Southwest Quinoa Casserole

This was an evolution of a casserole I made for my mom a while back, a Bulgur Wheat, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Gratin that she loved a whole lot. My mom is a late-in-life-vegetarian. And while some vegetarians don’t miss meat in the slightest, my mom would not be one of those. She is the type of vegetarian who was very excited to see the Impossible Burger come into being, and who also goes “ohhhhhhhhhhh” when someone ferries a steak past her in a restaurant.

Amping Up the Protein

So frankly I was a little surprised at how that unabashedly vegetarian main dish-slash-side dish made her so happy. I mean bulgur wheat and root vegetables and beans – it doesn’t get any more vegetarian that that. So here is a 2.0 version of that thought, but instead of bulgur we are going for quinoa, and instead of sweet potatoes I headed for a collection of kind of tex-mex-ey ingredients. And I kept the beans. And switched up the cheese to a more in-context cheddar (you could also use a shredded Mexican blend, if you like). This is a protein bomb of a vegetarian casserole.

Southwest Quinoa Casserole

And now it’s silly blogger confession time – this bake was supposed to be served with a little bowl of Chipotle sour cream. (just mix a couple of teaspoons of pureed chipotles in adobo with a half cup of sour cream, plus sliced scallions, plus guacamole or diced avocados, plus salsa, plus cilantro leaves….but guess who forgot to put those out when she was posing the casserole for the photo? That’s right.

But you will be smarter than me!!

The fabulous flavors of the Southwest shine in this earthy and satisfying vegetarian casserole. 

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Southwest Quinoa Casserole

Other Great Vegetarian Main Dish Recipes:

Southwest Quinoa Bake

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Southwest Quinoa Casserole

The fabulous flavors of the Southwest shine in this earthy and satisfying vegetarian one dish meal.
Yield: 8 People
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 1 cup quinoa rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped scallions white and green parts
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 can black beans 15.5 ounces, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup chopped artichoke hearts chopped, jarred or canned and drained
  • 1 14.5-oz can tomatoes with chilies
  • 1 cup corn kernels fresh, canned and drained or frozen
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided

To Serve


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Place the quinoa and water in a saucepan with salt and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Reduce the heat, cover the pot and simmer for 12 minutes. Remove from the heat, and let stand with the lid on for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff quinoa with a fork.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the scallions and garlic and saute for 3 minutes until the scallions are softened. Stir in the black beans, artichoke hearts, tomatoes with chilies, corn, chili powder, cumin, cayenne and salt.
  • Add the quinoa to the skillet and stir until everything is well combined.
  • Spoon half of the mixture into a 2 quart baking dish, and sprinkle over 1 cup of the cheese. Distribute with remaining quinoa mixture over the top, and sprinkle over the other cup of cheese. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until hot throughout and the cheese is melted.
  • While the casserole is baking, put the desired condiments in little bowls: In one bowl, mix together the sour cream and pureed chipotles, in others place the avocado, salsa, scallions and cilantro. Serve the casserole hot and top as desired.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 336kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 572mg | Potassium: 458mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1016IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 268mg | Iron: 3mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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