Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro
Total Time
45 Mins
6 servings

This light and healthy vegetarian Mexican casserole gets its great flavor from tons of fresh ingredients, like cilantro, plum tomatoes, lime juice, and jalapeño peppers. 

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°.

Step 2

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook 4 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and jalapeño; cook 1 minute. Stir in chili powder, cumin, black pepper, and crumbles; cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Arrange half of tortilla chips in an 11 x 7–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; top evenly with crumbles mixture.

Step 3

Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in skillet over medium heat. Add beans, mashing with the back of a wooden spoon until chunky and thick; cook 2 minutes or until heated, stirring constantly. Stir in lime juice.

Step 4

Combine tomato and cilantro. Layer beans and tomato mixture over crumbles mixture in dish. Top with remaining tortilla chips, pressing to slightly crush. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake at 375° for 13 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Cut casserole into 6 equal pieces; top each serving with 1 teaspoon sour cream, 1 teaspoon onions, and 2 teaspoons olives.

Chef's Notes

Look for veggie protein crumbles in the produce section, near the tofu. Zesty Mexican spices and flavorings sass up plain- (or original-) flavored crumbles.

Ratings & Reviews

CherCooks411's Review

July 02, 2011
This recipe receives stars for pleasing flavors and family friendliness. However, as other reviewers noted, it's exceedingly dry. In the future, I would bake the filling and serve the chips separately/dip-style. I think that perhaps pouring the filling over the chips and baking it is what dried it out - the chips absorbed the moisture in the filling, and not only made the entire dish too dry, but the base layer of chips was soggy/lost its crunch. There's potential in this dish, but the overall execution failed.


July 02, 2015
We aren't vegetarians so I just used ground sirloin which I cooked ahead of the onions.  To save time, I used canned refried beans.  It was a bit of work and overall the finished product was tasty, however leftovers are problematic if using a microwave to reheat, as the chips get soggy.  Not sure I'd make it again but the family enjoyed it.

Holly1's Review

December 30, 2012
We used soft tortillas that I ripped in pieces and it came out perfect!~

cableggroll's Review

January 20, 2012
This was ok but not that great. Probably won't cook again.

georgiegirl0404's Review

December 27, 2011
Tasty, but seemed like a lot of work for backwards nachos with the filling on the inside and the chips on the outside. Used with 3/4 lb gr meat as substitute for protein crumbles. Next time would just use a can of heated refried beans instead of mashing the pinto beans.

starfroggie's Review

November 13, 2011
I substituted a can of vegeburger for the crumbles, which was about 5 oz more. I thought the layers were really flavorful. The only thing I didn't like about this dish were the chips. I was expecting them to soften up but they did not. They ended up being very chewy and hard to cut through, almost a stale consistency. Two thumbs up from the in-laws, who asked for the recipe.

Cando292's Review

October 14, 2011
CandaceFri 10/14/11 08:27 AM Delicious! My hubby loves meat but I am meet free so it's difficult to find meals that we both find tasty and this did it! I just add picante sauce and the tomatoes to the bean mixture and it turned out great. I could see how if you did not it would be dry. My chips stayed crunchy too. Yum yum yum

liaruby's Review

August 23, 2011
This was my first time using the veggie crumbles in a recipe and it tasted great. My fiance is a meat lover and shuns vegetarian but he really liked the recipe and requested that it be put in our "use again" file. Very quick and easy. I substituted kidney beans for the pinto beans and it tasted just fine. I also used lemon juice instead of lime juice and didn't measure it- just threw it in. I see others stating that the recipe was dry. I did not seed the tomatoes as the recipe called for, so that might have made my casserole a little less dry.

charmer21's Review

February 09, 2011
Delicious! I replaced the jalapenos with a can of diced green chiles, did black beans instead of pinto, and used a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes instead of a fresh tomato. My non vegetarian husband loved it.

kspencer's Review

February 07, 2011
This was delicious the first time I made it and my carnivore boyfriend LOVED it but I thought it was a little dry so this time I drained a can of diced tomatoes and added them with the fresh. I also substituted chili beans with most of the chili sauce from the can, upped the spices and added some sharp cheddar with the Monterey Jack. This is a delicious, easy recipe that doesn't taste Vegetarian.