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Vegan Taco Casserole

serving vegan taco casserole family style recipe

Imagine this: tacos meets nachos meets a homestyle comforting casserole. That pretty much sums up my Vegan Taco Casserole. It’s easy to make, it has some surprisingly nourishing ingredients despite the fact that it tastes like a total indulgence, and the best part? It’s ready in under 30 minutes!

All you’ll need is some refried beans (I’ll show you how to make a homemade version below, but store bought is also great) some salsa, frozen corn, Vegan Taco Filling (also below, also super easy) and tortilla chips for a crunchy topping. Layer it all in a casserole dish, sprinkle on some vegan cheese, and pop it in the oven for about 10 minutes to melt the cheese and warm the tortilla chips.

Easy, delicious, and homey too. I really hope you enjoy!

healthy vegan taco casserole recipe
vegan taco casserole tray bake recipe

VEGAN TACO CASSEROLE STEP BY STEP

Layer 1: Salsa

Layer 2: Refried Beans

Layer 3: Vegan Taco Filling

Optional Layer to Make it More Filling: rice, quinoa, roasted potatoes, or leftover roasted veggies

Layer 4: Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce

Layer 5: More Salsa (use a slotted spoon to drain the excess liquid)

vegan taco casserole step by step
making taco casserole recipe step by step

Layer 6: Corn (acts a barrier to prevent the chips from getting to soggy)

Layer 7: Tortilla Chips

Layer 8: More Nacho Cheese Sauce and Shredded Vegan Cheese

serving vegan taco casserole family style recipe

Vegan Taco Casserole

Nicole Vranjican
A homestyle casserole that tastes like a taco! Layers of vegan nacho cheese, taco "meat", refried beans, salsa, and corn topped with crunchy tortilla chips and melted vegan cheese.
5 from 1 vote
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

Nacho Cheese Sauce (or skip and sub 2 cups store bought)

  • 1.5 cups frozen butternut squash thawed
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews or 2 tbsp raw cashew butter
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp juice from a jar of pickled jalapenos
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 5 dashes cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • 1.5 tbsp water

Vegan Taco Filling

  • 1.25 cups vegan "beef" crumbles
  • 1 pint cremini or white mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup water

Refried Beans (or skip and sub 3 cups of store bought)

  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 15oz cans pinto beans
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 pinches kosher salt
  • 3 grinds black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water

For the Casserole

  • 1/2 bag tortilla chips plus more for serving
  • 2 cups chunky salsa
  • 1 cup corn I used frozen
  • 1 – 1.5 cups shredded vegan cheese

Optional Toppings

  • chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, black olives, pickled jalenos, avocado, and vegan sour cream

Instructions
 

Make the Nacho Cheese

  • Mix the corn starch and water in a small bowl, then add it to a blender with the remaining Nacho Cheese ingredients. Blend until very smooth and creamy (at least 30 seconds) and then transfer to a saucepan.
    Warm over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir often to prevent lumps.

Make the Vegan Taco Filling

  • Start by finely dicing the mushrroms and then set aside.
  • Next, add 1 tbsp of olive oil to a large frying pan and set to medium-high heat. Add in the vegan "beef" crumbles and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes.
    Tip: use a wooden spoon to scrape the crispy bits up off of the bottom of the pan. There's a lot of flavor there! If the pan gets to dry, add a splash of water or a little more olive oil.
  • Add the taco seasoning, tomato paste, and water. Cook for 2-3 minutes until it's thickened and most of the liquid has evaporated. Then set aside.

Make the Refried Beans

  • Carefully wipe out the same frying pan and add 1 tbsp of olive oil and the minced garlic. Lower heat to medium and cook for one minute. Then add the pinto beans, oregano, salt, pepper, and water.
  • Raise the heat to medium-high and stir while mashing the beans with the back of a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to medium one last time and simmer for 3-4 minutes, stiring and mashing occasionally. Once thickened and mostly smooth, set aside.

Assemble the Casserole

  • Preheat the oven 375 degrees.
  • In a 9×13 baking dish, use a slotted spoon to add 1 cup of salsa to the bottom of the pan and spread into a thin layer. A slotted spoon will keep some of the excess moisture in the jar and not in the pan.
    Then dollop of the Refried Beans on top and smooth into a thin layer.
    Top with the Vegan Taco Filling and spread that out into, you guessed it, a thin layer!
  • Spoon in the remaining cup of salsa and then drizzle half of the Nacho Cheese Sauce on top.
    Tip: I like to splatter it around like I'm Jackson Pollock to prevent adding too thick of a layer, but do what feels right to you!
  • Sprinkle in a layer of corn (this will act as barrier to prevent the chips from getting soggy) and then finish by topping the casserole with a layer of tortilla chips. You'll just need enough to generously cover the surface.
    Top with the remaining Nacho Cheese Sauce and shredded vegan cheese.
  • Bake for 10 minutes and then top with your desired toppings. My favorites are shredded lettuce, chopped red or white onions, avocado, vegan sour cream, and hot sauce. Allow the casserole to rest for 5 minutes to set before serving.
    I like to serve this casserole with extra tortilla chips on the side for scooping and a bright green salad with a tangy vinaigrette to round out the meal. I hope you enjoy!

If you enjoyed this recipe please leave a comment and a five star review below! It helps more people find my blog and I would really appreciate it!

Hope you enjoy this recipe. Happy cooking!

Nicole

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Nicole Vranjican

Hey! I’m Nicole and I make practical vegan recipes for REAL life. I cook with simple, easy to find ingredients and I’m passionate about creating delicious plant-based meals that everyone will love!

I hope you enjoy my recipes and videos :) Happy Cooking!

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2 Comments

  1. Heidi
    April 24, 2021 / 5:26 pm

    5 stars
    Best casserole I’ve had since being vegan! Thanks, Nicole!

    • Nicole
      Author
      May 31, 2021 / 6:10 pm

      WOW! That’s a huge compliment! Thank you for letting me know 😊😊

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