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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Vegetarian Mexican Casserole with one serving on plate and baking dish in the back

This Vegetarian Mexican Casserole is a new recipe that’s the firstborn child of my Mexican Casserole with Beef, Beans, and Chiles and my Mexican Chicken Casserole with Pinto Beans. And 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 of the 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 I’m betting the whole family will like this Mexican Casserole.

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

large can whole green chiles

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 If you need gluten-free products, be sure to choose Gluten-Free Green Chile Enchilada Sauce (affiliate link).

More Mexican Food Recipes with Beans

If you’re a fan of meatless Mexican food you might also like Instant Pot Mexican Beans, Seven Layer Dip Tostadas, Spicy Black Beans with Cilantro, Instant Pot Refried Beans, Instant Pot Copycat Recipe for Rubios’ Pinto Beans, or Spicy Black Beans with Cilantro.

Vegetarian Green Chile and Pinto Bean Layered Mexican Casserole process shots collage

How to Make Vegetarian Mexican Casserole:

(Scroll down for complete printable recipe, including nutritional information.)

  1. Drain the pinto beans into a colander and rinse with cold water.
  2. In a different colander, drain the whole green chiles.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pan, then saute onions, green peppers, minced garlic, and ground cumin Season with a little salt.
  4. Add the drained pinto beans, cook about 3-4 minutes, then mash slightly.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Spray the casserole dish with non-stick spray and make a layer of half the green chiles.
  8. Then make a layer with half the bean mixture.
  9. Followed by a layer with half the cheese.
  10. Make another layer each of whole green chiles, bean mixture, and cheese.
  11. 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.)
  12. Serve hot, with Green Tabasco Sauce (affiliate link) to add at the table if desired.

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Make it a Vegetarian Meal:

I would love Spicy Mexican Slaw or Puerto Rican Spicy Cabbage Salad as a side dish for this!

More Meatless Dishes with Mexican Flavors:

Vegetarian Mexican Casserole
Yield: 8 servings

Vegetarian Mexican Casserole

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

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


  1. Preheat oven to 375F/190C.
  2. 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.)
  3. Drain the pinto beans into a colander, spray with cold water until no more foam appears, and let beans drain.
  4. In another colander drain the whole green chiles.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
  6. Add the onions and peppers and saute 4-5 minutes, until they are just starting to brown.
  7. 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.)
  8. Add the cup of green chile enchilada sauce and simmer until the sauce is mostly absorbed by the beans.
  9. Then turn off the heat and stir in the sour cream.
  10. 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.)
  11. Divide the chiles into two stacks.
  12. In the casserole dish make a layer with half the whole green chiles, half the bean mixture, and half the cheese.
  13. Follow with another layer each of whole green chiles, bean mixture and cheese.
  14. 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.)
  15. 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.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


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.

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Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This Vegetarian Mexican Casserole has dried beans, which are probably too high in carbs for 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 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 or on Facebook to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

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