Vegetarian Green Chile and Pinto Bean Layered Mexican Casserole
posted by Kalyn Denny on January 28, 2013
This Vegetarian Green Chile and Pinto Bean Layered Mexican Casserole is a perfect Meatless Monday dish that’s also gluten-free, low-glycemic, and South Beach Diet friendly. Use the Recipes-by-Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.
Once Jake and I had the idea of trying to create a vegetarian casserole with some of those same flavors, it took us three tries to get it right. But this final version is a definite winner, with all the flavors that make bean and green chile burritos such a favorite of many people. 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.
Some people have told me they can’t find the 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. (If you need gluten-free be sure to choose a brand of green chile sauce that doesn’t contain wheat. One is La Victoria.)
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.)
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 cans (15 oz. each) pinto beans
1 can (27 oz.) whole green chiles (Mild green chiles, not jalapenos)
1 cup Green Chile Enchilada Sauce (from a 15 oz. can; you can freeze the rest. Use a gluten-free brand like La Victoria for gluten-free)
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
2 cups low-fat grated cheddar cheese (I used Four Cheese Mexican Blend from Costco.)
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, sour cream, or guacamole if desired.
This will keep in the refrigerator for several days and also freezes well.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This casserole has dried beans, which are probably too high in carbs for strict low-carb diet plans. It’s a low-glycemic recipe, suitable for all phases of the South Beach Diet, but serving size for beans is limited for South Beach Phase One. Be sure not to eat more than the 1/8 casserole serving size if you’re actively trying to lose weight on Phase One.
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.