This super easy Vegetarian Quinoa Bake is a one pot wonder. It’s prepped and baked in a skillet, loaded with various ad-ins and topped it with cheese! Get ready for your new favorite dinner.
I mean, based on the title alone we’re all on board right? This Vegetarian Quinoa Bake couldn’t be easier and it’s a great way to get dinner on the table in a flash. It’s piled high with quinoa, tons of my salsa (pick your favorite from the chipotle salsa, tomatillo salsa or a guacamole starter,) some beans, corn because and cheese. Game over. It’s perfect for a quick weeknight meal and naturally, it doubles as leftovers!! Yes please 🙂
Before we get to the Vegetarian Quinoa Bake recipe, let’s talk quinoa. It’s one of my favorite things to make these days. It’s technically a seed but I often use it in place of any grain. It’s a great substitute for rice, farro, pasta etc. You can make a fresh batch of quinoa, or use up any leftover cooked quinoa you might have on hand.
How to cook quinoa perfectly?
This could be controversial but here it goes. I’ve been to culinary school, worked as a private chef for some incredible people and I do not rinse my quinoa. Never have, never will. I don’t think it’s needed. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I cook my quinoa with a 2:1 ratio. That means 2 parts liquid to 1 part quinoa. You can use water, chicken stock, veggie stock or beef stock as the liquid. If you want to use water and you’re not adding anything into the quinoa once it’s cooked, I’d throw in a bouillon cube for extra flavor.
Can you customize a Vegetarian Quinoa Bake?
The recipe below is very southwestern focused, but you could switch it up however you wanted. Add different vegetables, use a tomato sauce instead of salsa, add different kinds of cheese. Use different kinds of beans, or skip the beans entirely if you’re going more with an Italian theme! The skies the limit.
How do you make quinoa taste good?
For me it’s all about layering in flavor. That means cooking it in the stock to begin with and then mixing other flavorful foods into the quinoa once cooked. It’s great with a vinaigrette mixed in, guacamole on top etc.
What is the ratio of water to quinoa?
2:1 is the ratio to remember! 2 parts liquid to 1 part quinoa
Is Quinoa better than rice?
That’s a personal preference. I love them both and use them as the base for many grain bowls. I use them interchangeably in recipes all the time,
Do I have to rinse quinoa?
Nope! I don’t. You can if you prefer but it’s just an extra step that I don’t find necessary.
Do I have to soak quinoa?
No soaking needed!
What is the proper way to cook quinoa?
You can cook quinoa with the 2:1 ratio in a regular pot – nothing fancy needed! It also is great with a 2:1 ratio in a rice cooker.
Vegetarian Quinoa Bake
- 1 ½ cups uncooked multi-colored quinoa
- 2 cups shredded colby jack cheese divided
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese divided
- 1 cup canned black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 cup frozen charred corn trader joes
- 1 4.5-ounce can chopped green chiles
- 1 ½ cup Gaby’s chipotle or tomatillo salsa
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- Finely chopped scallions and cilantro as garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cook the quinoa according to the package directions. Once cooked, remove from heat and transfer the cooked quinoa into a large bowl.
- Fold in 1 1/2 cups of the shredded colby jack cheese, ½ cup of the shredded mozzarella, black beans, corn, green chiles and salsa. Season the entire mixture with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
- Lightly spray a medium sized skillet with non-stick spray, and transfer the mixture into the skillet. Top with the remaining shredded cheeses and bake for about 20-25 minutes until the top layer of cheese is bubbly and melted.
- Remove the baking dish from the oven and garnish with green onions and cilantro and serve.
Photo by Matt Armendariz / Food Styling by Adam Pearson / Recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking
I want to face dive into this skillet!!!!
Right up my alley!
Skillet meals are the best!!
One skillet meals are much needed in my house! I get so tired by the end of the day and dinner is a little lacking sometimes. Lol. This has all my favs. And I always have leftover quinoa! Yay!
love all of your creative ways to use salsa, this looks delish! 🙂
Yes please! Looks delicious.
Omg need….could u use enchilada sauce?
I Have in a pinch and works!
This looks so delicious! I love this idea!!
Made this tonight. So good! I added some meatless crumbles to the top for some extra protein!
love that idea!
I love one pot wonders!!
Um, ya. Skillet, quinoa, cheese… PERFECT MEATLESS DINNER!
Yum! This looks amazing! Is the amount of quinoa the amount of cooked or uncooked I should start with?
Wondering the same thing. About to make it with it being the uncooked amount- will write back and let you know how that went!
uncooked!! It says to cook it in the directions
Defeated the purpose of a “vegetarian” quinoa bake by including a can of turkey chili…took every ounce of will power to remove myself from the skillet this morning so I could go to work. DELICIOUS!!!
Yum! Just made this for dinner and there’s only a tiny bit of leftovers. So easy to prep and so filling for a vegetarian meal. Still trying to get my little ones on board w quinoa, but they at least ate a few bites. And we topped w avocado slices
LOVE hearing that!
Was a little distracted when I prepared over the weekend, but fam enjoyed meal. Did seem a little dry though. As I drifted off to sleep, I realized I had left out the salsa. D’oh! Was still pretty good without, brought the taste of the quinoa out more.
So excited about this recipe, but I made it with 1.5 cups uncooked quinoa, as commenters above suggested, and it was WAY too much and didn’t look like the photo — Gaby, what’s the right proportion? Thanks, love your recipes!
Hey Valerie! I make it all the time and it is indeed 1 1/2 cups of uncooked quinoa / 3 cups of cooked quinoa!
Omg, this is delicious……will make again, over and over…….while at Trader Joe’s to get the roasted corn, I picked up several items from your recommended list….the chocolate covered honey Grahams are awesome, thanks for the tip!!
came out delicious! my husband says his fav meal in a while!
How many does it serve? How long does it take to make?
updated the post!! xx
I just love these one pan wonders!
Delish! Just made this tonight. Threw in chopped onion and red and green pepper to add a few more veggies, so good!