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Pinto Bean Casserole | The Choosy Eater

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Our wholesome, simple pinto bean casserole is a well-balanced meal the entire household will take pleasure in! This scrumptious and wholesome one-pot meal is prepared in beneath half-hour, making it excellent for when that you must get one thing on the dinner desk in a rush.

Overhead shot of a skillet and small white plate of pinto bean casserole.

Don’t you simply like it once you could be out and in of the kitchen very quickly, with a dish that everybody enjoys? This Mexican pinto bean casserole is packed filled with contemporary components, heat spices, and enjoyable toppings for a nutritious and kid-friendly weeknight dinner.

Many casserole recipes use heavy cream, a meat combination, and white rice, however this recipe swaps these components out choosing excessive fiber beans, quinoa and veggies!

Plus, with only one pot required, you’ll have a straightforward clear up! No want so as to add something to a big bowl, or soiled up a bunch of pans. All of the sautéing, mixing, and simmering is completed in the identical pot. Good for busy weeknight dinners!

The wealthy spices infuse the dish with a heat and savory depth for traditional Mexican flavors. The addition of quinoa not solely provides to the feel but additionally boosts the protein content material, making this casserole a whole meal.

What’s extra is that it’s topped with creamy avocado, tangy lime, and a dollop of Greek yogurt. It may be served as each a hearty foremost dish and as a facet dish. Plus, it’s additionally a improbable solution to introduce your children to quite a lot of greens. 

👩🏽‍🍳 Why You’ll Love Pinto Bean Casserole

  • Plant-Primarily based: This dish is a plant-based powerhouse, full of veggies like massive candy crimson peppers, child spinach, and entire kernel corn. With pinto beans because the star, it’s a hearty, satisfying meal that’s utterly free from animal merchandise.
  • Fast And Simple: With a complete time of just below thirty minutes, this recipe is ideal for these busy weeknights. Plus, it’s a one-pot meal, which suggests minimal cleanup afterwards.
  • Gluten-Free: With quinoa because the grain, this dish is solely gluten-free. It’s a nice choice for these with dietary restrictions, with out sacrificing taste or satisfaction.
  • Versatile: This recipe is flexible and adaptable. You need to use any veggies you have got readily available, making it a terrific selection for utilizing up leftovers. Plus, with toppings like avocado, cilantro, and Greek yogurt, everybody can customise their very own plate to their liking.
  • Accessible Elements: This casserole with pinto beans makes use of easy, entire meals components that you simply seemingly have already got in your pantry. It’s a testomony to the truth that wholesome, scrumptious meals don’t need to be difficult.
  • Household Favourite: With its gentle flavors and customizable toppings, this recipe is successful with children and adults alike. Plus, it’s an effective way to sneak in some additional veggies for the little ones.

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🥘 Elements

This recipe for pinto bean casserole makes use of a scrumptious mixture of pantry staples and contemporary produce. You’ll discover that each ingredient is available at your native grocery retailer.

ingredients for easy pinto bean casserole recipe
  • Pink Onion: Pink onion provides a candy and gentle taste to our casserole, making it engaging to children and adults alike. One massive onion needs to be lots right here, or two small/medium onions!
  • Bell Peppers, Corn, & Spinach: These colourful veggies not solely make the dish visually interesting but additionally add quite a lot of wonderful flavors with a burst of refined sweetness. You’ll use an entire cup of corn and 4 cups of chopped spinach.
  • Garlic & Olive Oil: Garlic brings a sturdy taste to the casserole. It’s a key ingredient that makes this dish fragrant and flavorful. We use olive oil for sautéing our veggies and garlic!
  • Pinto Beans: Pinto beans are the star of this casserole. They supply a hearty texture and are a terrific supply of plant-based protein. The longer you simmer them, the softer they change into, making the dish appropriate for all ages. You may as well use cooked dry beans. 
  • Diced Tomatoes: These convey a tangy sweetness to the casserole and assist to create a deliciously wealthy sauce. Use one 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes, unsalted to scale back total salt within the dish. For additional tomato taste, you should utilize 2 cans tomatoes.
  • Spices: The mix of chili powder, floor cumin, dried oregano, and taco seasoning provides our casserole an exquisite depth of taste.
  • Salt And Floor Black Pepper: These are important seasonings that improve the general taste of the casserole. You’ll simply want 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon floor pepper.
  • Cooked Quinoa: Quinoa is a brilliant grain that provides a pleasant crunch to the casserole and packs in additional protein and fiber.
  • Toppings: These non-compulsory toppings add extra taste and texture. Add diced avocado for a creamy factor, and a little bit of lime juice for some acidity. Just a few cilantro leaves give a refreshing style, and a dollop of Greek Yogurt or vegan bitter cream brings the flavors collectively.

