by Olena

Ground Turkey Quinoa Casserole

by Olena

4.8 from 10 reviews

Ground Turkey Casserole

Ground Turkey Casserole

If you have lots of leftover quinoa and ground turkey in the freezer, this ground turkey casserole with a giant pack of baby spinach is for you! Some of my favorite casseroles are made with quinoa: black bean quinoa casserole and spinach artichoke quinoa casserole.

Quinoa is a queen of healthy whole grains, full of complete protein and contains all essential amino acids. Treat it like rice but quinoa is even better. Simply just because it is ready in 12 minutes.

I originally posted this healthy ground turkey casserole 4 years ago while visiting my mom’s farm. Over the years, I made it over tens times receiving rave reviews. So more appetizing photos were in order.

How to Make Healthy Ground Turkey Casserole and Tips

Ground Turkey Casserole Ingredients healthy ground turkey casserole

Cook quinoa as per package instructions undercooking by 4 minutes. In my world, it means 8 minutes cooking time, with a clean up afterwards.

ground turkey for ground turkey quinoa

Sauté ground turkey for 5 minutes, breaking into pieces with spatula while stirring. I used ground venison because I already had it on hand. You can also use ground buffalo, chicken, pork or beef.

onion for ground turkey and quinoa

Then you want to pan fry dried herbs in a bit of oil first, to help release their flavors. Afterwards, add garlic and onions, and cook until translucent and fragrant.

Ground Turkey and Spinach

Don’t be afraid to throw as much spinach as you want because it shrinks like crazy – I used a giant standard 11 oz pack of baby spinach. Load it up with iron, vitamins A, K, C, E , calcium and cancer fighting abilities.

Tip: if your kids are not spinach eaters, replace it with broccoli, green peas or any other green vegetables they like.

ground turkey casserole recipe

Mix everything together in a giant bowl, dump into baking dish and level (do not press or tap). Sprinkle with cheese and bake uncovered for 25 minutes. That’s it!

Garnishing with diced tomatoes and green onions is optional. My kids loved it! This ground turkey and quinoa bake came out extremely juicy and right amount cheesy. It tasted even better next day.

Can I Freeze It?

Yes. Got a friend who just had a baby? You are having a baby? This casserole is perfect for freezing.

To freeze casserole: assemble, tightly wrap with plastic and then foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and bake as per instructions + 15 minutes.

Is It a Make Ahead Casserole?

Absolutely. Assemble, cover with plastic and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Bake as per instructions. It tastes fresh no matter what you do. very hard to ruin this recipe.:)

Ground Turkey Casserole

Hungry for More Ground Turkey Casserole Recipes?

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Ground Turkey Quinoa Casserole

4.8 from 10 reviews

This Healthy Ground Turkey Casserole is a budget friendly crowd pleaser. Perfect to use up leftover quinoa, freeze and make ahead.

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Casserole
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American Ukrainian
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, grated
  • 11 oz package baby spinach
  • 14 oz can tomato sauce (I used low sodium)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 3 cups cheddar or mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 tsp basil, dried
  • 1/4 tsp thyme, dried
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil or coconut oil
  • Cooking spray (I use Misto)
  • Green onions and diced tomatoes, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cook quinoa as per package instructions undercooking by 4 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Preheat oven to 375 F degrees and spray 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Preheat large non-stick skillet on medium heat and add ground turkey. Saute for 5 minutes, breaking into pieces with spatula while stirring. Transfer to the bowl with quinoa.
  3. Return skillet to medium heat and swirl 1 tbsp of oil to coat. Add dried basil and thyme, saute for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add garlic and onion, saute until golden brown. Add spinach in batches while stirring, and cook until it’s wilted. Transfer to a bowl with quinoa and turkey, along with tomato sauce, bread crumbs, 2 cups of cheese, salt and ground pepper. Stir just enough to combine.
  4. Transfer mixture into a baking dish, sprinkle with remaining 1 cup of cheese and bake uncovered for 25 minutes. Serve immediately garnished with tomatoes and green onions, no need to let casserole cool down.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.

Freeze: Assemble, tightly wrap with plastic and then foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and bake as per instructions + 15 minutes.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

105 comments on “Ground Turkey Quinoa Casserole

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  1. Yay! Pinned this about a month ago – tried it tonight! EVERYONE liked it!! (Includes an 8 & 11 year old!!) SO happy! Thank you! I added some red peppers for color (& because I had them) Other than that, stuck to recipe – yum!

  2. I was looking for a new recipe that I could use quinoa with. This look delicious! And I love that you added the WW Points Plus on there. So helpful! DEFINITELY trying tonight. 🙂

  3. I’ll be honest – as I was preparing this dish, I was getting a little worried. It looked mushy and I thought I had gotten the proportions off.

    HOWEVER, this casserole is amazing! I am so, so pleased and so excited to have found it. I added some red pepper flakes, and then garnished with diced tomatoes with habanero peppers for a kick. Yum, yum, yum! Glad I’ll have leftovers for a while. 🙂

    Thank you, Olena! I’ll definitely be back for more recipes. 🙂

    1. Haha, I always appreciate the honesty. I never get offended because we all have different tastebuds. Glad you liked it! And yes, I cook in big portions.:) You can always freeze too.

    1. You can use gluten free breadcrumbs, coarsely ground gluten free oats or ground rice crackers instead of regular breadcrumbs.

  4. I tried this recipe with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving and it was wonderful! I am an oncology nurse navigator and in our clinic’s monthly newsletter I like to put one healthy recipe for our cancer patients to try. May I have your permission to use this recipe?

  5. Just made this it was the best! Had such a different but good taste! Made me fill full without filling weighed down can’t wait to makw this for special occasions!

    1. Breadcrumbs soak up the liquid and cheese helps to hold the casserole together. It will work out without these 2, just won’t taste the same or be holding together. Still should be good.:)

    1. Mix some tomato paste and diced fresh tomatoes with boiling water to bring it to 2 cups. It will kind of be the same consistency as tomato sauce. Or as an alternative, puree in a food processor some tomatoes with the paste. The paste will thicken the tomato juice.

  6. I really enjoyed the flavour of this dish. The texture was
    a bit homogeneous and mushy for my husband. Next time I will break
    it up more by adding vegetables (maybe broccoli) throughout. I
    halved the recipe and it filled an 8×10 casserole dish. Adding
    tomatoes to the top was delish.

  7. Looks amazing!! I’ve question though, when you undercook the quinoa, do you drain the excess water first, or leave it in with the other ingredients? Can’t wait to try it, thanks!!

    1. You undercook quinoa by a few minutes, so it is al dente, a bit hard. There will be no water left, maybe just a tiny bit at the bottom. The grain should absorb all water, it just won’t expand that much if you cooked it all the way. But in case you have some water left, just drain it. I always cook my quinoa 1:1.25 ratio, not 1:2. You can do that. Guarantee, there will be no water left.:)

  8. I have two packages of ground turkey breast sitting in my
    freezer. Didn’t know what to do with it. I think I just found my
    answer 😉

  9. Just made this & even without the garlic, onion, & spices, it was delish, so with these I can’t even imagine! This’ll be a regular in my home!

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