Mexican Quinoa Casserole

This Mexican quinoa casserole is not only packed with veggies and black beans, but is bursting with traditional Mexican flavors that the whole family will love. Vegetarian and gluten-free.

I’m excited because I have quite the recipe to share with you today. It’s vegetarian, packed with protein (18 grams per serving) and gluten-free. I think you’re going to like it… I *know* you’re going to like it!

Plate with a cheesy Mexican quinoa casserole topped with jalapenos slices, avocado, and cilantro.

When you think of healthy food, Mexican food isn’t typically the first thing to pop into your head (at least not for me). But you can certainly make Mexican dishes that are healthy and the recipe I’m sharing today proves it. This casserole has a mixture of veggies, quinoa, beans and cheese. A delicious and nutritious Mexican feast!

Ingredients in Mexican Quinoa Casserole

  • quinoa
  • vegetables – sweet potato, red bell pepper, yellow onion, green onion, cilantro
  • taco seasoning – make your own or purchase a pre-made blend.
  • canned black beans
  • salsa – use whatever heat type you prefer! We love spice so I used a hot salsa. The creamy bites of avocado and Greek yogurt were the perfect contrast to the spicy bites. Having said that, if you don’t like that much heat, mild salsa is just as delicious!
  • Mexican cheese blend
  • toppings of choice – I love topping this casserole with Greek yogurt, avocado, green onion and cilantro.

Casserole dish of a Mexican Quinoa Casserole topped with lots of cheddar cheese, green onions, cilantro, and jalapeno slices.

Prepping Mexican Quinoa Casserole

This dish does take a little bit of prep work because you have to chop all the veggies and cook the quinoa. But it’s worth it! If necessary, you can save time by prepping the whole bake ahead of time and then just pop it in the oven right before dinner time.

Start by cooking the quinoa. While your quinoa cooks, get to chopping. Chop all of the veggies right away! Add your sweet potato, red pepper and onion to the bottom of a greased casserole dish. Sprinkle taco seasoning evenly over all of the vegetables. In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, beans, cilantro, green onion and additional taco seasoning. Spread the quinoa mixture over the sweet potato and red pepper layer. Next, add a layer of salsa. Add the cheese on top, cover with aluminum foil (to make sure the cheese doesn’t burn!) and bake. It will come out of the oven piping hot with a perfectly gooey layer of cheese. Yum!

Plate and fork with a portion of a Mexican quinoa casserole topped with avocado and cilantro.

Isaac and I LOVED this dish. Each bite is full of flavor and texture — a fiesta in your mouth, if you will. All the veggies are cooked to perfection so they taste fresh instead of overcooked and mushy.

Wood serving spoon scooping up a serving of cheesy healthy Mexican quinoa casserole topped with avocado.

Want More Healthy Mexican Recipes? Try These:

If you make this Mexican quinoa casserole, please be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Your feedback is super helpful for the EBF team and other readers who are thinking about making the recipe. 

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Plate with a cheesy Mexican quinoa casserole topped with jalapenos slices, avocado, and cilantro.

Mexican Quinoa Casserole


  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6

Description

This vegetarian Mexican quinoa casserole is a dish the whole family will love. It’s packed with veggies, black beans and lots of cheesy goodness.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup dry quinoa
  • 3 cups sweet potato, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon McCormick Gluten-Free Taco Seasoning
  • One 14-oz can black soybeans or black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup sliced green onion
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1½ cups prepared salsa (mild, medium or hot)
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 2% Greek yogurt, avocado, extra green onion and cilantro (for topping)

Instructions

  1. Bring the water and quinoa to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let the covered saucepan cool for 4-5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 9″x 13″ dish and spread the sweet potato, bell pepper, and onion in the bottom. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the taco seasoning.
  3. In a bowl combine the beans, cooked quinoa, green onion, cilantro and 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning; mix well.
  4. Place the bean and quinoa mixture over the veggies in the baking dish. Spread salsa on top of the quinoa mixture. Top with cheese.
  5. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Removed cover and bake for another 20 minutes or until cheese has melted, the sweet potatoes are cooked and everything is hot throughout.
  6. Serve immediately topped with greek yogurt, avocado slices, green onion and cilantro if desired.
  • Category: Lunch/Dinner
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
  • Calories: 348
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Fat: 15g
  • Carbohydrates: 34g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Protein: 18g
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Recipe rating

    58 comments
    1. Ellie
      November 24, 2020 AT 11:39 pm

      Very good – healthy and hearty at the same time. It’s easy to play with the veggie quantities and adjust cheese/spices and make it your own – excellent base concept!! Thank you!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 25, 2020 AT 3:36 pm

        Yay!! So glad this recipe was a hit, Ellie. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!

