Creamy and cheesy rice and bean casserole which will satisfy your tastebuds. This easy vegetarian mashed rice bake with beans, pumpkin, and vegan cheese is 100% plant-based (meat-free, dairy-free), gluten-free, healthy, and made with simple ingredients. Perfect for families who love comfort foods. Easy step-by-step photos included!
Creamy Rice And Bean Bake
I love casseroles, especially when they are super cheesy and creamy. That’s why I made this rice and bean casserole really special by mashing the rice and beans before baking. The result is a heavenly creamy rice bake which is super comforting and delicious.
The vegan cheese sauce on top will stop all cheesy cravings! You might love this recipe as well because it’s…
- Very easy to make with simple ingredients
- A great vegan weeknight dinner
- Cheesy, creamy, flavorful, and yummy
How To Make The Best Rice And Bean Casserole?
It’s seriously so simple. First, you have to cook rice of choice. I used brown rice, however, you can use white rice, Jasmine rice, Basmati rice or even wild rice. You can cook it on the stove top or in a rice cooker. Meanwhile, you can prepare all the ingredients.
Dice the onion, chop the pumpkin, and mince the garlic. Heat a little oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the onion. Sauté for about 3-5 minutes. Then add the garlic and all spices and sauté for a further minute. Turn off the heat.
Check the following 6 easy step-by-step pictures below:
- Add the cooked rice, corn, and beans.
- Next, add 1 cup of plant-based (dairy-free) milk.
- Mash all ingredients with a potato masher.
- Add chopped pumpkin (you can use a carrot or your favorite veggies instead).
- Transfer the mixture into a baking pan.
- Add the vegan cheese sauce on top.
Bake the casserole in the oven for about 25 minutes. Done!
You can use kidney beans, black beans, white beans (Cannellini beans) or even chickpeas to make this delicious rice casserole. I chose kidney beans, however, you can use whatever beans you have in your pantry. Also, feel free to use a carrot or any other veggies instead of pumpkin.
If you don’t like corn, either use more beans or veggies of choice. Some options would be zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, or even mushrooms. Use whatever you prefer or try out different versions. Aren’t versatile recipes the best?!
Rice and Bean Casserole With Cheesy Topping
I made this easy casserole a couple of times with different toppings and I actually have two favorites. First time I used a vegan “Bechamel Sauce” which I already used before in my Vegan Moussaka recipe! It’s creamy, thick, and delicious.
Next time I used my favorite Vegan Cheese Sauce. I added one cup of plant-based milk to make it a little thinner and it also turned out very creamy and yummy.
You can also use store-bought vegan cheese of choice! Please tell me in the comments which version you prefer. 🙂
Mexican Rice And Bean Casserole For Dinner
I love making this creamy Mexican bake during the week because it’s pretty simple and doesn’t require much time. You just have to cook the rice and then mash all ingredients in a pot. Seriously so easy!
Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can simply reheat them in the oven.
If you love casseroles with a creamy filling, definitely mash the rice and the beans with a potato masher. There is something really satisfying and comforting about eating mashed food, that’s why I made this mashed bean casserole. If you aren’t a fan of “baby food” simply don’t mash. 😀
This Cheesy Vegan Rice And Bean Casserole Is:
- Vegan (meat-free, no chicken, no bacon…)
- “Cheesy” (yet dairy-free)
- Easy to make with simple ingredients
- Perfect for a weeknight dinner
- And it can be made oil-free
Should you recreate this vegetarian rice casserole, please leave a comment below and don’t forget to tag me in your Instagram or Facebook post with @elavegan and #elavegan because I love to see your remakes! If you love vegan casseroles, definitely also check out the following recipes:
Rice and Bean Casserole
- 2 cups (400 g) of cooked rice (*see notes)
- 1/2 tbsp oil or use water if oil-free
- 1 medium onion diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 3/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/3 tsp pink peppercorns (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups of (275 g) cooked beans rinsed and drained (*see notes)
- 3/4 cup of (130 g) corn fresh or canned (*see notes)
- 1 cup of (240 ml) dairy-free milk
- 1 1/2 cups of (225 g) finely chopped pumpkin (*see notes)
- 1 batch of (230 g) vegan cheese sauce or 8 oz of store-bought vegan cheese
- Cook one cup of dry rice (185 g) of choice as per the instruction on the package. Meanwhile, prepare all other ingredients.
