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Cheesy Layered Mexican Bake

Cheesy Layered Mexican Bake | www.thatwasvegan.com

You guys! This recipe is the perfect combination of my undying devotion to Mexican food and my love of a good casserole that I can eat all week. It’s delicious, a little bit spicy, has tons of veggies (including butternut squash hidden in the enchilada sauce… take that you picky eaters!), and it wont take up a ton of your time preparing. 

Oh, and leftovers. Glorious, glorious, leftovers. 

Let me expound a bit on the whole squash in the sauce thing. I was browsing recipes in those Taste of Home magazines in the grocery store checkout line (you know the ones!), and there was one that suggested adding cream of mushroom soup to enchilada sauce. Now, a.) that canned soup is disgusting and no one should eat it, ever… but b.) creamy enchilada sauce sounded intriguing! So I racked my little brain for ideas on what I could use (short of making my own soup from scratch), and decided on my old pal b’nut. You can roast one yourself, or you can buy it frozen and already pureed (Birds Eye has a pretty good one in the freezer section), either way works. 

Cheesy Layered Mexican Bake | www.thatwasvegan.com

What else is in there? My ahhhmazing homemade seitan, crumbled and pan fried with cumin and chili powder, Daiya cheese, vegetarian refried beans, tomatoes and green chiles, black olives, and jalapenos. All the best Mexican flavors, in my opinion.


Cheesy Layered Mexican Bake
Serves 6
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
  1. A little oil, for crisping the crumbles, if desired
  2. 2 loaves seitan, 'crumbled' in the food processor (or 2-ish cups of your favorite vegan crumble)
  3. 1/ red onion, diced
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 teaspoon cumin
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt (more to taste), couple shakes of black pepper
  7. 10 oz can of tomatoes with green chilies, drained
  8. 10 oz can red enchilada sauce
  9. 12 oz pureed squash
  10. 15 oz can vegetarian refried beans
  11. 2 oz can sliced black olives
  12. 1 jalapeno, diced
  13. About 1/2 bag Daiya cheddar shreds
  14. 9-12 corn tortillas
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Heat small amount of oil or water in a frying pan over medium/high heat, add the onion, garlic, and seitan crumbles. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring a couple times. Remove from heat, and stir in the tomatoes/chilies, cumin, salt and pepper, and about half of the the diced jalapeno.
  3. In a small/medium pan, combine the enchilada sauce and squash over low heat, stirring until combined and warmed. Now it's time to layer this baby!
  4. In a 2qt baking dish, start with a thin layer of sauce, then 3-4 tortillas (however many you need to get good coverage), half the refried beans, 1/3 of the seitan/tomato mixture, 1/3 of the cheese, and then another layer of sauce.
  5. Repeat: 3-4 tortillas, the rest of the beans, 1/3 of the seitan mixture, 1/3 cheese, and more sauce.
  6. The final layer: Tortillas, the rest of the seitan mixture, the rest of the cheese, the remaining jalapenos and the black olives, along with some more of the sauce. Cover with foil and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 5-10 minutes, until the cheese is all melty.
  1. If you're trying to save calories you can water saute the onions/garlic/seitan, it just means the seitan wont have any crispness to it.
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{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Epicurean Vegan March 21, 2016, 4:15 pm

    You know I love me a tasty Mexican casserole! I especially love that you put butternut squash in it! YUM!

    • Barb March 22, 2016, 7:26 am

      Secret vitamins and nutrition FTW! 😉

  • Bianca Phillips March 22, 2016, 1:41 pm

    Leftovers really are the best though, right?! This looks amazing, and I wish I had a whole casserole dish of it in my fridge right now. B-nut squash to make a creamy sauce is genius.

  • Sophie March 25, 2016, 12:49 pm

    Hey my friend, your recipe looks amazing & must be utterly delicious.
    Our dinner for tomorrow evening,….I can’t wait! Yum! 👍🏻👍🏻

    • Barb March 29, 2016, 8:17 am

      Oooh, I hope you like it!

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