Mexican Quinoa Casserole

If you’ve never had quinoa before, you’re missing out.  It’s actually the seed from a grain-like crop, and it’s similar to brown rice, but looks more like couscous.  What’s great is it has a lot of protein and fiber, which makes it super filling. It’s easy to cook, exactly like rice, and it’s very versatile, making it great for dishes of all kinds.

This recipe makes a hearty 9×13 casserole and will go a long way.  Great to bring to a party or dinner at someone’s house too.  It’s really easy with only a little prep work.  And you can definitely make it up ahead of time and bake when you are ready to eat it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed thoroughly 
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 2 TBS plus 2 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium red or yellow onion, chopped 
  • 2 small zucchinis, cubed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 4 oz can diced green chilis
  • 1 15 oz can yellow corn, drained, or 2 ears of corn, kernels cut off cob
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • juice of one lime
  • salt to taste
  • 1.5 cups shredded cheddar, monterey jack, or mexican blend cheese
  • Toppings: sour cream, avocado

Preheat oven to 375.  Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with non-stick spray.

In a large saucepan, heat 2 tsp olive oil over medium heat, then add the quinoa and stir for about 1 minute while the quinoa dries out a bit.  Add the vegetable broth or water, stir and bring to a boil.  After coming to a boil, turn down to low and simmer covered for 18 minutes. 

While the quinoa cooks, get a large skillet and heat 2 TBS olive oil over medium-high heat for a few minutes.  Add onions and green bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, about 7 min, then add garlic and zucchini and cook 5 more min.

When quinoa is cooked, take off heat and let sit about 5 minutes covered, then fluff with a fork.

Take skillet off heat as well and if your skillet is large enough to use, start adding in all the other ingredients (except shredded cheese), including quinoa and mix everything together.  Otherwise use a large bowl to do this.  When well mixed, pour into your casserole dish and bake at 375 for 30 min.  

Take out of the oven and top with cheese, then bake 10 minutes more or until melted and bubbling.

If desired, top with a little sour cream and or avocado to serve.

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