Vegetarian Mexican Casserole
This Vegetarian Mexican Casserole has pinto beans layered with whole green chiles and flavored with green chile enchilada sauce! And this is a delicious dinner idea for anyone who’s eating less meat.
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This Vegetarian Mexican Casserole is a new recipe that was inspired by my Mexican Casserole with Beef, Beans, and Chiles and my Mexican Chicken Casserole with Pinto Beans. And both of those are definitely tasty for Cinco de Mayo, or whenever you get that craving for Mexican flavors.
But every year I share lots of meat-filled recipes for the day everyone in America eats Mexican food, so today I am sharing a perfect dinner idea for vegetarians who want to celebrate!
Jake and I experimented a few times with this recipe and the final version of this meatless casserole with Mexican flavors is a definite winner, with all the flavors that make bean and green chile burritos such a favorite of many people. And even though casseroles aren’t too photogenic, I love them for the way the flavors combine to make a sum that’s greater than the parts, and a leftover casserole like this in the fridge is always a nice benefit.
And if you’re someone who tries to eat meatless part of the time or a vegetarian who enjoys Mexican food, check out the other ideas in this post for more meatless Mexican dinners!
What ingredients do you need for this recipe?
(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- Olive Oil (affiliate link)
- green bell pepper
- Minced Garlic (affiliate link)
- ground cumin (affiliate link)
- canned pinto beans
- canned Whole Roasted Green Chiles (affiliate link)
- Hatch Green Enchilada Sauce (affiliate link) or use any brand that’s low in sugar
- sour cream
- grated Mexican Blend Cheese
Where Do You Get Large Cans of Whole Green Chiles?
Some people have told me they can’t find the 27 oz. cans of whole green chiles that I use to layer in these casseroles, but in Salt Lake I can find them at several stores, near the Mexican food. If your store doesn’t have them, I’d try a Mexican market or you can get 27 oz. can Roasted Green Chiles (affiliate link) from Amazon.com.
Is this Vegetarian Mexican Casserole gluten-free?
p style=”text-align: justify;”>This Mexican casserole can definitely be gluten-free, but be sure to choose Gluten-Free Green Chile Enchilada Sauce (affiliate link). Many of them are gluten-free, including the one pictured above, but they don’t always say it on the label so check ingredients.
Is the Vegetarian Mexican Casserole low in carbs?
This Mexican Casserole does have some carbs from the pinto beans of course, and this recipe has about 30 net carbs in a serving. But it could definitely be served with something that’s low in carbs like Spicy Lime Coleslaw on the side. Or check the list below to find some lower-carb vegetarian Mexican food ideas!
More Meatless Dishes with Mexican Flavors:
- Slow Cooker Brown Rice Mexican Bowls
- Southwest Egg Casserole
- Chili Rellenos Bake
- Seven Layer Dip Tostadas
- Vegetarian Taco Salad
- Cauliflower Rice and Pinto Bean Burrito Bowl
- Easy Low-Carb Guacamole Tostadas
- Tofu Tacos
- Southwest Egg Casserole
- Black Bean and Rice Soup
How to Make Vegetarian Mexican Casserole:
(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- Drain the pinto beans into a colander and rinse with cold water.
- In a different colander, drain the whole green chiles.
- Heat the oil in a large pan, then saute onions, green peppers, minced garlic, and ground cumin Season with a little salt.
- Add the drained pinto beans, cook about 3-4 minutes, then mash slightly.
- Add the green chile enchilada sauce and cook until it’s mostly absorbed by the beans, then turn off heat and stir in the sour cream.
- One at a time, open the whole chiles with your fingers and wipe with paper towels to dry them and remove seeds. Make into two stacks.
- Spray the casserole dish with non-stick spray and make a layer of half the green chiles.
- Then make a layer with half the bean mixture.
- Followed by a layer with half the cheese.
- Make another layer each of whole green chiles, bean mixture, and cheese.
- Bake with the lid on or covered with foil at 375F/190C for about 30 minutes. Then remove the lid and bake another 20-25 minutes or until the mixture is bubbling and the top is starting to brown. (You can put it under the broiler for a few minutes to brown more if desired.)
- Serve hot, with Green Tabasco Sauce (affiliate link) to add at the table if desired.
Make it a Vegetarian Meal:
I would love Tomato Cucumber Avocado Salad, Spicy Mexican Slaw, or Puerto Rican Spicy Cabbage Salad as a side dish for this!
More Mexican Food Recipes with Beans
If you’re a fan of meatless Mexican food you might also like Instant Pot Mexican Beans, Spicy Black Beans with Cilantro, Instant Pot Refried Beans, or Instant Pot Copycat Recipe for Rubios’ Pinto Beans.
Vegetarian Mexican Casserole
This Vegetarian Mexican Casserole is a delicious casserole for everyone who likes the flavors in bean burritos!
