by Olena

Ground Turkey Quinoa Casserole

by Olena

4.9 from 15 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?


Ground Turkey Quinoa Casserole

4.9 from 15 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
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Casserole
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American Ukrainian


  • 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)


  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.
  5. Cut into 8 pieces. 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.

122 comments on “Ground Turkey Quinoa Casserole

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  1. Love this recipe! Our daughter introduced it to us and we’ve been making it ever since! Curious: Have you ever added diced tomatoes to mix? I accidentally opened a can of diced tomatoes instead of sauce and wondered if I should add it along with the sauce or if that would be “gross”?!! What do you think? Thank you!

    1. Hi Teresa. If you mix both sauce and diced tomatoes it will be fine. Diced tomatoes alone would make this dish less creamy and more bland. You know what I mean? You can add diced tomatoes to any soup you make soon.:)

  2. When you say 2 cups dry quinoa that says to me 2 cups of uncooked quinoa. But this makes a ridiculous amount of food, did not fit into a 9×13. Am I reading this wrong?

    1. You are reading it right. You can cut recipe in half or freeze leftovers. Your dish must be not 9×13 or not deep enough. 9×13 is quite a large dish. Haha, this ridiculous amount of food is gone in my house in 1.5 meals. I envy you.:)

  3. Hi there 🙂 I made this recipe tonight…wow that was yummy!!! I thought I bought turkey chop was chicken, still came out great! Ty Ty Ty
    I also follow we and love the fact that you put the points plus values. Plenty leftover and froze some too!!?

  4. This is so delicious! I love it more than anything. And I love that it makes enough to freeze portions for my lunches! Thanks for this great idea! ( We love to sprinkle Franks’s hot sauce on top)

  5. Delish!! I added zuccini, brocolli, carrots and green peas. I didn’t have any fresh spinach so I used 2 frozen packs instead. I also doubled the tomato sauce and added 3 cans of diced tomatoes. Very tasty and lots of leftovers!!

  6. I made this recipe tonight maybe I did something wrong but it turned out like mush and looked like dog food? It’s in the oven Im hoping it tastes better than it looks lol

  7. Made this — added zucchini but otherwise followed the recipe to a T and it was delicious! I made it for my son but I may have eaten most of it…

  8. Hi! have just made this without breadcrumbs and was about to bake but thought I’d quickly post and see if the breadcrumbs are necessary for some reason, thanks!

  9. oh my, this sounds wonderful. It contains all the things I love and I’ve been looking for more interesting dishes to use quinoa in. I’m looking forward to trying it!

  10. I have really bad GERD so all tomato products are out of the question 🙁 Do you think there would be anything I could substitute for the tomato sauce?

    1. You can try any organic canned soup. Amy’s or Pacific Foods have a good selection. I’m thinking mushroom, chicken or butternut squash soup will be great.

  11. I made a slightly altered version of this tonight and really enjoyed it–though I’m sure I would have loved the original, too. However, I have a kid who really doesn’t like quinoa, so I used an 8 oz. package of farro instead (cooked per package instructions); also, I had leftover roast turkey that needed to be used so I replaced the browned ground turkey with diced roast turkey. Thank you for a delicious dinner! We’ll certainly make it again, I hope eventually with ground turkey and quinoa! 🙂

    1. Greek yogurt wouldn’t work. You can skip cheese completely but then add a bit more of dried herb spices to compensate for lost flavours. Or you can use cheese alternatives, there are plenty.

  12. I made this tonight and we really enjoyed it. It was great that I could prep it all last night and then just stick the casserole pan in the oven when I got home from work. I’m going to be blogging about this recipe soon!

  13. My Parents hunt & we’ve got quite a bit of Ground Venison in our Freezer. Could you do a swap out of it w/the Ground Turkey? It would certainly help from hearing, yet again, Mom say to me “Do you know how expensive that is!?!” Ever since being diagnosed Gluten Sensitive at the very least this past year, that sentence gets said at least twice a week by her. I see these blogs where people they have no idea where they’d be w/out the support of their Family after their Gluten Intolerance diagnosis and I wonder what that’s like. I mean, it’s not like I’m doing this to her on purpose or have any choice in the matter, but for some reason…

    Anyway, please let know if that swap can be done? Thanks!!

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