Who says all casseroles need rice?
There’s so much to love about this cheesy quinoa and black bean casserole! It calls for 100% clean ingredients and it’s vegetarian-friendly, too! But not to worry, even meat lovers tend to gobble this healthy casserole up! It’s loaded with awesome southwest flavor and hearty, satisfying ingredients. There’s no doubt about it– this one is sure to become a new family favorite!
Swapping Rice for Quinoa
Who says casseroles need rice? The first thing we did to make this casserole healthier (and gluten-free) was swap rice with quinoa. By doing this, we’ve given this recipe a major nutritional boost without sacrificing the nutty rice texture your taste buds love. Quinoa is rich in protein and fiber, both of which will help keep you feeling full and energized for hours! Of course, black beans are also a fantastic source of protein and fiber.
Quinoa even contains minerals like potassium, magnesium, and iron, too! These are vital for healthy muscles, blood, organs, and more! You can see why it’s considered a superfood…
Customizable Southwest Flavors
This delicious dish gets a lot of its flavor from savory spices like paprika, cumin, and chili powder. Combine that with some melted reduced-fat cheddar cheese and high-protein plain Greek yogurt and you’ve got yourself one yummy nutritious dinner!
That said, we always want you to feel free to customize our recipes however you’d like! You can add corn, diced tomato, sauteed onion, grilled bell peppers, or any other type of veggie you want! If you prefer a meat-based dish, you can also add cooked shredded chicken, ground beef, or even ground turkey to the casserole. Lastly, if you’re not a fan of fresh cilantro, you can leave it off completely or swap it for some fresh parsley instead.
Related: Southwestern Black Bean Casserole
Want to make this dish plant-based? Swap the cheddar for your favorite vegan cheese and omit the Greek yogurt!
If you customize this recipe, we want to hear about it! Drop a comment in the comment section below!
How to Make this Cheesy Quinoa and Black Bean Casserole
This recipe takes about 45 minutes to make, however, the steps are super simple! Begin by adding one cup of water and the quinoa to a saucepan and bringing it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover for 12 to 15 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Next, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss your cooked quinoa with the black beans and spices. Spread half of this black bean mixture across the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Top with an even layer of salsa and then a layer of cheddar. Then, repeat the layering process ending with the cheese on top.
Loosely cover the dish with foil and bake it for 25 to 30 minutes, until it’s warm and bubbly. Allow it to cool for a few minutes before plating. Finish by topping it off with a little fresh cilantro and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream). Simple enough, right?!
More Reasons to Try this Black Bean Quinoa Casserole
We’ve already discussed how healthy, delicious, and easy it is to make this cheesy quinoa and black bean casserole. But if you still need some convincing, here are some additional reasons to give it a try!
It’s fantastic in a pinch! Many, if not all of the ingredients are pantry staples in most kitchens. So, if you’re looking for a stress-free, budget-friendly dinner to make, this is it! No last-minute trip to the grocery store required.
This southwest casserole is also good multiple nights in a row. That is if you don’t gobble it all up the first night! Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. When you get hungry, simply reheat your leftovers in the oven or microwave and enjoy!
And finally, we’ve found that even the pickiest of eaters enjoy this recipe. So, if you want your kiddo (or husband) to get a healthy meal in, this is a sneaky and delicious way to do it!
Cheesy Quinoa and Black Bean Casserole
- 1 cup quinoa pre-rinsed
- 15 ounces black beans can, drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups salsa no sugar added
- 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese reduced-fat, shredded
- 1/2 cup cilantro for serving
- 1 cup Greek yogurt optional sour cream
- Add quinoa to 1 cup water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover.
- Cook for 12-15 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Toss quinoa with beans and spices. Spread 1/2 across the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch casserole pan. Top with an even layer of salsa, then a layer of cheddar. Repeat layering, ending with cheese on top.
- Loosely cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.
- Serve with cilantro and sour cream or Greek yogurt for topping.
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If you enjoyed this cheesy casserole, we think you might also like to try:
- One-Skillet Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole
- Cilantro Lime Chicken with Mexican Quinoa
- Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Bowl with Creamy Yogurt Dressing
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I love this recipe just as it is however it is one that you easily add other things such as Red Peppers and Mushrooms. It has become a staple in my home.
I already rated this recipe however in my comments I forgot to say that the pan size is too big and I use a 9 by 9 in pan
Above the recipe it says “Satisfying and healthy, the meatless casserole calls for 100% clean ingredients like black beans, cilantro, salsa, and savory spices like paprika and chili powder.”
It mentions paprika, but the recipe itself doesn’t list it. Is there in fact supposed to be paprika? If so, how much? Please let me know, thanks!
Crystal, Use 1/2 tsp paprika and add when all the other spices are added. 🙂