Packed with vegetables, flavor and plant based protein, this vegetarian quinoa black bean casserole is the perfect easy healthy dinner recipe. Gluten free and easily vegan, this healthy casserole will become a new family staple.
Easy quinoa black bean casserole
I had you at “easy,” didn’t I?
That is why I am kinda in love with this black bean casserole. It is all kinds of easy to THROW together. And I do mean throw. You don’t have to cook the quinoa ahead of time. There is next to no chopping of ingredients (and zero if you use all frozen veggies). And this black bean casserole recipe is basically made with all freezer and pantry staples, making the perfect thing to make when you are running low on groceries AND motivation.
Plus, it is wildly family friendly. For reals. I baked this up with the intention of serving it for dinner but the smell of it baking brought my family wandering out of their homeschool and home office holes in search of a serving. And then the whole tray of casserole disspeared before dinner.
The bittersweet side of being a food blogger.
Recipe testing and development done in collaboration with Heather Staller.
Why this black bean casserole is great
Made with freezer and pantry staples!
Baked in one dish! That one casserole dish + a bowl to mix the wet ingredients in is all the dishes you will make while whipping up this black bean casserole! Love a recipe that minimizes the pile of dinner dishes in the sink.
Veggie-loaded. Like I do. There are 4 different vegetables in this black bean casserole…and they all taste magical in this healthy dinner dish.
Great for meal prep. Throw it together, back and reheat as needed. Perfect for those busy weeks or pop it in your freezer for when need a healthy SOS dinner!
Adaptable. Add more veggies. Take some out. Make it dairy-free. Use different beans. There are lots of ways to make this quinoa casserole recipe work for you. See all of my suggested adaptions below for inspiration.
Full of plant protein. Quinoa is loaded with protein (source) and are black beans. Even the veggies in this quinoa bake have protein to add to the mix, so this dinner is plant powered, but also hearty and satisfying.
Family-friendly. Like I said, my family smelled this baking and gathered in the kitchen, waiting for it to be done baking. They inhale it whenever it goes on the table and come back for seconds….every….single…time.
Gluten free, vegetarian and can easily be made dairy-free and/or vegan by simply omitting the sprinkling of cheese on top.
Make this black bean casserole dairy-free/vegan. This quinoa bake is completely dairy-free if you leave the cheese off of the top or use a dairy-free shredded cheese instead.
Use whatever beans you have. Don’t have black beans? Pinto beans or cooked chickpeas would also be great in this casserole. Truthfully, pretty much any kind of cooked beans will work well in this healthy dinner recipe.
Change up the veggies. Feel free to change up or add in whatever vegetables you like. Add in chopped bell pepper or any kind of chopped greens.
Omit the cauliflower. If cauliflower is not your thing or you simply don’t have it on hand, you can replace it with an additional ¼ cup of quinoa and another ½ cup of water.
Make ahead it ahead of time. This quinoa casserole is a great dish to make as part of meal prep and have in the fridge for lunches. Cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to a month.
Do you have some spinach lefover after whipping up this Veggie-Loaded Quinoa Black Bean Casserole? Don’t let it go to waste! Check out my tips & tricks for keeping spinach fresh all week!
Other veggie-packed casserole recipes you will love
- Easy Chicken Broccoli Casserole
- Ranch Chicken Spaghetti Squash Casserole
- Baked Pasta with Eggplant
- Spaghetti Squash Pizza Casserole
- Veggie-Loaded Turkey Lasagna
Loving this black bean casserole and hungry for more?
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Veggie-Loaded Quinoa Black Bean Casserole
- olive oil or oil spray, for greasing the pan
- 2 cups riced cauliflower frozen
- 1 1/4 cup dry quinoa
- 14 ounces canned black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 cup chopped spinach fresh or frozen
- 15 ounces canned crushed tomatoes I like fire roasted for added flavor
- 1 cup salsa
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese optional and to taste
- diced avocado, fresh cilantro, hot sauce, diced fresh tomato optional toppings
- Preheat oven to 375℉ Grease a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish or baking pan with oil.
- Add frozen riced cauliflower, quinoa, black beans, corn, and spinach to the casserole dish in that order. This will help the quinoa to have enough liquid to even cook.
- In a large liquid measuring cup or bowl, mix tomatoes, salsa, water, salt, garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin. Pour evenly over the ingredients in the casserole dish. Give the pan a gentle shake or use the back of a spoon to push the tomato mixture around to make sure the liquid is evenly distributed.
- Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake until the liquid is mostly absorbed and the quinoa is cooked, about 40 minutes.
- If topping with cheese, preheat your broiler. Carefully remove the foil with an oven mitt or towel. Sprinkle your cheese evenly over the casserole. Broil until bubbly and golden brown.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes then spoon onto plates then add toppings as desired.
The nutritional information is provided as an estimate only and may vary based on the product type, servings and other factors. If you are following a diet, please consult with a professional nutritionist or your doctor. Stay healthy!
Out of this world delicious and SO easy to make. My family loved it. I’m going to make another one for the freezer so I have a healthy meal my family will enjoy ready to go! Thanks for another winning recipe
I am so glad you enjoyed it!
So good!!!! And easy! Exceeded my expectations.
That is such a compliment! I am so glad it was a wild success
This was delicious! I added in some ground turkey (cooked on the stovetop, added in with the beans – thanks Taesha!) and thought it was great. Will definitely be making this again – super quick and super yummy!