    2. Madelyn
      November 4, 2020 AT 7:47 pm

      This is the perfect “working from home” meal for busy parents with kids! I was able to prep it during lunch, pop it in the oven after work/school, and take the kids on a walk around the neighborhood while it did it’s thing… and it was DELICIOUS!! Definitely keeping this in rotation.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 4, 2020 AT 8:32 pm

        I’m so glad this recipe was a hit, Madelyn!! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I really appreciate it. 🙂

    3. Whitney
      May 15, 2020 AT 11:44 pm

      I made this for dinner this evening and it was delicious! We are trying to lower our meat intake so have been looking for go-to vegetarian recipes. I did omit the cilantro and the peppers (just personal preference). It’s delicious over a bed of lettuce. Yum!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        May 17, 2020 AT 11:02 pm

        I’m so glad you enjoyed this dish, Whitney!! Thanks for trying my recipe and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I really appreciate it. <3

    4. Nicole
      April 28, 2020 AT 4:53 pm

      I absolutley loved this recipe. It’s so tasty and filling even without meat. The avacado on top really makes it in my opinion.One of my favorite EBF dinner recipes so far

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 29, 2020 AT 12:43 am

        Ahh yay!! That makes me so happy to hear, Nicole. I’m so glad you enjoyed this casserole dish. Thanks for trying it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it. <3

    5. Jodie Smith
      April 11, 2020 AT 9:28 am

      We didn’t like this recipe..we loved it! Thank you for all the great recipes!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 13, 2020 AT 10:36 pm

        Ahh that makes me so happy to hear, Jodie!! I’m glad this recipe was a hit. Thanks for trying it and for coming back to leave a comment and star rating. It means the world to me.

    6. Jordan
      April 9, 2020 AT 1:05 pm

      So good! I used double the sweet potatoes and a ready-made quinoa/brown rice blend, and it was delish! Really was unsure what I would think of this recipe but it’s great!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 9, 2020 AT 4:42 pm

        Ahh yay!! That makes me so happy to hear, Jordan! I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe. 🙂 Thanks for trying it and for coming back to leave a comment and star rating. I really appreciate it. <3

    7. Connie
      April 5, 2020 AT 8:26 pm

      Brittany, I made this last night for dinner, and we loved it! I used 1.5 c cooked quinoa as I already had that in the fridge. I love how the moisture in the salsa is used to cook the veggies and keep them moist. I will definitely make this again, and again! Thank you for another great recipe!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 5, 2020 AT 11:43 pm

        Yay!! So glad this recipe was a hit! Thanks for trying it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. The reviews are super helpful to other readers, so I appreciate it. <3

    8. Rachell
      February 23, 2020 AT 8:56 pm

      This was really yummy and so easy! I made the quinoa in my instant pot to make this even easier to throw together. We loved eating this with tortilla chips, like a dip or as nachos! I took the leftovers and used them as the filling for your enchilada recipe!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 24, 2020 AT 1:01 pm

        Yay!! So glad you also enjoyed this recipe, Rachell! Thanks again for taking the time to leave a comment and star rating. The reviews are super helpful to other readers.

    9. Cyndi
      February 3, 2020 AT 10:53 am

      I was hesitant to make this, because my kids don’t like quinoa. However, they inhaled it, as did my husband and I. Really great comination of flavors. Thanks!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 3, 2020 AT 11:58 pm

        Yay!! That makes me so happy to hear, Cyndi. So glad this casserole was a hit with the entire fam. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it!

    10. Angela Leung
      January 28, 2020 AT 4:43 pm

      It is absolutely delicious. I forgot to get salsa, so I made my own. I made extra quinoa, so I could make the quinoa tabbouleh.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 28, 2020 AT 4:45 pm

        Yay!! So glad this recipe turned out well for you, Angela. Thanks for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it! <3

    11. apurva
      January 26, 2020 AT 1:11 am

      Super Amazing!
      I am surely gonna try that
      Thanks for sharing

    12. Ghulam Mohyudin
      January 24, 2020 AT 9:42 pm

      It was perfect the first time.This is very really unique helpful information.I learn so much from you as well!Keep it up.

    13. Shannon
      January 24, 2020 AT 11:12 am

      This recipe is DELICIOUS! Plus it’s so easy to make in the slow cooker, and just as tasty as leftovers. Both my husband and I loved it, and I will absolutely be making it again!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 24, 2020 AT 12:52 pm

        Yay!! That makes me so happy to hear, Shannon. So glad this casserole was a hit with you and your husband. Thanks for coming back to leave a comment and star rating. I so appreciate it. <3

    14. Alyssa
      January 20, 2020 AT 8:22 pm

      I just SCARFED down my bowl of this, and am no longer sad that my husband won’t want any. I did double the sweet potatoes and bell peppers, just because they needed used, but goodness my heart and body needed this tonight! So so good, and I will now be going in for seconds!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 20, 2020 AT 8:58 pm

        Oh yay!!! I love hearing that. And now you can have it all to yourself. 🙂 So glad you loved this casserole and thanks so much for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. It’s super helpful to other readers!

