Fluffy quinoa, fresh veggies, cashew cream, and a crunchy tortilla chip topping make this Vegan Mexican Casserole the perfect weeknight meal! You don't even need to boil the quinoa ahead of time, so it's super easy to make and filled with flavor.
The minute this Mexican Quinoa Casserole appeared on my Instagram I started getting messages asking for the recipe! It's bright, colorful, filling, plant-based, and so easy to make for a weeknight. What more could you want?! This recipe has all the flavor of my stovetop One Pan Mexican Quinoa & Black Beans combined with the ease of my Vegan No-Boil Pasta Bake. I pulled all of my favorite elements into ONE dish that I really think your whole family will love!
At the beginning of the year I always have both new friends and familiar faces who approach me wanting to add more plant-based meals! I love helping you incorporate delicious meals into your day and it's my own personal belief that you can enjoy filling, delicious meals that are free of animal products and allergens. This Vegan Mexican Casserole is a perfect example!
I got everything I needed for this recipe at my local Sprouts, where they have vegan items throughout the store and employees who are happy to help find any new-to-you ingredients. I also really appreciate how affordable they make vegan options! For this recipe I used tons of fresh produce, quinoa (which you can buy in the bulk section at Sprouts!), canned black beans, and a bag of From the Ground Up Cauliflower Sea Salt Chips for the perfect Mexican-restaurant flavor made right at home.
Weeknight Meals with Black Beans
I incorporate a lot of black beans into weeknight meals because they're filled with beneficial nutrients as well as plant-based protein for a well-rounded and filling dinner. Black beans are considered a legume and part of both the protein and vegetable group. They also provide dietary fiber and important nutrients such as iron and zinc. Black beans absorb flavor really well, so I love using them in dishes like this one that have tons of yummy ingredients!
All About Quinoa
Another staple in my plant-based kitchen is quinoa. Fun fact: quinoa has more protein than any other grain! At the same time, it's light and absorbs flavor wonderfully. I love the texture it adds to my favorite dishes and it's so easy to prepare. Quinoa is loaded with fiber (one serving has over 5 grams) and is considered a complete protein with all eight essential amino acids. This makes it a great source of plant-based protein for vegans. Quinoa is also a good source of folate, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and many phytochemicals. It offers important minerals such as calcium, potassium, copper and zinc. Let's cook with quinoa!
One of the things that makes this recipe so great for weeknights is that the quinoa doesn't need to be boiled before it's added into the casserole. Nope! Just mix it in with the bell peppers, diced tomatoes and their juices, drained black beans, diced red onion, minced garlic, cilantro, salt and pepper in the baking dish. Give it a good stir and pop it in the oven! The quinoa cooks in the oven and really absorbs the other flavors. It comes out fluffy and ready to be eaten!
Vegan Casserole Recipe
This Vegan Mexican Casserole has a really flavorful filling, cashew cream, and a layer of chips for crunch on the top! I really love having my Vegan Cashew Cream on hand. I probably make a batch or two every week! You only need raw cashews (another Sprouts bulk bin buy!), water, salt, and your blender to make this and it adds the most incredible creamy texture to this casserole. Read more about How (and Why!) to Soak Cashews, and for a nut-free option, you can make Sunflower Seed Cream and use that instead. I top everything off with From the Ground Up Cauliflower Sea Salt Chips! I really love the crunchy texture the chips add and my kids went wild for it. Chips for dinner?! They were thrilled.
This Vegan Mexican Casserole is gluten-free and vegan! I cannot wait to see you try this recipe and hear what you think. I hope you'll post and tag me on Instagram if you try it! If you want more easy vegan weeknight dinners, be sure to sign up for my newsletter...new subscribers get sent a FREE printable with 10 Easy Vegan Dinners!