🍲 Ingredient Substitutions

  • Onion: Swap the crimson onion for no matter onion you have got readily available. Yellow onion, candy onion, and even shallots can be tasty right here!
  • Greens: You need to use inexperienced peppers, kale, or any veggie you have got readily available for this recipe.
  • Garlic: Use contemporary cloves, pre-minced, or perhaps a garlic paste in case you are in a scramble.
  • Oil: Swap the olive oil for an additional high-heat oil like avocado oil, if wanted. You could possibly additionally use unsalted butter for extra taste.
  • Beans: If you happen to’re not a fan of pinto beans or simply need to attempt one thing totally different, swap them out with black beans, kidney beans, or refried beans. Every kind of bean will convey a novel taste and texture to the dish.
  • Tomatoes: As an alternative of canned tomatoes, contemporary chopped tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, or plain tomato sauce will work nice!
  • Spices: Mess around with totally different spices like garlic powder, onion powder, white pepper, or smoked paprika.
  • Rice: As an alternative of quinoa, be happy to do that recipe along with your favourite kind of rice!

🔪 How To Make Pinto Bean Casserole

Making this Mexican casserole dish at house is extremely easy and straightforward. For a extra complete breakdown and vitamin information, consult with the recipe card beneath.

Sauté The Greens: Start by including onion, bell peppers, and garlic to a big pan or 2-quart bean pot, together with a drizzle of olive oil or cooking spray. Sauté these over medium warmth till the onions flip translucent. This could take about 5 to 10 minutes.

peppers and onions sauteeing in a pan

Add The Beans And Spices: Subsequent, stir within the pinto beans, diced tomatoes, corn, child spinach, and all of the spices – from chili powder to black pepper. Proceed sautéing for an additional ten to fifteen minutes till all the pieces is completely cooked.

spinach and quinoa added to pan

Stir In Quinoa: Now, it’s time so as to add some healthful grains to the pinto bean combination. Stir the quinoa within the pan and let it cook dinner with the remainder of the components.

mexican taco casserole sauteeing in a pan

Squeeze Lime And Combine: Squeeze contemporary lime juice over the casserole and stir effectively to mix all of the flavors.

Serve Heat: Lastly, serve this wholesome pinto bean casserole heat. High it off with slices of avocado, a sprinkling of cilantro, and a dollop of Greek yogurt for added creaminess and taste. Get pleasure from!

vegan pinto bean casserole on a plate with avocado and lime

💭 Knowledgeable Ideas

  • Prep Your Greens In Advance: To save lots of time, chop your crimson onion, bell peppers, and garlic forward of time. It will can help you throw all the pieces into the pan shortly when it’s time to begin cooking.
  • Use Contemporary Spices For Most Taste: Contemporary chili powder, floor cumin, dried oregano, and taco seasoning will give your pinto bean casserole a wealthy and savory style. Attempt to keep away from utilizing outdated spices which were sitting in your pantry for too lengthy.
  • Don’t Neglect The Lime: The lime juice squeezed on high of the casserole on the finish is essential. It provides a zesty freshness that balances out the hearty flavors of the beans and veggies.
  • Grate Your Personal Cheese: If you happen to determine so as to add cheese to your casserole, grate it your self as an alternative of utilizing pre-shredded cheese. Freshly grated cheese melts higher and has a richer texture.
  • Simmer Time Can Differ: The longer you simmer the casserole, the softer the veggies and beans will change into. If you happen to’re cooking for younger youngsters, think about simmering for a bit longer to ensure that all the pieces is straightforward for them to chew.
  • Double Up For A Crowd: If you happen to’re feeding a big group, have a giant household, or need leftovers for the following day, don’t hesitate to double the recipe. This casserole is straightforward to scale up and all the time a crowd-pleaser.
  • Sweetness: If you wish to add a refined contact of sweetness to this casserole dish, add in about 1/2 tablespoon sugar or brown sugar when sautéing the greens. The recipe will nonetheless be savory total, with a richer and extra advanced taste profile.

📖 Variations

  • Further Greens: If you happen to’re wanting so as to add extra veggies into your weight-reduction plan, this variation is ideal for you. Simply toss in any additional greens you have got in your fridge, like zucchini, carrots, or broccoli, together with the opposite components. This is not going to solely enhance the dietary worth but additionally add extra flavors and textures to your casserole.
  • Protein-Packed: So as to add an additional protein punch to this dish, attempt including tofu crumbles! You could possibly additionally do shredded rooster, floor turkey, or floor beef should you’re not following a vegan or vegetarian weight-reduction plan. Simply be sure that to cook dinner your protein earlier than including it to the casserole. This variation is ideal for individuals who need to enhance their protein consumption.
  • Spicy Twist: If you happen to love spicy meals, attempt including jalapenos, diced inexperienced chiles, or a touch of sizzling pepper sauce to your casserole. It will give the dish a kick that spice lovers will take pleasure in. Simply you’ll want to regulate the opposite seasonings to stability the warmth.
  • Attempt Cheese: For individuals who can’t resist cheese, add some cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack cheese to cowl beans and veggies in a creamy layer of melted, tacky goodness. It will add a scrumptious creaminess to the dish that children (and adults) will love.
  • Corn Chips: For a enjoyable and crunchy twist, attempt topping your casserole with crushed corn chips. The chips will add a pleasant crunch to every chunk, making this variation successful with the entire household.
  • Further Toppings: If you happen to love toppings, this variation is for you. Attempt including black olives, inexperienced onions, inexperienced chilies, salsa, contemporary cheese, and even some additional avocado on high of your casserole.
  • Cornbread Topping: You may as well make your personal corn bread topping or use Jiffy cornbread combine to show this right into a pinto bean cornbread casserole. It’s considered one of my favourite methods to vary up the flavour so positively save this concept for subsequent time! 

