Skinny Mexican Casserole — Damn Delicious

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Skinny Mexican Casserole

A cheesy comforting casserole that you can enjoy guilt-free, chockfull of veggies and whole wheat tortilla. You can’t beat that!

I know I should really be posting about some sort of peppermint-type hot chocolate but even during the holidays, I have a major sweet spot for Mexican-type comfort food.

No, wait, I actually have a sweet spot for Mexican food all year long, 365 days out of the year, especially when there’s a skinny version like this one here – chockfull of veggies, whole wheat tortilla, a layer of the creamiest refried beans, and of course, that cheesy, cheesy goodness.

And even though this meal is completely meatless, it’ll be sure to keep you full and satisfied all day. But be careful, you’ll want to help yourself to at least 2 or 3 servings before calling it a night!

Skinny Mexican Casserole

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

A cheesy comforting casserole that you can enjoy guilt-free, chockfull of veggies and whole wheat tortilla. You can’t beat that!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (4.5-ounce) can Old El Paso™ chopped green chiles, drained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 (8-inch) whole wheat tortillas, chopped
  • 1 (16-ounce) can Old El Paso™ fat free refried beans, warmed
  • 1 (10-ounce) can Old El Paso™ mild enchilada sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced fat shredded Mexican blend cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion and bell peppers. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in black beans, corn, chili powder and cumin until heated through, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in green chiles and cilantro; set aside.
  3. Place tortillas evenly on the bottom of the baking dish. Spread refried beans evenly over the tortillas, followed by the onion mixture and enchilada sauce. Sprinkle with cheese.
  4. Place into oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until bubbly.
  5. Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro, if desired.

Did you Make This Recipe?

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Old El Paso . All opinions expressed are my own.

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My husband & I could eat mexican 365 days a year too! This is perfect for a wet chilly day- like today- and its sort of a detox from all the holiday rich treats. Perfect! Gonna make it tonight!

I love love all your recipes & your site. Its well organized and has wonderful food beautifully displayed.

I am almost to the point of being peppermint-ed out! SO, thank you for posting an ooey gooey cheese but SKINNY (. ) recipe. Keep that Mexican goodness comin’! Pinned!

Great inspiration. I had some left over chicken tortilla soup (same basic ingredients). Drained it and put over the tortillas and beans, topped with cheese and baked! Yummy. Thank you!

Looks so flavorful,I can eat that for breakfast lunch and dinner.
How do u come up with so many recipes?

I absolutely adore mexican food. This looks so tasty!

I added a pound of ground turkey to the recipe and it was delicious. One question though… how on earth do you “spread” the refried beans on the chopped tortillas? Did my best, but more or less found myself just dropping it by spoonfuls.

Yes, that’s exactly what I did! I dropped by spoonfuls and from there, it was easy to spread them out in an even layer using a silicone spatula.

this was my only qualm when i read the recipe too! But, it looks delicious so I’ll have to give it a go at least 🙂

What I do is heat the can in a microwave safe bowl for about a minute and then stir the heck out of it. You may have to microwave it a bit more but just keep zapping it for 20-30 seconds until you can stir it smoothly and then spreads very nice.

Mexican food is deeeelicious 😀 THis looks fantastic, so healthy and colourful! Only takes that layer of melty cheese on top to make it feel a little indulgent 🙂 x

Have you done this with corn tortillas?
Looks great.

Corn tortillas would be a great substitute!

This was great and a huge hit with my (sometimes picky) roommates as well! Next time I will just keep the tortillas whole or cut them in half. I think it will be easier to spread the retried beans that way.

What is the serving size? I am assuming it is one cup.

It’s roughly about 1-2 cups per serving.

Do you hear up the tortillas before or just out of th he bag?

No, they do not have to be warmed.

Heat* up the tortillas. Oops

Wow!! This recipe looks amazing! I love your blog so many great recipes and so easy to make! I actually just made something similar with polenta and under 300 calories a piece! –

Can this casserole be made ahead and frozen? If so, baking instructions

Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot advise on appropriate storage and reheating instructions. Please use your best judgment.

my autistic pickyt eater daughter gobbled this up as quickly as it hit her plate and went back for seconds. I also loved it, and can’t wait to try the leftovers. Delicious!!

Just tried this last night, it was so easy and tasted great!!

Took this and made it “skinnier.” With 41+ carbs per serving, this isn’t what I call this “skinny” since I eat low carb! I DID use meat (hamburger and have tried it with chicken…just as delish!) I left out the refried beans and only used the black beans. I also threw in a can of fire roasted tomatoes. I’ve even made it without the tortillas at the bottom to lessen the unneeded carbs.

I was thinking of adding tomatoes too!

Oh! and I left out the corn…not a carb friendly ingredient! 🙂

This looks delicious! I was thinking of leaving out the tortillas and using it as a dip with chips. Have you tried that?

I have not tried this myself but it sounds amazing!

Oh my word. I just made this as my, “Teaching exhausts me so thoroughly that I only cook on Sundays and eat that one thing all week,” dish. I can only describe it as an open-faced burrito. The layer of refried beans on the tortillas adds a creaminess that totally satisfies. Keep making recipes that are this delicious!!

Hi Chungah! I’d like to make this with a shredded chicken layer – Would I decrease the baking time then as to not dry out the already-cooked chicken? Or do you think that the cook time would still be fine with the chicken addition?

The cooking time should be fine as is but without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment.

I added chicken and cooked it up with the onions peppers and garlic and then threw everything else in the crockpot except the cheese for three hours. Fabulous.

Made this for a potluck last night and my kids asked me to make it again tonight just for the family. Yet another winner. Hurry up with that cookbook, I need it!

We just made this and loved it! We topped with a little sour cream and Trader Joe’s Green Dragon Sauce for heat because there’s no real heat in it, but it was very tasty. Will be making again. I cut the tortillas into quarters and two were enough to cover the pan, so next time we will layer two and two with the other ingredients in between. Recommended.

Although it was super tasty it came out to be more a chili/ bean dip. There was no casserole consistency to this recipe. I think I will add shredded chicken next time and Leave out the tortillas on the bottom of the dish. They didn’t really do anything besides get soggy. we used tortilla chips to eat it instead.

I had high hopes for this, but it was very watery and almost like a dip 🙁

Question – Do you use red enchilada sauce, or green? Also, how finely do you chop the veggies?

Melissa, I used red enchilada sauce. You can chop the veggies as finely as you’d like – it’s up to you!

I added some shredded chicken for a little extra protein. I also mixed a few tablespoons of the enchilada sauce into the bean mixture, then poured the rest over the top. Like others, I found the cut up pieces of whole wheat tortillas a little odd. They certainly didn’t stay in place when I attempted to spread the pre-heated refried bean on top, and I found them a little doughy in the finished casserole. I think I might try corn tortillas torn in pieces next time.
Otherwise very flavorful and healthy tasting. My family ate it up.

After reading the reviews, I tweeted the recipe a little to deal with the “sogginess.” I used corn tortillas instead of flour which I heated on low until they had the firmness of tortilla chips. Also, I only used one cup of green enchilada sauce. I mixed 2/3 of the enchilada sauce with the refried beans. I also mixed about a pound of shredded thigh chicken meat with the retried beans. Cooked in the oven for 20 minutes. Also, I didn’t add the cheese until the last 5 minutes. No sogginess and left overs held up very well the next day. I heard “OMG, that was delicious” from my spouse who thinks everything is “eh.” Will be making this again.

This was delcious. I didn’t have chili’s, but i used a can of diced tomatoes with chili’s. I added additional amounts of seasonings to suit my taste. I Also made an enchilada sauce.

The tortillas were mushy, like dough and none of us liked them. Next time I’ll leave them out, add beef or chicken, and put tortilla chips on top after baking as it needed that crunch.

This was delish. I did not have any tortillas, so I used crushed tortilla chips. Turned out great. Glad I found recipe. Good substitute when you need to decrease meat consumption.

This was delicious. I can’t wait to make it again.

Made this tonight, so tasty! To address other people’s issue with the tortillas on the bottom, I put 2 whole tortillas down, then spread a layer of refried beans, then a second 2 tortillas, and another layer of refried beans. Then I put the veggies and enchilada sauce, and topped it with cheese before baking. It turned out very good! The top section is still a little loose, but I think the sturdy bottom helped. Looking forward to bringing it to work for dinner for the next few nights! I didn’t have chili powder so I used cayenne pepper (spicy!).

Makes a lot, very cheesy, and very easy to assemble, but it was way, way too hot for me, and I like a little heat in my food. But this dish blew the top of my head off. Chili powder AND canned green chilies AND enchilada sauce was hot-stuff overload. I also agree with others who said it was more of a dip than a casserole. I used about 9 corn tortillas on the bottom of the pan and it still wasn’t casseroley-enough for me. But a big helping over tortillas with lots of sour cream worked out well.

Sounds delicius but way too high in sodium for me.

We enjoyed this. I used corn tortillas (personal preference). Also to bulk it up a bit, I added a couple zucchini and a can of no salt added tomatoes. I also used low sodium retried beans and black beans I cooked from dry, no salt added. I purchased the hot green chilies, but my store only had mild enchilada sauce. I might add a diced jalapeno next time. The creamy refried beans were delicious.

I omitted the black beans and tortilla shells and ate it like chili. Amazing.

I would suggest using corn tortillas (heating then first), as opposed to fluor, which I can imagine would become soggy. Also, cook the refried beans before spreading, this makes it much easier. **I make my own enchilada sauce….it’s so much tastier and easy to make.

Come join me in my culinary adventures where we’ll be using simple, fresh ingredients and transforming them into sophisticated and elegant meals for the everyday home cook.

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