Quinoa Enchilada Bake

Enchilada night is about to get a whole lot healthier — and easier — with this enchilada bake packed with wholesome quinoa, black beans, and colorful veggies, and covered in spicy enchilada sauce and plenty of bubbling cheese. It’s like a fiesta in a casserole dish!

We usually love enchiladas with tortillas and rice, but this time we’re swapping the carbs for whole grain quinoa — the ancient grain boasts way more protein, fiber, and nutrients. Quinoa’s hearty texture and nutty flavor go perfectly with the south-of-the-border flavors of this enchilada casserole like jalapeño, cumin, cilantro, and lime (which makes sense, since quinoa was considered sacred by the Incan people).

Quinoa Enchilada Bake
Prep: 15 Mins | Total: 50 Mins
Serves: 8
Difficulty: Easy
2 Cups Water
1 Cup Quinoa, rinsed
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Small onion, diced
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and diced
1 Orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
to taste Salt & pepper
2 (14.5 ounce) Cans Black beans, drained and rinsed
1 Cup Frozen corn
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
1½ Teaspoons Ground Cumin
1 (20 ounce) can Red enchilada sauce
⅓ Cup Cilantro, chopped
1 Lime, juiced
2 Cups Shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C.
Add the water to a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil. Add the rinsed quinoa and simmer it for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and simmer the quinoa for 15 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff the quinoa with a fork.
While the quinoa is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeño pepper, and sauté them for about 5 minutes. Add the red and orange bell peppers and cook another for 3 to 4 minutes. Season it with salt and pepper to taste.
In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, sautéed vegetables, black beans, corn, chili powder, cumin, and ½ cup of the cheese. Stir to mix. Add the enchilada sauce, cilantro, and lime juice, and stir until well combined.
Pour into a 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish. Top with the remaining cheese and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the sides are bubbling. Allow the casserole to cool slightly before serving. Garnish with chopped green onions, cilantro, avocado, tortilla chips, or sour cream, if desired.

We love doing enchiladas as a casserole, because then we don’t have to mess around with making a bunch of individual enchiladas — just throw the fluffy quinoa, sautéed veggies, frozen corn, and black beans into your casserole dish and pour your favorite enchilada sauce on top. Then pile on the cheese and bake it until it’s nice and gooey.

Customize this Mexican quinoa casserole to satisfy everyone in your family: add chopped green onions, cilantro, guacamole, tortilla chips, or sour cream — anything you’d normally put on enchiladas. This dish is loaded with veggie power, but could also add leftover roasted chicken or taco meat.

Looking for more ways to cook quinoa from TipHero? Don’t miss these quinoa recipes:

Recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod.