This versatile and delicious Cheesy Mexican Black Bean Casserole is quickly going to become a favorite weeknight dish in your household! It's vegan, gluten-free, and designed to feed a crowd! Everyone will love it and no one will guess it's vegan!
Vegan Mexican Black Bean Casserole Ingredients
Casseroles are a super simple and easy way to make a meal to feed your whole family. This Mexican style casserole is loaded with healthy ingredients like rice, bell peppers, and corn. We use black beans in this casserole recipe to add plant-based protein and we top the whole thing with melty vegan cheese. This is a healthy and flavorful vegan dinner idea that the whole family can enjoy!
- Rice: White rice, Jasmine Rice, Basmati Rice, or Wild Rice will work. I used regular white rice in my vegan black bean casserole.
- Black Beans: In this Mexican Black Bean Casserole, we use canned black beans to save time and money. This is a delicious and easy way to add more plant-based protein and healthy carbohydrates into your dinner!
- Tomato Sauce: Tomato sauce is used to flavor the rice of the casserole.
- Vegetable Broth: Use a low sodium vegetable broth in your casserole dish to create perfectly tender rice.
- Bell Peppers: We recommend using an assortment of chopped and seeded bell peppers in this easy vegan casserole recipe.
- Corn: We recommend using either frozen and thawed corn or canned corn that has been rinsed and drained.
- Onion: Red or white onions are ideal in this vegan casserole.
- Cream Cheese: To keep this vegan dinner dairy-free, we use plain and unsweetened vegan cream cheese. I like the brand Kite Hill or Miyokos. You can also use vegan sour cream. If you are not vegan or dairy-free, feel free to use the regular dairy versions of these ingredients.
- Spices: The blend of southwestern spices we use in this recipe include garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. This combination creates a delicious Mexican inspired flavor.
- Cheese: To keep this casserole vegan, we recommend using plant-based shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese. I used the brand VioLife.
How To Make This Mexican Cheesy Vegan Casserole
Step 1: Preheat the oven. Add the cooked rice, black beans, tomato sauce, vegetable broth, vegan cream cheese, chopped bell peppers, chopped onions, and corn into a large mixing bowl. In a seperate bowl, mix the spices together. Then, add all the spices into the bowl and mix well until evenly distributed.
Step 2: Transfer the casserole filling into a 9x11 inch casserole dish. Top with the shredded vegan cheese and spray lightly with olive oil or avocado oil spray. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is golden around the edges.
Step 3: Serve warm, topped with avocado, guacamole, green onions, cilantro, sour cream, or any of your other favorite Mexican/Taco toppings!
Additional Add-Ins or Toppings
- Protein: If you are vegan, you can serve this along with more black beans, or use this Crispy Tofu Recipe to serve on the side and add more plant-based protein. You can also add some cooked vegan chicken into the casserole. I like the brand Daring. I recommend preparing the vegan chicken before adding it to the casserole prior to baking. My non-vegan family enjoys shredded or grilled chicken on the side of this dish.
- Avocado Slices
- Homemade or Store-Bought Salsa
- Tortilla Chips
- Chopped Green Onions or Scallions
- Regular or Vegan Sour Cream
- Homemade Guacamole: (click image for recipe)
Frequently Asked Questions
The term healthy is relative, but this vegan casserole is definitely a wholesome and healthy dinner recipe that I feel good about serving to the ones I love. It is naturally gluten-free and contains nourishing foods like black beans, veggies, and rice - which are all a part of a healthy balanced plant-based diet!
I recommend storing the leftover casserole in the fridge for 3-5 days. Reheat in the microwave. You can also freeze your leftovers for 30-60 days.
I find that spraying or drizzling the top of the cheesy casserole prior to baking encourages it the vegan cheese to melt more. You can also broil this vegan casserole for 2 minutes before serving to give it a more golden brown topping.
Yes! I would recommend trying this Coconut Curry Casserole for another easy and healthy weeknight vegan dinner idea!
Cheesy Mexican Black Bean Casserole
- 9x11 baking dish
- mixing bowl
Mexican Cheesy Casserole
- 3 cups cooked white or jasmine rice
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup canned tomato sauce
- ½ cup low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup diced bell peppers
- 1 cup frozen corn
- ½ cup diced yellow or red onion
- ¼ cup regular or vegan cream cheese
- 2 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup regular or vegan shredded cheddar cheese
Mexican Cheesy Casserole Toppings
- sliced green onions or cilantro
- regular or vegan sour cream
- avocado or guacamole
Mexican Cheesy Casserole
- Preheat the oven to 350
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cooked rice, black beans, tomato sauce, vegetable broth, bell peppers, frozen corn, onion, and cream cheese.
- In a small separate bowl, mix together the cumin, chili powder, onion, salt, and pepper. Evenly distribute the spice blend over the rice mixture and stir until well mixed.
- Pour the mixture into a casserole dish sprayed with nonstick spray and sprinkle with vegan cheddar cheese. My trick to making the cheese melty is to spray the top of it with a little more nonstick spray!
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until the cheese is melty. Top with green onions or cilantro. Serve with sour cream, salsa, avocado, and/or guacamole!
The recipes on Peanut Butter and Jilly can easily be adapted to fit a vegan lifestyle, a gluten-free lifestyle, or both depending on the ingredients you use. Please review the ingredients lists carefully and refer to our recommendations in the Notes of the recipe card to make this recipe compatible with your needs. Nutrition information provided is an estimate, and will vary based on specific brands of ingredients used and cooking methods.