Crispy Quinoa Bake

Crispy Quinoa Bake // The Live-In Kitchen

I’m feeling a little bah-humbug.

Its not that I hate Christmas. Its just that I’m an all or nothing kind of gal. If I can’t do something to the best of my ability I’d rather not do it at all. That being said, life is crazy right now with a new house and a new baby. Nothing looks the way we want it to and things are lost daily because they have no permanent home. Its hard enough staying on top of the cooking, cleaning, and general life-sustainment of the five of us, but add Christmas in there? Forget about it.

Crispy Quinoa Bake // The Live-In Kitchen

There is no Christmas tree. The only decoration around the house is a string of icicle lights twist tied to the banister. My Christmas shopping is far from over. Fear not, I’ve put plenty of thought into the food we’ll be serving at various get togethers because that is a fun once a year treat. Also, there will eventually be a Christmas tree. There might be decorations (I’m not a knick knack kind of gal either). I know Christmas is about more than this, but I don’t even feel like I can give all the world peace Jesus in the manger stuff my best either. This year we survive, and maybe next year there will be fresh baked cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning and our house will be decorated like something out of a magazine.

So today I don’t bring you Christmas food. I bring you comfort food. Healthy comfort food. FIll you up, warm you up, and still feel good after eating it food. There are loads of vegetables and just a hint of spice in this crispy quinoa bake. The quinoa gets delightfully crispy around the edges of the pan and anywhere cheese has been browned on top of it. This started as a stuffed pepper recipe. When my husband asked me if he was supposed to eat the “bucket” it came in, I decided I would be better off hiding the peppers in the savory stuffing. If you really want to spice things up I’d recommend throwing in some chopped jalapeno and swapping the cheese out for a shredded pepper jack. Its also really good with 1/2 cup chopped cilantro in it. Real life cooking – I didn’t have cilantro the day I made this. You should add cilantro.

Crispy Quinoa Bake // The Live-In Kitchen

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Crispy Quinoa Bake
  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup onion, diced (about 1 medium)
  • 1//2 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup zucchini, cubed (about 2 small)
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 4 ounce can diced green chiles
  • 1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • Salt
  • 2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Place the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse throughly with cool water for at least two minutes. Drain. In a medium saucepan, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring, for about one minute. The quinoa should begin to dry out and pop a bit. Add the chicken stock. Stir and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and zucchini and cook 3 more minutes.
  4. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and place it in a large bowl. Add onion mixture, beans, green chiles, tomatoes, corn, cumin, oregano, chili powder, lime juice, and salt to taste. Mix thoroughly and transfer to prepared baking dish. Bake 30 minutes, top with cheese, and bake 10 minutes more or until melted and just beginning to brown.
Adapted from Dough-Eyed Girls


  1. Michelle King says

    I love the comment about your husband asking if he was supposed to eat the “bucket” it comes in….lol…that is totally the type of comments I get from my other half. I’m glad to find recipes that I can hide peppers in. He’ll eat them if he can’t see them.
    Thanks for the recipe.

  2. Ruth Cooper says

    I had all the ingredients except a zucchini – which I dont care for anyhow. This made a huge amount. Would be great for a potluck dish or when company is coming over. I had never made anything with Quinoa before and the fellas eyed it suspiciously but ate it up.

  3. Kristen says

    Sounds wonderful and will definitely try it. Just wondering of any other good and tasty substitute for the can of diced tomatoes??? My daughter seems to be allergic and we have cut tomatoes out of the menu for now. I am running out of tomato-less ideas. Thanks!

  4. Kristin says

    I saw this recipe on pinterest, and clicked on it to read through the ingredients. I have to say, being a mom of a 9 month old, and struggling to get my head on each morning, this post made me giggle. I just wanted to thank you for the humor on a Thursday evening when I am contemplating going to bed early, or actually cleaning up after making dinner. Probably bed. Thanks again.

  5. DianaM says

    Great recipe! Thanks for posting. Love quinoa and good way to get in your veggies. I just used a can of Rotel instead of the tomatoes and chilies because I already had it.

