by Olena

Black Bean Quinoa Casserole

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Olena Osipov
5 from 48 votes

Black Bean Quinoa Casserole with corn, cheese and layers upon layers of fresh Mexican flavours. This vegetarian dinner is so easy to assemble and makes great leftovers that even carnivores will fight for!

black bean quinoa casserole in a baking dish

Delicious Quinoa Casserole

A hybrid of modern Mexican and Thai cuisines, this black bean quinoa casserole has layers upon layers of flavours that scream “fresh”.

Combining sauteed vegetables, cooked quinoa, coconut milk, cheese, cilantro and onion creates delicious black bean casserole that really stands out from any traditional casseroles you are used to. And it’s healthy too!

As all ingredients are already cooked, you just need to put assembled casserole in the oven for everything to “marry” each other for 30 minutes.

It tastes even better the next day and is great to freeze and make ahead.

cooked black bean quinoa casserole

Ingredients for Black Bean Quinoa Casserole

  • White or tri-color quinoa: A staple in most healthy pantries. Quinoa is great for using in casseroles because unlike brown rice it is ready in 10 minutes and offers 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber per 1 cup of cooked quinoa.
  • Regular or low fat canned coconut milk: Instead of canned soup, we use canned coconut milk to make casserole saucy. Milk from a carton will not work.
  • Black beans, corn, bell pepper: A bulk of flavorful frozen, canned and fresh veggies and legumes for protein and fiber.
  • Fresh herbs and jalapeno: Lots of cilantro, green onion and spicy pepper add flavor with little calories.
  • Cheese: Gooey melted cheddar, Tex Mex or colby cheese is a must for this black bean casserole.

a bowl with casserole ingredients

How to Make Black Bean Casserole

There is detailed recipe card below.

  • Prep: Preheat oven to 350 F degrees and spray 9×13 baking dish with oil.
  • Cook quinoa as per package instructions: Or cook 1 1/2 cup of dry quinoa with 3 cups of water for 12 minutes on low heat after boiling. Don’t forget to fluff with a fork. If you have leftover cooked quinoa you can use about 4 cups.cooked quinoa in a pot
  • Saute veggies and beans with spices: First cook garlic. Then corn, bell peppers, jalapenos and cumin. DO not stir often to allow veggies to roast becoming more flavorful.sauteed corn and veggies in a skillet
  • Combine: In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked quinoa, black beans, herbs, half the cheese, coconut milk and salt. Mix, flatten in baking dish and sprinkle with other half cheese. stirred casserole ingredients in a bowl
  • Bake for 30 minutes uncovered: This is when magic happens and flavors “marry each other”.assembled black bean quinoa casserole before baking
  • Garnish: Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cilantro and 1/4 cup green onions.

Variations and Serving

  • Use mixed beans: Instead of black beans, use equal amount of white beans, mixed beans or even chickpeas.
  • Substitute for coconut milk: A can of low sodium or no salt added tomato sauce, passata or crushed tomatoes. Casserole will lose its Thai flavor but will stay along the Mexican line. Or use salsa but then reduce salt significantly.
  • Other veggies: Feel free to use mushrooms instead of bell pepper. They are very flavorful once sauteed.
  • Add protein: If you would like to add meat, add shredded chicken or pre-browned ground turkey, beef or chicken.
  • Do I have to thaw frozen corn? No. Just add it to the skillet and it will defrost quickly.
  • Make it vegan and dairy free: Use vegan cheese. Otherwise, all ingredients are plant-based in this quinoa casserole. Woohoo!
  • Make burritos: Place about 1 cup of the bean casserole in the center of a flour tortilla, wrap and enjoy!
  • Make vegetarian tacos: Serve as filling for tacos with some salsa, sour cream, and avocado!

How to Store, Make Ahead and Reheat

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container or in baking dish covered with wrap for up to 3 days. Or freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.

Freeze uncooked: Assemble, tightly wrap with plastic and then foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and bake as per instructions + 15 minutes.

