Easy Plant Based Taco Casserole with Rice

Quick and easy vegan taco casserole is layered with rice, refried beans, lots of veggies, black beans, and vegan queso! A hearty meal the entire family will love. 

Side view of the finished taco casserole on the kitchen table surrounded by chips, queso dip, mini peppers, and fresh flowers.
Have a dinner party with this taco casserole recipe.

This vegan taco casserole is a perfect dinner for taco Tuesday or any busy weeknight! Almost like a layered vegan taco lasagna, it comes together super quickly, is hearty and delicious! Packed with veggies, naturally gluten free, and ready in less than an hour. Yum! 

This easy taco casserole is perfect for making taco night a little easier, especially for meal prep! The delicious casserole is filled with all of your favorite fillings like rice, beans, and peppers, and there is plenty of cheese on top, dairy free of course! Adding your favorite toppings to customize it means everyone, even a picky eater, gets their favorite things. 

In the mood for more Tex Mex recipes? Make sure you check out some of my favorites like Mango Pineapple Salsa or Dreamy Queso

Ingredients 

Here is a quick rundown of what you’ll need to make this dairy free taco casserole. For the full ingredient list, complete with measurements, please see the recipe card below. 

Ingredients for the taco casserole in various sized glass bowls and plates on a wood tabletop. Black and white labels have been added to name each ingredient.
Ingredients ready to go on the table.
  • Rice: You can use brown rice, white rice, leftover rice, or Spanish style rice (which is what I used in these photos). It’s totally up to you! I’ve made this casserole with all kinds of rice combinations and no matter how I make it, it’s always delicious. 
  • Beans: Both black beans and refried beans are used in this recipe. If you aren’t a fan of black beans, you can swap out the protein for pinto beans, tofu crumbles, lentils, or meat based options like ground beef or shredded chicken. 
  • Tomatoes + Corn: Mixed together with the beans and some spices to make a delicious veggie fajita type of layer in the casserole. I use frozen corn and never thaw it before adding to this dish. 
  • Peppers: Red Bell Pepper and pickled jalapenos are my go-to peppers for this recipe. 
  • Spices: I love to mix up a homemade taco seasoning with spices like cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and chili powder. 
  • Vegan Cheese Topping (optional), but I love to add my queso sauce on top! 

Variations

You could add even more veggies to this with mixing the rice with half cauliflower rice. 

Offer taco shells or flour tortillas and scoop the casserole into the shells. Add your favorite taco toppings. 

Instructions 

Making this taco casserole is pretty simple, even if it does have a few steps to it.

Make sure to check out the recipe card below for the full recipe and ingredient list.

First up, we need to chat about the size of the casserole dish. I used a 9×11 baking dish, but you could easily fit this into a 9×13. I don’t recommend an 8×10. When first experimenting with this recipe, I tried to squeeze it into an 8×10 and it just overflowed! So, don’t make my mistake and go with the bigger baking dish. 

Tip! You can make the rice the day before, or use any leftover rice that you have on hand to make dinner assembly even quicker and easier. 

First up, make the rice layer. 

The type of rice is totally up to you. Just make sure you have about 3 to 4 cups of cooked rice for this casserole recipe. 

Place the rice in the bottom of the casserole dish. Press it gently into place with a spatula or the back of a measuring cup. 

Adding the first layer of rice to the bottom of a white casserole baking dish that is on a wood tabletop.
First up, add the rice base.
White casserole dish filled with a layer of refried beans. The casserole is on a wood tabletop.
Next, smooth over the beans.

Next, add the refried beans layer. I find the beans slightly easier to spread out when they are warmed, so a quick pop in the microwave helps out. Using a spatula or spoon, gently spread the refried beans over top of the rice layer. 

Now, in a large bowl, it’s time to mix together the beans and veggies. In a large mixing bowl, combine the drained and rinsed black beans with the diced tomatoes (with the juice), frozen corn, and chopped bell peppers. Add in the spices and mix well. 

A glass bowl on a wood tabletop is filled with the ingredients for the bean and veggie layer.
Then, mix together the veggie layer and spices.
Adding the veggie layer to the taco casserole. The dish rests on a wood tabletop.
Add the veggies to the top of the beans.

Then, spoon this bean and veggie mix on top of the refried beans. 

Finally, pour the dairy free queso cheese on top. 

Adding the final layer of queso to the top of the taco casserole.
Finally, pour over some vegan queso.

Bake in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven, top with desired toppings and serve! 

Topping Ideas

  • Fresh pico de gallo or mango pineapple salsa 
  • More dairy free queso! 
  • Dairy free sour cream 
  • More veggies! Avocado slices, black olives, red onions, green chiles, shredded lettuce 
  • Hot sauce (sriracha is my favorite here) 
Showing the plated taco casserole in a big dark bowl on a bed of lettuce. Fresh toppings like avocado, olives, and onions are on top. Mini peppers, chips and dip, and fresh flowers are on the table next to the bowl.
A big bowl filled with a huge scoop of taco casserole on a bed of greens.

Top Tips 

Casserole Dish: The casserole dish you see in these photos is a large 9×11 inches but a 9×13 inch casserole dish would also work. Anything smaller would require less filling. You can remove a cup of rice to squeeze this into an 8×10 inch pan, but this recipe was really made for feeding a bunch of people. 

How to Store 

Fridge: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. 

How to Make Ahead: You can make the rice a day in advance to cut down on prep time. This recipe can be made the day before and kept in the fridge until ready to serve the next day. 

To reheat: Place either the entire casserole in a preheated 350F oven for 20 minutes or until warmed through. You can also warm a slice on a microwave safe plate, covered with a damp paper towel, and warmed in 30 second increments until warmed. 

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If you try these out, please leave a comment below! This provides helpful feedback to both me and other readers. And if you want more delicious, vegan friendly recipes you can subscribe to the newsletter. Did you make these? Please tag me on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest! I love to see your creations!

Side view of the finished taco casserole on the kitchen table surrounded by chips, queso dip, mini peppers, and fresh flowers.

Easy Taco Casserole

Quick and easy plant based taco casserole is layered with rice, refried beans, lots of veggies, black beans, and vegan queso!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: dinner ideas
Servings: 8
Calories: 208kcal

Equipment

  • Casserole dish
  • measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Mixing bowls
  • Mixing spoons

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rice cooked
  • 15 oz black beans drained and rinsed
  • 15 oz refried beans
  • 15 oz diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup corn can be frozen
  • 2 bell peppers diced
  • 1 cup dairy free queso or other vegan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
  • Prepare the rice layer. If making fresh rice, make it according to package directions or according to the recipe.
  • Mix the beans and veggie layer. In a large mixing bowl, combine drained and rinsed black beans with diced tomatoes (complete with juice), corn, diced bell peppers, and spices. Mix well and set aside.
  • Assemble the casserole. First, place down a layer of cooked rice. Next, spread the refried beans over top of the rice. Then, spoon the bean and veggie mix on top. Finally, pour over top the dairy free queso cheese.
  • Bake and enjoy! Bake the casserole uncovered for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, add the toppings you like, and enjoy!

Notes

Nutrition calculated without any cheese on top.
  • How to Store 
    • Fridge: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. 
    • How to Make Ahead: You can make the rice a day in advance to cut down on prep time. This recipe can be made the day before and kept in the fridge until ready to serve the next day. 
    • To reheat: Place either the entire casserole in a preheated 350F oven for 20 minutes or until warmed through. You can also warm a slice on a microwave safe plate, covered with a damp paper towel, and warmed in 30 second increments until warmed.
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Nutrition

Calories: 208kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 326mg | Potassium: 345mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 243IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 3mg
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