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Cheesy Mexican Black Bean Quinoa Casserole

This healthy Mexican quinoa casserole is the perfect weeknight dinner – Just mix the ingredients together and throw it into the oven!

quinoa dinner


With just 5 minutes of prep work, you could even try it out for dinner tonight!

The recipe is super easy to make and is sure to satisfy both meat eaters and vegetarians.

High in protein, it’s a meatless meal that’s filled with superfoods such as black beans, quinoa, and red peppers, yet tastes like pure comfort food at the same time ♥.

The best part is that you don’t need to cook the quinoa beforehand, which saves you time and also means fewer dishes to clean.

Serve it in bowls or on plates – the casserole is firm enough to slice into squares.

It also makes a delicious savory breakfast!

cheese quinoa


I adapted this quinoa casserole from an unlikely source: Banana Bread Quinoa Breakfast Bars.

Proof I do sometimes think about other things besides chocolate and dessert. The recipe takes just three easy steps, which I’ve posted below with accompanying photos.

Step-By-Step Photos:

cropped ingredients

Step One:

Gather all of your ingredients.

Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper, and preheat the oven to 350 F.

quinoa ingredients

Step Two:

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.

Stir together until well-mixed, then spread the quinoa mixture evenly into the prepared pan.

vegan quinoa


Step Three:

Bake 28 minutes on the oven’s center rack.

Turn off the heat, and let sit in the closed oven to firm up. Serve hot, or cover and refrigerate overnight.

Leftovers can be refrigerated 3-4 days.

black bean casserole


While I’ve only made this quinoa casserole as listed, please feel free to experiment with other ingredients or spices.

You can try substituting chopped carrots for the corn, zucchini for the bell pepper, white beans or even lentils for the black beans, or perhaps even rice for the quinoa.

With any recipe, whether it be mine or someone else’s, it’s always a good idea to make the recipe exactly as written the first time so you know what it’s supposed to taste like. Then you can experiment and see how using different ingredients changes the taste and texture of the recipe. Edible experiments can be a risk, but sometimes that risk pays off big time!

In this particular case, I took a risk by adapting a dessert recipe to make a savory one… and I could not be happier with the results.


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Cheesy Mexican Black Bean Quinoa Casserole

This healthy quinoa casserole is the perfect vegetarian weeknight dinner, and leftovers are great for meal prep.
4.82/5 (51)
Total Time 1 hour
Yield 6 - 8 servings


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 can black beans, or 1 1/2 cups cooked
  • 1 can corn, or 1 1/2 cups cooked
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes, canned or fresh
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup cheese, such as Daiya vegan, OR nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup water


  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Line an 8-inch pan with parchment paper, and set aside. Drain the beans and corn. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients until well-mixed. Spread into the prepared pan, and bake on the center rack 28 minutes. Without opening the oven door even a little, turn off the heat and let the casserole sit in the closed oven for an additional 25 minutes. Remove, and serve. The casserole will firm up more overnight as well – store leftovers covered in the fridge for 3-4 days.
    Instant Pot Version: Add an extra 1/2 cup of water and set it to manual for 8 minutes. Thanks to reader Louise who came up with this version and left a comment to let us know it can be made in an instant pot!
    View Nutrition Facts

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More Healthy Savory Recipes:

The Best Easy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Buffalo Cauliflower Wings


Lentil Soup Recipe
Lentil Soup Recipe


Cauliflower Mac And Cheese Recipe
Cauliflower Mac And Cheese


Sweet Potato Salad Recipe

Sweet Potato Salad


Veggie Burger Recipe
Veggie Burger Recipe


Blog Update:

There are some exciting things coming to the blog in the next few months, including a brand new ebook coming out very soon that may or may not be 100% devoted to breakfast recipes! I’ve also hired a full-time media director and updated the FAQ page:

FAQ About Katie

4.82/5 (51)

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Published on September 19, 2016

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Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
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ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day!

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  1. Liz says

    This is my go-to for potlucks. Everyone loves it. It’s also great in tortilla shells. I use frozen corn which works fine too.

  2. Sara Thomas says

    I’m looking for recipes that I can make up ahead of time and freeze. Would this recipe work? Should I bake it before freeezing? Thanks

  3. Luc says

    Great recipe. But I have changed a bit of things to make it more tasty (to us). First, instead of crushed tomatoes, I have added a CAN of Rotel, then instead of water, I added a can of enchilada red sauce. Also added, garlic instead of the powder stuff, added a tablespoon of Red pepper and doubled the cooking time. Also, I added cheese to cover the top of the casserole (Ok, it is less healthy but still better than most stuff I cook 😉

  4. Kristen Joy says

    I made this for dinner last night. I am not a cook by any means but I desperately want my husband and I to eat healthier. I thought this sounded easy enough and by golly, it was SO easy! I fixed it exactly as directed (except I didn’t use parchment paper) and it was AMAZING! My husband loved it and had no idea he was eating vegan cheese ? What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him! We mixed in some freshly made guacamole with our helpings and that was the icing on the cake. I will definitely be making this again ?

  5. Lauren says

    I followed this exactly (against my better judgement) – cook 28 mins uncovered followed by 25 minutes with the oven off – and all the quinoa came out raw. Every other no-precook quinoa recipe I’ve made has (1) been at a higher temperature and (2) instructed you to cover the dish. Consider amending the instructions in this post so folks don’t have to read through the comments to figure out what actually works (eg, cook longer, higher temperature, stir).

  6. Amber says

    I made this for my parents, husband and our three picky eaters, everyone liked this! Were not vegan or vegetarian but I do like to cook meatless dinners 2x a week. I’ll be adding this to my recipe book for future use. Thank you!

  7. Danielle says

    Looks delicious! Could I bake this covered to avoid the crunchy quinoa that some have experienced on top? Or would that trap too much moisture and cause a problem? Thanks!

  8. Kristin says

    Made this for dinner tonight, it was super delicious! I used real garlic and fresh corn on the cob. Can’t wait to try more of your non-dessert recipes!

  9. Pat says

    Just made this by the directions and the quinoa was not cooked. I’ve just added more water and put back in the oven in hope that my daughter will still eat it! ext time I would precook the quinoa.

    • Mélina Lopez-Nadeau says

      Me too the quinoa never cooked. So pissed rn. I don’t get how people succeded to do this recipe!!

  10. Jess says

    On my to-make list forever and finally made this week. Doubled and put in 9×13. My quinoa protesting oldest ate it happily. My littlest asked for just the polka dots (quinoa)! The rest of us happily gobbled it up. I ate leftovers a couple times straight from the fridge with s fresh scoop of nutritional yeast bc it’s my fave. Only mods were chicken stock for water and mostly nutritional yeast but s little cheddar mixed in. Would def be good with an egg or maybe make indents and crack an eggs into the wells to cook while it bakes. Yummo! Thanks for the recipe!

  11. Mélina Lopez-Nadeau says

    I really dont get how you could do this prep in 5 mins! Took me AT LEAST 15 minutes, maybe more!!

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