This simple Vegan Quinoa Black Bean Casserole comes together within minutes and bakes up to layers of flavors. Spiced liberally, topped with butternut or other squash or sweet potato slices, vegan cheddar cream sauce, corn and jalapeno. Serve this as is, or fill up a taco or burrito.
We discovered this really pretty beach (Speelyi Beach park) on Lake Cle Elum this past weekend. The water was a blue green, warm by the Northwest standards and the beach sandy. It is something to definitely visit again on a warmer day. Chewie loved being off leash and roaming all around. He is a funny dude. I gave him his kibble and fruits in his bowl on a beach towel. He picked the food up one by on and dropped it, usually outside the beach towel and on the sand and then the food and his nose would get covered in sand. Then he would spit it all out. Some days, he just does not get it 🙂 . Some other days he acts like he is knows so much. Every other evening, he will look at me and when I look back at him, he will give me a short bark, look at his food bowl, look back at me and lick his lips. That is his clear request for food.
Try more from the blog.
Ziti Cheddar Brussels Sprouts Bake
Serve it up with some extra pickled jalapenos. Pack this in a burrito with some salsa.
Quinoa Black Bean Casserole with Butternut and Cheddar Cream Sauce.
Allergen Information: Free of Dairy,egg, soy, gluten. Can be made corn-free. Serves 3-4 , I used 1.5 quart 9 by 7 inch baking dish
Active time 20 mins
1 to 2 tsp oil
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder or 1 tsp garlic paste
1/2 tsp cayenne or to taste
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 cup crushed tomato or 1 large ripe tomato thinly sliced(1/8 inch), divided
1 15 oz can black beans or 1.5 cups cooked
1 tsp adobo sauce or 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
3/4 to 1 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 cup sliced Butternut squash (1/4 inch slices)
3/4 to 1 cups water
1/2 cup corn, frozen or fresh
2 Tbsp sliced pickled jalapeno
Cheddar cream sauce (optional)
1/3 cup cashew milk or other non dairy milk
1 tsp miso (use chickpea miso to make soy-free)
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Spray or brush oil on a baking dish. Spread onions on the bottom. Sprinkle the parsley, oregano, garlic, cumin, cayenne evenly. Add a layer of tomato.
3. Add black beans and spread evenly. drizzle the adobo sauce. Wash the quinoa, drain and top the black beans evenly. Sprinkle salt and paprika on the quinoa. Add a layer of tomato.
4. Layer the butternut squash slices on top. Spray oil and sprinkle a generous pinch of salt. Slowly pour the water in the dish. Cover lightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
5. Thaw the corn and keep ready. Make the cheddar sauce. Blend everything under the sauce and keep ready. Taste and adjust salt and tang. (Add a Tbsp of starch/flour or ground cashew for a thicker sauce. I used cashew milk so it thickened nicely).
6. Remove baking dish from the oven. Carefully remove the foil. Check if the butternut squash is tender, else bake for another 10 minutes. Drizzle the cheddar sauce on top of the butternut. Spread the corn and pickled jalapeno evenly on top.
7. Spray oil and a pinch of salt on the corn. Bake for 5 minutes then broil for 2 minutes or until the cheddar sauce starts to bubble and the corn starts to get golden. Serve hot topped with chopped cilantro and side of crackers or tortilla chips. Or fill a taco or burrito.
Note: Omit the cheddar sauce and use vegan cheese shreds. Use other squash or sweet potato. Use millet or other grains instead of quinoa. Add red bell pepper. Omit corn to make corn-free.
If you double the recipe or scale it up, reduce the water a bit. for double use 1.5 cups water.
Hi Richa, I’m planning to try cooking this at the weekend. Would it be possible to switch the squash out for sweet potato?? I thought it might work, what are your thoughts?
Vegan Richa Support
totally – they’re similar in consistency
This was delicious. I served it over Corn Tortilla Chips and it was a really interesting “nacho” fix!
Richa, do you peel the squash before slicing it?
I plan to make this tonight but I’m confused about the water amount. You suggest if doubling the recipe to use 2 – 2 1/2 cups of water rather than 3, but the original amount is 3/4 – 1 cup of water, so doubling would be 1 1/2 – 2 cups… right?
Why would doubling be 3 cups of water ? Am I missing something here?
I LOVE your recipes, by the way!!! : )
(this is txdawn from Instagram)
Thanks for catching that. I am wondering the same thing. 🙂 yes use 1.5 to 2 cups in the double. updating now
Dawn aka txdawn
Just a friendly reminder, Richa…. : )
The recipe still says: “If you double the recipe or scale it up, reduce the water a bit. for double use 2 to 2.5 cups water instead of exactly double 3 cups. ”
Are you still planning to update that part?
Delicious, just made it today. The cashew cream was very tasty too
That. Was. Delicious!
Our only change was to swap out chipotle & adobo (tummy doesn’t love it) and insert salsa verde. We uncovered it for 15 min at the end and increased the temp to 425 to let off the rest of the liquid. I’d only change it otherwise by doubling the cheese. After all, as my husband says, a casserole isn’t a casserole if it’s not full of cheese! Ha!
I am making this tonight, however my sauce is very thin even after I thickened it with flour. Does it thicken up while it’s cooking or should it be thick before I drizzle it over the casserole?
it thickens up while cooking. you can add more cashew or flour for a thicker sauce if you like.
Absolutely incredible! The flavors aver delicious, I followed the recipe exactly. Could have put a little more corn on and gotten away with it. Topped with green salsa and ate with tortilla chips. Will definitely be making again!!!
