Spicy Quinoa Revisited: Quinoa and Black Bean Bake with Mozz. and Avocado

by Jenn on May 10, 2009

in Gluten Free,Pastas and Grains,Vegetarian


This is a spin-off from this spicy quinoa recipe from a friend that I had tried out earlier.  However, I decided to tweak it just a bit.  I think the end result is quite nice.

I do occasionally alter and change recipes that I love, because I whole heartedly believe that the only way you improve in your own cooking ability is by creating new things.  And besides, I feel so much more happy with a recipe once I have made it my own…call it a pride thing haha.

The main changes that I made here were a lot more beans, and I ended up baking the dish in my cast iron skillet.  I think this really helped the flavor develop.  There are a lot of great vibrant flavors in this dish, and I think baking allowed them to really come together a bit.  I also topped it with fresh mozz and avocado. So nothing drastic, just dressed up the dish a bit.

So here is my new version of spicy quinoa/black beans!


1 cup dry black beans, soaked overnight and rinsed (so much more than 1 cup once soaked)
Edited Note – you may want to precook the beans a bit or use canned beans instead.
1 tsp canola
1 onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
3 dried red chiles
1 green bell peppers, diced
1 c quinoa, cooked
1/2 c veggie broth, plus a little extra
1 cup corn
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne (optional)
3/4 tsp cumin
2 tbs. chili powder
salt & pepper
fresh cilantro
1 avocado, sliced
4 oz. fresh mozz., sliced

1.  In 12″ cast iron skillet (it will just barely not fit in the 10″), heat up oil, and saute onion, garlic, chiles.
2. Once onions are soft, add in bell peppers, beans, and can of tomatoes (with the juice) along with the broth.  Let simmer a little bit (med to med-low) to help soften the beans some (around 15 min).
3. Add in quinoa, corn, and seasonings, cook stirring so that nothing sticks/burns on the bottom.
4. Bake in oven at 350F for about half an hour (it will start to smell nice).  Check it every 10-15 min or so, and give it a stir just to see how it is doing.
5.  Serve, and immediately top with mozz. , cilantro and avocado.  Since it’s hot, the mozz. should melt right away.  Alternatively, you could bake the mozz right on top once the dish is almost done.


Some people like cheddar with such mex. inspired dishes.  I actually am really a fan of mozzarella with these flavors.  Maybe because it is such a mild cheese and let’s all the other flavors come out, I’m not sure.  If you like cheddar and think I’m nuts for using mozz., that’s fine by me, go ahead and substitute in the cheddar :)


brannyboilsover May 10, 2009 at 12:45 pm

My kind of meal! All of these items are pantry staples. Thanks.

elly May 11, 2009 at 1:32 pm

This sounds SO good! Plus, I always love to use my cast iron whenever possible. :)

Diane-thewholegang May 31, 2009 at 3:13 pm

This looks really good. I’m going to make it this week and add it to my Menu I post. I’ll link back to here again. Looks really good.

I’m glad you found the blog at it’s new address. Thank you for sharing this recipe on Friday Foodie Fix. Now that I’ve moved as soon as I learn how to add a blog to my gluten free blog roll I’ll add yours. I’d love to be on yours too.

I really like how you focus on whole foods and more plant based. I’m trying to move away from too much meat. I feel so much better not eating it.

Thanks for sharing!

gfe-gluten free easily June 1, 2009 at 11:24 am

Lovely dish! I’m quite a fan of black beans. All these ingredients sound terrific together and baking in a cast iron pan is always a great idea. :-)


Leslie T June 5, 2014 at 5:21 pm

I love this recipe, and make it often. When I make it I used 1 can of black beans, and 1 ear of fresh corn. The spice list has cumin listed twice. I use 1 tsp cumin, sub 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper for the 3 red chilies, and only 1 tsp of chili powder vs 2 tbs.

Sometimes we add a squeeze of lime, tortilla chips on the side, or some shrimp. It is always a crowd pleaser. Hot or cold, this dish just works.

Jenn June 5, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Good catch on the double listing of cumin – I’ve played with some different measurements and somehow over the past FIVE years I never caught that typo! So glad you like the recipe, will have to try your spice combo, and the fresh corn sounds like a wonderful variation, especially now that it’s summertime :)

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: