I don’t think anyone jumps out of their seat with excitement when they hear the word “casserole”, but let’s face it in your busy family lifestyle a few good casserole recipes can make your weekly schedule just a little more manageable. Casseroles are a great way to re-purpose leftovers (and clean out your refrigerator!), but, perhaps even more importantly, they usually result in leftovers of their own meaning they give you an easy meal prep night during the week where you can just reheat and serve! And as much as we want to channel our inner Martha Stewart (well, maybe more Guy Fieri), the reality is we’re going to need nights off to focus on other things or just recover. You parents know what I mean when I say “recovery time”. We love our kids, but we all need occasional breaks. Enter our Quinoa Fajita Casserole: A solid meal for the whole family and an upcoming night off for you. I’m using the term “night off” loosely of course. The kids need help with their homework, it’s bath night, and the dog just threw up lego on the carpet, but at least dinner is mostly taken care of!
Quinoa has become one of our favorite staple items you can always find in our pantry and we eat it quite often. It makes a mean risotto, we have a peruvian quinoa stew recipe we like, and we find it to be very versatile. If you take a quick look around the web you can find people and families using quinoa in all sorts of creative ways.
Creative Quinoa Recipes
- Roasted Corn Quinoa Stuffed Squash
- Southwestern Black Quinoa and Mango Medley
- Sauteed Shrimp and Lemon Quinoa
- Vegan Black Bean and Quinoa Burger
- Quinoa Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
We decided we would make Quinoa Fajita Casserole which works great as a vegetarian casserole, but in our case it became a Leftover Chicken Quinoa Fajita Casserole. As mentioned above, casseroles are a great way to re-purpose leftovers and we had leftover chicken from a prior grilling night so we just cubed it up and added it to our casserole. When the casserole is served we love to top it with fresh salsa, guacamole, and cilantro which then reminds us a little of Chipotle Burrito Bowls (one of our few fast food indulgences).
On to the recipe:
Quinoa Fajita Casserole
- 1 c . quinoa
- 2 c . water
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 onion , chopped
- 1 red pepper , chopped
- 1 yellow pepper , chopped
- 1 T . coconut oil
- 1 15 oz . can black beans
- 1 can green chiles
- 1 tsp . cumin
- 1 tsp . chili powder
- salt and pepper
- 1 c . shredded orange cheddar
- avocado or guacamole
- Cook quinoa according to directions on the package. I used our rice cooker but have in the past cooked in a pan on the stove.
- Saute onion and peppers until browned.
- Add garlic and saute for an additional minute.
- Remove from heat.
- Once quinoa has finished cooking, mix quinoa in bowl with onion/pepper mixture and ingredients through salt and pepper.
- Spoon in a greased 8x8 inch pan.
- Top with cheese.
- Cook at 375 for approximately 20-25 minutes.
- Plate and top with your ingredients of choice.
- We like to top with cilantro, avocado, and salsa. (optional)