Cheezy Vegan Mexican Black Bean Casserole

Cheezy Vegan Mexican Black Bean Casserole

This hot and cheesy vegan Mexican Black Bean Casserole is mouthwateringly delicious and really easy to make.

This Mexican Black Bean Casserole will become your new favorite for taco nights and for adding to Mexican-style bowls. It is packed with flavor from veggies and spices and it is also deliciously healthy. Black beans are stirred into a richly flavored tomato sauce and baked with shards of vegan cheese that melt and char and form a crispy layer on top. The recipe is soy-free, nut-free and gluten-free.

Overhead partial photo of a vegan black bean casserole made in the Mexican style.

If you're looking for a vegan dinner recipe with tons of flavor and nutrition, this vegan Mexican style black bean casserole is what you want.

It is not just tasty as anything but it is also extremely healthy with black beans, of course, and lots of veggies. The crispy cheese on top makes this eminently kid-friendly--they'll find it just as hard as you to resist.

I loosely adapted this from a black bean bake recipe I found in the New York Times, which didn't include veggies. Adding veggies, however, makes this dish even better, taste-wise, and, of course, better for you.

This Mexican casserole is a great -- and more special -- replacement for refried beans on taco nights. Or make a delicious Mexican style bowl by serving these beans alongside Mexican rice, guacamole and/or salsa.

Why you'll love this vegan Mexican black bean casserole

  • It's so, so tasty. You'll love the bold flavors in here, and the contrasting textures of the beans with the veggies and the crispy vegan cheese.
  • It's easy to make. There's not much to do here except chop up a few veggies and you can use canned beans (I did) to make things easier on yourself.
  • It's healthy. This casserole makes enough to serve six people and each serving has 14 grams of protein and 14 grams of dietary fiber for just 242 calories.
  • You can make it with pantry staples.
  • It's one-pot. Use an oven-proof skillet to minimize cleanup. If you don't have an oven-proof skillet you will need to transfer the beans to a casserole or baking dish before you put it in the oven.
  • It's everyone friendly. The recipe is soy-free, nut-free, gluten-free and vegan, of course. It's also fairly low in carbohydrates for those who, like me, are eating lower on the carb scale. And it is very kid-friendly, especially when you stuff it into tacos or tortillas.
Front partial shot of a vegan black bean casserole in a steel skillet with a spoon.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or any vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 large green bell pepper/capsicum. You can use any color pepper.
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano. If you are not familiar with Mexican oregano, this is a plant more closely related to mint than to the Mediterranean oregano, which we add to pastas and other Italian dishes. It has citrusy and floral notes while regular oregano is sweet with peppery notes. A suitable replacement for Mexican oregano, if you don't have it in your pantry, is marjoram.
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon cayenne. Or any red chili powder. Tweak to your spice tolerance.
  • 6 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 15-oz cans of black beans. Rinse and drain the beans before using.
  • ½ cup water or vegetable stock
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup vegan cheddar cheese shreds
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro

How to make the vegan Mexican black bean casserole recipe

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit/220 degrees Celsius.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet, preferably one that's oven-proof. Add the onions along with the garlic, celery and bell peppers. Saute until the onions are soft, about five minutes.
  • Garlic stirred into celery and onions in skillet.
  • Bell peppers, onions and celery in pan.
  • Add the Mexican oregano and stir it in.
  • Add the spices: ground cumin, smoked paprika and cayenne and mix.
  • Mexican oregano added to skillet with veggies.
  • Cumin, cayenne and paprika added to veggies.
  • Next add the tomato paste and mix it in.
  • Add the drained black beans along with ½ cup water or vegetable stock and mix well. Bring to a boil and mash some of the beans with a ladle.
  • Black beans added to vegetables in skillet.
  • Cooked black beans in skillet.
  • Turn off the heat and sprinkle on the vegan cheese. If you don't have an oven-proof skillet transfer the beans mixture to a baking dish and then sprinkle the cheese.
  • Place the skillet in the oven and bake 15 minutes. Then turn the broiler to high and broil 3-5 minutes, keeping a close eye, until the cheese has melted and has charred slightly in spots.
  • Sprinkle the bake with cilantro and serve hot.
Overhead photo of a cheezy vegan Mexican black bean casserole with vegan cheddar cheese shreds and cilantro sprinkled on top.