    15. Mel
      January 19, 2020 AT 12:03 am

      Let me just say dont even think twice about making this dish ! So easy but so delicious , I am a Mexicana and the flavors were on point I did make my own taco seasoning, added 2 zucchinis to the veggie mix , half a de-seeded jalapeno and instead of jarred salsa I used a small can of el pato jalapeno salsa as I’m not a fan of jarred salsa it was the best thing I’ve made in awhile🙌

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 20, 2020 AT 9:09 pm

        Ahh that makes me so happy to hear, Mel!! Thank you so much for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. It means the world to me. <3

    16. Jessica Puodziunas
      September 29, 2019 AT 6:07 pm

      I made this using a mango peach salsa and only used a small even layer of a triple cheddar cheese. It came out perfect! Definitely one of my favorite dinner recipes!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 29, 2019 AT 9:25 pm

        Oh yay! I’m so glad that you enjoyed the sweet potato quinoa bake. I bet it was extra tasty with the mango peach salsa. And I so appreciate you coming back to leave a comment and star rating on the recipe too. It’s so helpful for other readers and means the world to me.

    17. Amy
      August 26, 2017 AT 7:39 pm

      I made this tonight and it was a huge hit! My husband, three year old, nine month old and I all loved it. My three year old kept saying, “Mmmmmm, this is so good!” We will definitely be adding this to our regular rotation of meals. I loved how easily it came together.

    18. Megan
      May 8, 2017 AT 4:22 pm

      I just made this recipe again for the millionth time and have to comment how much I love it! Even my meat loving husband requests this for dinner. Thanks so much!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        May 8, 2017 AT 10:29 pm

        Yay!!! Thank you so much for letting me know that you love this recipe, Megan. It’s one of our favorites too! 🙂

    19. Alice
      February 11, 2015 AT 9:40 pm

      Can I make it with rice and add chicken?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 11, 2015 AT 9:57 pm

        You can certainly try it, I’m not 100% sure how it will work since I haven’t tried it.

    20. Jessica
      January 2, 2015 AT 10:11 pm

      Great! We are making it for a 3rd time tonight for a dinner we’re hosting tomorrow 🙂

    21. Jessica
      November 30, 2014 AT 8:39 pm

      We really enjoyed this bake (we’ve made it twice) but I have to say… this bake time/cook temp is off. The first time I thought it was our fault because I forgot to put it in the oven covered… this time around, foil and all, 40 mins at 350… cheese not melted, lukewarm, hard potatoes, for the second time in a row. Upping the heat and sticking back in for another 20 minutes. And hungry 🙁 That note aside, definitely tasty.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 1, 2014 AT 4:40 pm

        Thank you so much for the feedback, Jessica! I really appreciate it. I made the recipe again today and you’re definitely right. It should be cooked covered for 40 minutes, then the top removed and cooked another 20 minutes. I’ll update the recipe.

    22. Patricia
      November 6, 2014 AT 9:07 pm

      Hi Brittany,

      I couldn’t wait to share with you the exciting news about this recipe. So I made this last weekend and it turned out so yummy that I shared it with the girls at my work. One of the girls took it home to share with her Mom. Her Mom made it and took it into the next day’s meeting. Apparently they too found it to be so delicious that they were scraping the bowl from what was left. The nurses were all asking for the recipe. So that co-worker came back and raved to the girls in my office to the others of the positive results. So they all couldn’t wait to try it. I told them that I would make it again and bring it in to work on Friday. So here I am in my kitchen typing this to you and waiting for the dish to finish baking so I can take into work tomorrow! 🙂

      You have been one of my all time favorite recipes through and through for personal eats for my family to preparing dishes to pass at a work setting! Thank you, Brittany!! It means so much to that you continue to provide me success in my weight loss journey and continue in helping me make healthy foods for my family!! Warm Hugs!! Thank you, it just doesn’t seem enough to be said!!

    23. Jenny
      November 3, 2014 AT 1:09 pm

      Just prepped this for tonight! Thanks, B!

    24. Chloe – A Latte Lipstick
      November 2, 2014 AT 9:44 pm

      That looks super delicious! I can’t wait to make this!

      XO Chloe
      A Latte Lipstick

    25. Megan
      October 31, 2014 AT 1:08 pm

      I made this a couple of nights ago and LOVED it. I had almost everything on-hand but just used homemade taco seasoning, regular black beans and Mexican blend cheese. I found that the veggies on the bottom layer came out still a bit crunchy (but not in a bad way) so maybe I should have left it in the oven a few minutes longer.

      Next time I may try cooking my quinoa with homemade chicken broth to add even more flavor depth and adding my onion so that it can soften just a bit before going into the casserole dish.

      Overall I loved this and like that I could get my Mexican fix in a healthy way!

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