This low-fat, creamy and easy to make creamy baked buckwheat casserole with cheese is a delicious, healthier alternative to the classic macaroni cheese.
I made this Baked Buckwheat Casserole with Cheese to encourage my children to eat more buckwheat. I thought if I could make it taste (kind of) like their favourite dish in the world (i.e. mac’n cheese) then maybe buckwheat won’t be such a ‘healthy’ (i.e. to be avoided at all cost) ingredient. It worked!
My buckwheat ‘macaroni cheese’ got their full approval even if it wasn’t the ‘real’ macaroni cheese.
How to make creamy baked buckwheat
A simple cheese sauce can be used in a variety of dishes but it goes particularly well with buckwheat. On its own, buckwheat can be a little dry and unexciting, certainly not easy to successfully pair with other ingredients because of its distinct flavour. But with a little help from a not too cheesy and quite ‘skinny’ simple cheese sauce you can turn buckwheat groats into a delicious side dish.
I have adapted my basic white sauce recipe for this baked buckwheat dish by adding mustard and cream cheese into the sauce. Check out ALL my recipes where I’ve used this simple white sauce. You won’t believe how versatile it is!
This recipe does not take long to prepare (approximately the same amount of time that is needed to make the classic macaroni cheese). You can also cook buckwheat in advance. When you are ready to make the recipe just rinse the cooked buckwheat with a bit of hot water (in a strainer) and give it a good stir. It’s also a good idea to cook buckwheat in salted water – you won’t have to add too much salt to the actual dish. Do be generous with the pepper though (I find white pepper works particularly well in this dish).
You can serve this baked buckwheat casserole as a main dish with salad or steamed vegetables. It also makes a great side dish perfect with chicken, pork or turkey recipes. Try it with my healthy easy chicken and mushroom casserole. or this crusted chicken breast with mushrooms.
Check out also this collection of over 12 healthy vegetarian pasta meals.
Baked Buckwheat Casserole with Cheese
- 1 cup buckwheat uncooked
- 1.5 cup semi-skimmed milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1.5 tablespoons cream cheese either full-fat or low-fat
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 120 g mature cheese I used Cheddar, grated
- 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- Sea salt and white pepper to taste
- Olive oil for drizzling
- Cook the buckwheat (in salted water) according to packet instructions. Place in a medium size (about 6 cm deep) baking dish and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 450 F/ 230 C/ gas mark 8.
- In a large saucepan melt the butter, add the flour and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Add the milk, increase the heat and continue cooking until the mixture has thickened a little, stirring occasionally (but don't boil the sauce).
- Lower the heat, add the cream cheese, mustard, seasoning and 2/3 of the grated cheese.
- In a bowl combine the rest of the cheese with the breadcrumbs and stir thoroughly. Set aside.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and stir thoroughly (using the whisk). Adjust seasoning as necessary. Pour the sauce over the buckwheat, stir thoroughly ensuring the sauce is distributed evenly, sprinkle the breadcrumb -cheese mixture on top and drizzle with some olive oil.
- Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.