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Black Bean and Zucchini Tortilla Casserole

Black bean and zucchini tortilla casserole chilaquiles recipe

Chilaquiles is a classic Southwestern casserole that layers soft corn tortillas with beans and cheese (vegan in this case). Adding zucchini and chiles adds to the lively flavors. This recipe makes a nice change-of-pace holiday main dish but is also easy enough to make for weeknight meals. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky. Adapted from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook.

Black bean and zucchini tortilla casserole chilaquiles recipe

Black Bean and Zucchini Tortilla Casserole

This southwestern-style casserole makes for a nice change-of-pace holiday main dish, but this is also easy enough to make for weeknight meals.
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Course: Vegan main dish
Cuisine: Vegan / Southwestern / Healthy
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: Veg Kitchen


  • 1 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 medium green bell pepper diced
  • 1 28 oz can crushed or pureed tomatoes
  • 1 –2 small fresh hot chile peppers seeded and minced, or 1 (4 oz) can chopped mild green chiles
  • 2 tsp chili powder or more, to taste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 16–20 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium zucchini quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 12 corn tortillas torn or cut into several pieces
  • 8 oz cheddar-style nondairy cheese Daiya is great with this!
  • vegan sour cream homemade or purchased or Cashew Cream for garnish, optional


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Sauté the onion until translucent. Add the green pepper and continue to sauté until it has softened and the onions are golden.
  • Stir in the crushed tomatoes and seasonings, black beans, and zucchini. Bring to a simmer, then simmer gently for 5 minutes.
  • Layer as follows in a lightly oiled 9 x 13 inch or 2-quart round casserole dish: half of the tortillas, half of the tomato-black bean mixture, and half of the cheese. Repeat.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes, then cut into squares or wedges to serve.


Nutrition information
Per serving:  Calories: 361;  Total fat: 11g;  Protein: 19g;  Fiber: 12g;  Carbs: 50g; Sodium: 550mg

Black bean and zucchini tortilla casserole chilaquiles recipe

Black bean and zucchini tortilla casserole chilaquiles recipe


This post was originally published on 21 September 2014.

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  • Reply
    busy mom
    January 14, 2012 at 5:58 am

    This was great and super easy. My kids devoured it. I skipped the chiles and used wheat tortillas, but other than that didn’t make any changes. It tastes like a mexican lasagna.

  • Reply
    February 11, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    This recipe is so easy to make and it was delicious! I think I’ll make it a little bit spicier next time but I’m weird like that. I’ve been making 2 to 3 recipes per week on this website. Most of them have been on point!

  • Reply
    February 12, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Glad you’re enjoying VegKitchen’s recipes so regularly, Timi!

  • Reply
    A healthy black bean and vegetable corn tortilla casserole, vegan dinner recipe
    February 28, 2012 at 7:10 am

    […] used this recipe from VegKitchen as a basis and made a few modifications. For example, I skipped the vegan cheese because I am not a […]

  • Reply
    Lindsay Ford
    March 15, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    This looks really yummy. I’ll have to add it to my list of healthy meals to try. If it goes well I’ll have to feature it on my healthy recipe blog.


  • Reply
    March 19, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    I don’t understand about the tortillas…do you use SOFT or hard chips?? First it says on top of recipe, to use crumbled torillas…then in reciepe it says to cut or tear them…which would be soft…so which is it, hard chips or the soft tortilla…very confusing

  • Reply
    March 20, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Carol, I can see why the word “crumbled” in the headnote might have thrown you off, and I changed it — crumbled was, in fact, inaccurate. But the recipe does refer to corn tortillas, not corn chips. Those are the 6-inch kind that come in a stack, either fresh or frozen, and readily available in supermarkets — usually where the salsas and taco shells are located.

  • Reply
    Gloria Huerta
    January 3, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    This is known as Budin Azteca, very popular in Mexico City.

    • Reply
      January 3, 2013 at 2:24 pm

      Very interesting! I’ll have to look that up and see if there are some regional variations to this dish. Thanks for your comment, Gloria!

