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.

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.


Please leave a comment & rating below or share a photo on Instagram and tag @runningtothekitchen


  1. Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes

    Totally laughing about this. I saw the picture, and assumed it was vegetarian, then I saw the name and I was like, huh? Love the explanation, and your description of the hilarity between you and these other bloggers (who I can guess who you’re referring to.) And the neon shirt thing, too funny. I have an aqua top I wore all winter that kept appearing in reflections.

  2. Erin

    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.

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  4. N T

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


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