I started to feel like my quinoa dishes were getting a little boring. I would cook the quinoa then place a few sauceless spoonfuls on my plate. However, I started thinking. I would never put cooked pasta on my plate without tossing it in a bit of sauce first, so why am I doing this with quinoa? Quinoa doesn’t have to be bland or boring, so why not make it the star of the dish?
This enchilada quinoa casserole does just that. Just like my caprese quinoa casserole, this quinoa is baked with a creamy sauce making each bite as flavorful as the last. Best of all, it doesn’t leave you feeling bloated like a pasta casserole would.
This is a very colorful and flavorful dish. I love using fresh ingredients like bell peppers in casseroles. In my caprese casserole, I used fresh cherry tomatoes and basil. It really takes a casserole to the next level.
I also used oaxaca cheese which is similar in many ways to mozzarella. It has a similar texture to string cheese, but melts really well. It should be readily available in your grocery store, but if you can’t find it, you may use mozzarella and a Mexican blend of shredded cheese.
The ooey gooey melted cheese is my favorite part of this casserole. Then again, you guys probably already know my obsession with cheese.
If you want to adapt this dish for meatless monday, you can omit the chicken. I promise that the casserole will be just as delicious and filling without it. Or, if you want to make this recipe even easier, use rotisserie chicken instead of cooking your own!
Prior to serving, garnish the casserole with slices of fresh avocado, cilantro, and a little sour cream. Honestly, I love this dish so much that it’s going into my rotation of easy weeknight meals.
- 1½ lb cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
- 2½ cups cooked quinoa
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeño, diced
- 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup corn
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 3 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- 1 cup red enchilada sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 cup oaxaca cheese, shredded
- ¾ cup Mexican blend cheese, shredded
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- cooking spray
- ¼ cup fresh tomatoes, diced
- 1 avocado, sliced
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large skillet, heat the tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño. Sauté until tender. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the beans and corn. Season with chili powder, cumin, lime juice, salt and pepper.
- Add the enchilada sauce, tomato paste, red pepper flakes, cooked chicken, and the cooked quinoa to the vegetable mixture. Stir until well combined and remove from the heat. Add the chopped cilantro and the half of the oaxaca cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted.
- Pour the quinoa mixture into a large baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Top with remaining cheese and bake for 15 minutes. To brown the cheese, place the casserole under the broiler set to high for 2 to 3 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
- Top with avocado slices, cilantro, and sour cream.