- Dice the onion, chop the pumpkin into small cubes, and mince the garlic. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Heat a little oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the onion. Sauté for about 3-5 minutes. Then add the garlic and all spices and sauté for a further minute. Turn off the heat.
- Add the cooked rice, corn, beans, and the plant-based milk to the pot. Mash the ingredients with a potato masher (see step-by-step pictures above in the blog post).
- Add finely chopped pumpkin and stir.
- Transfer the mixture into a baking pan/casserole dish. Mine measures 9"x6" (23 x 15 cm) but you can also use a 8x8 pan.
- Prepare the vegan cheese sauce (click for the recipe) with 1 cup (240 ml) milk instead of 3/4 cup (180 ml) or use store-bought vegan cheese. Add the vegan cheese sauce on top.
- Bake the casserole in the oven for about 25 minutes. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve hot! Enjoy!
- Rice: 2 cups of cooked rice equals one cup of dry rice (185 g). You can use white rice, brown rice, Jasmine rice, Basmati rice, etc.
- Beans: Use canned beans (one 15 oz can) or cooked from dry.
- Corn: If you don't like corn, either use more beans or veggies of choice.
- Pumpkin: You can use a carrot or other veggies of choice instead of pumpkin.
- Recipe serves 4. Nutrition facts are for one serving.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically
If you are using Pinterest, feel free to pin the following photo:
Hi Ela, Another super delicious recipe. Thank you ????
You are very welcome, Rose! I am glad you enjoyed the dish. 🙂
Hi , wanted to know if I can use can coconut milk or almond milk . Which works well in this recipe ? Thanks
Hi Zeenat, yes, both will work fine. I prefer coconut milk. 🙂
What vegan cheese do you use? I haven’t found one I’m super happy with yet. Thank you! ❤
My homemade vegan cheese sauce. It’s linked in the recipe. Or click here: https://elavegan.com/easy-vegan-cheese-sauce-recipe/
Just made this and it was great. I used carrots and added zucchini. I also microwaved some frozen brown rice to save time. Great comfort food recipe that uses stuff you already have in the pantry.
Sounds lovely! Thanks so much for your great feedback, Molly! 🙂
Hi there! Am I able to make and freeze this do you think?
I haven’t tried it yet, but I think it should work fine! 🙂
I’m actually making this now, but I’m a little confused about the cheese sauce/milk mixture. I made the cheese sauce earlier, but now I’m reading your recipe (I’m very bad at reading recipes through until I’m actually making them!) and it looks like you’re saying to use a full cup of milk to make the sauce. Or are you saying to add an extra cup to the already prepared sauce? I’m going with the latter but would be grateful for clarification.
I think I’m going to serve this with vegan cornbread or polenta.
Hi Bri, you will need to use a full cup of coconut milk to make the cheese sauce, this way it’s not as thick and can be spread more easily on top of the casserole. Hope this helps. 🙂
Carli Jade Weintraub
What kind of rice did YOU use for this recipe! Thank you!
I think I used white long-grain rice. 🙂
Sorry I am confused with what type of beans o need.?
Kinsey beans, butter beans?
Any beans of choice! I used kidney beans. 🙂
This looks so good! Wanna try it too ?
You totally should! 🙂
This was great! I used vegan friendly refried beans….we were out of pinot and I was already chopping 🙂
That’s wonderful! So happy you liked the recipe, Kim! 🙂
Just did this recipe with a mix o carrot/pumpkin and to give that extra protein used soya beans. Came out Great, will do it again next week for sure! Congrats
Wonderful! So glad you liked the recipe, Filipe! 🙂
Made this for supper tonight, admittedly I was somewhat skeptical to try it but I am so grateful that I did because the flavour was awesome and the best part is it is really versatile!
I am so happy you loved the recipe, Sam! 🙂
Can i use canned organic beans beans or chick peas ?
Yes, it’s actually mentioned in the recipe: “Use canned beans (one 15 oz can) or cooked from dry.”
I just spend 2 hours looking @ your recipes, they all sounded so good,had to print all of them, can’t wait to try them ,you are a great vegan cook,thank you so much, will continue to visit your site.can’t wait for new recipes.
Aww, that’s amazing, Marcy! Thanks so much for your sweet compliment, I really appreciate it. 🙂
Tried out the recipe and loved it. Added carrot instead of pumpkin, it was a success. My family loved it too. Thanks.
That’s awesome, Alisa! So glad you and your family loved the recipe. I appreciate your great feedback. 🙂