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

You might also like this Mexican chicken and rice, a healthy Mexican casserole, or hashbrown breakfast casserole!

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”. Black beans are one of my favorite additions to all kinds of Mexican-inspired dishes including quinoa and black bean salad, black bean salsa, and mango black bean salad! I recently even made black bean nachos!

Combining sauteed vegetables, black beans, 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 the ingredients are already cooked, you just need to put the assembled casserole in the oven for everything to “marry” each other for 30 minutes. Quinoa makes for a delicious addition to casseroles and one-pot dishes too, like this one-pot quinoa and chicken or ground turkey quinoa casserole.

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 8×11 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. Follow my step by step how to cook quinoa on stove instructions for troubleshooting or use Instant Pot quinoa. 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 or guacamole!
  • Side dish: For easy chicken tostadas!

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. Use leftovers to make veggie quesadillas!

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 and Black Bean Recipes

You might also enjoy browsing through this list of 30 quinoa recipes!

Black Bean Quinoa Casserole
black bean quinoa casserole

Black Bean Quinoa Casserole

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!
4.98 from 39 votes
Servings 9 servings
Calories 365
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 37 minutes
Total Time 47 minutes

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. See a step by step how to cook quinoa on stove or follow Instant Pot quinoa instructions. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mix well, transfer to 8 x 11 baking dish, sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake for 30 minutes uncovered.
  • Remove from the oven, sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cilantro and 1/4 cup green onions. Serve warm.

Notes

  • Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container or in baking dish covered with wrap for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze: 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.
  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 365kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 284mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g
Course: Casserole
Cuisine: Mexican Thai
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

5 Secrets to Easy Healthy Dinners

Plus sign up for weekly emails with recipes to make your cooking stress free, delicious and healthy.

About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

Pin this recipe now to save it for later

Pin Recipe

You may also like

Comments

  1. 5 stars
    When I read this recipe, I wasn’t sure that it would have much flavor. It was excellent!

    I chose the version with mushrooms and did 1/2 mushrooms and 1/2 green pepper. I also didn’t cook the quinoa ahead of time. I threw everything in a 9×12 at 350 with an added 1.5 cups of water. After 45 minutes I stirred it and added the cheese.

    For those that are lactose intolerant or choose not to use dairy, you don’t need any substitute for the cheese. I could have left it off and it would have been just as good.

  2. 5 stars
    This was excellent! Added avocados at the end for serving for some extra fattiness (need those calories for nursing an infant!). It was even a hit with my husband, who was skeptical at the lack of meat! He has requested it as a regular dinner rotation now.

      1. 4 stars
        Made this tonight, however found it a bit bland. Next time I think I would add some Chipotle peppers in Adobe sauce. I did add some Chipotle chili powder but it didn’t give it enough flavour. Otherwise great for a weeknight with left overs too.

  3. Looking forward to trying this. Would you just clarify what size casserole? It says 9×13 in the blog descript & 8×11 on the recipe card. Or does it even matter which I use?

    1. Thanks for noticing that :). You can use either size, 9×13 just won’t be quite as thick of casserole and may cook faster.

  4. 5 stars
    Will definitely make again! The only thing I changed was adding more salt and a dollop of sour cream when serving.

  5. 5 stars
    Great recipe! Was looking for a casserole recipe with ingredients I already had (mostly). Love the creaminess while being dairy free (I left off the cheese). I used adobo chipotle peppers instead of jalapeños for a lovely smokey flavor. They also gave a nice color and I didn’t miss the cheese at all. Thank you!

  6. 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 🙂

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.