Recipe Review: Crowd-Pleasing Tex Mex Casserole

It sure has been a while since I posted a recipe review so I thought this would be a good time to post about a new recipe I tried recently.  I was looking for a dinner meal that was different, healthy, and something I had never tried before.  I looked back to Oh She Glows and found Angela’s Crowd-Pleasing Tex Mex Casserole and figured it would be a great recipe to try for myself!

If any of you know my boyfriend, you know he wants meat with every meal so I knew this would be a challenge.  I simply didn’t say anything about dinner until he was already eating.  I was so excited he was in fact eating it I blurted out, “I can’t believe you are eating this. It’s from that vegan cook book…” He ONLY then realized the meat was in fact missing but nonetheless has eaten the casserole again when I have made it.  

Resource: Angela Liddon, the Oh She Glows Cook Book: Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out


For the Tex-Mex Spice Blend:
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika or 1/2 teaspoon regular paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/4 fine-grain sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

For the Casserole:
1 1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded, if desired, and diced
free-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup tomato sauce or tomato puree
2 to 3 cups chopped kale leaves or baby spinach
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups cooked wild rice blend or brown rice
1/2 cup vegan shredded cheese

Additional Toppings:
sliced green onions
corn chips
cashew cream

    1    Make the Tex-Mex Spice Blend: In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt, and
         coriander (if using). Set aside.
    2    Make the Casserole: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Oil a large (4 to 5 quart or liter) casserole dish.
    3    In a large wok, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, bell peppers, and jalapeño and sauté for 7
          to 8 minutes, until softened. Season with salt and black pepper, if desired.
    4    Stir in the Tex-Mex Spice Blend, corn, diced tomatoes and their juices, tomato sauce, kale, beans, rice and ¼ cup
          of the vegan shredded cheese. Sauté for a few minutes and season with more salt and black pepper, if desired.
    5    Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish and smooth out the top. Sprinkle the crushed chips over the
          casserole mixture along with the remaining ¼ cup of cheese. Cover with a lid or foil and bake for 15 minutes.
    6    Uncover the casserole dish and cook for 5 to 10 minutes more, until bubbly and slightly golden around the
    7    Scoop the casserole into bowls and add your desired toppings.

Prep Time:  This meal takes a little bit more time in the kitchen to prepare as everything requires slicing, dicing, rinsing, draining, etc.  It does go by quickly though because you can slice the next ingredients while the first few are cooking in the pan.  The only mistake I made the first time I cooked this was not preparing the rice beforehand.  It just meant we were waiting a lot longer for the meal to come together.  I highly recommend preparing the rice beforehand or start cooking it before you prepare anything else.

Ingredients Overview:  Easiest ingredients list ever! Everything can be found at the grocery store.  You don’t have to look for anything crazy and some things you may already have if you look in your fridge and pantry.  I didn’t bother with the vegan cheese because it is costly and more difficult to find.  It tasted great without it and those not strictly on a vegan diet or with dietary restrictions can always sprinkle a small amount of regular cheese onto their serving.

Kitchen Tools Overview: Just need a couple of cutting boards, a knife, and a nice casserole dish to transfer to after mixing everything in a pan on the stove. Again, super easy!

Ease of Recipe (1-5, 1 most difficult, 5 most simplistic):
4/5.  One point is only deducted because for some, they may find the cutting and preparing of veggies tedious.  However, if going off of flavour this definitely gets a perfect score!

Flavour Review:  SO amazing! Even if you are a meat lover like my boyfriend, you won’t miss it too much because you will be busy appreciating all of the wonderful flavours that have been blended together in each bite.

Recommendation:  Highly recommended! The flavours were amazing and the ingredients easy to find and reasonably priced.  If not totally plant-based or vegan, it is a great way to incorporate a meatless meal into your week.  

Rachel’s Tips: As stated above, prepare the rice ahead to save time.  Also, read the entire recipe and instructions thoroughly…I would have realized Angela made a point to tell us to prepare the rice ahead of time. If only I had flipped the page!

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*photo retrieved from ttp://