This is a lazy, lazy dinner and I love it for that.

A cheesy quinoa and broccoli casserole made entirely in the rice cooker! A simple vegetarian meal or side dish.

Sometimes, mid-week, I really do lose the will. I whine about not having any food in the house. I whine about not wanting to cook. I whine about wanting to get takeout. And so when I feel that way, it’s great if I can channel it into making up a super lazy recipe to share with the world. Like this one!

A Complete Dinner in a Rice Cooker

A cheesy quinoa and broccoli casserole made entirely in the rice cooker! A simple vegetarian meal or side dish.

For Christmas last year, my brother bought me a super-cute mini rice cooker with a steaming lid. This is a fantastic addition to our lives and I find myself wanting to use it for as many things as possible.

There is something very pleasing about making dinner without turning on an oven. It somehow feels easier and less intrusive on one’s evening. When I’ve lost the will, taking that little machine out of the cupboard and knowing that it’s the only thing I’ll need makes me breathe out a sigh of relief. Everything feels contained and manageable.

Cooking the Broccoli in the Rice Cooker

This recipe uses the steaming function of the rice cooker alongside cooking the quinoa. If yours doesn’t have a steaming basket, I have two suggestions:

1) If you have a larger rice cooker, you can just add the broccoli on top of the rice once you’ve done your mid-cook stir.

2) If not, microwave the broccoli. Whatevs.

Serving Suggestions

A bowlful of this is a reasonably balanced meal with grains, greens and protein. It doesn’t have a lot of ingredients, but they are all strong players. Lots of garlic, lemon juice and a strong cheddar cheese add so much flavor.

If you’re having it as a complete meal, I would definitely recommend adding some toppings to the bowl. Whatever is lying around. A little chili oil or some chili flakes, with some fresh herbs like chives, basil or spring onions, maybe some hummus or tzatziki… Just raid the fridge and throw stuff in.

A cheesy quinoa and broccoli casserole made entirely in the rice cooker! A simple vegetarian meal or side dish.

Rice Cooker Cheese & Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

5 from 1 rating


  • 1 small head of broccoli, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1.5 cups (265 g) quinoa
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups (225 g) cheddar cheese*, grated
  • Garnishes- chili oil, chili flakes, herbs, yogurt, etc.


  • First, you’re going to start cooking the garlic in the rice cooker. Turn it on, and add the butter and garlic cloves to the bowl until the butter is melted and the garlic is sizzling. It doesn’t need to get brown- you just want to wait until the butter is frothing a little and the garlic is releasing fragrance.
  • Add the quinoa and stir into the butter and garlic mix.
  • Now add 3 cups of water and the lemon juice, place the lid over the bowl, and leave until you see that most of the liquid at the top has been absorbed half.
  • Lift the lid and stir the quinoa. Now add the chopped broccoli to the steaming shelf and replace the lid.
  • Once the rice cooker finishes, your broccoli should be ready. Put to one side and add the cheese and a little extra water if the quinoa feels dry. Stir until the cheese is all melted.
  • Add the broccoli and stir through to incorporate.
  • Dish out and top with your choice of toppings.


*You want a strong / mature cheddar for this, to make sure the flavor cuts through enough. If in doubt, swap or add parmesan or parmesan-style cheese.
Calories: 546kcal, Carbohydrates: 53g, Protein: 27g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 64mg, Sodium: 446mg, Potassium: 896mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1610IU, Vitamin C: 137mg, Calcium: 507mg, Iron: 4mg