Black Bean and Quinoa Chili Casserole

quinoa bean casserole

Every year I sound like a broken record as I declare that each winter is the one that will never end, because it always feels like that, even in March and now April. Comfort food can often improve my mood. and although this dish is not the most photogenic, or at least I was in too much of a rush to spend much time with plating and lighting, it is a balanced, substantial and comforting meal.

quinoa black bean casserole

Vegetables, grains and legumes are all baked together in the same dish with lots of grated cheese. I usually go light on the cheese, but there are times when a cheesy dish is just the thing to cheer you up and fill a grumbling tummy. Besides, I don't feel too guilty at all because of the nutrients that are scooped onto the dinner plate. I suggest serving with a refreshing lightly dressed leafy green salad to complete the meal. You may also wish to serve with a few dollops of sour cream for some extra decadence and maybe some crusty bread or cornbread if you are feeding a small crowd. Either way, frigid temperatures and dreary weather won't be the focus of your attention after a few forkfuls of this.

Black Bean and Quinoa Chili CasseroleBlack Bean and Quinoa Chili Casserole
Recipe by
Published on April 17, 2013

Rich, delicious and comforting spiced bean and vegetable baked casserole with quinoa and loads of cheese — a complete meal

Preparation: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes

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  • 2/3 cup dried black beans (2 cups cooked or 1 19 oz can)
  • 2/3 cup dried azuki beans (2 cups cooked or 1 19 oz can)
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into thin slices
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and cut into strips
  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and sliced
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 onion or 3 shallots, cut into fine rings
  • 2 to 3 jalapeƱos, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 10 to 12 white mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • heavy cream (optional)
  • juice from 1 lime (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2/3 cup black olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1 cup grated Fontina Cheese
  • sour cream for garnish (optional)
  • Rinse the black beans and azuki beans separately. Soak separately for 8 hours or overnight, each covered in several inches of water. Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa and soak for 8 hours or overnight in 1 1/2 cups water in a small saucepan.

  • Drain and rinse the beans, then transfer to separate saucepans. Cover each saucepan with several inches of fresh water, then bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until tender — about 45 minutes for the azuki beans and 1 hour for the black beans. Drain and set aside to cool.

  • Bring the quinoa to a boil in its soaking liquid, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and set aside.

  • Meanwhile, soak the sun-dried tomatoes in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes, then drain and chop.

  • Grease a 9 × 13 inch baking dish. Line it with the sweet potato, red pepper and eggplant. Sprinkle with a bit of salt.

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the onion or shallots and jalapeƱos., and stir for a few minutes. Add the spices, stir for a few seconds, then turn up the heat, add the mushrooms, and stir for 5 minutes. Now add the tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer for 5 to 7 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool, whisking in a bit of cream if more liquid is needed.

  • Toss the quinoa with the lime juice and spread over the vegetables in the baking dish. Top with most of the beans and most of the grated Cheddar cheese. Pour the tomato mixture over this layer and spread evenly. Top with remaining beans and grated Cheddar cheese, sprinkle with olives and, to finish, the grated Fontina cheese.

  • Bake in a 350°F oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the cheese is nicely browned. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes and serve hot, garnished with sour cream if desired.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

quinoa black bean casserole

More comforting casseroles you are sure to enjoy from Lisa's Kitchen:
Pasta and Goat Cheese Casserole with Black Olives
Azuki Bean Casserole
Baked Tempeh & Japonica Rice Casserole


Lavanya said...

Hi Lisa,

Love your blog! And try many recipes from yours with great results! I want to try this recipe tonight for dinner,i have all the ingredients but the cheeses. All i have is shredded mozzarella and some american cheese slcies at home. Can i replace them?your thoughts will be kindly appreciated.

Lisa Turner said...

Thanks for your comment. I think any cheese would work well with this dish, though I would not recommend processed cheese slices - if that is what you had in mind - as they are too salty and would detract from the goodness of the dish. Mozzarella would make for a milder casserole, but still tasty I am sure considering all of the other goodness in the dish.

Let me know how it works out for you.

Barbara said...

I made this today. It is very delicious, hearty and healthy. Thanks a bunch.