Southwestern Black Bean Casserole

Southwestern Black Bean Casserole

Our Southwestern Black Bean Casserole is a healthy way to enjoy Mexican food. This tasty casserole isn’t exactly unique. After all, many Mexican recipes contain vegetables and black beans. Where this dish pulls away from the pack is the ingredient choices. Those other Mexican dishes are usually filled with saturated fat and calories, both from the meat and the excess use of cheese and sour cream. Unfortunately, if you’re trying to eat healthy to lose weight, adding those tasty ingredients to your dishes simply isn’t an option. Never fear: You can satisfy all your cravings for Mexican food in a nutritious way with this healthy casserole! Our recipe lets you enjoy all those Mexican flavors without worrying about calories, saturated fat, or unhealthy ingredients.

Not only that, but this dish is super fast and easy to make, too. It’s perfect for those weeks where you need to meal prep and get everything ready in advance. You can assemble the casserole when you have time and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it for dinner. Or, go ahead and cook up a big batch on the weekend, cut it into individual portions, and refrigerate or freeze the servings. A quick reheat in the microwave or the oven and you’ll have lunch (or, dinner) ready to go! Even when you make it in advance, this Southwestern Black Bean Casserole tastes so great, you won’t believe it’s actually healthy!

Perfect for Meatless Monday

Southwestern Black Bean Casserole

Legumes are an excellent source of protein and are often eaten in vegetarian diets as an alternative to animal protein. Even if you are not a full-fledged vegetarian, it’s fun to mix things up a little and serve a meatless dish like this on occasion. Your family will love this casserole and will happily abide by your desire to serve vegetarian dishes once or twice a week for dinner.

This vegetarian dish works because it gives you everything you need. It’s full of protein-packed black beans, savory salsa, and flavorful spices like smokey cumin and herbaceous cilantro. Put it all together with heart-healthy whole wheat tortillas and melted cheddar cheese and you definitely won’t miss the meat!

Southwestern Black Bean Casserole

We love it when we find a recipe that allows our readers to enjoy their favorite dishes, but without the fat and calories. Cleaned up versions of popular dishes are great to have in your collection of recipes. Looking for other ideas? Our Skinny Mexican Rice is a perfect side dish for this recipe. You might also enjoy these other healthy side dishes.


Southwestern Black Bean Casserole

Southwestern Black Bean Casserole

Yield: 6 servings | Serving Size: 1 cup | Calories: 259 | Total Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 436mg | Carbohydrates: 40g | Dietary Fiber: 9g | Sugars: 4g | Protein: 12g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 4 |


  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 low-sodium whole-wheat tortillas, optional 6 corn tortillas
  • 12 ounces salsa, no added sugar
  • 1 cup shredded 2% Cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Drain beans, and set aside. In the meantime, in a medium skillet, add oil; heat over medium-low heat. Add garlic, and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Add black beans and broth, and continue cooking approximately 3 minutes. Add cumin, black pepper, salt, and cilantro; stir to combine.
  3. Spray the bottom of an 8×8-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Add a tortilla, 1/4 black bean mixture, 1/4 salsa, and 1/4 cheese; continue layering until all ingredients have been used. Top casserole with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
  4. Cover casserole dish with foil, and bake approximately 20 minutes or until cheese is hot and bubbly. Remove foil, and continue cooking 8–10 minutes. Remove from oven, and garnish with non-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream, if desired.
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