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped small
- 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped small
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- salt to taste
- 2 15 oz. cans pinto beans
- 1 27 oz. can whole green chiles (Mild green chiles, not jalapenos)
- 1 cup Green Chile Enchilada Sauce (see notes)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 cups grated Mexican Blend Cheese
- Preheat oven to 375F/190C.
- Spray an 8X8 inch glass or crockery casserole dish with non-stick spray. (I used my favorite Anchor Hocking 12 Cup Bake-and-Store Glass Casserole Dish any dish that’s close to this size will work.)
- Drain the pinto beans into a colander, spray with cold water until no more foam appears, and let beans drain.
- In another colander drain the whole green chiles.
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
- Add the onions and peppers and saute 4-5 minutes, until they are just starting to brown.
- Add garlic, cumin, and salt and cook another minute or two, then add the drained beans and cook 3-4 minute, then mash the beans slightly. (We used a potato masher, but you can use a large fork.)
- Add the cup of green chile enchilada sauce and simmer until the sauce is mostly absorbed by the beans.
- Then turn off the heat and stir in the sour cream.
- While the bean mixture is cooking, open the whole chiles with your fingers and wipe with paper towels to dry them and remove seeds. (This will take about 10 paper towels, but don’t skip this step.)
- Divide the chiles into two stacks.
- In the casserole dish make a layer with half the whole green chiles, half the bean mixture, and half the cheese.
- Follow with another layer each of whole green chiles, bean mixture and cheese.
- Cover the casserole with the lid or with foil and bake about 30 minutes, or until cheese is all melted. Remove the lid and bake about 20 minutes more, until casserole is bubbling and starting to brown on top. (You can put it under the broiler for a few minutes if it seems done but you’d like the cheese more brown.)
- Serve hot, with condiments like salsa, Green Tabasco Sauce (affiliate link), sour cream, or guacamole if desired.
Use Gluten-Free Green Chile Enchilada Sauce (affiliate link) for gluten-free. If you use a 15 oz. can, you can freeze the rest.
This will keep in the refrigerator for several days and also freezes well.
Recipe created by Kalyn and Jake with inspiration from some earlier recipes that used whole green chiles.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 354Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 7gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 247mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 12gSugar: 8gProtein: 19g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This Vegetarian Mexican Casserole has dried beans, which are too high in carbs for Keto or low-carb diet plans. It’s suitable for all phases of the original South Beach Diet, but serving size for beans is limited for South Beach Phase One.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Vegetarian Recipes or Casserole Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
The Vegetarian Mexican Casserole was first posted in 2013 The recipe was last updated in 2023.
21 Comments on “Vegetarian Mexican Casserole”
This recipe inspired me to have a Cinco de Mayo party last week. A number of my friends are vegetarian so it gave me a main dish and friends brought pot luck additions. I usually get so inspired that I put my own twist and on this dish I purchased vegetarian refried beans and layered it in to the casserole to give it a bit more substance. Probably added some Tajin seasoning and a hit or two of crushed red pepper flakes. The sour cream really worked with the heat and it was a big hit!
That sounds like a great variation of the recipe and I’m so glad I inspired you to celebrate with your friends.
I’m try to do meal prep so I can save time and mon
Have you tried to freeze this recipe and make at a later time? It sound delish!
I haven’t ever done that. I think I’d be more likely to cook it and freeze leftovers. But would love to hear how it works if you try it.
This was terrific! Liked by the entire family.
Glad you liked it!
Thanks Lisa; so glad it was a hit!
Great phase one meatless monday! Different from all the typical mexican dishes i make over and over! I did add a dash or two of jala
peno hot sauce. My husband went for seconds.. unusual on meatless monday lol Thanks for all you do Kalyin.. you are me new "go to" for just about every thing I make!
I'm so glad you posted this. I was looking for a yummy Mexican themed casserole for a barbecue on Saturday. This looks like just the thing!
This sounds fantastic! I just made a big batch of pinto beans and am looking for ways to use them up.
Made this tonight for dinner — what delicious comfort food! Thanks for the recipe!
Kalyn, I really loved this casserole. I too had trouble finding whole green chills, even at a Mexican market. Finally found them at Meijer.
For our taste, it needed more spice, so we just added at the table. Maybe the next time I make it I might incorporate more spice into the casserole itself.
Thanks for this recipe!
I made this the other night, but added chicken(more protein)I loved it and my husband was licking his plate! We had a lot left over, since we both have just had weight loss surgery.I will definitly make it again, but freeze or make half of the recipe.
This is making me hungry! Something about winter makes me crave casseroles.
Green Chile and Pinto Bean reipe is so nice.Surely i will prepare this weekend.Thanks
Yum!! This sounds delicious. I was looking for a group dish to bring for Super Bowl Sunday and I just found it! 🙂
I'm so excited to try this tonight! Thanks for the recipe!!
I love a good casserole and especially one with all of these great Mexican flavors!
Lydia if you like bean and green chile burritos, you'll love this!
Yes, please. I bought one of these casserole dishes, on your recommendation, and I've been playing around with all sorts of bean, cheese and chile casseroles. Can't wait to try this one.