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Vegan Casserole

Creamy Mexican Quinoa Casserole with Black Beans and Bell Peppers (Vegan + Gluten-Free)

  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • 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
  • 1/2 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

Serve with:

  • diced avocado, lime wedges and zest, chopped green onions, jalapeno slices, more fresh cilantro leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 13 x 9-inch rectangular baking dish with olive oil and set aside.
  2. 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. 
  3. Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 45 minutes.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 
  6. Serve immediately while hot.  Garnish with avocado, lime, green onions, jalapeno slices and cilantro if desired.  Serve with more chips if desired for scooping!
  7. 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.
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: vegan Mexican casserole

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