Mexican Quinoa & Sweet Potato Casserole

New kitchen methods fascinate me.

The stranger the learning, the better!

This week’s ingredients aren’t necessarily strange, but the way I cooked it was strange to me.  It’s a quinoa casserole… but you don’t have to cook the quinoa first!  Perfect for the lazy chef.  Like me.

For some reason I have a mental block about cooking grains.  It seems like SO much effort.  I know this is totally irrational, and I make other things that take much longer.  It is what it is.  When I saw this recipe from Lee where she simply baked the quinoa uncooked, I knew I had to try it.

Mexican Quinoa and Sweet Potato Casserole

I used Mexican flavors here, but I’m excited to try the method with other flavor profiles (French is next on the list!).  It’s one of those magical recipes that seems like it took a ton of effort, but is incredibly easy.  It’s a one dish meal – I just tossed everything in a bowl to mix and transferred it to the dish.

Random story about my dish – it was just returned to me by a friend.  She’d had it for 2 years from when I brought over these Mexican Black Bean Brownies to an Oscar party.  LOL!

Mexican Quinoa & Sweet Potato Casserole

If you like heat, you’ll love this.  If you don’t, I’d keep the paprika but leave out the cayenne.  The smoked paprika is a must for me.  I love that smokiness with the Mexican spices and the slight sweetness from the sweet potato.

Between the bean and the quinoa, this makes for a fantastic protein-rich vegan dish!


Mexican Quinoa & Sweet Potato Casserole

Mexican Quinoa and Sweet Potato Casserole

  • 1/2 C quinoa, uncooked and rinsed
  • 1/2 C vegetable broth
  • 1/2 can (8 oz) salt-free black beans, rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 small white (or orange) sweet potato (~275g), diced


Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Place all ingredients into a large bowl and miix until everything is evenly combined.  Pour into baking dish, spreading evenly to combine.

Cover with foil and bake for 75 mins, or until sweet potatoes are tender and quinoa is cooked.

Makes 9 servings.


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I’m so excited for this weekend – I’m going to see some of my old teammates at the Atlanta Rollergirls Bout!

Do you have certain foods that seem like a lot of effort to cook?

What is your favorite quinoa dish?


  1. says

    This is a great idea! I recently found this pre-cooked quinoa you just heat up on the stove (or in the microwave for you fancy folk!) and it has saved my life post-workout. I am the laziest cook ever and don’t want to spend more than 10 minutes in the kitchen once I get home from the gym!

  2. says

    I’m exactly the same about the grain/legume cooking business – all the soaking and waiting around… Long! But this looks simple enough for it to be worthwhile. Plus mexican anything = worth it 😉

  3. says

    My mother insists that you can make lasagna without cooking the noodles (usually regular noodles, not no-bake) but I tried it once and they were hard!

  4. says

    Yum! This looks so good. I love quinoa – I cook with it often, and have been on a sweet potato kick lately. Definitely going to make this soon!

  5. says

    The only way I cook grains is doing a big batch at the beginning of the week. It’s never like “oh, let me whip up a single serving of quinoa for tonight.” Judging by the comments, we’re not alone! Also … I am sitting in a random hotel in Minneapolis, freezing after a snowy run and eating grocery store sushi in bed while googling “what are French flavors” on a Friday night. I don’t know why but thinking about that made me laugh, and I thought I’d share :).

  6. says

    This sounds so good! Especially topped with an egg like on your Instagram!

    You say it’s 9 servings, but a half cup quinoa and one sweet potato doesn’t sound like nearly enough to make 9 servings. How can that be?

  7. says

    Smoked paprika can definitely make a dish. And I know where you are coming from about the grains– I used to cook all my rice on the stove but now that I have a rice cooker, all my rice and quinoa gets cooked in there. So easy!

  8. says

    Ahhhh, here’s the famous quinoa dish! I’ve made quinoa granola before, but never even realized you could make a casserole with it without cooking…I love quinoa! I swear it’s the wonder (pseudo) grain! But yeah, I’m the same way with grains…and dried beans. I have a TON of both in my pantry and if I’d just take a minute to plan ahead, I’d be fine, but I’m all like, “it takes forrrrrrrrrrreverrrrrrrrr! Eh, I’ll just eat cereal!” Haha!

    Smoked paprika is NEVER optional in my opinion!

  9. Randi says

    yup this was ridiculously delicious and so freakin easy to make. we did it as a side and baked some chicken to go with but honestly, I could have eaten this whole dish in one sitting. thanks for posting!! (PS didn’t get 9 servings at all, probably more like 4-6)

    • Laura says

      I’m so glad you liked it! Serving size really depends on what you serve it with I guess – I eat a TON of protein as my main. :)


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