Making Healthy Black Bean Casserole
This Healthy Black Bean Casserole is the best combination of a salad + casserole ever made. Now hear us out for a few minutes on this salad and casserole concept. There are a ton of veggies but no lettuce, a ton of flavor but no salad dressing and it’s thick and hearty but no condensed soup either. Sounds awesome right?
If you are like most of us (ok, all of us) you have had problems getting your families to eat vegetables in the past, this casserole can help! It hides the stuff the kiddos don’t like and still delivers the goods so you can rest easy.
Creating a Healthy Casserole Recipe
On my long list of things to do in 2017, eating healthier was near the top. However, we all know, no matter who you are or what your lifestyle is, eating healthier is a lofty goal. I especially have a hard time eating healthier when I am juggling work, chasing around a toddler and then feeding a family where each family member has very different choices when it comes to food.
Then the end of the year rolls around and the weather gets cooler and all I want is comfort food (which is not typically very healthy). How is anyone suppose to eat healthy!
I have been searching for a recipe that will qualify as “healthy” and also meet my other impossible requirements, quick, create few dishes and taste amazing to my husband, daughter and myself. Oh and I want something that is a comfort food and will make me feel warm and cozy when I eat it. Am I asking too much? I thought so too but then I created this black bean casserole that checked every single one of those boxes.
My Healthy Bean Casserole
First to address the healthy part. This casserole recipe is loaded with black beans, hence the name of the dish. Black beans are fantastically good for you as they are packed with fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, folate….and the list goes on! All of these things support heart health so your heart will thank you for eating this casserole (won’t that be comforting while you are eating that dish? Comfort food!).
Brown rice is the other main ingredient I use which is rich in protein and calcium to name a few of its benefits. While any kind of rice will work in this casserole, brown rice is one of the most beneficial grains out there so it’s my number one choice! Sweet corn and bell peppers add some great veggies to my black bean casserole because you have to have veggies to be healthy, right?!?
Healthy Ingredients Can Taste Good!
So obviously tasting good is super important to any food. I mean, who cares if it’s healthy if no one wants to eat it? Well, don’t worry, this casserole is sooo tasty. Imagine all of your favorite Mexican food flavors in one dish- that’s what I have done here!
Lime juice and cilantro dominate this dish and are complimented by cumin, paprika, garlic and chili powder. I have found that multiple layers of spices are necessary to take a dish from average to extraordinary. I played with the spices in this recipe until it reached that extraordinary level and now my husband loves the flavor, my two year old loves the flavor and I could eat this whole casserole- perfection!
All of the flavors in this black bean casserole are made to fill you up and warm you up. Warm rice and beans, spicy cumin and creamy cream cheese all mingle together in a perfect comforting dish. I said I wanted a great cold weather dish so that is exactly what I made. You are going to want to take a bite of this while curled up in a blanket in front of a fire- it’s that comforting.
Preparing the Healthy Casserole Ingredients
So if you’re keeping track, so far this black bean casserole qualifies as healthy, tastes amazing to even the pickiest eaters and will fill your belly and your soul. But is it quick to make and requires few dishes? Absolutely. All of the ingredients are just mixed together in one bowl and then baked in a casserole dish. Seriously, one bowl! One step! You can even just mix everything right in the casserole dish if you want- it really doesn’t get much easier than that.
So if you aren’t sold on this black bean casserole by now, you should just go ahead and make it and you will automatically become a believer. This recipe has quickly become one of my go-to’s and makes me stick to my goal of eating healthier this year. It’s easy to eat healthy with a great recipe like this. Now if only all healthy food tasted this good…
Bean Casserole Ingredients
- Cooked Brown Rice
- Black Beans
- Sweet Corn
- Green Bell Pepper
- Purple Onion (Make your vegetable cutting more efficient)
- Cream Cheese
- Cumin (see our guide to Cumin Substitute Options)
- Smoked Paprika
- Minced Garlic
- Chili Powder
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- 2 cups cooked brown rice (any kind works)
- 1 (15 oz) can black (or pinto) beans
- 2 cups frozen (or canned) sweet corn
- 2 tablespoons milk
- ½ lime, juiced
- ¼ cup green bell pepper, diced
- ¼ cup purple onion, diced
- 4 oz cream cheese, cubed
- chopped cilantro (fresh or frozen)
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- salt/pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425F degrees and prepare a 8x8 baking dish with non-stick spray
- Add all ingredients in large mixing bowl and stir until evenly combined
- Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown
- Carefully remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving
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