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Jalapeño Bacon Quinoa Mac n’ Cheese

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Jalapeño Bacon Quinoa Mac n’ Cheese

Created by Fit Foodie Finds Part of Ancient Harvest’s Modern Meal Cook-Off Jalapeño Bacon Quinoa Mac n’ Cheese is a gluten-free twist to the classic snack. These treats inspired by Ancient Harvest are sure to be a hit!

Prep Time: 30
Total Time: 60

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups Ancient Harvest™ quinoa, uncooked
  • 3 cups chicken/vegetable broth
  • 2 cups 1% milk (or any kind of milk)
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch or corn starch
  • 4 jalapeños, diced (or more/less to taste)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 pound of bacon bacon (~ 10 strips)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (for sprinkling)
  • 1/2 pound of white cheddar cheese, shredded (about 3 cups)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. First, preheat oven to 350ºF and spray a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Next, in a medium-size pot bring 1.5 cups of quinoa and 3 cups of chicken broth to a rolling boil. Then, reduce heat to low and cover. Let cook for about 15 minutes or until all liquid is dissolved, set aside.
  3. While the quinoa is cooking, prep veggies. Dice jalapeños and onion. Set aside.
  4. In a large frying pan, cook bacon (I did it in 2 separate batches). Turn burner to medium/high heat and cook each side for 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and dab the grease off. Let cool for about 5 minutes before chopping into small pieces. Set aside.
  5. Once you are done cooking the bacon, transfer the grease into a mason jar. Then, using the same pan, sauté onion, jalapeños, and garlic in the leftover bacon grease on medium/high for about 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
  6. Prepare cheese sauce by placing 2 cups of 1% milk (or any kind of milk) in a medium-size pot. Add in 2 tablespoons of tapioca starch and bring to a boil. Turn down to medium and let cook for about 8 minutes, or until the milk starts to thicken. Add in shredded cheese and mix until smooth.
  7. Transfer quinoa, veggies, and bacon (Leave some out to sprinkle on top) into the sauce. Mix. Transfer into casserole dish and sprinkle additional cheese and diced bacon on top. Place in the oven for 10 minutes, to let the cheese melt.
  8. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Serve with a sprinkle of paprika.
Servings: 4-6