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!

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!

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👩‍🍳 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

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📋 Recipe Card

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

  • 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.

  • 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

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

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