Chock full of veggies, black beans, cheese and homemade enchilada sauce, Quinoa Enchilada Bake is a fabulous vegetarian casserole to feed a small crowd. Like my Vegetarian Skillet Mexican Quinoa, this Mexican quinoa bake is freezer friendly and makes for easy leftovers. This recipe is vegetarian and gluten free.
Late summer and early fall veggies continue to make a showing at the farms and farmers markets, so I’m keeping them on the menu as long as I can. Just picked sweet corn from the farmers market is hard to resist right off the cob, but I also love putting it in all things Mexican food.
Shucking sweet corn is a practice in patience. Removing the silk takes a bit of effort, but worth the pot of gold in the end. But, frozen corn can be easily subbed for fresh!
This vegetarian, gluten free, quinoa enchilada casserole recipe has all the late summer suspects. Fresh corn, zucchini, poblano or green bell pepper, and onions make a showing as well as hearty and texture rich quinoa, black beans and my made-in-a-blender easy homemade enchilada sauce. Best of all, this Quinoa Enchilada Bake casserole is freezer friendly.
Quick Guide: How to Make Mexican Quinoa Enchilada Bake
Mexican quinoa enchilada bake is super simple to pull together. In summary, here’s how to make this healthy Mexican quinoa casserole (see recipe card for details):
- First, cook the quinoa.
- Meanwhile, saute onions, and poblano adding in cumin towards the end of cooking.
- Next, place the cooked veggies and quinoa in a large mixing bowl along with the raw zucchini, corn, enchilada sauce and cheese.
- Last, throughly mix, then transfer to a baking dish and bake for about 35 minutes.
While this Mexican quinoa casserole is baking, it’s a perfect time to tidy the kitchen and whip up a batch of guacamole. Oh and margaritas if you’re so inclined.
A Few Recipe Notes
- Use fresh or frozen corn niblets in this quinoa enchilada bake. No need to thaw.
- Meal prep ready! Cook the quinoa and chop the veggies ahead of when you need, then assemble the day of baking.
- Freezer friendly? Yes please! Simply store in a covered container for up to a month. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and rewarm in a 350F oven for about 15 minutes.
- I use Homemade Enchilada Sauce (gluten free or not) for this quinoa enchilada bake. I hope you’ll give it go… it’s made in a blender so it’s super easy.
- Whip up a batch of Creamy Guacamole Recipe with Sour Cream while this vegetarian casserole bakes then share with your favorite Mexican food toppings. A batch of Mezcal Margarita Fizz would pair quite nicely with quinoa enchilada casserole.
More Vegetarian Mexican Food Recipes to Love:
- Roasted Cauliflower Tinga Tacos
- Skillet Black Bean Vegetarian Enchiladas Verde
- One Pan Mexican Quinoa Recipe – from Foolproof Living
- Sweet Potato Wrapped Black Bean Enchiladas
- Creamy Corn, Zucchini and Poblano Tacos
Quinoa Enchilada Bake with Black Beans Recipe
- 1 C (190g) Quinoa rinsed and drained, I like tricolor quinoa
- 1 1/2 C (354g) Water
- 1 Tbs Vegetable Oil like coconut oil or olive oil
- 1 C (150g) White or Red Onion medium dice, about one medium
- 1 1/3 C (160g) Green Bell or Poblano Pepper medium dice, about one medium
- 2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
- 2 tsp Cumin ground
- 3 C (345g) Zucchini diced small, about one medium
- 1 1/2 C (210g) Corn Niblets fresh or frozen, about 1 ear of corn
- 15 oz (425g) Black Beans rinsed and drained, one can
- 2 C (500g) Homemade Enchilada Sauce
- 2 Tbs Adobo Sauce
- 2 C (200g) Pepper Jack or Monterey Jack Cheese
For Garnish (optional):
- Avocado, cilantro, salsa, sliced jalapeños, black olives, sour cream, chips, warm tortillas, guacamole.
- Soak the quinoa over night covering it in at least 2" of water (if desired). Otherwise, simply rinse the quinoa through a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear. In a medium sauce pot add the soaked (or unsoaked) quinoa and water. Stir in a pinch of salt and bring to a simmer. Cover, turn heat to medium-low, and simmer until tender and the 'tails' are showing. Soaked quinoa will take about 8 minutes and need to be drained while unsoaked quinoa takes about 15 minutes to cook (no draining needed). Drain any excess water and spoon into a large mixing bowl.
- Set oven rack in center and preheat oven to 350F (180C).Meanwhile heat the oil in a medium saute pan until it shimmers. Add the onion and bell (or poblano) pepper and saute allowing the veggies to set for 2-3 minutes at a time to sear, for about 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Sprinkle in the salt and cumin and stir so that the veggies are coated for one minute. Add the mixture to the bowl of quinoa.
