Mexican-Style Vegan Bean and Rice Casserole

Here, the classic beans and rice combination gets a kick with ancho chile powder and cumin. The No-Cheese Sauce adds a creamy texture, and the health benefits are bumped up with zucchini, black beans, and corn. Also, be sure to check out our "cheesy" vegan rice and bean casserole.

By Del Sroufe,

Last Updated:


  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted in a dry skillet and ground
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups cooked black beans, or 1 (15-ounce) can, drained and rinsed
  • 3 ears corn, kernels removed (about 2 cups)
  • One recipe No-Cheese Sauce Recipe
  • Chopped cilantro


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Place the onion and bell pepper in a large saucepan and sauté over medium heat for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the onion starts to brown. Add water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan. Add the garlic and cook for 4 minutes. Add the cumin and chile powder and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove from the heat. Add the cooked rice, zucchini, black beans, corn, and No-Cheese Sauce, and mix well.
  • Spoon the mixture into an 8 x 8-inch baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes, or until bubbly. Serve garnished with the cilantro.

Comments (38)

(5 from 23 votes)

Recipe Rating

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Leslie C.

Really good! I made it exactly as the recipe was written. But, it took more than twice as long to heat through. After 25 minutes it was cold, still.

Hope Savely

I made this tonight. It was flavorful and had great texture and a little crunch. Very satisfying!!! I’ll make it again!!


I want to try this but most comments indicated that they added this and that or changed something, I think I’ll pass

Michelle O


Delicious! I added fresh avocado on top. Next time I will sauté the zucchini with the onion and pepper though because it wasn’t cooked after baking for 40 minutes.

Mary Tagliarino

Ridiculous that I cannot print your recipes from my phone. You make it very difficult for older people to use your site and enjoy your recipes.

Peggy Cashen

I need recipes for two people I cannot afford to buy all the ingredients you have for your recipes


All the ingredients are inexpensive produce items. If you don’t want to use the spices you can always improvise and use what you have


Delicious I added a can of tomatoes with green chilies to the cheese sauce and it was absolutely the perfect quick weeknight dinner.

Kimberly Hoover

This was a winner with my 21-year old son who cooks his own dinners to take to work. He is a vegetarian so he added shredded cheese instead of making the no-cheese sauce. I think this would be even better with some Rotel (diced onions + green chilis) or fire-roasted diced tomatoes mixed in. I told him to bring some salsa, diced tomatoes, sliced scallions, and a lime wedge. He said this dish is keeper. It made 5 16-oz ramekins (Pyrex with lids), which is a weeks' worth of dinners.

Kimberly Hoover

Forgot to say: he's not into cooking cumin seeds or having an additional spice (ancho chili powder), so he used 1 teaspoon ground cumin and 2 teaspoons chili powder. Flavor was great he said.


Ooooo we loved this one! It made lots so will be meals for a few days!


This was so delicious! I wanted to make my cocked rice into a Mexican style rice before mixing it in with everything else, so I added no-salt tomato sauce, a little tomato paste, onion powder and garlic powder to the cooked rice before mixing. This recipe was overall super easy. We will be making it many more times!


Satisfying. Will make again. I added some greens and garlic powder. It's also good with black olives.


Can left overs be frozen?


A hard no for my family. The cheese sauce was so bitter. I had to pitch it and go back to a stand by that had a higher nut to nooch ratio. I like other recipes from this chef, so one down, others to choose from


It’s great without the no cheese sauce. I would add some avocado or guacamole. Or just leave it without.


Great recipe. I modified to accommodate my available ingredients and laziness. Changes were: - I didn't toast or saute spices or bell pepper. My spice mix was 1 T onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 T cumin powder, 1 T regular chili powder, 1 tsp ancho chili powder, and 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper. - I used 6 cups of rice and 3 cups of corn. - I didn't make the cheese sauce. Instead we ate one batch cold with fresh tomatoes, and another batch cooked with a 28 oz. can of fire-roasted tomatoes. We loved both.

Gloria Cox

Thanks for your tips!

Anant Jani

I was quite unsure of the outcome of this recipe, was pleasantly surprised of tasty results, it’s definitely a keeper!

Kimberly Hoover

Kathy, have you made it with regular chili powder, or jus the ancho chili powder? I'm wondering about the actual difference in the taste. Thanks!

Brittany Willson

Amazing!!!!! It was so good. My meat eating husband loved it


What can be used instead of corn. I cannot eat corn

Brittany Willson

I would look up on google “good substitutes for corn” that’s what I always do!


Loved this! Made it exactly as written, it was pretty good. Made it again and added a can of diced green chili’s, garlic powder, salt, and salsa to the cheese sauce. It was even better! Served with tortillas cut into chips for scooping up for my young kids.


Maybe substitute carrots for the corn, cook it them with the bell pepper.


Delicious! Where can I find the nutrition info?


This is absolutely delicious. I used 2tbsp if tahini instead of cashews in the chees sauce and added mushrooms with the onion and peppers. The whole family loved it both vegan and non-vegans.


Yummy!! First time making it! Added some diced pineapple to the mix, & used peas instead of corn cuz its all I good!


Delicious. Hubby liked it when I added 1/8 tsp cayenne with the other spices.


My family and I love this! It is in our rotation of favorites.


My family loved it. Not dry at all, as some reviewers said. Maybe they didn't use cooked rice?? When I made the sauce I only had 1/2c of nutritional yeast but it still tasted great.


This is one of my standard go to recipes- the family Love it!!


Loved this! I bought the cookbook and have been trying a new recipe each week. This has to be one of my favorites by far.

Romy Lu

Loved this. Didn’t use the no-cheese sauce, though... substituted Daiya shredded cheddar and it worked really well. This will definitely be made again and again.


Made this for Cinco de Mayo! It was so easy and so very yummy!! I only had 1/2 c of nutritional yeast and it tasted perfect without the missing 1/2 c! We really enjoyed this dish! Defiantly putting this into our rotation of repeat dishes!


Can I substitute ground cumin instead of the seeds? If so, how much?


This was just ok. The no cheese sauce doesn't taste like cheese much at all and I won't use it again simply because the excessive amount of nutritional yeast and the flavor weren't appealing. That said, I had an entire casserole dish of it already made. So I added a can of diced tomatoes and used it to stuff some green peppers. Hopefully that can redeem this dish. I also think making about 1/4 of the recipe and using it sparingly on nachos, with additional ingredients like fresh onions and lettuce, could be good. But as is, this is not a great recipe.

About the Author

Headshot of Def Sroufe

About the Author

Del Sroufe

Chef Del Sroufe is co-owner and executive chef of Wellness Forum Foods, a whole-food, plant-based meal delivery and catering service in Columbus, Ohio. He is the author of Forks Over Knives - The Cookbook and Better Than Vegan. Del teaches cooking classes and helps people transition to a healthy plant-based diet.
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