This vegan Mexican-inspired casserole loaded with seasoned black beans, quinoa, and non-dairy cheese is easy to make and a family favorite. It's a comforting high-protein dish that's ready to eat in a hour or can be made in advance and enjoyed later.
Rice and beans is a classic combination, but have you tried quinoa and black beans together? I love mixing the two in dishes like Quinoa Burrito Bowls and Butternut Squash Vegan Buddha Bowls. Besides being delicious, this nutritious duo is both high fiber and protein to keep you feeling full longer.
This recipe is featured in the NBC Better article Ask a nutritionist: What are the best sources of plant-based protein? by Samantha Cassetty, RD.
Why you'll love this recipe
- The ingredients are easy to find at your local supermarket (and you may already have them in your pantry).
- It's perfect for meal prep and is freezer friendly.
- It's easy to prepare, even on weeknights.
- red bell pepper
- chili powder
- ground cumin
- dried oregano
- black beans
- fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- frozen corn
- shredded vegan cheese
For the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions, please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
You will need a 3 quart (approximately 9 x 13 inch) baking dish. I like to use a clear glass one so I can watch the cheese shreds melting while it's in the oven.
- Cook the quinoa according to your preferred method. (Both stovetop and Instant Pot instructions are provided in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.)
- Saute the onion, garlic, bell pepper, and spices.
- Stir in the quinoa, black beans, tomatoes, and corn.
- Stir in half of the vegan cheese shreds.
5. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish. Top the casserole with the remaining vegan cheese and bake.
After cooking the quinoa, drain off any water that hasn't been absorbed. Otherwise you'll end up with a soggy casserole.
This black bean quinoa bake is delicious topped with green onions and avocado. Or you can add some chopped tomatoes and sliced olives.
And I highly recommend serving it with some hot sauce and tortilla chips on the side. I like using the chips to scoop up this delicious dish. Plus since not everyone enjoys spicy food, I like to let each person add as much or as little salsa as they like.
While this meal is delicious on its own, you can also serve it with starters or sides such as the following:
Storing and freezing
Leftovers will keep refrigerated for up to 3 days and can be reheated in the oven or microwave. It's perfect for meal prep and taking to work for lunch.
Or freeze portions in glass containers with lids once the food has cooled to room temperature. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
For tips on freezing, refer to USDA Freezing and Food Safety.
The grains of quinoa are coated in a naturally occurring chemical called saponin that tastes bitter to many people. By rinsing the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer before cooking it, you can eliminate the unpleasant flavor.
1 cup uncooked quinoa is approximately equal to 3 cups cooked.
If cooking quinoa on the stovetop , you will need 2 cups of water to cook 1 cup of quinoa. In an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker, you will only need 1¼ cup of water to cook 1 cup of quinoa.
More comfort food recipes
And for even more recipes, join the Vegan Mediterranean Diet Recipes Facebook group for support, inspiration, and fun.
If you love this recipe, please give it 5 stars! ★★★★★
Vegan Black Bean Quinoa Casserole
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed in a fine mesh strainer
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, (or regular dried oregano)
- salt, to taste
- 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, (3 cups) rinsed and drained
- 1 (15 ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with their juice
- 1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
- 1 ½ cups shredded vegan cheese
- sliced green onions, diced avocado, hot sauce, and tortilla chips, for serving (optional)
- First prepare the quinoa on the stove or in an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker.Stove top method: Add the quinoa and 2 cups of water to a 2-quart sauce pan and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and lower the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes with the lid on. After 15 minutes, remove the pot from the heat. If not all of the water has been absorbed, drain off any that is remaining.Instant Pot method: Add the quinoa and 1 ¼ cup water to the Instant Pot. Close the lid and select the Pressure Cook (Manual) button. Set the timer for 5 minutes on high pressure. When the 5 minutes is up, allow the pressure to release naturally. Once the pressure has been released, remove the lid.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and saute until soft and slightly translucent. Next add the garlic and saute about 30 seconds longer. Then add the bell pepper and saute about 2 more minutes. Finally stir in the chili pepper, cumin, oregano, and salt, to taste.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and add the quinoa, black beans, tomatoes, and corn and mix well to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Stir in half of the vegan cheese.
- Transfer the quinoa mixture to a 3 quart (approximately 9 x 13 inch) baking dish. Top the casserole with the remaining vegan cheese.
- Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
- Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer until the casserole is bubbly and the cheese is melted.
- Remove from the oven and top with sliced green onions and diced avocado, if desired. Serve with hot sauce tortilla chips on the side, if you like, and enjoy!
- Nutrition Facts do not include the optional green onions, avocado, hot sauce, and tortilla chips.
- Leftovers will keep refrigerated for up to 3 days and can be reheated in the oven or microwave. Or freeze portions in glass containers with lids once the food has cooled to room temperature. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- Using leftover cooked quinoa? 1 cup uncooked quinoa is approximately equal to 3 cups cooked.
Nutritional information is an estimation only.
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This post was updated to provide better information. The recipe has not been changed.