This tasty vegan taco casserole recipe is like a taco salad in casserole form and is a breeze to assemble. This casserole includes beans and cheese and is loaded with your favorite south-of-the-border flavors. It’s a fun change of pace for taco night!
Life is all about layers. Think about it. The rings within its trunk measure the longevity of a tree, each ring representing a year layered one within the other. Our earth has layers that begin with the crust, to its mantle, and down to its very core.
There are lots of other things with layers, like buildings, plots, and even Photoshop files. Onions. Onions definitely have layers. So I’m just going to add one more thing to the list of my life layers: Vegan Taco Casserole.
By its very nature, a casserole is all about the layer. So, that brings me to today’s vegan taco and dairy-free casserole.
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Using veggie crumbles infuses a meat-like texture to this casserole along with some plant-based protein
- Taco seasoning adds the perfect south-of-the-border flavor
- Lots of vegan cheese on top makes this a cheesy casserole that’s so irresistibly good!
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
What really makes this vegetarian taco casserole recipe so special is the simple list of ingredients.
- Olive oil — Any neutral vegetable oil will work.
- Onion — I use a mellow yellow onion, but red or white will work, too.
- Garlic — You can use a couple of fresh cloves of garlic or substitute 1 teaspoon dried ground garlic.
- Veggie crumbles — You can use storebought veggie crumbles (such as Gardein) or make vegan ground beef at home.
- Seasoning — You’ll need some taco seasoning.
- Black beans — I use black beans, but you can subsitute pinto beans.
- Corn — Canned or frozoen corn works great for this recipe.
- Salsa — Use your favorite salsa!
- Tortilla chips — I love using the crumbs at the bottom of the tortilla chips bag for this recipe!
- Vegan cheese — Use vegan cheddar or Tex Mex cheese shreds.
- Toppings — Get out your favorite Mexican toppings like vegan guacamole, salsa, cashew cream, and more!
What’s a vegan tortilla casserole without some tortilla chips crumbled inside? You’ll love the flavor and texture it adds.
How to Make Vegan Taco Casserole
This vegan taco bake is a favorite go-to recipe because it’s so easy and so delicious! It’s perfect for meal prepping because you can make this on the weekend and enjoy leftovers throughout the week.
What I love the most about this casserole is how easy it all comes together! Let’s talk about the steps to make it.
- Cook the onions in a skillet with oil over medium heat until tender.
- Add the garlic, veggie crumbles, and taco seasoning and cook over medium heat while stirring to combine.
- Stir in the beans, corn, salsa, and half of the cheese.
- Place the crumbled tortilla chips across a baking dish.
- Spoon the bean mixture over the tortilla chips and top with remaining cheese shreds.
- Bake for 20 minutes, until the edges turn golden brown.
- Serve warm with guacamole, vegan sour cream, or your other favorite toppings!
Here’s a detailed step-by-step instructions to make this tasty vegan tex mex casserole:
Step One: Sauté Onions, Crumbles, Garlic & Seasoning
In a skillet over medium heat, you’ll add the oil and the chopped onions. Cook these for around 5–7 minutes, until the onions are just starting to become tender.
Add the chopped garlic, veggie crumbles, taco seasoning, and cumin. Stir that all together and continue cooking over medium heat.
Step Two: Add Beans, Cheese & Corn
Next, add the beans, salsa, corn, and half of the cheese. Stir this all together and cook for another minute, and then remove from heat.
Step Three: Make the Casserole and Bake
Place the crushed tortilla chips across the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Then spoon the bean mixture over the tortilla chips layer. Use a spatula to spread it evenly across the pan. Top with sliced black olives and the remaining cheese shreds.
I like to cover the pan with a sheet of foil to encourage the cheese to melt more evenly. Be sure to crimp the edges of the foil around the pan to create a nice seal to trap in the heat and melt that vegan cheese!
Then, place the pan in the oven and bake for 15–20 minutes or until the cheese is mostly melted. Next, use tongs to remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes, until the edges turn golden brown.
Your vegan taco casserole is done now! Remove it from the oven and cool slightly. In fact, this dish only gets better when it’s had some time to cool so you can even make it the day before you need it. Then reheat it for serving.
I just made this and it’s AWESOME. Thank you for an easy delish dinner.Karen
When you’re ready to serve the vegan taco casserole, be sure to add your favorite toppings. Here are some of my favorites:
- Cashew Cream is amazing on top
- Sliced green onions are a nice touch
- Vegan guacamole is delicious as a condiment
- Chopped tomatoes add flavor and color
- Add some cilantro to the top too
- Add a dish of Spanish Quinoa on the side!
Life is better lived with layers … that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
More Vegan Taco Recipes
Vegetarian Taco Casserole
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup yellow onion chopped
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves peeled and chopped
- 3 cups veggie crumbles
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 30 oz canned black beans (~2 cans) rinsed and drained
- 14.5 oz can corn drained
- 2 cups salsa mild, medium or hot
- 2 cups crushed tortilla chips
- 2 cups vegan Tex-Mex cheese shreds (or use vegan cheddar shreds)
- Toppings: guacamole, vegan sour cream, green onion slices, tomatoes, chopped cilantro, black olives, chopped greens
- Move the oven rack to the middle position. Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a skillet combine the oil and onions. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, veggie crumbles, and taco seasoning. Continue cooking over medium heat while stirring to combine. Next, add the beans, corn, salsa and half of the cheese. Stir to combine and remove from heat.
- Place the crumbled tortilla chips across the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
- Spoon the bean mixture over the tortilla chips layer, spreading it evenly across the pan. You may need to use a spoon to press the mixture gently into the corners of the pan. Top with remaining cheese shreds.
- Cover with a sheet of foil and place in the oven to bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Use tongs to remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes, until the edges turn golden brown.
- Remove from the oven. Cool slightly. Serve warm with guacamole, vegan sour cream or your other favorite toppings!
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was originally published in 2020 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.