What to serve with the Mexican black bean casserole

  • Serve this as a delicious filling for tacos and top with corn or tomato salsa and/or guacamole.
  • The black beans are also delicious in a bowl with rice, like this Mexican green rice and Mexican red rice (I'll share that recipe with you next). Serve with salsa and/or guacamole for more deliciousness. If you have kids you might also want to top with some vegan sour cream.
  • You can also just serve this as a snack with tortilla chips.

Storage and freezing tips

  • This black bean casserole can be refrigerated for up to four days. Reheat before serving in a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes, or microwave portions of it for 30 seconds to a minute.
  • You can also freeze the baked casserole for up to three months. Wrap tightly with freezer wrap or aluminum foil. Reheat in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until warmed through.

Related recipes

Front closeup of a skillet with black beans and vegan cheddar cheese shreds.
Mexican vegan black bean casserole in a steel skillet with cheese and cilantro.
Print

Cheezy Vegan Mexican Black Bean Casserole

This Mexican Black Bean Casserole will become your new favorite for taco nights and for adding to Mexican-style bowls. It is packed with flavor from veggies and spices and it is also deliciously healthy. Black beans are stirred into a richly flavored tomato sauce and baked with shards of vegan cheese that melt and char and form a crispy layer on top. The recipe is soy-free, nut-free and gluten-free.
Course Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine Mexican inspired
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword Black Bean Casserole, Mexican Casserole
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 242kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (or any vegetable oil)
  • 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced or crushed)
  • 1 large bell pepper (I used a green bell pepper. Any color is fine)
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano (replace with marjoram if you don't have this. See notes above to learn how this is different from Mediterranean oregano)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon cayenne (tweak to your spice tolerance)
  • 6 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 30 oz black beans (two cans. Rinse and drain the beans)
  • ½ cup water (or vegetable stock)
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • ½ cup vegan cheddar cheese shreds
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro (finely chopped, for garnish)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit/220 degrees Celsius.
  • Heat the oil in a skillet, preferably one that's oven-proof. Add the onions along with the garlic, celery and bell peppers. Stir in salt and ground black pepper to taste. Saute over medium heat or medium high heat until the onions are soft, about five minutes.
  • Add the Mexican oregano and stir it in.Add the spices: ground cumin, smoked paprika and cayenne and mix.
  • Next add the tomato paste and mix it in.
  • Add the drained black beans along with ½ cup water or vegetable stock and mix well. Bring to a boil and mash some of the beans with a ladle. Check if you need more salt.
  • Turn off the heat and sprinkle on the vegan cheese. If you don't have an oven-proof skillet transfer the beans to a baking dish and then sprinkle the cheese.
  • Place the skillet in the oven and bake 15 minutes. Then turn the broiler to high and broil 3-5 minutes, keeping a close eye, until the cheese has melted and has charred slightly in spots.
  • Sprinkle the bake with cilantro and serve hot.

Notes

  • Black beans are delicious in this casserole because they are meaty and full of flavor. But you can substitute pinto beans for an equally delicious result.
  • You can use beans cooked from scratch in this recipe. Make sure they are very tender and drain any cooking liquid.
  • Serve this as a delicious filling for tacos and top with salsa and/or guacamole.
  • The black beans are also delicious in a bowl with Mexican style rice. Serve with salsa and/or guacamole for more deliciousness.
  • This black bean casserole can be refrigerated for up to four days. Reheat before serving in a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes, or microwave portions of it for 30 seconds to a minute.
  • You can also freeze the baked casserole for up to three months. Wrap tightly with freezer wrap and reheat in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until warmed through.

Nutrition

Calories: 242kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 132mg | Potassium: 772mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1275IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 4mg

The post Cheezy Vegan Mexican Black Bean Casserole appeared first on Holy Cow!.

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