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Cheesy Mexican Quinoa Casserole

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

  • 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

Keywords: vegetarian skillet // cheesy quinoa casserole // vegetarian quinoa casserole

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Cheesy Mexican Quinoa Casserole


  1. I totally know what you mean – sometimes titles are difficult to think of (either that or I’m just too tired to fully think, lol). Sounds like you guys had a yummy weekend! Lots of spice – love it! It was cold (as usual) around here. I honestly don’t think summer will come. Those sunflowers are GORGEOUS! So bright and happy looking. I love meatless Mondays and this is right up my alley! Garnish with lots of avocado and hot sauce and I’m a happy girl 🙂 Hope you have a fantastic week! xo

    • Hah yes exactly! I think I was trying to come up with the title late at night. It was a delicious weekend for sure!! Aaah I’m so sorry you haven’t been receiving any of the warm weather yet!! It’s gotta come soon. Keep eating spicy things and I’ll send some sunny vibes your way! Have a great week too my friend! XO

  2. Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen

    Can I get an invitation to your house the next time you do a day of Mexican food? It’s my faaaavorite! This skillet sounds SO good; I’m pinning it AND printing it in hopes that I don’t forget I want to try it ASAP. Anything cheesy with quinoa is so fah-reaking good :). Have a great rest of your day, Katherine!

    • YES! Absolutely! You can join us for the fireside fundito 😉 It’s my faaaaaavorite too haha so good hey!! Thanks for the pin! I hope you love it too. I could actually just eat quinoa with cheese and I’d be happy hah! Hope you’re having a good week! XO

  3. This looks heavenly, I love how flavourful it is. One things for certain this will be polished off by my husband and 2 boys as soon as it placed on the table and there will definitely be NO leftovers. Hope that I get at least a spoonful(thats just wishful thinking)😃

    • Hah Ashika! I have 2 boys too and I have to say, there was enough for all of us!! You just have to make sure you get your serving first before feeding it to the rest of your family 😉 Thanks so much and have a great week!

  4. food blogger probs! normally i come up with a bunch, and if i’m feeling really go-getter that day, i’ll look it up in adwords or look at seo things. normally i’ll just spam people until they respond and make them pick which one sounds the best (; this looks delicious, and i bet it would be even better with more salsa heaped on top.

    • LOL – I have never actually spammed anyone to get their vote on a name…but I’m liking that idea a lot!! What are friends for? So right! Salsa AND sour cream if you’re feeling crazy. Thanks so much! Have a great week Heather 🙂

  5. Ben Maclain|Havocinthekitchen

    You’re right. Sometimes I struggle with finding a decent name. “This version sounds weird. This one doesn’t sound fabulous or attractive enough. And this one Google doesn’t like:)” On the other hand, the most important part of any recipe is the flavor. This skillet is utterly delicious, no doubts! Quinoa, beans, corn, cheese (please more cheese) – that’s my kind of meal. Well done, Katherine!

  6. I love this recipe!! And that is great that you take some time for yourself. That’s important! I love anything Mexican so I’m loving this easy dinner! Yum. Xoxo 🙂

  7. Loving everything about this skillet! And totally with you on the 4:30 hangry kids time of day! I have to really plan for that time (and often fail and desperately put in a pizza or something). This is perfect 🙂 And I love to read so much and haven’t had time in years. I miss it tremendously and can totally relate to being a tad sad when a good book is over. They become part of you and are hard to let go!

    • Such a tough time of the day right!? I hear ya on the desperate pizza. You nailed it on the head about the book. I need to give myself a break from reading now because I ended up neglecting everything else just to read it! Hope you’re having a great week Lindsay!

  8. I love the look of this! One pot meal + quinoa + Mexican flavors are three things I can definitely get on board with :).

  9. Thanks for posting this recipe.. I know what to have for dinner this week.

  10. This looks delicious! I love mexican food, can’t wait to try this recipe

  11. This is making my mouth water! What an awesome way to cook quinoa!

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  14. Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen

    You had me at cheesy! I adore quinoa so this is a total must-try for me, Katherine! It looks delicious!

  15. Loving this, Katherine!! The perfect time to share a super delicious pantry staple meal…loving all of the cheesiness of it too! YUM!

  16. I loved your video, it made the recipe so easy to follow!

  17. This vegetarian skillet sounds super tasty with the cheesiness and quinoa! Such a healthy and delicious way to eat this grain.

  18. We love dishes like this one Katherine. Full on flavor, nice and hearty and so easy. Pinned!

  19. Am a big fan of maxican recipe and this recipe sound was an awesome & looks are fabulous, i love your recipe along with beautiful pictures…Thanks Katherine for beautiful recipe…!

  20. I was just looking at a bag of quinoa tucked away in my pantry, and was wondering what to make with it! Thank you!!

  21. 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!

  22. 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!

  23. 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!

  24. 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!

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