The Dude Diet: Cheeseburger Quinoa Bake (The #DudeDietBook is OUT!)

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dude-diet-cheeseburger-quinoa-bakeHAPPY FUCKING DD DAY, MY FAVORITE INTERNET PEOPLE!!!

I’m allowed to abuse caps, expletives, and punctuation today, right?!!!

I can’t believe my book baby is finally out in the wild!! It feels crazy! It is crazy?

Not gonna lie, my brain is pretty mushy right now. I had planned to write something super profound about The Dude Diet in this post, but that’s clearly not going to happen. There’s been a lot of travel, long days, and excitement recently, and given that I haven’t been doing my best sleeping, I’m 100% a hot mess of emotions today. I couldn’t articulate my feelings on being a published author if I tried, so I won’t. Instead, I’m just going to say one quick thing before we talk about my favorite Dude Diet recipes and Cheeseburger Quinoa Bake, and that is…

Thank you.

dude-diet-cheeseburger-quinoa-bake-2Of all the emotions I’m experiencing at the moment, gratitude is hands down the strongest, and if you’re reading this post, I’m grateful to/for you in some way, shape, or form. To the Domesticate ME! regulars, thank you for supporting your crazy blog lady throughout the book process. To my DD recipe testers, thank you for being such awesome guinea pigs and devoting your time and resources to help ensure the dankness of The Dude Diet‘s recipes. To all that contributed to the book (there are far too many of you to name), thank you for your creativity, patience, and willingness to believe in The Dude Diet philosophy. To my friends (both real and virtual) and family, thank you for your wisdom, support, and the badass grassroots PR. And last but not least, to Logan (reading this on the subway in 3 months), you’re famous!! Thank you for being the greatest brand ambassador and roommate of all time. I love EVERYONE!

dude-diet-cheeseburger-quinoa-bake-3Moving on!

Since many of you may have gotten your books today (AHHHH!!!), I wanted to spill my top picks for those seeking recommendations re: what to cook first. They are…

Ultimate Breakfast Quesadilla (page 38)
Magic Faux-tisserie Chicken (page 103)
Trashed Up Turkey Burgers (page 99)
Chopped Chicken Club Salad with Honey-Mustard Dressing (page 187)
Shrimp Pad Thai (page 209)
Pineapple Refresher (page 291)
Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Maple-Cream Cheese Frosting (page 298)

For those interested in the Dude’s faves, his include…

Dude Diet Lasagna (page 92)
Killer Cuban Sandwiches (page 89)
Buffalo Chicken Fingers with Yogurt Ranch (page 108)
Steak Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Goat Cheese (page 181)
Penne with Spinach Pesto (page 260)
Sausage and Peppers Skillet (page 267)
Pumpkin-Banana Bread (page 301)

dude-diet-cheeseburger-quinoa-bake-4And for the peeps who don’t have the book (yet?), I thought it would be fitting to share my #1 favorite recipe, which is this Cheeseburger Quinoa Bake. I know a quinoa bake is sort of predictable from yours truly, but quinoa bakes are the best, and cheeseburgers are the best, and this also happens to be Logan’s ride-or-die book recipe too, so…WHATEVA. I hope you love it as much as we do.

(FYI, one tester said the flavors in this bake were like a McDonald’s cheeseburger but better. I consider this extremely high praise.)

In case you’re curious, this bake reheats like a dream, so those cooking for 1 or 2 should be pumped for leftovers. The gluten-free crowd can omit the panko, and red meat haters should feel free to sub ground chicken or 93% lean ground turkey for beef. And should you happen to make this bake on a No-Calorie Sunday, you may wish to add some crispy bacon into the filling or sprinkle some on top. Just throwing that out there…

dude-diet-cheeseburger-quinoa-bake-5More updates to come soon on where you can find me on the internets and TV, in print, and in real life over the coming weeks, plus lots of surprises and giveaways! In the meantime, hashtag #dudedietbook on social media to show me your books and creations so I can see, and like, and repost, and shower you with thanks and compliments!!!


