Try this Protein-Packed Southwest Vegetable Bake Today

Welcome to my recipe for Southwest Vegetarian Bake, a Weight Watchers-friendly dish that is both delicious and nutritious. As a vegan chef, I am always on the lookout for recipes that are easy to make and satisfy everyone’s dietary needs.

This Southwest-inspired vegetable bake is perfect for those trying to lose weight, reduce their calorie intake or just enjoy a plant-based meal. It’s packed full of nutrient-dense ingredients like beans, brown rice, and vegetables that will help you stay full for longer and provide you with essential vitamins and minerals perfect for weight loss.

Whether you’re a vegan or a meat-eater, this vegetarian bake is sure to please your taste buds. With layers of flavorful ingredients like cilantro, onion, peppers and salsa, this recipe has everything you need for a satisfying meal without any animal products.

With simple instructions and easy-to-find ingredients, this Southwestern Vegetable Bake will quickly become one of your go-to meals. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southwest Vegetarian Bake - Weight Watchers Friendly
Southwest Vegetarian Bake – Weight Watchers Friendly

Are you looking for a delicious and healthy recipe that’s also Weight Watchers friendly? Look no further than this Southwest Vegetarian Bake!

One of the reasons why you’ll love this recipe is because it’s packed with flavor. With ingredients like cilantro, onion, pepper, salsa, corn, diced green chilies, and diced tomatoes, every bite is bursting with southwestern-inspired taste.

But taste isn’t the only reason to choose this recipe. It’s also vegetarian-friendly and perfect for those who are trying to lose weight.

This dish contains black beans, kidney beans, brown rice, and plenty of veggies to provide you with all the plant-based protein you need without any of the meat. And with only 4 SmartPoints per serving on WW Freestyle, it’s easy to indulge in something hearty and flavorful without worrying about breaking your diet.

But that’s not all. This Southwest Vegetarian Bake is also incredibly easy to make – simply mix everything together in a casserole dish and bake! You won’t have to spend hours in the kitchen to enjoy a meal that both you and your family will enjoy.

So if you’re looking for a vegetarian casserole recipe that will leave your taste buds singing while helping you stay on track with your weight loss goals, look no further than this Southwest Vegetarian Bake. Try it out today!

Ingredient List

 Get ready to spice up your taste buds with this flavorful Southwest Vegetarian Bake.
Get ready to spice up your taste buds with this flavorful Southwest Vegetarian Bake.

Here are all the ingredients you’ll need for this Southwest Vegetarian Bake:
For the rice:

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1 and 1/2 cups water

For the filling:

  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) corn, drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped pepper
  • 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chilies
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 3/4 cup salsa

Tip: Use fresh ingredients for better flavor.

Note: This recipe is Weight Watchers friendly with only five WW Freestyle points per serving.

The Recipe How-To

 Layer upon layer of colorful veggies will make your mouth water.
Layer upon layer of colorful veggies will make your mouth water.

Now comes the exciting part, let’s start cooking this irresistible Southwest Vegetarian Bake recipe! You’ll need to set aside about an hour and fifteen minutes for the preparation and baking process. But trust me, it will be worth it.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 large diced onion
  • 1 diced pepper
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 can (15 ounces) of rinsed and drained black beans
  • 1 can (15 ounces) of rinsed and drained kidney beans
  • 1 can (15 ounces) of drained and diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can (4 oz) diced green chilies
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional toppings:
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Reduced-fat sour cream
  • Salsa


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. In a medium pot, bring water to a boil. Add rice, reduce heat to low, cover pot and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until rice is cooked through.
  3. While the rice is cooking, in a large skillet over medium-high heat sauté onion, pepper, and garlic until tender, which should take about 10 minutes.
  4. Add black beans, kidney beans, diced tomatoes, corn, green chilies, chili powder, and cumin; stir until mixed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer mixture for about ten minutes.
  5. Once the rice is cooked through, add it into the bean mixture; mix well until everything is evenly distributed.
  6. Transfer the mixture into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes uncovered.
  8. Top with optional garnishes such as chopped cilantro or reduced-fat sour cream.

I highly recommend that you serve this recipe hot straight away from the oven with your favorite Mexican side dishes or as a main course.

Go ahead and indulge yourself in this delicious Southwest Vegetarian Bake recipe made with fresh ingredients combined with perfect seasoning that will make your mouth water!

Substitutions and Variations

 This dish is perfect for weight watchers because it's healthy and delicious.
This dish is perfect for weight watchers because it’s healthy and delicious.

