ones to willingly eat greens, but sadly these methods never worked for us.

I assume that it is because they were implemented too late and my boys were far to wise to my tactics. (In retrospect trying to hide sweet potato puree in grilled cheese was a bad move when it comes to building trust.)

That is a parenting-fail that I hope to avoid the third time around.  In my dreams this little princess who is currently occupying my uterus is going to be a green smoothie drinking, broccoli eating, kale chip eating kid.  Yep… Skye and I will never have veggie battles.

What?  You think I should hop off my pink unicorn and regain the rest of you in reality?  Probably, but I’ll never give up hope of doing the whole food thing better the third time around.

In the meantime, I’m still trying creative ways to get the boys to consume at least small amounts of green food.

When I saw a recipe for crispy breaded broccoli, I knew I had to try it.  And, I knew I needed to try to make it even healthier.

This is my variation of breaded broccoli in which there is…well,  no breading.  Only crispy quinoa bits that look a little bit like bacon bits.  And what kid doesn’t love bacon?

This actually went over pretty well with the 8 and under set and the adults absolutely loved it.   The boys still aren’t on the green is good bandwagon…but at least we are making progress!

Quinoa Roasted Broccoli

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Calories per serving: 88

Fat per serving: 3.7g

Quinoa Roasted Broccoli


  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ¼ cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 pounds broccoli, cut into long spears
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard


  1. Preheat oven to 420 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place garlic, paprika, sea salt and quinoa in a food processor and process for 2 minutes. Add liquid smoke and pulse until combined.
  3. Heat ½ tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add quinoa mixture and cook 8 minutes, or until golden brown.
  4. Meanwhile, toss broccoli with remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Place on the prepared pan with the flat side down and roast for 15 minutes. Turn broccoli. Carefully spread with Dijon mustard and press quinoa mixture into the broccoli. Cook for 10 to 15 more minutes, until broccoli is tender and cooked through.


Servings 8, Calories 88, Fat 3.7g, Carbohydrates 11.6g, Protein 4.8g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 193mg, Fiber 3.8g, Sugars 2.0g, WW Pts 2

  • Connie Wright

    I think this looks absolutely delicious and I'll be making this tonight. I love your plans for Skye's veggies and I hope it works! If she watches you I think she'll develop a love for vegetables and good eating.

    Wendy, you have so many wonderful recipes, and I bought two of your cookbooks this morning. Please let me know how I can get the second one I bought as I didn't see download info on the Quintessential Quinoa cookbook.


    • Wendy Polisi

      Thanks so much Connie! You should have received an email with all of your download links. It would have gone to your paypal email address and all of the links would have been in a single email. If you are having any issues you can submit a support ticket and someone will help you.

  • kristyreal

    I can't wait to try this……crunchy is the hardest craving to satisfy on a whole foods, limited grain diet. We don't love broccoli (we eat it roasted when we do it), but we do love quinoa so I can see this boosting our broccoli intake. I might try this with cabbage wedges, Brussels sprouts or cauliflower since we like those veggies a lot more than broccoli and tend to eat them often. I like this idea for putting a little excitement and crunch in our favorite combo of braised cabbage and quinoa pilaf. 8^)

    • Wendy Polisi

      I agree…and crunchy is my thing! I think this would work great with other veggies too!

  • Natanya

    Is there a way to make the quinoa stick without the mustard? My kids would love this recipe; except for the mustard.

    • Wendy Polisi

      Anything with a thick wet texture would work! BBQ sauce might be something to try with kids that don't like mustard.

  • Sam

    It would be helpful for you to include serving sizes on your recipes.

  • mpstorer88

    this looks delicoious! I've just moved in with new housemate and one hates veggies! Might have to try the grilled cheese sweet potato mix 😉

    • Wendy Polisi

      Thanks so much! Hope you enjoy.

  • Shoba Shrinivasan

    What a lovely idea..and i loved loved your clicks….what is liquid smoke? what did u use it for?


    • Wendy Polisi

      Liquid smoke is used for flavoring. You can get it at most any grocery store.

  • Marcy

    I love quinoa, so it will be great to have ideas for other ways to serve it. Thanks.

    • Wendy Polisi

      Hope you enjoy Marcy!

  • catsluvr

    this looks great but in light of children eating way too much sodium this is quite high in sodium

    • Wendy Polisi

      If you are concerned about sodium you can always leave the salt out. Personally, I think the sodium in this dish is just find and the nutritional analysis software gave it an A, indicating they agree with me. My children most definitely don’t get too much sodium so it isn’t something I worry about. We stick to whole foods with absolutely no fast food – even when we are traveling.

      One thing to keep in mind is that very often salt becomes an issue in people who don’t get enough potassium. Stick to a diet that is packed with fruits, vegetables and legumes and you are less likely to have an issue. Of course, it is a different situation if you have high blood pressure. But for kids that are trim, fit and active who aren’t eating a SAD, 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt (I never use table salt) is just fine for a dish that has 8 servings.

  • Wendy Polisi

    Yes – I would try 1 1/2 teaspoons (total) to start with.

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