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Mexican vegan black bean casserole in a steel skillet with cheese and cilantro.
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5 from 26 votes

Cheezy Vegan Mexican Black Bean Casserole

This Mexican Black Bean Casserole will become your new favorite for taco nights and for adding to Mexican-style bowls. It is packed with flavor from veggies and spices and it is also deliciously healthy. Black beans are stirred into a richly flavored tomato sauce and baked with shards of vegan cheese that melt and char and form a crispy layer on top. The recipe is soy-free, nut-free and gluten-free.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican inspired
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 242kcal


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (or any vegetable oil)
  • 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 stalk celery (finely chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced or crushed)
  • 1 large bell pepper (I used a green bell pepper. Any color is fine)
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano (replace with marjoram if you don't have this. See notes above to learn how this is different from Mediterranean oregano)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon cayenne (tweak to your spice tolerance)
  • 6 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 30 oz black beans (two cans. Rinse and drain the beans)
  • ½ cup water (or vegetable stock)
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • ½ cup vegan cheddar cheese shreds
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro (finely chopped, for garnish)


  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit/220 degrees Celsius.
  • Heat the oil in a skillet, preferably one that's oven-proof. Add the onions along with the garlic, celery and bell peppers. Stir in salt and ground black pepper to taste. Saute over medium heat or medium high heat until the onions are soft, about five minutes.
  • Add the Mexican oregano and stir it in.Add the spices: ground cumin, smoked paprika and cayenne and mix.
  • Next add the tomato paste and mix it in.
  • Add the drained black beans along with ½ cup water or vegetable stock and mix well. Bring to a boil and mash some of the beans with a ladle. Check if you need more salt.
  • Turn off the heat and sprinkle on the vegan cheese. If you don't have an oven-proof skillet transfer the beans to a baking dish and then sprinkle the cheese.
  • Place the skillet in the oven and bake 15 minutes. Then turn the broiler to high and broil 3-5 minutes, keeping a close eye, until the cheese has melted and has charred slightly in spots.
  • Sprinkle the bake with cilantro and serve hot.


  • Black beans are delicious in this casserole because they are meaty and full of flavor. But you can substitute pinto beans for an equally delicious result.
  • You can use beans cooked from scratch in this recipe. Make sure they are very tender and drain any cooking liquid.
  • Serve this as a delicious filling for tacos and top with salsa and/or guacamole.
  • The black beans are also delicious in a bowl with Mexican style rice. Serve with salsa and/or guacamole for more deliciousness.
  • This black bean casserole can be refrigerated for up to four days. Reheat before serving in a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes, or microwave portions of it for 30 seconds to a minute.
  • You can also freeze the baked casserole for up to three months. Wrap tightly with freezer wrap and reheat in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until warmed through.


Calories: 242kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 132mg | Potassium: 772mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1275IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 4mg