This Southwest Vegetarian Bake recipe is incredibly versatile, and there are many different ingredients that you can swap in or out to make it your own. Here are a few substitutions and variations that I recommend:

– Protein: You can use any type of canned beans in this recipe, such as chickpeas, white beans, or pinto beans. If you want to add some extra protein, try tossing in some chopped tofu or vegan sausage.

– Grain: Instead of using brown rice, you could substitute quinoa, bulgur wheat, or even farro. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time and liquid as needed.

– Vegetables: Feel free to swap out the diced tomatoes for fresh cherry tomatoes, or throw in some zucchini, mushrooms, or spinach. If you prefer a spicier dish, you could add some jalapeño peppers or chipotle powder.

– Toppings: For a bit of extra crunch, top the bake with crushed tortilla chips or sliced green onions. You could also sprinkle on some grated vegan cheese if you’d like.

Additionally, if you’re not following the Weight Watchers plan, you could increase the amount of reduced-fat sour cream or replace it with regular sour cream for a richer dish. Overall, don’t be afraid to experiment and customize this recipe to suit your tastes!

Serving and Pairing

 The blend of spices gives this bake a distinct Mexican flavor.
The blend of spices gives this bake a distinct Mexican flavor.

Congratulations on making it to the serving and pairing section of this mouth-watering Southwest Vegetarian Bake recipe! You’ve done the hard work of carefully selecting and prepping each ingredient, and now it’s time to delight in the fruits of your labor.

This vegetarian casserole recipe is a hearty meal that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with a selection of your favorite sides. My favorite way to serve this Southwest Vegetarian Bake is with a generous dollop of reduced-fat sour cream, topped with freshly chopped cilantro.

The crispy cornbread topping pairs perfectly with the blend of beans, corn, diced tomatoes, onion, pepper, and diced green chilies that make up the filling of this dish. The southwestern-inspired flavors in this dish make it a perfect complement to a refreshing side salad or crunchy tortilla chips.

For a more substantial meal, I recommend adding brown rice on the side. The nutty flavor and nutrional value of brown rice won’t detract from the bold flavors in the bake, but they will add an extra layer of heartiness to your meal.

If you’re having guests over, this recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to feed a larger crowd. Pair it with an array of colorful veggie sides like roasted sweet potato fries, sauteed zucchini squash, and a medley of pan-seared peppers.

Whether you’re serving up this healthy bake as a main entree or as part of your side dish lineup, I guarantee your family and friends will be impressed with your culinary prowess. So go ahead and indulge in this delicious southwestern vegetable bake – you deserve it!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 You'll love how easy it is to prepare this hearty vegetarian meal.
You’ll love how easy it is to prepare this hearty vegetarian meal.

One of the great things about this Southwest Vegetarian Bake is that it can be made ahead of time and stored in your fridge or freezer for later use. This makes it a perfect dish for busy weeknights when you don’t have a lot of time to cook.

To make this recipe ahead of time, simply prepare the casserole according to the instructions given and then allow it to cool completely before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. If you are storing it in the refrigerator, be sure to consume it within 3-4 days to ensure optimal freshness.

When ready to reheat, there are a few methods that work well. For best results, I recommend reheating this dish in the oven. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and place the casserole in an oven-safe dish. Cover with foil and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until heated through.

Alternatively, you can reheat this dish on the stovetop. Simply heat a skillet over medium heat and add the desired amount of casserole. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

If you find that the ingredients have become dry during storage, you can add a little bit of vegetable broth or water to help moisten them up again.

Overall, this Southwest Vegetarian Bake is a versatile and easily stored dish that makes meal prepping and reheating simple and efficient. You won’t have to worry about what’s for dinner when you have this savory meal waiting for you in your fridge or freezer!

Tips for Perfect Results

If you’ve followed the recipe steps correctly, you should be able to achieve a delicious Southwest Vegetarian Bake dish without much hassle. However, if you want to take your dish to the next level, there are a few tips and tricks you can implement.

Firstly, using fresh herbs is always a great idea when it comes to enhancing the flavor of your meal. Consider incorporating some freshly chopped cilantro into your Southwest Vegetarian Bake – it’ll give your dish a nice pop of color and add an extra depth of flavor.

Next, I highly recommend using high-quality ingredients. While convenient and affordable, using canned or packaged goods can sometimes fall short in terms of taste and quality compared to fresh produce. Try sourcing fresh tomatoes, corn, and bell peppers for optimal flavor.

Another tip to consider is to add extra crunch to your bake by topping it with some crumbled tortilla chips right before serving. The added texture elevates the dish from tasty casserole to crunchy indulgence.

