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Beef Pesto Quinoa Bake

This beef pesto quinoa bake is filled with ground beef, tomatoes, peas and ricotta for an easy throw together dinner.

In an attempt to name this recipe, a full blown pornographic conversation ensued among a few blogger friends who shall remain nameless to save them from the shame.

I, however, have no shame.

Evidenced by the fact that my 10 year old neighbor witnessed me topless on Monday after a photoshoot involving a neon shirt and silver platter necessitated it (long story I won’t even get into).

This beef pesto quinoa bake is filled with ground beef, tomatoes, peas and ricotta for an easy throw together dinner.

Apparently the words “meat”, “meaty”, “beef” and “loaded” all conjure phallic images in our minds though and so coming up with a name for this quinoa bake that just happens to be filled with ground beef resulted in a conversation involving far too many male anatomy emojis than one should ever see.

I decided to go the least “offensive” route there was and call it a beef pesto quinoa bake.

This healthy, gluten-free pesto quinoa beef bake is something you can feel good about putting on the table for dinner.

But, I can’t say I’m really thrilled with it.

Looking at the title of this post makes me cringe just a little as I picture the combination of keystrokes that I learned earlier today and an act I’d rather not think about while discussing food.

Although, here I am discussing right next to food.


Pesto quinoa bake with ground beef and melted mozzarella, a healthy casserole everyone will love.

So let’s forget about the meat/beef in here and just talk about the quinoa, pesto, tomatoes, peas and ricotta.

It’s a delicious, summer throw together kind of a meal with a bunch of healthy, seasonal ingredients topped with creamy cheese and baked off.

A complete meal all in one baking dish.

Beef pesto quinoa bake is an easy throw together dinner casserole perfect for feeding the family during the week.

Let’s just forget the emoji discussion ever happened.

If you want more ways to enjoy ground beef that maybe don’t involve words like “beefy” or “meaty” try this recipe for a burger in a bowl (it’s even got a homemade burger special sauce!) or, mapo tofu which combines ground beef and tofu in a lovely traditional Chinese dish.

And here’s a skillet meal made in 30 minutes that uses ground beef too – ground beef and sweet potatoes.

Beef Pesto Quinoa Bake

Beef Pesto Quinoa Bake

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This meaty pesto quinoa bake is filled with ground beef, tomatoes, peas and ricotta for an easy throw together dinner.


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup pesto (any kind prepared or homemade)
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 ounces burrata, ricotta or mozzarella for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and garlic and cook until beef is browned. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and toss to combine.
  4. Pour the mixture into a baking dish.
  5. Top with dollops of burrata, ricotta or mozzarella, whatever you have on hand.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes until cheese is melted.
  7. Remove from oven and serve.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 748Total Fat: 43gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 152mgSodium: 699mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 7gSugar: 7gProtein: 54g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.


Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!


Monday 22nd of September 2014

Any idea what I can use instead of ricotta ? Thanks !

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Tuesday 29th of July 2014

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Monday 30th of June 2014

Would you have any suggestions for substitutions for the Quinoa? I was thinking millet but I'm not sure how that would work.


Running to the Kitchen

Monday 30th of June 2014

I bet millet would work great!

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Friday 20th of June 2014

[…] Definitely adding to a meal plan soon: Meaty pesto quinoa bake […]


Thursday 19th of June 2014

I made this yesterday for going over to my friend's house for dinner :) It was tasty, plus gave me a way to use up some ricotta I've had for awhile. Thanks!

I thought it was interesting because I almost forgot to add the balsamic vinegar, and when I tasted it my first thought was, "It feels like it needs something else…" and then I remembered the balsamic! Perfect.

Running to the Kitchen

Thursday 19th of June 2014

nice, glad you guys liked it!

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