Mexican black bean casserole. Gluten free, vegan.

This long, slow cooked Mexican Black Bean Casserole is a lovely one pot dish that is so simple to make. You just add all the ingredients to the casserole put the lid on and put it in the oven while you get on with things.

Mexican black beans are a great addition to any stew or casserole. They are such a striking colour against the red tomato sauce and the yellow sweetcorn. It is a dazzling dish and the flavour is amazing. I used a dried pasilla chilli. If you can’t get these don’t worry use a dried chilli that is mild with a smoky flavour. I used a small butternut squash but any type of squash or pumpkin will work here.

I’m not sure there is a traditional of casseroles in Mexico but this uses Mexican ingredients (with a bit of cavolo nero and carrot thrown in for colour and nutrition) and oozes delicious smoky unctuous flavour from the dried chilli.

Make sure you have a casserole dish with a well fitting lid.

This is great on its own as a main or served with Cabbage and Carrot Salad or a green salad and home made guacamole.

Serves 4-6
Preparation and cooking time three hours

Ingredients
60 grams quinoa – lightly toasted in a dry pan
1 small squash or pumpkin (~360 grams)
1 carrot
120 grams cavolo nero
400 gram can black beans
1 large dried pasilla chilli
1 teaspoon dried oregano
400 grams passata
30 grams frozen sweetcorn

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 170 C (fan)
2. Clean the squash and carrot and cut in to one centimetre dice. Roughly chop the cavolo nero and dried pasilla chilli
3. Place the toasted quinoa in the bottom of the casserole and add all the vegetables and chilli. Add the black beans, oregano and the passata. Fill the passata container with water to rinse out and add this to the casserole. Mix lightly
4. Put the lid on the casserole dish and place in the oven for approximately two and a half to three hours. After an hour and a half check the moisture levels – you may need to add a little more water or stock. After approximately two and a half hours add the sweetcorn and mix gently. Bake for a further 10 minutes or so until until all the vegetables are cooked and soft and the sauce is thickened.
5. Serve with a light salad and guacamole.