Treat yourself to this scrumptious Vegetarian Taco Casserole tonight! This tasty baked dinner is loaded with veggies, beans, and so much flavor. It's total comfort food and so easy to make!
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
I don't know about you, but I grew up eating lots of casseroles! My mom had a few in her weekly recipe rotation, and they were all super tasty.
These days, I still crave a baked dinner, especially as the weather gets colder. And this Vegetarian Taco Casserole with tortilla chips is one of my all-time favorites! I've been making it for years, and I finally wrote down the recipe to share with you.
You are going to LOVE this mouthwatering recipe! It's a Mexican inspired casserole with layers of tortilla chips, a scrumptious veggie-bean filling, and lots of ooey gooey cheese. This is Tex Mex comfort food at its best!
This cozy dish is a real crowd pleaser that no one at your table will be able to resist. Plus, it couldn't be easier to make ... win win!
Are you hungry yet? Then keep reading for all the delicious details!
This easy Taco Bake uses ingredients you'll find in any grocery store. Here's what you'll need:
- Veggies - You'll use an onion, canned tomatoes, and frozen corn, plus some black olives for the filling. Feel free to substitute fresh tomatoes and corn when they're in season.
- Beans - This recipe calls for a combo of pinto and black beans. Feel free to use just one kind, depending on what's in your pantry. In a pinch, you could even substitute other beans, such as chickpeas or kidney beans.
- Spices - You'll use a combination of savory spices to season this casserole: chili powder, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, and crushed red pepper flakes, plus fresh garlic. Store bought or homemade Taco Seasoning could also be used.
- Cheese - Shredded cheddar cheese give this dish a tasty Tex Mex flavor. Monterrey Jack would also work great.
- Chips - Crunchy tortilla chips add a great flavor and texture to this casserole. You could also use corn chips or Doritos, if you prefer.
This recipe is naturally vegetarian and gluten free. Of course, if you have an allergy, always double check the packaging for GF labeling.
You'll Also Need
You'll need a large frying pan (this nonstick skillet is my fave), as well as an 8 x 8-inch square baking dish. I used this beautiful Emile Henry Dish, which can go straight from the oven to the table, and it even cleans up super easily!
How to Make Taco Casserole
This tasty Mexican Casserole is super quick and easy to make! You'll find a detailed recipe card below, but here's an overview of the steps:
- Prepare filling. To make the filling, start by sautéing half an onion in a little oil until translucent. Next, add the garlic and spices, then cook until fragrant. Finally, mix in the tomatoes, beans, corn, olives, and a little water. Cook until hot.
- Add chips to baking dish. Once the filling is cooked, you can start layering the ingredients in your baking dish. You'll add half the chips first.
- Top with filling. Next, top the chips with half the filling.
- Sprinkle with cheese. Layer half the cheese over the filling. Then, repeat these layers (chips, filling, cheese) one more time.
- Bake. Finally, bake your casserole for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until it's hot throughout.
Wasn't that simple? And now it's time for the best part ... time to dig in to your delicious Veggie Taco Casserole. Yum!
This recipe is perfectly tasty as-is. If you feel like experimenting though, here are some easy ideas:
- Chips - Swap out the tortilla chips for corn chips or Doritos. My mom used to make a similar casserole with Doritos when I was a kid, and it was so delish!
- Veggies - Consider this recipe an invitation to clean out your fridge! I've often thrown in some zucchini, and it's a great way to use up spinach and other greens, like kale. Vegetables, such as bell peppers, carrots, cauliflower, and more, will also work. You could replace the canned tomatoes and frozen corn with fresh veggies, too. Whatever veg you use, just make sure to cook it until it's crisp-tender before adding the beans.
- Beans - The combo of black and pinto beans works really well in this recipe, but feel free to use all pinto beans or all black beans, if you prefer. Other beans, like chickpeas, kidney beans, or white beans, will also work in a pinch.
- Cheese - Cheddar gives this recipe a distinctly Tex Mex flavor, but Monterrey Jack, pepper jack, or a Mexican cheese blend would also taste great.
- Spicy - Love all things hot and spicy? Add some extra heat by cooking a jalapeño or serrano pepper with the onion, stirring in a canned chipotle or two (chop it up first) along with the beans, adding extra crushed red pepper flakes, or sprinkling in some cayenne. While not spicy, you could also sauté a poblano with the onion to add extra flavor.
- Vegan - To make this recipe vegan-friendly, simply substitute your favorite plant based cheese (use one that melts well) for the cheddar.
This Vegetarian Taco Casserole makes a great dinner for busy weeknights! Keep things easy and serve it by itself, or add a few toppings, such as cilantro, Guacamole, sour cream, green onions, or salsa. If you'd like to round out the meal with some simple sides, I'd recommend pairing it with an easy salad, like a Garden Salad, Mexican Kale Salad, or Sweet Potato Salad, or with a quick veggie dish, like Elote.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to four days. Then warm gently in your microwave before eating.
If you enjoyed this easy Taco Bake, try one of my other Mexican inspired dishes next!
- Mexican Lasagna
- Vegetarian Breakfast Enchiladas
- Mexican Baked Eggs
- Black Bean and Butternut Squash Enchiladas
- Tex Mex Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- Veggie Stuffed Chiles Rellenos
- Mexican Quinoa Casserole
- Black Bean and Cream Cheese Enchiladas
- Vegetarian Fajitas
Craving more? Check out all of my Mexican and Tex Mex recipes!
Vegetarian Taco Casserole
- nonstick cooking spray
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil (canola, vegetable, olive, etc.)
- ½ large onion, diced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 (15-ounce / 425 gram) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15-ounce / 425 gram) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14.5-ounce / 411 gram) can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup frozen corn
- ¼ cup sliced black olives
- 2 cups crushed tortilla chips
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 8 x 8-inch Baking Dish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
- Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add onion. Season with salt, then cook until translucent and tender (about 5 minutes).
- Stir garlic, cumin, chili powder, oregano, smoked paprika, and red pepper flakes into pan. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
- Add black beans, pinto beans, tomatoes, corn, and olives to pan, plus ¼ cup water. Bring to a simmer, then cook until hot (about 5 minutes).
- Remove from heat, then season to taste with salt.
- Add half of the tortilla chips to the baking pan. Top with half of the bean mixture. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Repeat these layers (chips, filling, cheese) one more time.
- Bake casserole until hot (about 20 to 25 minutes).
- Serve hot. Enjoy!