If you’re thinking of going vegan for this recipe, don’t skimp on using plant-based alternatives such as vegan sour cream or cheese. These substitutes are essential in maintaining that creamy texture while still sticking to a veggie-based approach.

Finally, let your bake rest before cutting into it. This allows it to set and makes serving individual portions much easier.

Following these simple but effective tips will help ensure that your Southwest Vegetarian Bake comes out perfect every time!


As this recipe is perfect for weight watchers and plant-based eaters, there might be some questions and concerns regarding the ingredients, serving sizes, and variations. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers that will help you prepare this southwest vegetarian bake with confidence.

Can you be vegetarian and do Weight Watchers?

If you are approaching a meat-free diet and are unsure about what foods to eat while following the WW Freestyle program, fret not! This program is a great fit for vegetarians due to the wide variety of plant-based foods on the zero Points foods list. You can freely consume all types of fruits (with the exception of avocado and coconut) and vegetables (excluding certain starchy ones like potatoes) without worrying about exceeding your daily allotted points.

Can vegetarians lose weight on WW?

Whether you follow a vegetarian, vegan, Whole Food Plant Based (WFPB), or a reduced animal product diet while adhering to the WW points system, you can still achieve successful weight loss using the program. Below are tips for how to succeed with the WW plan for weight loss, as of March 2023.

What to eat tonight vegetarian?

As an assistant to a vegan chef, I have compiled a list of delectable recipes that are sure to tantalize the taste buds of any food lover. These recipes include Mushroom Risotto with Frizzled Leeks, Orecchiette Pasta with Broccoli Sauce, Aloo Gobi (Indian-Spiced Potatoes & Cauliflower), Golden Cauliflower Dal with Red Lentils, Coconut, and Spinach, Eggplant Lasagna, and Veggie Pot Pie with Roasted Butternut, Lentils, and Kale. Each recipe boasts a unique blend of ingredients that offer a mouth-watering treat for any vegan food enthusiast.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Southwest Vegetarian Bake is a delicious and wholesome meal that can be enjoyed by anyone. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or simply looking for a satisfying vegetarian casserole, this recipe is sure to deliver. By using ingredients like cilantro, peppers, and black beans, you’ll get all the flavors of your favorite southwestern dishes without any meat.

What makes this recipe even better is that it’s weight watchers friendly, providing an easy way for you to track your daily intake. And with plenty of substitutions and variations available, you can make this recipe your own with ease.

So why not give this southwest vegetarian bake a try? It’s an easy to make, plant-based option that will leave you feeling full and happy. The combination of spices and flavors will tantalize your taste buds and the convenience of preparing it in advance makes it an ideal option for busy weeknights.

Thank you for taking the time to read through this recipe. I hope you enjoy making it and sharing it with friends and family. With all its nutritional benefits, it’s a perfect meal solution for anyone who wants to eat healthier while still enjoying delicious food!

Southwest Vegetarian Bake - Weight Watchers Friendly

Southwest Vegetarian Bake - Weight Watchers Friendly Recipe

Just finished this for supper after making it for the first time. It was warm and comforting with just the right amount of heat. Very filling - didn't even miss the meat! I made and baked in advance and then froze until I was ready to serve it. Yummy! Adapted from the Taste of Home Casseroles, Slow Cooker and Soups. 5.5 points per 1/8 of casserole.
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Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Calories 324.3 kcal


  • 3/4 cup brown rice, uncooked
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 15 ounces kidney beans, rinsed
  • 14 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 3 ounces diced green chilies
  • 8 ounces corn, drained
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 cups Mexican blend cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped


  • In a large saucepan, bring rice and water to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 35-40 minutes or until tender.
  • In a large bowl, combine the bean, corn, tomatoes, chilies, salsa, sour cream, 1 cup of the cheese, pepper and rice.
  • Transfer to a shallow baking dish coated with non-stick spray. Sprinkle with onions and cilantro.
  • Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees.
  • Remove from oven, sprinkle with remaining cup of cheese and continue baking for another 10 minutes.
  • Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
  • Note: I didn't have the patience to wait for the rice to cook so I increased the water by 1/2 cup and the rice cooked in the oven.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 310gCalories: 324.3kcalCarbohydrates: 35.4gProtein: 14.2gFat: 14.9gSaturated Fat: 8.8gCholesterol: 46.5mgSodium: 869.1mgFiber: 5.6gSugar: 7.1g
Keyword < 4 Hours, One-Dish Meal
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