Black Bean & Quinoa Enchilada Bake

black bean quinoa enchilada bake

This Mexican-inspired vegetarian, gluten-free dish is loaded with protein, fiber, iron and nutrients. Perfect any time of year, our enchilada bake is especially good in the summer when fresh peppers and corn are abundant.

Black beans, a rich source of anti-oxidant flavonoids and omega-3 fatty acids, contain about 15 grams of both fiber and protein in each cup, the same amount of protein as two 8-ounce glasses of milk.

Naturally gluten-free, quinoa contains iron, B-vitamins, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, vitamin E and fiber; and one of only a few plant foods considered a complete source of protein with all the essential amino acids. Adding whole grains such as quinoa to your diet may reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, colon cancer and obesity.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed several times and drained
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, about ½ cup, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed, diced (wash hands thoroughly after dicing jalapeño and avoid touching your eyes or face because these peppers burn!)
  • 1 sweet red bell pepper, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 sweet orange bell pepper, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels (or the corn form two cobs)
  • Juice of one lime
  • Handful, about ½ cup, chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, optional
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder, optional
  • 2-15 oz. cans low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed\
  • 2 cups gluten-free enchilada sauce, either store bought or homemade (recipe below)
  • 2 cups reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Suggested toppings: Sliced scallions, avocado slices, plain nonfat Greek yogurt (a healthy alternative to sour cream and tastes even better)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place quinoa and water in a 1 or 2 quart saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes uncovered. Turn heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered, until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Set aside. (Hint: While quinoa simmers, begin sautéing vegetables…step 3.)
  3. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and jalapeño and sauté for several minutes until soft.
  4. Add the red and orange peppers, garlic, and corn and sauté for another 3 or 4 minutes.
  5. Stir lime juice and cilantro into mixture. Cumin and chili powder is already in the enchilada sauce, however, if a spicier dish is desired, add the optional cumin and chili powder to mixture.
  6. Combine the quinoa and black beans in a large bowl along with the vegetable mixture, enchilada sauce and ½ cup shredded cheese.
  7. Pour this mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish that has been lighted coated with cooking spray. At this point you can refrigerate to heat later.
  8. Top casserole with remaining cheese and bake for about 20 minutes, uncovered, until cheese is melted, if warm, or bake for 45 minutes if cold.
  9. Serve with suggested toppings.

Makes 8, 1-cup servings.

Enchilada Sauce

(adapted from

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup gluten-free flour (or all-purpose flour if gluten is not a concern)
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1-28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together olive oil and flour over medium heat for about one minute.
  2. Whisk in remaining ingredients and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Leftover sauce can be refrigerated up to two weeks.

Makes four cups. (Adapted from

Nutritional Information
Per 1-cup serving (does not include toppings): 318 calories; 9.8g total fat (3.9g saturated, 0.5g polyunsaturated, 1.5g monounsaturated); 311mg sodium; 20mg cholesterol; 42g carbohydrate; 3.0g fiber; 1.5g sugars; 18.3g protein; 245.5mg potassium.

About LG Health Hub

The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.


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