If you are looking for a great meatless recipe that will leave you satisfied, you are going to love this easy gluten-free Vegetarian Mexican Casserole! This casserole is perfect for those busy weeknights, and you can even meal prep by making it ahead and baking it when you need it!
(This post has been sponsored by Cultivated Foods, LLC. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)
Are you looking for a fabulous gluten-free meat substitute that cooks just like ground beef? Mr. Fearless Dining has asked me to cook more meatless meals and I will be honest...it was really hard. Hard to find a meat substitute that is actually gluten free and hard to find a meat substitute that is the same consistency as ground beef.
If you have been struggling to find vegetarian meat that is also gluten-free as well, I am really excited to tell you about this new product: HAPPY LITTLE PLANTS® product. It is brand new, and you can find it at your local Safeway stores along with all of the ingredients to make this recipe!
Gluten-free and vegetarian meat substitute
I LOVE that you can prepare HAPPY LITTLE PLANTS® products the same way you would ground beef or turkey. Put it in a pan, throw it on a grill, or cook it on a campfire...it is so easy to cook! Go ahead and get creative. This meat substitute cooks just like meat, so you have nothing to worry about when substituting it in your recipes!
Don't worry that this casserole won't leave you feeling satisfied because this meat substitute packs 20 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber in every serving! It is low calorie too!
Are you ready to see how easy it is to make this recipe?
The first step is to brown the HAPPY LITTLE PLANTS® product with diced onions and oil in a non-stick skillet. I used a cast iron pan, which worked really well. Use a spatula to break up the ground so that it cooks into bite-sized crumbles.
Chop up poblano peppers (removing the seeds) on a cutting board. We are going to cook these separately with vegan cream cheese to make a creamy pepper layer in this casserole!
Are poblano peppers hot?
Poblano peppers are considered a medium heat pepper. If you don't like spicy, feel free to substitute green peppers instead of the poblano peppers.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the product reaches an internal temperature of 165° F, as measured by a meat thermometer, about 10-12 minutes. Add spices, fresh cilantro, and jalapeños to the pan and continue to cook and break up the meat for 5 minutes.
Add a can of diced tomatoes to the mixture, turn the heat down and simmer covered for 10 minutes.
The next step is to cook the poblanos and oil over medium-low heat. Cook for 5 minutes until the peppers are softened. Add the dairy-free cream cheese and cook on low until the cheese is melted.
I still can't get over how similar the HAPPY LITTLE PLANTS® product is to ground beef. I could eat it by the forkful without making a casserole!
Line the bottom of a baking dish with corn tortillas.
Add the ground layer and then top with more corn tortillas. Your vegetarian Mexican casserole is coming together!
Add the dairy-free cream cheese and poblano mixture and then top with the final layer of tortillas.
Top with your favorite gluten-free enchilada sauce (Safeway has several choices) and dairy-free cheddar shreds and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Looking for a good starter recipe? Why not serve this vegan Shishito Pepper Soup first!
Serve hot and enjoy!!
What size baking dish?
I used a 9x13 baking dish to make this Mexican Casserole recipe.
How can you make this Mexican recipe less spicy?
If you don't like things too spicy, feel free to leave out the jalapeños from the cooked meat.
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Vegetarian Mexican Casserole
- 1 pound HAPPY LITTLE PLANTS® vegetarian meat
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or another high heat light oil
- 14 ounces gluten free enchilada sauce
- 18 corn tortillas
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro
- 1 jalapeno
- 14.5 ounces 1 can diced tomatoes, unsalted
- 8 ounces dairy-free cream cheese
- 2 poblano peppers chopped and deseeded
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil for cooking poblanos
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup dairy-free cheese
- 2 tablespoons scallions
- Preheat your oven to 350º F.
- In a skillet add the oil and vegetarian meat. Cook, stirring occasionally until the product reaches an internal temperature of 165°F as measured by a meat thermometer—about 10-12 minutes. Add spices, fresh cilantro, and jalapeños to the pan, and continue to cook and break up the meat for 5 minutes.
- Add seasonings and a can of diced tomatoes, cilantro, and diced jalapeño. Mix well and simmer covered for 10 minutes.
- Deseed the poblano peppers and chop into bite-sized pieces.
- In a skillet, heat oil and add the poblanos. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes until the peppers are softened. Add the cream cheese and turn the heat down to low. Stir occasionally, allowing the peppers and cream cheese to cook together.
- Take a 9x13 pan and grease it, (I used spray canola oil).
- Layer corn tortillas along the bottom of the pan. (About 6).
- Add the meat crumble on top of the tortillas and cover with another row of corn tortillas.
- Add the cream cheese poblano layer on top of the corn tortillas.
- Top with the last layer of corn tortillas and then pour the can of enchilada sauce over the top of the casserole.
- Add dairy-free cheddar or Mexican style cheese and bake for 30 minutes so the flavors all blend together.
- Serve hot.
- If you do not have to be dairy-free, you can use regular cream cheese and cheddar cheese.
- You can use any brand of vegan meat, just make sure to check the ingredients because not every brand is gluten free.
- Feel free to add any veggies you like to this vegan Mexican casserole. If you like it spicy, add in some roasted hatch green chiles.
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