  6. Crystal says

    This was my first time cooking with quinoa and loved the results. The casserole was delicious. I’m planing on making it with an Italian twist next. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Miranda says

    I’m in love!! I love quinoa anyway, and I’m sure my husband is tired of seeing it every night. But this was new, different, and delish! I cooked and added two boneless, skinless chicken breasts to mine. Im not a huge fan of green peppers, so I diced them up really good and didn’t even know they were there. I also used the can of diced tomatoes with green chiles. This was a hit last night and also what Im having for lunch today! Im counting down until 12 o’clock! :)

  8. Wendy says

    Wow, I just made this and it is delicious!!! I shredded some pepper jack cheese for the top and used red quinoa. Thanks for the recipe! I’ll definately make it again!

  9. Missy says

    This goes in the recipe hall of fame. It was so delicious when I made it, the next day when I reheated it and a month later when I pulled it out of the freezer!

  10. Laurel Bowar says

    I made this tonight and it was FABULOUS! Found it on pinterest of course. My husband gave me the “why do you keep making me eat hippie food” look at first, but he did taste it and ended up really liking it! The only change I made was adding in the spices (plus cayenne) with the onions, peppers & zucchini as they cooked. Thank you so much for the great recipe!

  11. green eyed baker says

    I used 2% mexican shredded cheese in this calculation on spark people

    For 8 Servings

    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 304.5
    Total Fat 10.1 g
    Saturated Fat 4.1 g
    Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g
    Monounsaturated Fat 2.4 g
    Cholesterol 15.0 mg
    Sodium 687.4 mg
    Potassium 426.2 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 37.5 g
    Dietary Fiber 8.0 g
    Sugars 2.3 g
    Protein 16.5 g

  12. SandBsMom says

    My husband mistrusts anything green but he loved this! He went back for seconds!!! Thank you for such a wonderful recipe.

  13. Emily says

    Looks super yummy!! Have you ever made it with meat? Any suggestions on what would go good in it meatwise?? Chicken? shrimp? Thanks!!

    • says

      I haven’t made it with meat but I think both chicken and shrimp would be great additions. I would probably use two cooked, cubed chicken breasts or a pound of shrimp.

  14. Emmy says

    I made this and it was DELICIOUS! It completely filled up my 9×13 dish. I did add a bit more lime juice and zucchini. This is definitely going to be a staple! Even my husband enjoyed it.

  15. Mary says

    I’m trying to make do with what I have on hand. Could I substitute all or 1/2 of the quinoa with brown rice? I have about 1/2 cup of quinoa and a tight budget this month.

  16. Elaine says

    This dish is delicious!! I substituted pinto beans for black & this is definitely one to put in rotation! Yum.

  17. Tiffany says

    This was my first attempt at quinoa – whoa, was it good! Thanks for putting a recipe out there that made me want to try cooking and eating quinoa. Easy, delish, and healthy! What more could I ask for?! Thanks again!

  18. Teeks says

    This tastes so delicious!! I was a little stringent with the cheese but I absolutely love it!
    My neighbor stopped by to tell me that my smells divine!

  19. Jamy says

    Loved this!! I added a chicken breast, shredded up, to the mix. It was delicious!! Definitely will be making this again :)

  20. Tera says

    This was great!!! I added shredded chicken breasts and olives. I chopped the veggies so tiny so my girls wouldn’t know they were in there. I also topped with cilantro! Yummy! I’ve made this several times now!

  21. Jocelyn says

    Hi! This looks great! looking for meals I can make ahead with baby. After cooking it, can you freeze it? Any tips on the best way to store it?

    • says

      I have not frozen this dish but I have made it for many post-baby meals! I would recommend preparing it in a disposable baking dish, covering it tightly with plastic wrap, and freezing. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake as directed, adjusting the baking time if necessary if it’s still pretty cold. Alternatively bake it fully, then portion into individual storage containers and freeze. You should be able to microwave individual portions from frozen but some of the awesome texture will likely be lost.


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