Make Ahead: Assemble, cover and refrigerate for up to 48 hours. Bake as per instructions.

More Healthy Casseroles

Black Bean Quinoa Casserole

Black Bean Quinoa Casserole

Black Bean Quinoa Casserole {Carnivore Approved}

Black Bean Quinoa Casserole with corn, cheese and layers upon layers of fresh Mexican flavours. This vegetarian dinner is so easy to assemble and makes great leftovers that even carnivores will fight for!
5 from 48 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Casserole
Cuisine: Mexican Thai
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 37 minutes
Total Time: 47 minutes
Servings: 9 servings
Calories: 365kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa dry
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 1/2 cups corn canned or frozen
  • 3 large bell peppers chopped
  • 1/2 medium jalapeño pepper seeded and minced
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 15 oz can of black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cilantro finely chopped and divided
  • 1/2 cup green onions finely chopped and divided
  • 2 cups Tex Mex cheese shredded and divided
  • 3/4 cup canned coconut milk light or regular
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Cook quinoa as per package instructions and set aside. Or cook 1 1/2 cups of dry quinoa with 3 cups of water for 12 minutes on low heat after boiling. Don't forget to fluff with a fork. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
    Black Bean Quinoa Casserole
  • Preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet on medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring frequently.
  • Add corn, bell peppers, jalapenos and cumin. Stir and sauté undisturbed for 3 minutes, stir again and sauté for another 3 minutes.
    Black Bean Quinoa Casserole
  • Transfer to a large mixing bowl along with cooked quinoa, black beans, 3/4 cup cilantro, 1/4 cup green onions, 1 1/2 cups cheese, coconut milk and salt.
    Black Bean Quinoa Casserole
  • Mix well, transfer to 8 x 11 baking dish, sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake for 30 minutes uncovered.
    Black Bean Quinoa Casserole
  • Remove from the oven, sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cilantro and 1/4 cup green onions. Serve warm.
    Black Bean Quinoa Casserole

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container or in baking dish covered with wrap for up to 3 days. Or freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.

    Freeze uncooked: Assemble, tightly wrap with plastic and then foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and bake as per instructions + 15 minutes.

      Make Ahead: Assemble, cover and refrigerate for up to 48 hours. Bake as per instructions.

        Notes

        • White or tri-color quinoa: If you have leftover cooked quinoa, you can use about 4-5 cups and skip cooking fresh. 
        • Substitute for coconut milk: A can of low sodium or no salt added tomato sauce, passata or crushed tomatoes. Casserole will lose its Thai flavor but will stay along the Mexican line. Or use salsa but then reduce salt significantly.
        • Use mixed beans: Instead of black beans, use equal amount of white beans, mixed beans or even chickpeas.
        • Other veggies: Feel free to use mushrooms instead of bell pepper.
        • Add protein: If you would like to add meat, add shredded chicken or pre-browned ground turkey, beef or chicken.
        • Do I have to thaw frozen corn? No. Just add it to the skillet and it will defrost quickly.
        • Make it vegan and dairy free: Use vegan cheese. Otherwise, all ingredients are plant-based in this quinoa casserole. Woohoo!
        • Make burritos: Place about 1 cup of the bean casserole in the center of a flour tortilla, wrap and enjoy!
        • Make vegetarian tacos: Serve as filling for tacos with some salsa, sour cream, and avocado!

        Nutrition

        Serving: 1slice | Calories: 365kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 284mg | Potassium: 413mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1753IU | Vitamin C: 55mg | Calcium: 213mg | Iron: 3mg
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        olena osipov in the studio

        Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

        My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

        79 comments on “Black Bean Quinoa Casserole

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        1. 5 stars
          I love this recipe! I enjoy anything with mexican flavors but this was an easy way to mix up a new dish.
          I didn’t have coconut milk on hand so I used canned diced tomatoes. I love vegetarian but added shredded chicken for my husband 🙂

        2. We very much like the flavor of this; however, quite dry. How can we make it moister? Add more coconut milk, water, plain milk? We followed the recipe except for the jalepeno peppers. thank you.

