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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Pinto Bean Casserole (Easy Mexican Recipe)

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This delicious and healthy one pot meal is perfect when you need to get dinner on the table in a hurry. Ready in under 30 minutes, this flavorful, easy Pinto Bean Casserole is a well balanced meal that the whole family will love!

easy healthy pinto bean casserole recipe in a pan - vegetarian and gluten free

Don’t you just love it when dinner takes less than half an hour to make and it’s something everyone enjoys?! This Mexican Pinto Bean Casserole is packed full of fresh ingredients, warm spices, and fun toppings for a nutritious and kid-friendly weeknight dinner.

Many casserole recipes use heavy cream, a meat mixture, and white rice, but this recipe swaps these ingredients out opting for high fiber beans, quinoa and veggies!

The best part – it uses just one pot. ONE. No need to add anything to a large bowl, or dirty up a bunch of pans! All the sautéing, mixing, simmering is done in the same pot! Which means… easy cleanup!! Hooray!

Latest Recipe Video!

👩‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • One Pot Meal
  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten-Free
  • Kid-Friendly
  • Healthy and Delicious
  • Full of Nutrients
  • Done in 25 Minutes
  • Great for leftovers – tastes even better the next day!

🥘 Ingredients

ingredients for easy pinto bean casserole recipe

Pinto Beans: Two 15 ounce cans of pinto beans adds tons of protein.

Diced Tomatoes: One 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes, unsalted to reduce overall salt in the dish. If you don’t have diced tomatoes you can use half a jar of tomato sauce.

Vegetables: This recipe has loads of healthy vegetables including red onion, garlic, green pepper, large sweet red peppers, spinach, and frozen whole kernel corn.

Spices: Full of flavor, this taco casserole is loaded with spices. But don’t worry! These are all common spices you likely have on your spice rack! You’ll need chili powder, garlic powder, ground cumin, oregano, taco seasoning, 1/2 a teaspoon salt, and black pepper.

Quinoa: For an extra boost of protein, and added texture quinoa is added. If you don’t have quinoa you can substitute with brown rice, or couscous.

Toppings: These optional toppings add more flavor and texture. Add diced avocado for a creamy element, and a bit of lime juice for some acidity. A few cilantro leaves add a fresh element, and a dollop of Greek Yogurt or vegan sour cream brings the flavors together.

🍽 Equipment

📖 Variations

Here are some of our favorite ways to change things up with this vegetarian pinto bean casserole:

  • Beans: Use black beans, kidney beans, or refried beans instead of pinto beans.
  • Vegetables: Feel free to add in extra veggies – this is a great “clean out your fridge” recipe!
  • More Protein: You can use tofu crumbles to amp up the protein! If you’re not vegetarian or vegan, you can also use shredded chicken or ground turkey or ground beef.
  • Toppings: For additional toppings, try some crushed corn chips, black olives, jalapenos, green onions, diced green chiles, or a dash or hot pepper sauce. You can also top with cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack cheese for the kids!

🔪 Instructions

Step 1: Add onions diced, bell peppers, garlic and olive oil or cooking spray to a large pan over medium heat. Sauté until onions are translucent, about 5-10 minutes.

peppers and onions sauteeing in a pan

Step 2: Add pinto beans, diced tomatoes, corn, baby spinach and all spices (chili powder through black pepper).

spinach and quinoa added to pan

Step 3: Sauté the bean mixture another 10-15 minutes until everything is cooked through. Stir in quinoa.

mexican taco casserole sauteeing in a pan

Step 4: Squeeze lime juice on top and stir to combine. Serve warm, topped with avocado, cilantro and greek yogurt.

vegan pinto bean casserole on a plate with avocado and lime

❓Recipe FAQs

Is Taco Casserole Healthy?

Most taco casseroles are loaded with meat and cheese, making them indulgent but not quite healthy for you. But following a healthy diet does not mean that you have to skip Mexican food!

This vegetarian casserole is loaded with fresh and frozen veggies of all the colors of the rainbow. See the nutrition facts in the recipe card for calories, and fat content.

Here are some of the ways this vegan pinto bean casserole is good for you:

1. Healthy fats from the olive oil and avocado.
2. Protein and fiber from the Pinto beans. Beans are a great replacement for ground beef in meals and are an essential part of a healthy vegetarian diet. The fiber in one serving of this casserole has half your daily value!
3. Vitamins and Minerals: Spinach brings iron, Vitamins K, A, C, B2, and Folate, and yellow bell peppers have Vitamins A, C and Potassium. Pinto beans are also a great source of zinc, magnesium, iron and antioxidants.
4. No refined grains! Instead of white rice (a refined grain) which is often found in taco casseroles, I use quinoa which is lower in carbohydrates, higher in fiber, and higher in protein.

Is this pinto bean enchilada casserole kid-friendly?

Yes! It’s an easy kid-friendly, vegetarian, one pot meal! This Mexican casserole is packed full of veggies, beans and Mexican spices, but it’s not overly spicy so it’s perfect for kids.

It’s also a great way to sneak in a bunch of veggies that kids won’t really notice, since they’re cut up pretty small. If your family isn’t vegan, I recommend adding some shredded cheese on top of each serving!

