Turkey Black Bean Quinoa Bake


Easy cheesy quinoa bake with black beans, corn, garlic, shredded cooked turkey, and lots of cheddar cheese!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

With great power comes great responsibility. At least that’s what I tell myself about turkey leftovers.

Whoever cooks the turkey gets to keep the leftovers, right? Whoever has the extra turkey meat gets to decide what to do with it (at least that’s how it works around here). High expectations, people. That’s where the responsibility part of the power comes in. Whatever you do with the leftovers, it better be good.

Turkey Black Bean Quinoa Bake

This turkey black bean quinoa bake? It’s good, great actually. A “winnah”, according to my family. Of course they didn’t get to eat much of it when I was recipe testing it last week, given that I ate half of it myself. Just didn’t want to part with it.

It’s sort of an inside-out version of our Cheesy Quinoa Black Bean Stuffed Peppers, with leftover turkey, and not stuffed. So good!

Whatever you do, enjoy those leftovers if you have them. This is also a great recipe for leftover homemade beans. Here are some other great recipes for leftover turkey if you need more inspiration.

Turkey Black Bean Quinoa Bake Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6

To save time, prep the ingredients and start on the onions and peppers while the quinoa is cooking.


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt
  • 3 cups shredded, chopped cooked turkey
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups onion, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (chipotle chili powder if available), less or more to taste
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 cups grated cheddar cheese, divided 2 cups and 1 cup


1 Cook the quinoa: Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Typically package directions ask you to put 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt into a pot, bringing it to a boil, reduce to a very low simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Then remove from heat and fluff with a fork.

2 Cook peppers and onions: Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the onions and the bell peppers and cook until softened and browned at the edges, about 10 minutes.

3 Add garlic, spices, corn: Add the garlic, cumin, chili powder, and corn, and cook a minute more. Remove from heat.

4 Place the cooked quinoa, black beans, onion mixture, cilantro, 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese, and cooked turkey in a large bowl. Toss to combine.

5 Top with cheese and bake: Place in a casserole dish. Sprinkle the top with remaining 1 cup of cheddar cheese, and bake at 350°F uncovered for 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

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Turkey Black Bean Quinoa Bake

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

16 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Andreina

    Hi Elise,

    Thanks a bunch for this recipe, not only was it super delicious but a lot of fun to “play” with! :)

    I used fresh ground turkey, fried it with all the seasonings along with the onion ,garlic, and since I can’t eat bell peppers, put in a can of green chilies. Then, I got “crazy” with the spices, and threw in some turmeric, curry, ground coriander seed and yellow mustard just for fun. The real kicker that tied it all together for me was the smoked paprika, oh yay….

    Plus, I added some grated Parmesan, and also some fresh diced cauliflower.

    Wow wee was this scrumptious! I cook only for myself, but I froze some for my son for later.



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  2. MJ

    Is there a good substitute I could use for the cilantro? My husband would love everything about this recipe except he has a hatred for cilantro…

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  3. Maryh

    Love this recipe made with either turkey or chicken. I added in a can of Rotel with veggies and seve with chopped avocados


  4. Eric

    I made this and it did not hold together at all and does not look at all like the picture. The cheese disappeared into the quinoa. I followed the recipe pretty much, except I added extra quinoa. But even with the extra quinoa, it tasted pretty cheesy. I might as well have just stirred everything together on the stove top instead of taking the extra step to bake it if it was just going to fall apart. It was tasty, but I do not think I will bother baking next time.


  5. Faye Johnson

    Do you need to rinse quinoa? I have never fixed it.

    Show Replies (1)
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