🍽 Serving Strategies

This tasty pinto bean casserole is a flexible dish that may be paired with numerous meals to create a healthful eating expertise. Listed here are a few of our favourite serving options:

  • Principal Course: This hearty casserole can stand alone as a satisfying foremost course. Pair it with a refreshing tomato avocado cucumber salad or a tangy grape salad to stability the wealthy flavors.
  • Taco Evening: Add a twist to your common taco evening by serving this pinto bean casserole as a filling. It pairs completely with mushy corn tortillas, contemporary salsa, and a squeeze of lime.
  • Facet Dish: Serve this casserole as a facet dish alongside mushroom toast or candy corn tamale muffins for a whole plant-based meal.
  • For Brunch: Sure, you may have this casserole for brunch too! Pair it with avocado toast or a veggie-packed low calorie omelette for a protein-rich begin to your day.
  • As a Dip: Alternatively, use the casserole itself as a dip! Serve it with tortilla chips or contemporary veggie sticks for a wholesome and scrumptious snack. Get pleasure from your meal!

🙌 Dietary Diversifications

This dish is already a gluten-free and might accommodate most dietary restrictions. Right here’s how you can flip this right into a vegan pinto bean casserole recipe:

  • Vegan And Dairy-Free Choice: The recipe requires entire milk, plain Greek yogurt, or bitter cream for topping. To make this recipe utterly dairy-free, merely change them with a dairy-free various. You need to use coconut cream, unsweetened dairy-free yogurt, or vegan bitter cream as a topping. These choices not solely retain the creamy texture but additionally add a novel taste to your dish.

🫙 Storage Instructions

  • Refrigerating: Preserve any leftovers of the pinto bean casserole in an hermetic container and retailer it within the fridge. It ought to keep contemporary for as much as 4 days.
  • Freezing: Sadly, this dish doesn’t freeze effectively because of the texture of the beans and veggies, which might change into mushy upon thawing. It’s best to take pleasure in it contemporary or refrigerated.
  • Reheating: While you’re able to benefit from the leftovers, gently reheat them within the microwave or on the range. If you happen to’ve added cheese, you’ll want to reheat slowly and stir continuously to keep up a creamy, hearty texture.

❓Recipe FAQs

Is that this pinto bean casserole wholesome?

Completely! In contrast to most taco casseroles which are loaded with meat and cheese, this vegetarian pinto bean casserole is full of a rainbow of contemporary and frozen veggies. It’s wealthy in wholesome fat from the olive oil and avocado, protein and fiber from the pinto beans, and helps you attain your each day worth of nutritional vitamins and minerals from the greens. Plus, it comprises no refined grain, not like white rice that’s present in most conventional taco casseroles.


Sure, you may assemble the casserole and refrigerate it in a single day. Bake it when able to serve!


Ensure that canned components, particularly tomatoes and canned pinto beans, are well-drained. It will assist take away extra liquid, stopping your casserole from changing into too watery.


Sure, you may assemble the components in a gradual cooker or crock pot and cook dinner on low for 4-6 hours or till bubbly.


For a kid-approved casserole, decrease spicy components, use gentle cheese, and skip any veggies that you realize your little ones don’t take pleasure in. You may as well lower the greens into smaller items which is usually extra approachable for youths. For a enjoyable and engaging contact, attempt including a layer of crushed tortilla chips.

pinto bean casserole with veggies and quinoa in a pan

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📋 Recipe Card

Pinto Bean Casserole

Our wholesome, simple pinto bean casserole is a well-balanced meal the entire household will take pleasure in! This scrumptious and wholesome one-pot meal is prepared in beneath half-hour, making it excellent for when that you must get one thing on the dinner desk in a rush.

Prep Time5 minutes

Cook dinner Time20 minutes

Complete Time25 minutes

Course: Principal Course

Delicacies: Mexican

Food plan: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Servings: 6 servings

Energy: 263kcal

  • I used pinto beans on this dish, however you may simply swap them for black or kidney beans.
  • You need to use any veggies you want – it’s a terrific dish for utilizing up leftover veggies within the fridge!
  • Preserve any leftovers in an air tight container within the fridge (for as much as 4 days) and gently reheat within the microwave or the range.
  • Serve along with your favourite Mexican toppings like salsa, guacamole or bitter cream.
  • The longer you simmer this, the softer the veggies/beans/and many others. will change into. For adults/older children – sautéing 10-Quarter-hour is loads of time for the flavors to come back collectively and for the veggies to nonetheless have a pleasant chunk to them. However for actually younger children, you may cook dinner it longer so it’s simpler for them to chew!
Modified from Tremendous Wholesome Children

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



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