          1. Hi Marilyn! Sorry to hear that you found the casserole dry. You could add more coconut milk, water, tomato sauce or even salsa.

        3. 5 stars
          I made this today, and it was a hit with my family. I added chayote squash to it because it was already in my fridge and needed to be used up soon. I can’t wait to try this again in the future.

        4. 5 stars
          Absolutely delicious!
          I didn’t have enough bell pepper so cleaned fridge and completed with zucchini, mushrooms and snow peas, yumm! Happy we have leftovers.

          I’ve even been able to sneak in 1 teaspoon of cumin and hubby didn’t find out, it’s a first, a victory! 😅

        5. 5 stars
          This turned out better than I had ever imagined. The whole family loved it. I substituted the black beans with a variety of beans.

        6. 5 stars
          Wow it was wonderful, many thanks for providing such a lovely menu. My daughter is vegetarian so a no-brainer for her but my son traditionally hates anything veggie, however he loved this and wanted more!
          I live in Barcelona so some simple ingredients like tinned black beans are hard to find, I had to use dried ones soaked and then cooked. Of course, I prepared far to many beans, so I’ll be investigating your other black bean recipes today.

        7. 5 stars
          This was my first time cooking with Quinoa. It was delicious, healthy and will definitely be making it again in near future. I used sweetened condensed coconut milk as that’s all I could find. Not sure if that is what was meant for the recipe or not. I liked the sweet taste it added. Next time will look at adding chicken or turkey to it and topping with Sour Cream. Definitely a recipe keeper!

        8. 5 stars
          It sounds wonderful but can I use regular milk in place of cocoa milk? Or, do you have another suggestion to replace the coconut milk? Thank you

          1. Regular milk will not work. You can replace canned coconut milk with tomato sauce or diced tomatoes (both low sodium) or use 1/2 cup more broth.

        9. 5 stars
          This was DELICIOUS! Served it as tacos with some salsa, sour cream, and avocado, and it was a hit!! Definitely cooking again!

        10. 5 stars
          We loved this. Olena’s quinoa casseroles are yummy. This fed 4 of us two large dinners. We used a can of drained mild green chilies instead of the jalapeno and added 1 tablespoon of chili powder. We like it spicy, but not too hot! Also served with a small dab of sour cream.

        11. 5 stars
          I’m always looking for new recipes to spice up our meatless mondays so I can’t wait to give this a try! Will have to split the recipe up in two 9×9 pans as my 1.5 YO is allergic to dairy and my husband has an aversion to cheese (he’s weird). 🙂 Thanks!!

        12. 5 stars
          Just made this last night and it turned out great! Topped it with a little spicy salsa and am going to have the leftovers tonight for dinner. I am going to link to this tasty clean dinner on my blog! Thanks!!

        13. 5 stars
          I found this recipe this morning while browsing freezer-friendly casseroles, since I’ve just moved and need to both stock up my freezer and stick to uncomplicated/fast recipes that won’t be too much hassle. You just convinced a whole bunch of Austrians (and they can be hard to convince) that Tex-mex can be healthy AND tasty. Seriously, congrats 😉 – A grateful Spaniard in Austria

          1. Haha, you are funny, Sara. Are Austrians like Germans, and like English?:) You are so welcome. I’ve been to Austria many many years ago and have the fondest memories of it. Gorgeous!!!

