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This vegetarian skillet is an easy quinoa casserole made meatless! It’s a cheesy Mexican quinoa casserole with salsa, corn and black beans for a fiesta of flavors!

mexican quinoa casserole

*Please note* this post was originally published in 2017. I’ve since updated the photos and added video, but the original recipe remains the same.

Hi guys! I had to think a little bit about what I wanted to call this one. Cheesy one pan Mexican quinoa? One pan Mexican cheesy quinoa? Cheesy skillet Mexican quinoa? Nothing sounds right to me. So we’re going with Cheesy Mexican Quinoa Casserole. It’s settled. Oh, food blogger problems.

For those of you who are still celebrating Memorial Day long weekend, I hope you’re having a great time and enjoying fabulous weather. We Canadians are sadly back to work today (womp, womp) BUT at least we get to celebrate Meatless Monday. I know, I know, it pales in comparison to a long weekend, but maybe this skillet will brighten things up a bit.

We ate this easy quinoa casserole on Saturday night and it went down great. We had a big day of Mexican, for whatever reason. We bbq’d chorizo on the grill for lunch, devoured this skillet for dinner, and then feasted on a late night fireside queso fundido with margaritas in the evening with some friends. Lots of spice. Etienne and I both had to take an antacid in the morning, hah!

What did you get up to this weekend? Other than stuffing ourselves with food, we bought all of our plants and flowers and got the garden going. And by we, I really mean Etienne. I did a little bit, but I was easily distracted – these sunflowers were begging me to take pictures of them.

mexican quinoa casserole

Anyway, let’s talk about this Mexican quinoa casserole.

How long does it take to make this vegetarian quinoa casserole?

Basically my favorite part of this dish – it only takes 30 minutes! And all in one pan!

I am in love with one-pan meals these days, especially ones that come together in 30 minutes or less. Lately I’ve been slacking on doing my supper prep while the boys are sleeping in the afternoon, and instead I spend my time catching up on some blog stuff, or by reading a really good book in the sunshine outside! BLISS. The problem with this is that 4:30pm rolls around and I realize I have nothing ready for dinner and the boys are going to be hangry very, very soon. Enter the 30 minute meals!

This one is super easy, and you’ll likely already have everything you need for it in your fridge or pantry. Plus, it’s chalk full of healthy things. Black beans, onion, diced bell pepper, corn, and quinoa! The jalapeno adds a little bit of kick, but my family didn’t find it overly spicy. If you’re trying to keep things super healthy, you can even skip the cheese and it would still taste great.

Can you use rice instead of quinoa?

Yes! I ran out of quinoa the other day and used rice instead. Use the same amount of rice, but if you’re finding the casserole is soaking up too much liquid before the rice is cooked and it’s getting dry, add a bit more stock.

I’ve only tried this with quinoa and rice, so I can’t speak to any other grains!

Can you freeze this Mexican quinoa casserole?

Yup! Not only does this meal work awesome for meal prep (store in individual containers), it also makes for a terrific easy freezer meal. Store it in an airtight container for up to 2 months and thaw it overnight in the fridge.

mexican quinoa casserole

mexican quinoa casserole

Everyone knows I love my 30 minute meals! Here’s a few others you can try:

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mexican quinoa casserole

Cheesy Mexican Quinoa Skillet

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5 from 9 reviews

  • Author: Katherine
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This vegetarian skillet is an easy quinoa casserole made meatless! It’s a cheesy Mexican quinoa casserole with salsa, corn and black beans for a fiesta of flavors!


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 jalapeno, diced fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups salsa*
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 15oz can black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup jalapeno Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • Cilantro, avocado, lime for garnish


  1. Place a large skillet on the stove and heat the olive oil on medium-high before adding the jalapeno, garlic, onion and pepper. Sauté for 3-5 minutes or until the onion is softened.
  2. Sprinkle in the chili powder and cumin and stir to combine.
  3. Add the quinoa, salsa, vegetable stock, beans and corn and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, cover and let simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the liquid has soaked into the quinoa.
  4. Remove from heat, and top with the shredded cheese, stirring it around a bit. Top with cilantro, avocado and a squeeze of lime. Serve immediately.

Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 2-3 days.


  1. I’ve only used store-bought salsa for this recipe. If substituting with a fresh salsa, add an extra 1/4 cup vegetable stock to the mixture.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: skillet
  • Cuisine: mexican
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Cheesy Mexican Quinoa Casserole

About Katherine

Heeey! Thank you for stopping by! I like 30-minute dinners and giant peanut butter cups made with only 3 ingredients. I LOVE food! If you do too, you're in the right place.

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  1. I know what you mean about coming up with titles – it’s a constant puzzle, haha.

    Like Annie, I happen to have a big bag of quinoa and everything else on hand to make this beauty!

    1. Haha I know, isn’t it?! Now it’s an SEO puzzle. Ugh! Thanks Marissa. Hope you love it!

  2. This is such a good one for the current situation Katherine! I have everything I need to make it, and we love a spicy dish in our house. And you can’t beat 30 mins!

  3. My whole family loves quinoa and this meal looks perfect for a Friday dinner during Lent! I also often find myself in the last hour scrambling to fix dinner so I love how quickly this comes together. Pinned!

    1. We love it too, Tasia!! It’s so good! I am often scrambling to make dinner too, haha. It’s a good one for those nights!

  4. This is just the way I love to eat Katherine! Nobody else in the house likes quinoa, so when I make a dish like this it’s all for me (and I wouldn’t have it any other way). 🙂 Beautiful photos, and I hope your family is doing well!

    1. Oh you will definitely have to make it for yourself one day then, and freeze the leftovers for an easy lunch for one 🙂