This healthy Mexican quinoa casserole is the perfect weeknight meal. It’s protein packed with ground turkey, quinoa, and beans and makes great leftovers for the week! It’s naturally gluten free, and can easily be made dairy-free and vegetarian or vegan!
If I’m being totally honest, growing up, I was NOT a fan of casseroles. They aren’t usually the … prettiest dishes. And … I didn’t love the pile of mixed up food on my plate.
THANKFULLY, as my taste buds have evolved, so have my views on casseroles.
There are so many reasons to love casseroles. They are economical, make for great meal prep (or feed a crowd), and the entire meal comes together in just one pan.
And let me tell you. I am casseroles #1 fan after making this Mexican quinoa casserole. It’s loaded with protein from the ground turkey, beans, and quinoa. It’s packed with flavor from the spices. And it’s ultra warming and comforting from the cheesy topping.
The best part? It’s ready in under an hour and that time is mostly hands-off!
Easy weeknight meal, check!
Plus while this is cooking, you can quickly make my Best Quick Guacamole Recipe to top it with and have with chips on the side.
Ingredients in Mexican quinoa casserole
This recipe is great because it is made with tons of healthy pantry staples. Aside from the ground turkey, you probably already have most of these ingredients on hand!
The base of this Mexican quinoa casserole is made from:
- Ground turkey
- Black beans
- Canned tomatoes
The Mexican seasoning is made from a mix of traditional spices that you probably always have on hand if you make chili or tacos! The ingredients are:
- Chili powder
- Cayenne pepper
- Salt & pepper
How to customize Mexican quinoa casserole
Another reason why I love casseroles so much is because they are easily adaptable to taste preferences or ingredients you have on hand. This Mexican quinoa casserole is no exception!
I chose to use quinoa as the grain in this casserole because it’s higher in fiber and protein then other whole grains. But, feel free to substitute ricer or another whole grain of your choice if that’s what you happen to have on hand.
No corn? No problem! Feel free to leave it out, or substitute a vegetable of your choice. I think bell peppers would also be great here!
Love spice? Up the spice level by adding a bit more cayenne pepper.
Be sure to let me know in the comments any customizations you love!
Can this recipe be made vegetarian or vegan?
Yes! This Mexican quinoa casserole can EASILY be made vegetarian or vegan.
If you want to make this recipe vegetarian, simply leave out the turkey and add an additional can of black (or your favorite) beans.
If you’d like to make this recipe vegan (or dairy-free), substitute the beans for the turkey as above, and just leave off the cheese at the end!
How to serve Mexican quinoa casserole
The best part of this recipe? Serving it with all your favorite TOPPINGS!
I love to serve this casserole topped with a few chunks of avocado, Greek yogurt/sour cream, a squeeze of lime, and a bit of cilantro. Feel free to top with your favorites!
I also think leftovers would be great served in taco shells or made into a taco salad! The possibilities are really endless with this casserole.
If you liked this recipe, you’ll want to try these!
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment below and let me know how it was! Also tag @erinliveswhole on Instagram and use the hashtag #erinliveswhole so I can see it and feature you!
- 1 cup quinoa (rinsed and drained)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1lb ground turkey
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can corn, drained and rinsed
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
- 1 cup water
- juice of one small lime
- 1.5 cups cheddar cheese
- lime wedges, avocado, greek yogurt, cilantro
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Cook your quinoa by bringing 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Cover with lid. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat, let sit for a few minutes and then fluff with work.
- While quinoa is cooking, heat olive oil in large sauce pan or dutch oven.
- Add diced onion and cook until just soft.
- Add in ground turkey and garlic, breaking up with spoon.
- Once turkey is all the way cooked through, reduce heat and add in tomatoes, beans and corn.
- Next, stir in all spices and water.
- Stir to combine, and then add in lime juice. Let simmer for 15 minutes on low.
- Turn off heat and stir in cooked quinoa.
- Pour turkey quinoa mixture into a baking dish (I used an 8×11 dish) and top with cheddar cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 350F. Let cool a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!
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