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Quinoa Taco Casserole

October 5, 2021

Quinoa Taco Casserole recipe for an easy and veggie-packed twist on a Mexican favourite. Dinner just got so much easier!

I grew up on casseroles but I have to be honest… I haven’t made many in the past few years! I don’t know if it was the mild California weather that never had me craving comfort food or what but I am back in business and allllll about the casserole… or should we say hot dish?! 

Casseroles are super convenient, you can pack them full of protein, vegetables and healthy carbs and they’re a great way to use up everything in your kitchen. You can basically combine everything but the kitchen sink into a casserole and it will taste good. Not that I recommend that but you get the gist. 

This quinoa and kale taco casserole is packed with nutritious ingredients and bold flavors. It’s so simple to make with barely any pre-prep and loaded with veggies. This is the perfect recipe to make in advance for a busy week ahead or to bring to a new mama or a family in need!

Here’s What You Need

  • Quinoa – I use white quinoa. You can use tricolor but it tends to require a longer cooking time.
  • Ground beef – You could also replace with ground chicken or turkey
  • Vegetables – red bell pepper, green onions, corn and kale.
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Canned black beans
  • Chicken or beef stock
  • Grated cheese – I prefer cheddar or pepperjack
  • Olive oil
  • Seasonings and spices – chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, oregano, chili flakes, sea salt and pepper. 

Quinoa and Kale Taco Casserole recipe for an easy and veggie-packed twist on a Mexican favourite.

How to Make Quinoa Taco Casserole

STEP 1: Brown ground beef in a large pan over medium heat with olive oil. Remove from the heat and set aside.

STEP 2: In a 9×13 casserole dish, add the dry quinoa and chicken stock. Stir to combine. This is the base layer of this layered casserole.

STEP 3: In a large bowl, combine the diced tomatoes and spices. 

STEP 4: Top the quinoa mixture with half of the tomato mixture, the ground beef, bell pepper, green onions, corn, black beans and kale.

STEP 5: Top with the remaining half of diced tomatoes. Sprinkle cheese and chili flakes on top, if using.

STEP 6: Cover the casserole dish with a top or tin foil and bake at 350ºF for 45 minutes. Remove the cover after 45 minutes and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until all liquid has been absorbed.

How to Prep in Advance and Store

This recipe has a quick prep time but if you want to cut corners here’s what I would do:

  1. Brown the ground beef
  2. Chop the vegetables
  3. Set ingredients aside until you’re ready to assemble and bake.

The beauty of casseroles is that they hold up really well after cooking and cooling. If you want to meal prep this or make in advance for a family in need, I recommend making the entire casserole and then letting it cool. Once cooled to room temperature, cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. I haven’t tried freezing it but I assume it would freeze well! I recommend portioning the casserole out into airtight containers and storing in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Print

Quinoa Taco Casserole

Quinoa and Kale Taco Casserole recipe for an easy and veggie-packed twist on a Mexican favorite. Dinner just got so much easier and all in one pan.

  • Author: Davida Lederle
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup dry white quinoa, rinsed and drained*
  • 1 cup chicken or beef stock
  • 1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp chili power
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 green onions (white and light greens only), chopped
  • 1/2 cup cooked corn (I use frozen)
  • 1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups kale, stemmed + chopped
  • 1 cup grated cheese (I like cheddar or pepperjack)
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium heat with olive oil and add ground beef. Cook until lightly browned. No need to cook all the way through as it will continue cooking in the oven.
  3. In a large casserole dish (9 x 13) add quinoa and chicken or beef stock. Stir to combine.
  4. In a large bowl combine combine diced tomatoes and spices.
  5. Top quinoa-stock mixture with HALF of diced tomato mixture.
  6. Top with ground beef, bell pepper, green onions, corn, black beans and kale.
  7. Top with remaining half of diced tomatoes.
  8. Sprinkle cheese on top.
  9. Sprinkle with chili flakes if using.
  10. Cover casserole dish with top or with tin foil and bake for 45 minutes.
  11. Remove top or foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  12. Serve warm topped with avocado if desired.

*I use white quinoa. You can use tricolor but you will likely need to cook it for longer.

Keywords: quinoa casserole, quinoa bake, mexican casserole, taco casserole

Like this recipe? Here are other casseroles you might enjoy:

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  • Reply
    Denise Anderson
    March 26, 2021 at 5:31 pm

    This is delicious. I use ground turkey, but other than that, I made it exactly as written. It makes a very generous serving and there is plenty of leftovers.

  • Reply
    Robyn Safran
    October 23, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    This recipe is a keeper. I have made it many time both with and without the ground beef. If I don’t add meat I just throw in extra beans and vegies. If you are not fond of kale I would encourage you to try it in this recipe. I chop my fairly well and it adds great texture and is not over powering. Truly if you ate it without knowing the ingredients you would love it! I am actually making four casserole for a church conference this weekend. I made it last year and everyone raved over how good it tasted. Thanks for sharing this great casserole!

  • Reply
    Anne
    March 6, 2019 at 12:42 am

    Excellent recipe. So flavorful and satisfying. This one is a definite keeper. Next time I may add a bit more quinoa. I also added Swiss chard with the kale. Love it, thanks!

  • Reply
    Anna
    December 23, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    I love this recipe with the kale/quinoa and unique spices. So many great recipes on your site. thanks,Anna

  • Reply
    Sandra
    October 7, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    One more question – would it work the same to use crushed or pureed tomatoes rather than diced (and if so, should they be drained, and should it be the same size/quantity)? I really dislike chunks of tomato so I try to avoid them whenever possible. Thanks for your help!

  • Reply
    Sandra
    October 7, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    Quick question – would you drain the 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes or is the liquid necessary to keep the recipe from being dry? I’d like to know before I try this one. 🙂 Thanks!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      October 7, 2016 at 4:55 pm

      Liquid is necessary! Definitely don’t drain. would work totally fine for crushed or pureed as long as it’s a 28 oz can!

  • Reply
    Gina
    December 3, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    I tried this out for dinner tonight and my boyfriend and I loved it!! So filling without all the guilt, and we have plenty of leftovers for later. This was the first recipe of yours I’ve ever tried and I’ll definitely give some other ones a shot now. Thanks for posting this!

  • Reply
    Zoe
    September 7, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Just to clarify–you don’t cook the quinoa first?

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