  • Reply
    April 1, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    Just tried this recipe tonight and it was great! I admit I used regular cheddar cheese. Other than that I followed it to the letter. We topped it with a slice of avocado and sour cream and my husband added jalapenos. Yum! It was so simple to make. Definitely a keeper.

  • Reply
    June 21, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Can this be assembled the day before, and covered/refrigerated until going into the oven?

    • Reply
      June 21, 2014 at 3:27 pm

      Absolutely! And what a great idea to do on Sunday, and then just pop into the oven for a short time for a weeknight dinner. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    September 23, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    i made this tonite and it reminded me of tamales!! really tasty tamales : ) i used sprouted corn tortillas, and instead of green peppers i used a variety of hot peppers (serranos and mild chilies) from my garden. i used vegan mozzarella instead of the orange cheese and the rest i kept to the recipe. i also made a cashew ricotta to dollop on top and guacamole on the side. YUM! thanks for this keeper : )

  • Reply
    September 24, 2014 at 9:26 am

    I love your tweaks, Suzi — thanks for weighing in!

  • Reply
    October 3, 2014 at 11:30 am

    This looks wonderful but there are only two of us. Do leftovers freeze well?

    • Reply
      October 3, 2014 at 12:23 pm

      Hi Suzanne — this dish does actually freeze well. Place in a container that holds it snugly — that is, without much air around it. Perhaps in serving-sized portions. Hope you enjoy it!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Loved this! My husband and two teen kids loved it. I followed it exactly- except I grated the zucchini instead of slicing it to “hide” it better! My son can’t stand slices of zucchini and so doing it this way, he didn’t even know zucchini was in it!

  • Reply
    November 17, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Is this gluten free as well?

    • Reply
      November 18, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      Noel, I’m reasonably sure that this is gluten free as long as you use corn tortillas and not a corn-wheat blend.

  • Reply
    February 17, 2015 at 5:57 am

    This is amazing and so so easy!

  • Reply
    August 13, 2015 at 6:55 am

    This is the second recipe I have made from your website and my husband has loved both. I will be trying more recipes. Thank you!

    • Reply
      August 23, 2015 at 11:55 pm

      Thanks, Chris! I’m so glad you and your hubby enjoyed this and that you’ll be coming back.

  • Reply
    April 14, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    Are the corn tortillas suposed to be cooked? You never specified.

    • Reply
      April 15, 2016 at 8:47 am

      Carlos, the tortillas don’t need to be pre-cooked; just use them straight from the package. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Joan Bauml
    December 11, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    Are the corn tortillas hard shell or the soft ones that you would use in a wrap?

    • Reply
      December 11, 2016 at 10:39 pm

      Joan, these are the soft corn tortillas, the kind that are about 6 inch in diameter — that you’d use in soft tacos, rather than wraps (which are usually larger and made of wheat). Enjoy!

  • Reply
    April 9, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    Does it freeze well?

    • Reply
      April 9, 2017 at 5:15 pm

      I’m not the biggest fan of freezing cooked dishes, but this one does freeze well.

  • Reply
    August 5, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    I love this dish and will make it again often. It reminded me of my Mexican grandmother’s dish “calabacitas”. This was my first time using store-bought vegan cheese, next time I will make my own. Thanks, Nava.

  • Reply
    October 26, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Question- this lists a 9×13 or 2 quart dish. 9×13 is 3 quarts. Has anyone tried making this with a 9×13 dish? Just want to make sure that’s right before I try it.

    • Reply
      October 26, 2017 at 2:29 pm

      Kerri — as long as the 9 x 13 is shallow, it should be fine. Hope you enjoy this!

  • Reply
    May 4, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    This was so delicious, the whole family loved it! I too added some more spice the second time I made it.

  • Reply
    October 2, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    What kind of cheese is on the photos? I used Daiya shredded cheddar and it’s nothing like that.

    • Reply
      October 2, 2018 at 8:03 pm

      Sarah, I’m pretty sure our (vegan) photographer also used Daiya — maybe she kept it in the oven for a longer time so it would be extra melt-y.

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