- To the mixing bowl, add the zucchini, corn, black beans, enchilada sauce, adobo sauce and 1 1/2 C (150g) of pepper jack cheese. Stir thoroughly so that all the veggies are evenly distributed. Transfer the mixture into a 9"x13" (22cmx33cm) baker/casserole, smooth top and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Cover with foil tenting the center slightly so that it doesn't rest on the cheese and bake for 30-35 minutes until the cheese has melted and it's bubbly. Remove from oven and rest covered for 10 minutes. Garnish with options or serve garnishes on the side.
- Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for up to one month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. To reheat, cover and bake in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes.
This was delicious! Another great V & B recipe to add to our meal rotation. I cooked the black beans the day before in my slow cooker per your instructions “How to cook black beans” (My go-to method now) then searched your site for a recipe to use them and chose this one. As there are only 2 of us at home, I divided the mixture into two 9×9 pans before baking so I could freeze one for another day. Served with chips, salsa, guacamole and margaritas. So good! Thanks Traci.
Hi Victoria! Thank you for coming back and leaving a note! So happy to hear you enjoyed the bake. Hooray for having another in the freezer! Love those sides and margaritas.
Imagine my surprise when I was ready to assemble the enchiladas and realized this wasn’t an enchilada recipe at all – but instead a Mexican inspired veggie casserole. My bad for quickly reading the ingredient list, high fiving that I had everything on hand, and jumping in to get dinner on the table. Needless to say, I modified by adding a generous scoop of the filling down the middle of fresh tortillas and baked them as, well, enchiladas. We liked the flavors but without the tortillas I would have been challenged to call this a main course.
Stuffed in enchiladas sounds lovely! Thank you for your tip, but I’m sorry for your disappointment. We love this as a main!
I made this tonight and loved it. I’ve made a few of your recipes and I will definitely be adding this to my repertoire..
Hiii Susan! Thank you so much for coming back and leaving a note and your kind words! Sooo happy to hear!
Added diced carrots and mushrooms and a few less zucchini. Tried the homemade enchilada sauce (loved the flavor), as well. I had a hard time not eating the quinoa/vege mix before it went in the oven! Will definitely share this recipe. It was delicious!
Hi Diana! Thank you for coming back and leaving a note! The sauce, right? I’ve been double batching it for the freezer. I love how you added some winter veggies (what a great idea!) :D Thank you for sharing! Day made!
Laura | Tutti Dolci
This bake looks so wonderful! I love all the veggies you incorporated.
Sarah | Well and Full
This casserole looks absolutely packed with flavor!! Amazing as always, Traci!
Thank youuu Sarah!
Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
I agree 100%! Fresh corn is what life is all about. You have got me craving it so bad in this enchilada bake!! Such a brilliant idea for an easy and healthy dinner. Definitely putting this on the list to try soon!
I sooo wish corn had a longer season… I blink and it’s gone! Woot woot! I hope you two enjoy the recipe Sarah!
Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen
This is my kind of recipe, Traci. Full of veggies and quinoa and great spices. The black beans give it the protein boost that it needs. I love dishes like this – make a big batch and have it on hand for lunches and dinner. Looking forward to trying this one. So easy and so good!
It is super hearty and I love heating up the leftovers. Rob loves it for lunch at work. I imagine you’ve lots of tomatoes to top this casserole with too! I hope you enjoy it Geraldine and with that homemade sauce!
Ahhh this is sooo my kind of dinner Traci. Layers and layers of veggie and quinoa goodness.
Though I have to agree, shucking corn requires a lot of patience. Needless to say, not my favorite thing.
Gorgeous as always!
Thaank you Ayse! Layers FTW! I hear you on the corn… but when it’s local and in season, I do a lot of shucking!
I have one word: Irresistible!!
Thank you, Annie! xo
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
Love this recipe Traci. I’d need to double up on the corn and black beans and omit the zucchini for Tom, but otherwise I know he’d love it. Zucchini is one of my favorites and I’ve been enjoying them from my brother in law’s garden all summer long. I may need to make two separate casseroles. One for Tom and one for me!
Doubling up is a great idea for those that don’t care for zucchini. You know, Rob is not a fan of zucchini either unless I hide it in Mexican food. He instantly loves it! lol! Two casseroles sounds like a plan!
Perfectly light and tasteful …
So good! All the comforts and I appreciate the seasonality of your beautiful dish too. I make a similar Mexican inspired quinoa skillet but could take a cue from your homemade enchilada sauce – will give it a try. I love the versatility and texture of tapioca (will investigate masa harina have not tried) Thanks Traci! beautiful work.
Hiiii Kelly! Thank you so much! I hope you’ll give that sauce a try. It is truly special and oh so simple to whip up!