Slow Cooker Garlic Mushroom Quinoa is a creamy, cheesy vegetarian meal or side dish that's packed with veggies and full of flavor.
Slow Cooker Garlic Mushroom Quinoa is a creamy, cheesy, mushroom filled quinoa dish that is made in the slow cooker with just about 5 minutes of prep time. I am always trying to create new slow cooker vegetarian dishes since it is something that can be hard to find and after playing around with quinoa in the slow cooker for a couple of weeks, I fell in love with this garlic and mushroom quinoa dish. It makes the perfect meatless meal with a nice green salad or cut the serving in half for a side dish.
Now let's talk about this dish. The secret ingredient to create a creamy, almost risotto-like quinoa dish, is reduced-fat cream cheese. It adds tons of creaminess to the dish and makes it taste indulgent. Plus paired with the earthy mushroom, bright green onions, and salty Parmesan cheese - yum! And you can definitely pack in some extra veggies if you want - spinach, kale, Swiss chard, or red bell pepper would all work and add great flavor.
It's also one of those dishes that get better after a night in the fridge. So if you live in a household like mine, where your loved ones turn their noses to mushroom, you can hoard the leftovers for yourself and be confident that they will taste even better for lunch the next day.
How to make quinoa in the slow cooker?
Quinoa is easy to make in a slow cooker. You'll want to start by rinsing the quinoa to remove the outer coating, called saponin. This makes the quinoa less bitter and gives it a milder flavor. Then add the quinoa to the slow cooker with a ratio of 1 part quinoa to 1.5 liquid. The liquid could be water or broth. Then cook on high for 2-3 hours or 4-5 hours on low. Cooking time will vary between slow cookers and depending on the fullness the slow cooker. Here's the basic recipe, that will result in 6 cups of cooked quinoa.
- 2 cups quinoa
- 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- Salt and pepper
- Directions: Add the quinoa and broth to the slow cooker. Stir well. Cook on high for 2-3 hours. The quinoa is finished when it is tender, light, and fluffy.
What to Serve with Slow Cooker Mushroom Quinoa
Before deciding what to serve with this yummy quinoa, you need to decide if you are serving it as a main dish or a side. Here are some ideas for each:
- Make a vegetarian main dish like this Crispy Salt and Pepper Tofu or Slow Cooker Italian White Beans.
- For a main course with meat, consider making this easy Italian Salmon or Pesto Chicken.
- If the mushroom quinoa will be your main dish, I love the serve it with extra veggies on the side. Try these Roasted Tomatoes, Brussels Sprouts, and Green Beans.
This is one of those recipes that's easy to customize and make your own.
- Change up the flavor slightly by using chicken or beef broth in place of the vegetable broth.
- Reach for a different type of mushroom or add a variety of mushrooms.
- Chop up some kale to add greens to the dish or stir in some fresh spinach right before serving.
- Add some extra flavor with a can of drained diced tomatoes. Add them once the quinoa has finished cooking.
- Top the entire dish with fresh basil or parsley. Swap out the Parmesan for creamy goat cheese or punchy feta cheese.
- Add extra veggies during the last 30 minutes of cooking. Favorites include chopped asparagus, zucchini, or green beans. Frozen peas or broccoli works as well.
- Play around with the herbs and spices to change up the flavor. You can make this with almost any spices or herbs you love.
Is quinoa healthy?
Quinoa is often considered a superfood because it is packed with plant-based protein, fiber, and essential amino acids. Although it eats like a grain, it is actually a seed, which explains why it contains more protein than typical grains. It is very healthy and with only 222 calories and 4 grams of fat in a cup of cooked quinoa, it can be a healthy part of many diets.
Looking for more quinoa recipes?
Slow Cooker Garlic Mushroom Quinoa
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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