Can you make this recipe vegan-friendly or gluten free?

Great news! This pinto bean casserole recipe already is gluten free! To make it vegan, substitute a vegan sour cream or yogurt (or just leave it out altogether).

❄️ How To Store

Allow the casserole to cool to room temperature. Transfer to an airtight container. Keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

👪 How To Serve

Serve in bowls topped with avocado, cilantro, and creamy Greek yogurt. You can also sprinkle each serving with a tablespoon of cheese, and a side of tortilla chips, corn tortillas, or corn bread for scooping and dipping! Everyone around the dinner table will enjoy this meal!

💭 Expert Tips

  • You can use any veggies you like – it’s a great dish for using up leftover veggies in the fridge!
  • Keep any leftovers in an air tight container in the fridge (for up to 4 days) and gently reheat in the microwave or the stove. Make a double batch of this recipe if you’re feeding a crowd or want leftovers for the next day!
  • The longer you simmer this, the softer the veggies/beans/etc. will become. For adults/older kids – sautéing 10-15 minutes is plenty of time for the flavors to come together and for the veggies to still have a nice bite to them. But for really young kids, you can cook it longer so it’s easier for them to chew!
  • If you add cheese, try grating your own instead of buying the pre-shredded kind – it melts so much better and has a heartier texture!
pinto bean casserole with veggies and quinoa in a pan

🌮 More Healthy Mexican Recipes!

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📋 Recipe Card

easy healthy pinto bean casserole recipe in a pan - vegetarian and gluten free
Print Recipe
4.95 from 18 votes

Easy Pinto Bean Casserole

This healthy Pinto Bean Casserole is a one pot meal perfect for when you need to get dinner on the table in a hurry!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 263kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 1 red onion
  • 2 bell peppers diced red yellow or orange
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cans pinto beans rinsed & drained
  • 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach chopped
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp taco seasoning more to taste
  • ½ tsp salt more to taste
  • tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 lime
  • 1 avocado diced for topping
  • Cilantro for topping
  • Whole milk plain greek yogurt or sour cream for topping

Instructions

  • Add onion, bell peppers, garlic and olive oil to a large pan over medium heat. Saute until onions are translucent, about 5-10 minutes.
  • Add pinto beans, diced tomatoes, corn, baby spinach and all spices (chili powder through black pepper). Saute another 10-15 minutes until everything is cooked through. Stir in quinoa.
  • Squeeze lime juice on top and stir to combine. Serve warm, topped with avocado, cilantro and greek yogurt.

Video

https://youtu.be/J432uTWZvNI

Notes

  • I used pinto beans in this dish, but you could easily swap them for black or kidney beans.
  • You can use any veggies you like – it’s a great dish for using up leftover veggies in the fridge!
  • Keep any leftovers in an air tight container in the fridge (for up to 4 days) and gently reheat in the microwave or the stove.
  • Serve with your favorite Mexican toppings like salsa, guacamole or sour cream.
  • The longer you simmer this, the softer the veggies/beans/etc. will become. For adults/older kids – sautéing 10-15 minutes is plenty of time for the flavors to come together and for the veggies to still have a nice bite to them. But for really young kids, you can cook it longer so it’s easier for them to chew!
Modified from Super Healthy Kids

Nutrition

Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 10.9g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 336mg | Potassium: 880mg | Fiber: 12.2g | Sugar: 3.8g

Posted In…

Mexican Recipes ·

Mexican flavors are perfect for easy one-pot, kid-friendly dishes like my cheesy quinoa and black bean casserole. With smart swaps, you can create a healthy version of a Mexican favorite: “guacamole” with about half the calories and 3x the protein!

Like Chipotle? You’ll love my ultimate sofritas and burrito bowls! These recipes are so easy to remix to add your own style (or use up some leftovers).

56 responses to “Pinto Bean Casserole (Easy Mexican Recipe)”

  1. I’m totally a lover of Mexican food, it’s just sad that a lot of recipes aren’t healthy. I would be trying this soon.5 stars

  2. I agree with you, the easier and faster you prepare a meal the better it would be. I love the touch of fresh avocado in it. This will be best loved by kids.

  3. This sounds like an amazing casserole recipe. Going to save this to make some time in the next week. Thanks!

  4. My kids are pretty picky, so I love finding meals like this one that the whole family will enjoy and ask for again and again. This looks yummy and filling!5 stars

  5. This looks delicious and I love that it’s kid friendly. My oldest daughter is a picky eater but my youngest couldn’t be more opposite. They both would like this meal.

  6. One pot meals are totally my jam.and this does seem like something my kids would enjoy. Thanks for sharing .5 stars

  7. This looks absolutely delicious. I love anything that has a taco flavor and that is quick and easy to make.

  8. You can’t beat the convenience of a one-pot meal. I haven’t seen a dish like this that had quinoa, that must give it some texture.

    • Totally – I’m all about one pot meals and easy cleanup these days. The quinoa really does give it great texture, and mixing up the toppings adds nice complexity too!

  9. I have been searching for ways to get my kids into trying new foods. this might be an awesome one to try!

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