Can’t wait to make this! Can you recommend a sub for butternut squash? My picky husband won’t eat butternut squash (or any squash) so I’d like to make half with and the other half without it.
you can omit the squash. add more corn 🙂
I’m so glad I made this! Husband is away so I ended up using the butternut squash and followed the recipe pretty faithfully w just a few small changes: reduced water to 1 C. as I used high-liquid stewed frozen tomatoes, added a little extra onion & cumin, thickened the cheesy sauce with oat flour, and subbed one ground chipotle pepper (didn’t have adobo sauce).
I think he will really like the dish even with the squash as it adds a delightful creamy element to this comfort-food-yet-healthy casserole! Can’t wait for your cookbook.
2nd update: My husband went back for seconds! He rather squeamishly cut up the squash but he ate it. The flavor profile is just amazing with no single spice overpowering the dish. I made two casseroles again last night (unfortunately don’t have a big casserole dish) and sent some with him to work. He texted me to thank him for his delicious lunch! I ate the rest of one of the casseroles over the course of the day. Thank goodness I made two!
I definitely recommend reducing the water if one is using liquid-rich stewed tomatoes — I used just 3/4 cup and it required extra cook time to boil off. I also thickened the cheesy sauce with both oat flour and a little ground flaxseed I had leftover from morning. YUM!
Only thing is this takes me much more than 20 minutes to put together, but it is worth it. I will definitely make two of these each time as I can polish off one all by myself!
yay! so glad you both loved it ! ! xoxo
Made this for dinner tonight. We doubled it and should have reduced the liquid, but it was easy to cook off. Tasted great–especially the cheese sauce.
Made this tonight and it was delicious. One thing, though, it was very soupy! I’m wondering if a 2:1 ratio for the water/quinoa might have worked a bit better (which is what the bag of quinoa I had calls for). I did make some modifications. I doubled it (except for the beans), added a diced small red bell pepper and small diced zucchini (for the doubled recipe). Baked it in an 11.5×8 dish. I also had some issues with the “cheese” not really thickening. It was super thin (I had to use rice milk, as I’m allergic to nuts–if cashew milk is thicker, maybe that was the problem there). I added two tablespoons of cornstarch to thicken it, but since that wouldn’t actually happen until it was heated in the oven, when I poured it over the squash layer, the sauce mostly just seeped into the quinoa (the parts that stayed on top did thicken and bubble after being broiled). I was determined to salvage it! Initially, I baked it covered at 400 for the 40 minutes and when I saw how much liquid was still in there, I upped the temp to 450 and put it back in the oven (covered) for another 10-15 minutes. Not much more liquid got absorbed, but the quinoa was pretty well cooked. Ultimately, what I ended up doing was removing as much of the excess liquid as I could with a baster, putting it back in the oven covered, then taking it back out, removing more liquid, and baking it uncovered at the end until it was a bit drier at the bottom. I probably removed just over a cup of extra liquid. Then I added the “cheese” and corn/jalapenos and put it back in the oven. Total baking time was about an hour and a half until I got it right. I’m often distracted by my kids when cooking, so it’s possible that I could have mis-measured with the water. Or maybe the water in the added zucchini and red bell pepper threw it over the edge. Who knows. I just thought I’d mention it for your readers. In the end, it all worked out (I was sweating it there for a while, though!) and everyone loved it! We served it topped with some plain greek-style coconut yogurt (real greek yogurt for the non-vegans) and diced avocado. My daughter asked me to save her one of the leftover pieces for leftover night (and she is picky!). I’ll definitely be making it again, but next time will reduce the water a bit and I might pre-thicken the cheese sauce on the stovetop a bit before pouring it on top of the casserole. 🙂
wow. i am so glad it worked out in the end and everyone loved it 🙂 for doubling the recipe, you might need a bit less water. I think the extra veggies, extra water,the rice milk that went in, missing beans that wold also use some of the liquid etc contributed to some of the excess. If you do double it, use 2 to 2.5 cups water. If it stays too liquid-y, then cook Un-covered. the liquid evaporated quickly when not covered.
Prethickening the sauce is a great idea. the nut milks thicken quite quickly in the oven, which might not work with rice milk. Thanks for the feedback!
Thanks for the tips, Richa! Yes, I’m sure all those different variables played a huge part in making it soupy. Next time I’ll reduce the water to 2.5 cups (for a doubled recipe) and will know that if it’s too much, uncovering it will help to evaporate off some of the liquid, which I’ll do that sooner rather than later in the cooking process. Had it again today for leftovers at lunch and it was even better. Thanks for such a great recipe!
This looks delicious, and I can’t wait to make it! I really like how you include so many options and potential substitutions for your recipes. Thank you!
Fixed this tonight and it was so incredibly delicious! I didn’t have a tomato so put a can of diced tomatoes in the food processor and made crushed tomatoes. The spices, with the addition of pickled jalapeno at the end, are lip tingling! It’s definitely a saver recipe….thank you so much!
Awesome!! so glad you liked it!! yup any tomatoes would do 🙂
what a yummy casserole. it reminds me that i haven’t had quinoa in forever.
This just looks and sounds so good and autumnal. We are just starting to get chilly (but still sunny and bright, thank goodness) in Scotland and this looks a perfect midweek meal to comfort and warm. Never mind that it is super nutritious – that’s an added bonus! Thanks for sharing this. PS Your dog Chewie sounds so sweet, silly but sweet :- )