More Easy Vegan Weeknight Meals
Vegan Cauliflower Chickpea Shawarma Bowls
One-Pot Easy Vegan Black Bean Soup
Enchilada Stuffed Bell Peppers
One-Pan Mexican Quinoa and Black Beans
@eatingbyelaine An easy #onepotmeal for Creamy Vegan Mexican Casserole! #onepotrecipe #onepotdinner #mexicanfood #mexicancasserole #vegandinner #easyvegandinner #glutenfreerecipex ♬ original sound - eatingbyelaine
Creamy Mexican Quinoa Casserole with Black Beans and Bell Peppers (Vegan + Gluten-Free)
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 8 1x
- Diet: Vegan
Fluffy quinoa, fresh veggies, cashew cream, and a crunchy tortilla chip topping make this Vegan Mexican Casserole the perfect weeknight meal! You don't even need to boil the quinoa ahead of time, so it's super easy to make and filled with flavor
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1.5 cup uncooked white quinoa, rinsed
- 2 yellow, orange or red bell pepper, diced (stem and seeds removed)
- 1, 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (with juices)
- 1, 15-ounce can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 large red onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup fresh cilantro
- 1.5 teaspoons fine grain salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper (or more to taste)
- optional: 1 jalapeno, stem and seeds removed, finely diced
- optional: 1 tablespoon of my homemade taco seasoning
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1 batch of my Vegan Sour Cream [Learn more about How (and Why!) to Soak Cashews in this post.]
- optional: 1 bag From the Ground Up Cauliflower Sea Salt Chips
- diced avocado, lime wedges and zest, chopped green onions, jalapeno slices, more fresh cilantro leaves
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 13 x 9-inch rectangular baking dish with olive oil and set aside.
- Place uncooked quinoa, bell peppers, diced tomatoes and their juices, drained black beans, diced red onion, minced garlic, tomato paste, cilantro, salt and pepper in the baking dish and stir well to incorporate. Add the optional jalapeno and taco seasoning if desired for a spicier and more flavorful dish. Add water and stir again.
- Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 45 minutes.
- Optional: While it bakes, add the entire bag of From the Ground Up Cauliflower Sea Salt Chips to a 7-cup food processor. Process for 20-30 seconds until fine. No large chip chunks should remain. Set aside.
- Remove from oven and remove the aluminum foil. Stir in the vegan cashew cream and mix well. Top the casserole with the processed chips (one even layer). Bake for another 10 minutes uncovered.
- Serve immediately while hot. Garnish with avocado, lime, green onions, jalapeno slices and cilantro if desired. Serve with more chips if desired for scooping!
- Store leftovers in an airtight container (once fully cooled to room temperature) in your refrigerator for up to five days. Keep garnishes separate for storage.
13 x 9-inch rectangular baking dishBuy Now →
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 45
- Category: Entree
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Mexican
Keywords: vegan Mexican casserole
This post is sponsored by Sprouts Farmers Market. All opinions are my own.
Dawn White says
I see tomato paste in the ingredients but not in the instructions. Going to try it today for the first time.
Elaine Gordon says
Thank you so much for pointing that out, Dawn. That was an oversight. Please add with the other ingredients in step two. I updated it so the instructions now include it in step two. Thank you again for catching that.
Dawn white says
Tried it last week and it was delicious. Going to make this again today. Love that everything goes into one bowl!
Elaine Gordon says
Oh wonderful! So happy you loved it! Yes, the one-bowl aspect of it always amazes me when I make this one. 🙂
Meghan MacDonald says
Thoughts on using plain greek yogurt instead of vegan cashew cream?
Elaine Gordon says
I think that could potentially work... it has been years since I have had Greek yogurt but I know it is thick and creamy.
This was delicious. I didn't have enough cashews for the cream so I filled in with oats and it worked really well! It was super creamy and I think the oats gave it some structure so it held together nicely.
Elaine Gordon says
Thank you so much for the five star review, Elyse! I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed this one! It is one of our favorites here. And thank you for sharing the swap you made - glad that worked well for you. Best, Elaine
This was really yummy! I added paprika and cumin. I also skipped the step at the end with the ground up cauliflower sea salt chips (since we didn’t have any) and sprinkled corn chips right before serving. So creamy any flavorful. I had to stop myself from going back for thirds!
Elaine Gordon says
Thank you so much, Christina! Love your seasoning additions... fun! So happy you enjoyed this one and kept going back for more - good thing this one makes a lot! Best, Elaine
Great recipe. I also added some diced mushrooms and a little more seasoning. Went great with a side of hummus. Already had corn chips, so used those.
Elaine Gordon says
Thank you so much, Rob! So happy you enjoyed this one. Your version sounds fabulous! Best, Elaine