This Fiesta Quinoa Casserole is a family favorite that will have your pickiest of eaters asking for seconds. A great kid-friendly quinoa recipe that is a perfect introduction to quinoa for kids!
This recipe was originally posted in 2013 and updated 2017.
This week has been a challenging one for me.
People often assume that since I've created so many quinoa recipes that my kids must love it.
Sadly, this isn't the case.
If anything, through the years their resistance to it has grown.
In the beginning, they would eat it. Perhaps without overwhelming enthusiasm, but certainly without grumbling. These days it can be like trying to get my tween boys to hear what I am saying when they are absorbed in a video game - next to impossible.
Part of this is my fault.
I mean, if someone asked me to eat as much chocolate as I have asked them to eat quinoa I might start to protest. (But maybe not?! I mean, chocolate....)
In addition to being burnt out on it, my kids are just plain picky. No getting around it, getting them to eat healthily has always been a challenge.
I have no clue where they get it from.
Um, oops. Me, again.
I have always been a picky eater too. It has only been in adulthood that I've grown to love healthy food. I can only hope the same happens to them.
Fiesta Quinoa Casserole
- Olive oil spray
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 poblano chile pepper seeded and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and chopped
- 2 cups frozen corn thawed
- 3 tablespoons butter OR olive oil
- 3 tablespoons whole wheat OR gluten free flour
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
- ⅛ – ¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk OR milk of choice
- 8 ounces Monterey Jack Cheese OR Daiya Pepper Jack shreds
- 3 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 ½ cups black beans about 1 can
- For serving: Pico De Gallo Salsa, Avocado, Sour Cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large baking pan with olive oil.
- Spray a large skilled with olive oil and heat to medium. Add onion, poblano pepper and red pepper and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender. Add corn and cook for 4 more minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt butter or heat olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add flour, chili powder, paprika, cumin, chipotle chili powder and salt. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add in milk and cook, stirring often, until thick. Add cheese and cook until melted.
- Place quinoa and black beans in a large bowl. Add vegetable mixture and toss. Add cheese mixture and stir until well combined. Transfer to prepared baking dish.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Serve with pico de gallo, salsa, avocado or sour cream if desired.
May be make ahead and frozen prior to baking. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking.
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You put so many of my favorite things in this casserole. <3
This recipe is delicious, but it took me 2 and a half hours to put it together, then another half hour in the oven. That includes making the rice, since I didn't have any already made, and shredding the cheese from a block. I don't know what I did wrong with the sauce, though. It just would not thicken. I stirred it for at least 20 minutes. Finally gave up and added the cheese. Maybe it's because I used ultra-pasteurized milk? I still give the recipe 5 stars though. It was a big hit!
It was delicious. My husband even liked it. How much is considered a serving?