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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.

Southwest Quinoa Casserole

Vegetarian Casserole

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 than 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 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.

For more on cooking quinoa, click here.

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!! This is such a good holiday dish as well, perfect for Thanksgiving or any holiday where you need a substantial vegetarian dish.

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

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 People
The fabulous flavors of the Southwest shine in this earthy and satisfying vegetarian one dish meal.


  • 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.


This is a perfect dish to make at gatherings as the carnivores can enjoy it as a side but it’s hearty enough to be a vegetarian’s main dish.


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

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. Yummy! I love quinoa but others in the household, not so much. This recipe was enjoyed by all, received a thumbs up to be made again and was so well received, it will become a go-to recipe for quinoa. Tasty and easy! (I used monterey jack/cheddar blend as I did not have cheddar on hand.)

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