Mexican spiced quinoa, black beans and beef are baked underneath a layer of cheese until bubbly and golden.
This was a really tasty, hearty casserole that was perfect for the cold weather we’ve been having here in New York. I liked it without any jalapeños on top, so I gave my husband all of the peppers.
This recipe made a generous 4 servings for us, and it was great reheated for lunch later in the week.
Just a note – the recipes from Blue Apron call for “1 bunch” of herbs, and that correlates to the size of the “bunch” they send if you’re using their service (which I’m absolutely in love with!). I’d say their bunches are about 1-2 tablespoons.
Mexican-Style “Rice” & Beef Casserole with Black Beans & Monterey Jack Cheese
On the Cutting Board
8 Ounces Ground Beef
3/4 Cup White Quinoa
1 15-Ounce Can Diced Tomatoes
1 Cup Black Beans
1 Green Bell Pepper
1 Red Onion
1 Bunch Cilantro
3 Ounces Monterey Jack Cheese
1 Jalapeño Pepper
1/2 Cup Mexican Crema
2 Teaspoon Mexican Casserole Spice Blend (Ground Cumin, Smoked Paprika, Chile Powder, Garlic Powder & Cayenne Pepper)
1. Cook the quinoa:
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the quinoa. Cook 12 to 14 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly and set aside.
2. Prepare the ingredients:
While the quinoa cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Rinse and drain the beans. Remove and discard the stem, ribs and seeds of the bell pepper; medium dice the bell pepper. Thinly slice the jalapeño into rounds. For a milder dish, remove and discard the seeds of the jalapeño. (Thoroughly wash your hands and cutting board after handling the pepper.) Peel and thinly slice the onion. Pick the cilantro leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Grate the cheese.
3. Brown the beef:
While the quinoa continues to cook, in a large pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook, frequently breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 3 to 5 minutes, or until browned.
4. Add the vegetables:
Reduce the heat to medium and add the bell pepper, onion and spice blend to the pot of browned bee; season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened slightly. Add the diced tomatoes, beans and ½ cup of water; cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until slightly reduced in volume. Remove from heat.
5. Assemble the casserole:
Stir the cooked quinoa and Mexican crema into the beef and vegetable mixture; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to an oven-safe baking dish. Evenly top with the grated cheese.
6. Bake the casserole:
Place the assembled casserole onto a sheet pan. Bake 14 to 16 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Remove from the oven. Let stand for at least 2 minutes before serving. Garnish with the cilantro and as much of the jalapeño as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Enjoy!
Big Flavors Rating: 4 Stars