I am so glad you liked it, Laura! And awesome to know the addition of ground meat works well! I am sure others will want to give it a go
This was delicious! My quinoa took forever to cook for some reason but I’ve had that problem with casserole type dishes before so it’s probably my oven or something! Loved the flavor of this!
Yay! I am so glad you liked it, Amanda! And your oven may not be cooking at temperature…especially if its a bit older. You can get a cheap oven thermometer off Amazon or at your local home good store. It just sits in your oven and tells you the true temperature your oven is at!
Made this tonight. Very good. I live at 3500 feet so ended up having to add 1/2 water and good 20 mins longer. But we really enjoyed the flavor.
Great note for those you live at higher elevations! I’m glad you were able to adapt it to make it work for you and it was a tasty success!
I used fresh arugula because I was out of spinach. Gave a great peppery flavor. The quinoa didn’t cook evenly though. Might precooked and cut the water next time. I WILL make this again. Fantastic flavor!
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, but bummer about the quinoa! I know it seems silly, but did you layer the veggies the way it was instructed in the recipe? I ask because the only times I haven’t had the quinoa cook is when I just dumped things in whatever order. I found that when I put the quinoa on top of the cauliflower and then layered everything else on top, it had enough moisture around it and cooked beautifully.
Yes I did layer as yiu said. Could be that I mashed sections down and not all sections evenly. I will make again anyway! Great recipe!
So yummy and so easy! It was a hit with the whole fam. 10/10 recommend!
SO glad you enjoyed this one so much, Lital!
This was delicious!! I followed the recipe exactly and it came out perfect!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it as much as we do! We make this often and it is one of my favorite easy meals
I am making your instant pot black beans. Can I use these beans instead of the canned? Thank you
Yes! Those will be delicious in this!
Yum!! This was delicious and easy. It took me an extra 20 minutes to bake, but maybe this was because I used the extra quinoa and no cauliflower? Also my oven is old and is probably off! Anyways, this is a keeper!
I am so glad to hear you enjoyed it, Margaret! And yes, the extra quinoa is likely responsible for the extra cooking time. And ovens do vary! That is something a lot of people don’t realize. I have to have an internal thermometer in the oven to ensure it is cooking at the correct temp.
I love how easy and tasty this is! As in, it could actually be done after work on a weeknight and/or with young children around. Thank you! Do you have any other similarly easy dairy and meat free recipes that you would recommend?
So glad you enjoyed this so much, Em! We personally love this slow cooker vegetable curry
Quinoa didn’t cook after an extra 20 minutes. Layered ingredients according to recipe. Frustrating. Will try cooking the quinoa separately next time.
I can totally understand why that is frustrating, D. Unfortunately, I haven’t had that happen in the many times I have made this. Is it possible that your quinoa was old? I know I have had quinoa not cook in suggested time in other recipes when it was on the older side.
This was excellent! I did add about 1/3 lb taco seasoned ground turkey. I also topped it with my “green topping” which is a mixture of cilantro, jalapeno, green bell pepper and spinach all chopped up together.
Yum! Great adaptations! So glad you enjoyed it!!
This recipe seriously saved grocery shopping and cooking dinner tonight- because I felt really unmotivated and grumpy about both activities. But this recipe sounded so low effort and fun to make, and it really was and it tastes great! No doubt going to make it again. Thank you, Taesha! Really appreciate all your veggie-loaded vegetarian recipes. Next on my list is the spaghetti pie.
I’m so glad, Eva!
Can I replace the cauliflower with chopped peppers? Or do I need to add more quinoa if I don’t have cauliflower?
You could try the peppers but check to make sure the quinoa is done cooking before adding the cheese. Cauliflower releases a good amount of moisture that helps cook the quinoa, but I think the peppers should probably add a similar amount of liquid to help everything cook!
Hello! If I want to meal prep this to freeze (having surgery soon, so trying to get some healthy stuff prepped!), should I bake it, then cool and freeze it, or should I assemble it, not bake it, then freeze, and then bake after thawing?
Thats a great question! I honestly haven’t tried freezing this…so I can’t say for sure. But if it was me, I’d bake it first and then freeze it. Good luck with your surgery!
Thank you and thank you!! I think I’ll bake it before freezing (that way I can sneak a taste before!).
You so saved dinner!! I am feeling so uninspired, and not wanting to spend an hour making dinner. I’m going to sub the cup of corn for a cup of mixed veggies. But otherwise have everything else. I don’t think one recipe I’ve tried hasn’t turned out. Love that your recipes easily come together. Some prep may be involved but after that it’s quick and minimal clean up. Also love that my little one is getting various veggies in every recipe! And always delicious!! Can’t wait to try this tonight. Thank you
I’m so happy to hear all that, April! This is one of our family’s favorites!
Welp – first miss out of everything I’ve tried. Not sure what the issue was..after an hour..quinoa still not cooked and a lot of liquid left. Oven may be a bit off but an hour later and things are still not done was disappointing
Brand new bag of quinoa and followed the order of layers exactly.
Definitely a bummer. Have some other recipes to try this week and I’m sure those will be better.
Hi Beckie! I have had the quinoa not bloom a time or two in this recipe as well….but be totally fine the other times. The only thing I can come up with is the quinoa is old. Even if it is a new-to-you bag, the quinoa itself might have been on a shelf in a warehouse for years. I find this is often true with dry beans and it deeply impacts their cooking time. So sorry it was a bummer for you.