Nothing tastes better than comfort food when the weather starts to cool down. But, unfortunately, comfort food generally isn't healthy, unless, of course, we make it from healthy whole foods. My vegan southwestern bake is a casserole loaded with whole foods and topped with my Vegan Oil-Free Cornbread Recipe. This southwestern bake recipe screams comfort food!
Even though southwestern bake looks deliciously sinful at first glance, it's actually more like heaven in a bowl.
If you plan to cook for a large family, or a small family or individual serving, this casserole is for everyone.
As my children grew and left the nest, I learned to prepare food in smaller portions and then adapt for our large family when they come home for dinner. Thank goodness, that is often.
How to make Southwestern Bake
For a large family, choose a 9x13 inch pan or individual ovenproof ramekins for individual servings.
Let's begin with what goes in the southwestern bake base before I top it with my Vegan Oil-Free Cornbread Recipe.
- Whole Grain Elbow Macaroni
- White Onion
- Diced Tomatoes
- Pinto Beans (or beans of choice)
- Chili Powder
- Cooked Brown Lentils
Or Family Size
Next, make the Vegan Oil-Free Cornbread Recipe and set it aside.
Then, spoon the cornbread in a thin layer over the top of the individual ramekins. Or gently pour and spread the Vegan Oil-Free Cornbread Recipe over the top of the 9 x13 southwestern casserole.
Or, pour and spread the Vegan Oil-Free Cornbread Recipe over the top of the 9X13 inch southwestern casserole.
Be careful; the goal isn't to mix the two but to spread the cornbread over the top of the noodles.
Next, I bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes until the cornbread is golden brown. Although I love the cornbread topping, the southwestern bake is excellent with or without it.
As soon as the casserole is removed from the oven, allow it to sit for a few minutes before serving in bowls. Since my family likes southwestern bake a little spicy, I serve extra jalapenos on the side and always take out their favorite hot sauce, Cholula.
- Depending on the size of the individual ramekins, adjust time accordingly, as smaller servings may cook faster.
- Only cook the noodles for half the time on the package since they cook for the second time in the oven.
- Deseed the jalapenos for a less spicy option, or leave a few seeds for a spicier version.
- Reheat leftover casserole in the microwave or cover and place in a 325-degree oven for 20 minutes.
- Freeze the noodle portion without cooking it in the oven or adding cornbread topping for up to 2 months. Then, allow thawing completely before adding the cornbread topping and baking.
Try these healthy vegan Mexican recipes your family will love!
- Enchilada Pasta
- Vegan Enchiladas
- The Best Ultimate Vegan Lentil Black Bean Burrito Ever
- Veggie and Pinto Bean Quesadilla
- Tater Tot Nachos
- Vegan Guilt-Free Potato Nachos; A Game Day Treat!
- Walnut Meat Tacos
- Tofu Tacos
- Vegan Lentil Tacos
- Tempeh Tacos
- Inside Out Burrito
- Vegan Chili Mac
- Lentil Chili Recipe
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