Cheeseburger Quinoa Bake: (Serves 4-6)

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1½ cups low-sodium beef broth (Low-sodium chicken broth or water will also work.)
1/3 cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons sesame seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika, divided
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound 90% lean ground beef
1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
¾ teaspoon coarse black pepper
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
1¼ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
For serving: (optional)
1 cup chopped hearts of romaine or iceberg lettuce
½ cup finely chopped bread-and-butter pickles

Preparing your Cheeseburger Quinoa Bake:

-Combine the quinoa and beef broth in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, cover the saucepan with a lid, and cook for 14 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Let the quinoa rest, covered, for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

dude-diet-cheeseburger-quinoa-bake-step-4-Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

-In a small bowl, combine the Panko, sesame seeds and ½ teaspoon of the smoked paprika. Set aside.

dude-diet-cheeseburger-quinoa-bake-step-5-Heat the olive oil in a large, 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the onion and garlic, and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent.

dude-diet-cheeseburger-quinoa-bake-step-1-Add the beef, salt, pepper, and remaining ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika to the skillet. Cook for about 7 minutes, stirring and breaking up the meat into small pieces with a spatula, until no longer pink.

dude-diet-cheeseburger-quinoa-bake-step-2-Stir in the tomato paste, mustard and Worcestershire and cook for 3 more minutes, then stir in the diced tomatoes.

dude-diet-cheeseburger-quinoa-bake-step-6-Turn off the heat and fold in the cooked quinoa and ½ cup of the cheese. Smooth the top of the filling with a spatula. Add the remaining cheese in an even layer and sprinkle with the panko mix.

dude-diet-cheeseburger-quinoa-bake-step-7-Bake for 25 minutes until the cheese has melted and the topping is lightly browned.

dude-diet-cheeseburger-quinoa-bake-step-8-Let your kickass quinoa bake rest for 10 minutes. (Trust me, it will be scary hot.) Serve topped with chopped lettuce and pickles.


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  1. Kay Battista on July 8, 2020 at 5:44 am

    I tried this in the Instant Pot! It worked beautifully. Sauteed onions, added burger until browned. Then simply stirred in the rest and set on “bean soup” mode. I omitted cheese and breadcrumbs on top. Great time saver and wonderful for meal prep!

  2. Brenda Turlick on July 8, 2020 at 5:42 am

    Do you have the nutritional information for the Cheeseburger Quinoa Bake?

  3. Jennifer on July 8, 2020 at 5:45 am

    I’ve been making this recipe almost weekly for the past 2 years. I wanted to add a comment for the benefit of anyone who is finding this in 2019 and beyond since this has become a staple in my house. It is very forgiving with substitutions whether it’s the type of meat, cheese, mustard, seasonings, you name it. Just tonight I made it with some leftover chicken thighs and Italian sausage. Half of my family isn’t too jazzed about quinoa but this recipe never fails to please everyone. It’s a hit at potluck dinners, it even works well in muffin cups for single-serve hors d’oeuvres (although the type of cheese can make the cups a bit greasy), I really could go on about how great this recipe is and how it’s impossible to fuck it up. Legit, if you’re reading this, you MUST give it a try.

    • Serena Wolf on July 8, 2020 at 6:04 am

      THIS IS POSSIBLY MY FAVORITE BLOG COMMENT EVER!! So thrilled that this bake has become such a staple and that you’ve put so many different spins on it. (Muffin cups–genius!!!) xox

  4. Kendra Morgan on April 11, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    First time ever eating quinoa. Know what? This recipe isn’t half bad. Thanks!

  5. Thomas Hosfelt on April 7, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    Got this book for my birthday. I love it. I can cook but this book helped me choose more wisely in lower fat ingredients. Thank you so much. I’m down 30 lbs thanks to you

  6. John Haggerty on February 8, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    The DD was on my Christmas list this year. At 38, I’ve been ordered on a low sodium and low saturated fat diet after suffering a stroke the week of Thanksgiving. I LOVE this recipe. It is a staple for us now. I love making a double batch on the weekend and having the leftovers as my work-day lunches. The enchiladas, breakfast and steak quesadillas, and overnight oats appear on our family’s weekly menu. Thank you so much for publishing this cookbook!

    • Serena Wolf on February 13, 2017 at 7:57 pm

      John- I’m so sorry to hear of your stroke, but I’m glad that you’re on the mend and that so many of The DD’s recipes are compatible with your new diet. This one is my personal favorite, so I’m particularly thrilled that it’s such a regular in your rotation!! Fingers crossed for many more DD wins!

  7. S Wilson on January 18, 2017 at 10:22 am

    I took the plunge and dove into the world of quinoa bakes over the weekend. Somehow, your DD magic transforms a gnarly good-for-you grain into something seriously comfort-food-binge-worthy. The fragrance of leftovers heating in the office microwave alighted several coworkers seeking its source.
    Fan-friggin-tastic, ma’am.
    Nachos are my guilty pleasure, so I’ll be trying the cover recipe next. Such a relief to eat real – and real good – food without hearing your BMI tick upward with every bite. Many thanks to your fee-ahn-say and his (nowhere-to-be-seen) man boobs for inspiring your DD artistry.

