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This Salsa Verde Mexican Casserole is totally vegan and easy to make. It is full of fresh vegetables, is dairy-free, and does not use added oils (except what you will find in the tortillas and if you choose to add vegan butter to the potatoes. It is super easy to make and will be a bit hit with the whole family!
To make this Salsa Verde Mexican Casserole you will need:
- flour tortillas
- jarred salsa verde
- black chili beans
- mashed potato flakes (dehydrated)
- seasonings such as garlic and onion powders, nutritional yeast
- vegan butter (optional)
- zucchini of choice (I use Mexican gray squash)
FOR THE VEGETABLE LAYER:
Start by cutting the zucchini into small bite-sized pieces. My favorite type of zucchini is the Mexican Gray squash. I like the flavor and the texture when it cooks up. Give it a try if you haven’t!
Line the sauté pan with enough vegetable broth to cover the bottom. We don’t need to cook with added oils! Just watch your pan so that it doesn’t dry up and begin to stick. Add a little more broth if necessary. Sauté for about 3 minutes or until the zucchini begins to soften.
Add in the mixed frozen vegetables, and chili beans. Do not drain the chili beans. You will want that yummy flavored chili sauce!
Add in the onion powder and garlic powder. Continue sautéing for a few more minutes or until the vegetables are softened and the flavors have mixed. Set aside.
FOR THE POTATO LAYER:
Now start working on the mashed potatoes. Did you think you would be using mashed potatoes in a Salsa Verde Mexican Casserole? We use the mashed potatoes along with a “secret ingredient” to give a cheesy flavor to this vegan dish – without having to use the fake oily vegan cheese! You can use whole potatoes and mash them if you prefer. But I don’t always have time for that and because this recipe is categorized as Quick and Easy, we used the dehydrated potato flakes.
Directions for the mashed potatoes:
Mix your mashed potatoes using the package directions for four servings. For reference, four servings is 1 1/3 cup potato flakes on my package. Follow the cooking directions on the package BUT do use vegetable broth instead of water and unsweetened plant milk rather than dairy milk. I did not add in the salt because the recipe is plenty salty as is – but do adjust for your taste preference. You can choose to add vegan butter or not. I have not found any vegan butter that is oil-free. If you feel you need it for taste, just be aware that you are adding in oil. I use Earth Balance Buttery Spread – but use what you typically use.
The secret ingredient:
And now for the secret ingredient: Nutritional Yeast! Nutritional yeast is NOT the same as brewer’s or baker’s yeast so DO NOT substitute either of those. It adds a cheesy tang to your recipe and is really a staple in a plant-based kitchen. In fact, we plant eaters have a nickname for it – NOOTCH! It can be a little challenging to find. At the grocery store, I have found it in the “health food” or gluten-free section. I’ve also found it with the grains…so no real consistency. I usually just buy mine from Amazon. It’s cool because (affiliate links) I can just ask Alexa to order me some more and she does it lol!
Here are a few different brands of nutritional yeast I’ve used. Sometimes you have to experiment a little to find the one you like. Not everyone likes the flavor of nutritional yeast at the beginning. It can be a learned taste…
But – my all-time favorite nutritional yeast is Sari brand. It took me a while to discover it, but it’s now the only nutritional yeast I use and works great for the salsa verde Mexican casserole recipe. Again, you might need to experiment for yourself.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER:
Now for the fun part – layering and putting it all together. This is really more like a lasagna – you need to layer in a particular order for best results. Just follow along with me and it will be perfect! The directions will be in the printable recipe. But do refer back to this section for precise numbered directions below and for the step by step with pictures.
Step by Step with Pictures:
In a 9×13″ casserole dish, spoon about third a jar of salsa verde on the bottom of the pan for the first layer. Spread it evenly.
Next, lay two tortillas on top – breaking apart to cover the salsa layer. You will be using about nine 10″ tortillas in the recipe.
Then layer in one half the vegetable mixture. Top again with two more tortillas – again, breaking apart for full coverage.
Now you carefully drop spoonfuls of the mashed potato mixture on the top of the tortilla layer and press/spread until the tortillas are evenly covered. This is the middle layer and so you are half-way done!
Cover the potato with 1/3 jar of salsa, spreading evening, covering with another layer of tortillas, followed by the rest of the vegetables. Finally, you cover the second vegetable layer with tortillas and top with the remaining salsa.
Cover and bake in a 350° oven for 30 minutes. I let sit for about 10 minutes before cutting into it. This recipe for Salsa Verde Mexican Casserole makes six generous servings. You can top with cilantro or some avocado if desired. This recipe works great for meal prep. (Affiliate link) Just portion out into six meal prep containers.
Step by Step Numbered Directions:
For this recipe, you will have:
- 4 tortilla layers
- 3 salsa layers
- 2 vegetable layers
- 1 potato layer
- 1st salsa layer (one third)
- 1st tortilla layer (one fourth)
- 1st vegetable layer (one half)
- 2nd tortilla layer (one fourth)
- potato layer (all)
- 2nd salsa layer (one third)
- 3rd tortilla layer (one fourth)
- 2nd vegetable layer (one half)
- 4th tortilla layer (one fourth)
- 3rd salsa layer (one third)
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Salsa Verde Mexican Casserole - Vegan
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth you will use more in the potatoes
- 1 Mexican Gray Squash about 1 1/2 cups
- 16 ounces frozen mixed vegetables I like the petite cut
- 15.5 ounces can chili beans - black beans undrained
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Mashed Potato Layer
- 1 3/4 cup vegetable broth
- 2 Tablespoons vegan butter do not add if wanting to eat oil-free
- 3/4 cup plant milk (such as soy or almond or oat) unsweetened
- 1 1/3 cup potato flakes
- 3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
Putting it all Together
- 24 ounces salsa verde I used mild.
- 10 10" round tortillas I used whole wheat
- Preheat oven to 350°
The Vegetable Layer
- Chop zucchini/Mexican Gray Squash into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
- Add enough vegetable broth to line the bottom of sauté pan. Sauté zucchini for about 3 minutes or until it begins to soften. Watch the bottom of your pan so that the broth does not dry out or pan begin to stick. Add more broth if necessary.
- Add the frozen mixed vegetables, black chili beans, onion and garlic powders. Do not drain the chili bean liquid/sauce from the can, but add it to the mixture.
- Continue sautéing a few more minutes or until vegetables have softened and the flavors have mixed well. Set aside.
The Mashed Potato Layer
- In a sauce pan, bring vegetable broth, vegan butter (if using) and plant milk to a gentle boil. Remove from heat.
- Stir in dehydrated potato flakes and nutritional yeast. Add salt if desired.
Putting it All Together!
- Layer and spread in a 9x13" pan in this order: 1/3 jar of salsa verde,2 1/2 tortillas - tear to fit and cover the salsa layer, 1/2 vegetable mixture, 2 1/2 tortillas - tear to fit and cover the vegetable layer,mashed potatoes - use all of the potatoes. Carefully spread over tortilla layer,1/3 jar of salsa verde,2 1/2 tortillas - tear to fit and cover the salsa layer,1/2 (remaining) vegetable mixture,2 1/2 tortillas - tear to fit and cover the vegetable layer,1/3 jar (remaining) salsa verde
- Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.