So, my original plan was to post waffles today because, if you have been keeping up with me on Instagram, you will see I've been making a ton of waffles. I have a Chai Waffle recipe and a Chocolate Waffle recipe both ready to publish. However, I realized that several of my posts lately have all been sweet...um, oops....and due to the excitement over this recipe I shared on this Facebook post, I knew I needed to publish this one first. But don't you worry, those Chai waffles are next. I've received countless waffle recipe requests since so many prefer them over pancakes. So, hold tight. 😉
This Vegan Cheesy Mexican Tortilla Bake was another spur-of-the-moment dinner idea that turned out incredible. Incredible. It's truly hard to believe that this whole dish, with as delicious as it is, is only 8 ingredients (+salt and water). My daughter absolutely looovvved it. In fact, I've made it 3 times since I shared the teaser pic on Facebook. So many of you have been messaging asking when it is getting posted and yay, today is the day! Let me just say, it takes awhile to film a video with all the layers and prepare everything for the post, so that is why it took me several days to get it together.
We polished off this Cheesy Mexican Tortilla Bake in no time. Also, it's SO easy to make. Another exciting thing? The Mexican Vegan Cheesy Sauce is made with no nutritional yeast! So many people hate nutritional yeast or are allergic, as well as many months ago I discovered it was a trigger for gout pain in my husband. Ever since then, I've been remaking recipes subbing out the nutritional yeast. For this recipe, I went to my #1 cheese sauce on the blog that soooo many of you say it has changed your life, the Mexican Cheese Sauce. BUT, that recipe uses a good amount of nutritional yeast. So, I had to think how to mimic that cheesy flavor without it.
In case you haven't figured it out yet, I did it, lol. The shocking part is that I love this one better. It tastes even cheesier.
VEGAN CHEESE SAUCE IN 10 MINUTES
You don't need to cook any veggies or do a million steps to make a homemade cheese sauce. This is SO easy to make and I swear, has the most real cheesy taste that I've tried yet to date and I've tried a lot of recipes. It's simple, fast and delicious.
If you haven't figured it out by now, I don't like long recipes with a lot of ingredients. It just flat out stresses me out and this recipe is so incredibly delicious and the fact it's ready in under an hour and just 8 basic ingredients is kind of crazy.
To remake my original cheese sauce without the nutritional yeast, I used a good amount of dairy-free soy (or coconut) yogurt. It provided an amazing tang, wonderful body and texture and honestly, tasted better to me than with the nutritional yeast. That combined with all the natural vinegar in the salsa, makes for one delicious cheesy bite.
I don't give two hoots if it is "real cheese" or not...when something tastes good, it tastes good. Period. No matter what. And unlike dairy cheese, this one isn't full of cholesterol.
It will be going on nachos next! Mmmmmmm.
All you need to make this recipe is 8 simple ingredients (+the usual salt and water):
- Cashews or White beans
- Dairy-free Yogurt
- Smoked Paprika
- Black Beans
- Corn Tortillas
I hope you all love this Vegan Cheesy Mexican Tortilla Bake as much as I do. Please watch the video tutorial below, as it really makes the process easier to understand when seeing the visual.
Vegan Cheesy Mexican Tortilla Bake
For the Cheese Sauce (Makes 2 1/2 cups)
- 1 cup 150g raw unsalted cashews (See NOTES below for subs and lower-fat option)
- 1 cup 240g mild heat runny/not too chunky salsa (I love Trader Joe's or Sprouts Mild, you can use a medium heat if you don't mind the dish being on the spicy side, not recommended with kids)
- 3/4 cup 180g PLAIN dairy-free yogurt (I used Silk Soy yogurt found at Kroger OR SO Delicious "Unsweetened" Plain coconut yogurt)
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon 75g water
- 1 1/4 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
- 3/4-1 teaspoon 6g fine sea salt (this will vary depending on the salsa used. Start with 3/4 and keep in mind the final taste after baked you want to stand out)
- 9 small corn tortillas cut into fourths
- 2 15 oz cans low-sodium black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup 240g salsa for middle layer
- 2 cups 293g sweet corn (I used frozen)
- Optional: Green onions for garnish
NOTE: The yogurt CANNOT be subbed here for milk, that will RUIN the recipe. The yogurt is thick, creamy and tangy and using a milk will not only make it bland, it will make the rest of the dish watery and soggy. Follow the recipe for the correct results.
- First, prepare your cheese sauce by adding all of the ingredients listed under "cheese sauce" to a high-powered blender. I did not soak my cashews since I have a Vitamix, but if you do not have a strong blender, you will need to soak your cashews overnight, drain and rinse. Otherwise, your sauce will be gritty. Taste it and tell me how darn cheesy that tastes! The cheese sauce tastes insanely delicious and cheesy straight out of the blender, but gets even cheesier after it's baked! If you are just wanting to use the cheese sauce for nachos or another recipe, I would add it to the stove and heat it just to thicken it up slightly. It is delicious on nachos!
- Preheat your oven to 375°F and lightly spray a 8 1/2 by 8 1/2 square casserole dish like ceramic or stone with nonstick spray. Layer about a 1/3 of the cheese sauce on the bottom and spread out with a spoon. REFER TO VIDEO for easy visual tutorial. Lay on top of the cheese sauce 6 of the cut tortillas per each row for 3 rows.
- Add 1 can of the beans on top of the tortillas and spread out. Add the other 1 cup of salsa and spread out over the beans. Layer 1 cup of the corn. Layer another 1/3 of the cheese sauce on top of the corn and spread out. You will notice there is only 1 layer of salsa in the middle. This is just to add another layer of flavor and moisture, it definitely didn't need 2 layers of salsa.
- Repeat the steps by adding the remaining tortillas, then the beans, corn and remaining cheese sauce. Cover everything well and top with a piece of foil gently covering the dish. This is so the cheese sauce doesn't bake up and harden too quickly. Bake with the foil on for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and bake another 5-10 minutes until the cheese is getting a nice firm orange-brown look on the edges. I baked it for about 8 minutes without the foil but if you prefer the cheese to be more firm, just bake it a bit longer. Just keep in mind that the longer you bake it, the drier the top cheese layer becomes after it is removed from the oven.
- Garnish with fresh green onions. I loved the crunchy, fresh element of the green onions to the warm cheesy flavor.
- This dish reheats very well also. I just reheat leftovers in the microwave and mmmmmm, delicious.
Please note that for best results, I recommend the 100% cashew version. It is incredibly rich and delicious and only recommend the below if allergic to cashews or greatly needing to watch your fat intake.
To make this nut-free: You can sub all of the cashews with white beans, making sure to blend really well. Just PLEASE note that this is ONLY recommended if you absolutely cannot have cashews. I tested it with all beans and while it was good, it was not as rich and creamy delicious as with the cashews (obviously since beans are fat-free) and the husband said it tasted like beans, but did agree it was still good and tasty. Please keep in mind I recommend the cashew version for best results to where non-vegans will love it too.
For lower fat: I also tested a version with half white beans and half cashews and it was still very delicious.
Nutrition per square slice (based on 9): 287 calories | 9.9g fat | 9.6g protein | 43.1g carbs | 8g fiber | 8g sugar | 568mg sodium
If you make this recipe, please do not repost it in full on your site, please link to me instead giving proper credit. I work very hard to create my recipes and share them for free, so please be respectful and link properly. If you are inspired by this recipe, again, please give proper credit and do not simply post it on your site and ask before reprinting any of my recipes.