            1. 5 stars
              They do have a particular aversion to anything that might be spicy and meat free – then again, I work in IT, at a particular company where most guys’ diet seems to exclusively consist on pizza, schnitzel and sausages and “chinese” (namely spring rolls and dumplings) takeaways if and only if the mood strikes 😛 So trust me, this was a HUGE achievement. Also, I’ve been trying some of your recipes in the past days and your zucchini enchilada quiche has become a favourite! 😉 Again, thanks a lot for your ideas, I will most definitely spread the word! <3

        14. 5 stars
          Made this for dinner tonight. It was delicious. I added some mojo rotisserie chicken I bought from the Publix deli. In addition to the cilantro garnish, I added a few slices of avocado and a spritz of lime. This will be a regular at my place! Also, when cooking the quinoa with 4 mins to spare…is it supposed to be watery like that? I cooked it an extra min or so because I thought that was strange. I’ve never made quinoa before.

          1. A bit of extra water is find for this casserole. You bake it afterwards anyways and any extra water will be absorbed with other flavours. Glad buoy liked it!:)

        15. Hi! This recipe looks great. I however am dairy free. If I leave out the cheese will this dramatically change it? I havent tried dairy free cheese because I’m not a big cheese fan anyway and I don’t know how it will taste. Any suggestions?

          1. You can skip the cheese but casserole will be more crumbly and not stay together as well. Taste should be tasty anyways.:) Maybe add more green onion or herbs or red pepper flakes for bolder taste.

        16. I need a recipe to cook for a group of people, and this sounds great. I was wondering if you have ever tried adding chicken to the recipe or if you think it would work?

        17. 5 stars
          Hi Olena! Just discovered your site last week and we had this added to our menu plan for this week. It was great! I forgot about my quinoa and cooked it through so next time I’ll keep a closer eye! I’m from Winnipeg and from Poland originally. I read your cabbage rolls post and I AGREE!!! The first time I had cabbage rolls here after people RAVING about cabbage rolls (which happens as soon as you tell them where you’re from!) I immediately said, these are NOT cabbage rolls! They were the size of spring rolls and YUP – full of rice!! 🙂 Can’t wait to try yours!

          1. Heeeey. Nice to meet you! How long you lived in Canada now? Well, it’s like you and me making butter chicken. I’m sure it will taste good but won’t be real Indian food. It’s on my menu btw LOL. Enjoy and let me know how they turn out.

        18. It looks so good, but would have to come up with some alternatives to coconut oil and milk…any suggestions? Extremely allergic to coconut. Thanks!

        19. 5 stars
          This is a delicious recipe! I don’t eat dairy so I used none dairy cheese and it was perfect. Going to try and add a can of rotel next time.

        20. 5 stars
          I loved this! The only change I made was that I added a can
          of diced tomatoes with green chiles. It was absolutely
          delicious.

        21. 5 stars
          This was so delicious! I made a few minor changes. Instead
          of sautéing the fixed jalapeño I added it on top after the
          assertive was cooked (I love the crunch and flavor of fresh
          jalapeño). I also squeezed a little fresh lime juice on top of my
          portion once it was plated. Delicious! Thank you for this recipe!
          It’s been added to my dinner rotation!

        22. I don’t care for coconut milk. Is there something I could use to replace that with similar consistency and somewhat healthy

        23. 5 stars
          I’ve been craving everything Tex Mex lately, so this looks DELICIOUS. On the menu for tonight! I also just discovered your blog in the past 20 minutes and I think I’ve saved 10 recipes already!

        24. when you freeze, how do you reheat? Looking to make something for a friend that just had a baby that she can easily reheat for dinner. Looking to send over one larger portion.

          1. Hi Erin,

            You have 3 options:
            1. Do not bake at all. Just freeze assembled in a baking dish. Tell your friend to bake it from frozen 15 minutes longer than the original recipe calls for.
            2. Under bake by 15 minutes and freeze cooled. Then she can reheat it in the oven at 375 for 15 mins (whole, assembled).
            3. Bake, cut, freeze in individual portions and then your friend can just defrost in a microwave.
            That’s what I used to do when I had babies.:) And my friends used to make me casseroles too. Funny.:) Hope this helps.:)

            1. Thank you so much. I’m going to assemble tonight and make one for me for tomorrow! Can’t wait to try.

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