Review: Cheesy Quinoa Gratin with Summer Squash by Calm Belly Kitchen

Cheesy Quinoa Gratin with Summer Squash by Calm Belly Kitchen

I cook mostly vegetarian meals with a fish dish thrown in every once in a while. Because of this, I look for high protein foods, such as quinoa. Quinoa is healthy, filling, and packs 8 grams of protein per cup, which is really good. In my attempt to keep eating quinoa, I am always looking for good recipes. I was going through the Calm Belly Kitchen Cookbook filled with low FODMAP recipes by Julie O’Hara and saw the Cheesy Quinoa Gratin with Summer Squash recipe and decided to try it. The fact that there was cheese in the recipe was a bonus. I do love my cheese.

My husband and I had the dish last night with a side salad and we loved it. I first like that it is made with ingredients I normally have in my fridge and pantry. The only “special” ingredient I had to get was Fontina cheese but Julie indicates in the recipe that you can use any cheese that melts well. Secondly, it is an easy recipe that did not take a lot of time and it allowed me to multitask. I put the veggies in the oven and started cooking the quinoa so they could cook at the same time. During that time, I grated the cheese and cut the scallions and while the dish was cooking for the final 18-20 minutes, I made the side salad and cleaned the dishes. Perfect, when you want to eat healthy but do not have a lot of time. The main thing I like about it is that it is really good and has a great mix of flavors. It nicely combines the sweetness of the summer squash, the nuttiness of the toasted quinoa, the gooeyness of the cheese, with a nice kick from the scallions. Check out the recipe below. In general, if you are looking for new low FOMDAP recipes that are tasty, healthy, and easy to make, check out Julie’s cookbook.

Serving Size: Serves 4 as a main dish, 6 as a side


  • Cooking spray
  • 2 small yellow summer squash, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp neutral oil, divided
  • ½ tsp dried herbs de Provence (or a combo of rosemary and thyme)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 ¼ cups chicken broth, divided
  • 5 scallion tops, sliced
  • 1 packed cup (4 oz) grated Fontina (or other melty cheese)


  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil (optional, but it helps minimize clean up) and mist with cooking spray (alternatively, you can coat with a thin film of oil). Add yellow squash, zucchini, 1 tbsp of the oil, and herbs; season with salt and pepper. Toss well to combine and spread in a single layer. Roast until vegetables are tender and golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes, tossing them with a spatula once or twice during cooking. Reduce oven temperature to 350F.
  2. Heat remaining 2 tsp of oil in a small saucepan on medium-high heat. Add quinoa and stir constantly until coated with oil and slightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of the chicken broth, cover and bring to a simmer on high heat (watch carefully so the liquid doesn’t boil over). Reduce heat to low and simmer until broth is absorbed and quinoa is tender, 15 minutes. Keeping the pan covered, turn off the heat and rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer quinoa, roasted vegetables and about three-quarters of the scallions to a large bowl; stir gently to combine. Mist an 8 x 8-inch (1 ½ quart) baking dish with cooking spray and add half the quinoa mixture. Pour remaining ¼ cup broth over the quinoa to keep it moist. Top with half the cheese, then the remaining quinoa, and lastly the remaining cheese. Bake at 350F until cheese is melted and edges are just beginning to brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Rest for 5 minutes, sprinkle with remaining scallions and enjoy.

Bon Appétit!




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