This Mexican Quinoa Casserole is incredibly flavorful and super healthy to boot! It’s easy to make ahead of time or double the batch and freeze one.
We’re always making a conscious effort around here to eat healthy. Which is not always easy with two little ones who aren’t always so receptive to these attempts. But I do believe that if you’re cooking for yourself and/or your family on a regular basis and you’re using fresh, “real” ingredients, you’re already probably eating healthier than many Americans. I’m not a fan of the word “diet” and I don’t want my girls to ever hear that word come out of my mouth when I’m speaking of how we eat – which is why I love to make delicious, healthy and easy meals like this Mexican Quinoa Casserole as often as possible. That way we can continue enjoy things like these little beauties without an ounce of guilt!
This Mexican Quinoa Casserole comes together fairly quickly. It makes a LOT – I use an extra large pan for it (a stoneware lasagna pan from Kohl’s. It’s great for dishes like this one because it’s deeper than your typical 13×9 pan – no more lasagna bubbling over inside your oven! It’s shown in the photos above). You could also halve the recipe or just split it between two baking dishes and freeze one. I assure you that it will go very fast, however, so keep leftovers in mind, too!
I use fresh corn and peppers – the only canned ingredients are black beans and tomatoes. Lots of healthy quinoa, too – although I chose to top it with a mexican-blend cheese (you’ve gotta have cheese)! I know you’ll really love this one!
Don’t skip toasting the quinoa. It adds a lot of flavor and it’s a simple step to incorporate in all of your quinoa dishes. Also – do try to use fresh corn if you can! The flavor and texture is sooo much better than canned or frozen.
- 2 cups quinoa, uncooked
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 poblano pepper, chopped
- 4 ears fresh corn, kernels removed and cobs discarded
- 2 jalapenos, seeds and membranes removed, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 14.5 ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 14.5 ounce fire-roasted tomatoes (not drained)
- 1-2 teaspoons kosher salt (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2-3 cups shredded mexican-blend cheese
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Place dry quinoa in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Stirring occasionally, toast quinoa until starting to lightly brown (about 10 minutes, you’ll start to hear soft “popping” sounds when it’s ready). Add chicken stock, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Uncover, fluff with a fork and set aside.
- While quinoa cooks, preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Heat olive oil in pan then add onions, bell pepper, poblano pepper, garlic and jalapenos. Cook for about five minutes or just until starting to get soft. Add oregano, chipotle chile powder and cumin, stir and cook for one minute. Stir in corn and cook for one additional minute.
- Add corn/vegetable mixture to quinoa. Add all remaining ingredients, then season to taste. Put mixture into a lightly greased, large, deep baking dish (the one I use is 8 3/4 x 14; alternatively you can use two pans and freeze one for later). Top with cheese.
- Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is lightly browned and bubbling.