Pizza Quinoa Casserole

  • Prep: 15 min.
  • Cook: 10 min.
  • Makes 6 servings
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups pizza sauce
  • 1 package (6 ounces) sliced turkey pepperoni
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Optional: Minced fresh basil, sliced olives, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (drained), banana peppers and red pepper flakes

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat; cook sausage and onion until sausage is no longer pink, 5-7 minutes, breaking up sausage into large crumbles. Drain.

Transfer sausage and onion to a 4- or 5-qt. slow cooker. Stir in mushrooms, broth and quinoa. Cook, covered, 5 hours; stir in pizza sauce, pepperoni and green pepper. Cook, covered, 1 hour or until pepper is tender. Sprinkle servings with cheeses. If desired, serve with optional toppings.

Tips: If you don’t like an ingredient, you can easily leave it out or substitute something else. For instance, replace the sausage with ground beef, or omit it entirely and make a delicious vegetarian meal. The natural coating on quinoa, called saponin, tastes bitter, so it’s important to rinse it off. Most boxed quinoa comes already rinsed, but it won’t hurt to give it an additional rinse.

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