    • Serena Wolf on January 19, 2017 at 8:11 am

      This comment is POETRY, dammit. Could not be more thrilled that you are now a quinoa bake convert, and Logan happily accepts your muse compliments!! I can only hope there will be many more quinoa bakes and DD successes in your future. Virtual chest bump.

  8. Alfredo Garcia on October 28, 2016 at 12:42 am

    I made this for dinner tonight and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about how delicious it was. Anxiously waiting for lunch time tomorrow to heat up some of the leftovers. I personally love spicy food so next time I make it I might add some cayenne pepper for a little heat. Next up from the book? Apple Pie Overnight Oats in the fridge ready to get devoured for breakfast. Cannot wait to keep trying more recipes from the book!

    • Serena Wolf on October 28, 2016 at 7:37 am

      So pumped to hear this quinoa bake was a hit! (And I’m with you on the heat–definitely get some cayenne or red pepper flakes involved next time.) Fingers crossed for more epic book successes!!

  9. Dixya Bhattarai RD on October 27, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    i will be dedicating a week to dude diet cookbook!!!!

    • Serena Wolf on October 28, 2016 at 7:29 am

      YESSS!!! I can’t wait to see what you make!! Thank you so much for the support, girl! xoxo

  10. Carver on October 26, 2016 at 10:02 am

    congratulations! i love your blog! your posts make me actually lol at work (which clearly alerts people i’m not working – whoops!)

    • Serena Wolf on October 26, 2016 at 11:10 am

      HAHAH love to hear that!! Thank you so much, Carver!

  11. Kay Battista on October 26, 2016 at 9:47 am

    What I took away from this post was THERE ARE OVER 300 PAGES in your book!!! Beyond pumped right now. And I haven’t had a Big Mac in about 10 years thanks to fear of McDonalds mystery ingredients, but I’m a closet lover of that strange flavor and very excited to give this healthy bake a try. <3

    • Serena Wolf on October 26, 2016 at 11:10 am

      Whoooop! I know, the book is a FATTY. I hope you love it! Thank you again for being one of my bestest testers! xoxox

  12. Mary on October 26, 2016 at 8:14 am

    This was the recipe I tested! I’ve made this SO many times since you sent it to me, it is hands down one of my favorites! So excited for you!

    • Serena Wolf on October 26, 2016 at 11:11 am

      YESSSSS. Thank you so much, Mary!!! So grateful for your testing skillz and blog/book support! xoxo

  13. Mimi on October 26, 2016 at 8:07 am

    I don’t love quinoa, but just about any whole grain would work I imagine. My roommate would love this. Congratulations. And when are you guys getting married?!!!

    • Serena Wolf on October 26, 2016 at 11:12 am

      Yes, I think this would be awesome with brown rice!! We haven’t set a date yet, but we’re thinking next September/early October in Santa Barbara (which is where I’m from)!!

      • Mimi on October 27, 2016 at 11:13 am

        Nice. I went to UCSB a million years ago… Still miss that town.

  14. Alex Morris on October 25, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    First of all, CONGRATS! Secondly, Amazon tells me my book will arrive Thursday, which means next week’s meal plan is going to be so dude diet! Lastly, I’ve made this cheeseburger quinoa bake at least 20 times since “testing” it… SOOOO GOOD. Thank you for your awesome recipes and the hard work you put into the book!!

    • Serena Wolf on October 26, 2016 at 11:13 am

      WOOOHOO!!! Can’t wait for you to hold it in your hands!! And thank you again for being one of my most dedicated testers–you’re the best!! xoxo

  15. Kate on October 25, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    I was so excited to get mine today! I opened it at random and spotted the English muffin French toast recipe, and I just so happen to have some whole wheat English muffins hanging out in the freezer! Also, was literally thinking this afternoon that I want to make a pumpkin banana bread…we buy purée fruit pouches for my eight month old that are pumpkin banana and I realized I’ve never baked anything with that combo.

    • Serena Wolf on October 26, 2016 at 11:16 am

      Whoooop!!! I am so, SO pumped for The Dude Diet to get some action in your kitchen. The French Toast would be an excellent way to kick off DD cookings. Godspeed. And thank you for being an OG blog supporter–hope you love da book! xoxo

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