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Baked Bean Cornbread Casserole (Gluten free option)

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5 from 1 vote

You truly can’t go wrong with a casserole starring savory-sweet baked beans topped with a glorious golden layer of cornbread. Everyone will absolutely love it! The bonus is it’s super simple to make.

vegan baked bean cornbread casserole

You’ll find this and many other fall-inspired casserole recipes in my cookbook, Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner and Pies!

Why This Recipe Works

  • Baked bean cornbread casserole is made with a great combination of pantry staples and fresh veggies. You likely have most (if not all!) of the wholesome ingredients on hand already.
  • The dish is entirely dairy-free and easy to make gluten free, too! It’s truly a main dish that can make everyone happy.
  • My casserole with baked beans is hearty, delicious, and perfectly filling – but believe it or not – is still a rather healthy dinner recipe. Every bite is packed with protein and fiber-rich beans and vegetables, as well as whole grain corn and corn meal!
  • The baked bean layer can be made a day or so ahead. All of the flavors get more vibrant as they sit together, and then from there, the casserole is a snap to put together, bake, and serve.

By the way, all of you cornbread lovers should also check out these sweet vegan cornbread muffins. Keep this one saved for your next comfort food dinner!

How To Make Vegan Baked Bean Cornbread Casserole

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (approx. 204°C). Grease a 7-x-11-inch (18-x-28-cm) or other 2-quart dish with oil. Set aside.
  2. Heat the 1 Tbsp. of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for about 30 seconds. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until lightly browned, approximately 4–5 minutes. Then turn off the heat.
Sauteen onions and green bell pepper
  1. Add the baked beans, tomato paste, water, and black pepper to the skillet and stir to combine. Give it a taste and add a pinch of salt, if needed. (Mine usually doesn’t need it, but salt levels vary with canned baked beans.) Cover the skillet and set aside for now.
Baked bean layer in a skillet
  1. For the cornbread, combine the dairy-free milk and vinegar in a small bowl and stir well to mix. (It will curdle like buttermilk, and that’s what you want!) Set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, add the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk together.
Dry ingredients whisked together
  1. Add the oil, maple syrup, and milk mixture to the mixing bowl and whisk until smooth with no clumps. Fold in the corn. Allow the batter to rest for 5 minutes.
  2. Pour the baked bean mixture into your prepared dish and smooth over the surface.
  3. Slowly top with the cornbread batter and spread evenly to create a second layer.
Cornbread casserole assembled and ready to go in the oven
  1. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove from the oven and sprinkle the shredded cheese evenly over the surface. Quickly return to the oven for an additional 15–18 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the center feels firm to the touch. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
vegan baked bean cornbread casserole ready to be served

Looking For More Delicious and Easy Dinner Recipes? Then You Have To Try My:

Tips For Making The Best Cornbread Casserole With Baked Beans

  • If the baked beans have become very thick, stir in a tablespoon or two of water before transferring to the baking dish.
  • Make this a gluten free-friendly recipe: Use GF all-purpose flour in the cornbread layer and add ½ tsp. xanthan gum to the dry mixture in step 5 if your flour mix doesn’t already contain it. Check all remaining ingredient labels to ensure they’re gluten free, as well.
  • The baked bean layer can be made ahead! Steps 2 and 3 can be made up to 2 days in advance. Allow the mixture to cool for 15 minutes before storing in an airtight container in the fridge. When needed, allow baked beans to warm to room temperature for 30 minutes before transferring to the prepared baking dish.

Frequently Asked Questions

What plant-based milk alternatives are best for making vegan cornbread?

I use almond milk in this recipe. However, cashew or soy milk are also great options. Oat milk tends to be too starchy and sometimes too oily (depending on the manufacturer) for this recipe.

Can I make this recipe with other beans?

Yes, you certainly can substitute baked beans. Try using canned vegan chili to make a plant-based chili cornbread casserole bake.

How long do leftovers last?

Leftovers will keep well for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Let the baked bean casserole cool to room temperature before covering and storing in the fridge.

vegan baked bean cornbread casserole ready to be served

Baked Bean Cornbread Casserole (Gluten free option)

You can’t go wrong with savory-sweet baked beans topped with a glorious golden layer of cornbread. It’s so darn good, and this vegan recipe is so simple to make!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, vegan, vegetarian
Keyword: vegan baked beans, Vegan Casserole, Vegan Cornbread Casserole, Vegan Dinners, Vegetarian Dinners
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 508kcal

Ingredients

Baked Bean Layer:

  • 1 Tbsp. neutral-flavored oil, plus more for greasing (15 ml)
  • c. chopped white or yellow onion (85 g)
  • ½ c. chopped green bell pepper (70 g)
  • 30 oz. canned baked beans (850 g)
  • c. tomato paste (80 g)
  • c. water (79 ml)
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • Salt to taste

Cornbread Layer:

  • 1 ½ c. unsweetened unflavored non-dairy milk, such as almond, cashew, or soy (356 g)
  • 1 Tbsp. white distilled vinegar (15 ml)
  • 1 ¼ c. cornmeal (196 g)
  • ¾ c. all-purpose flour ((105 g)
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ c. neutral-flavored oil (59 ml)
  • 3 Tbsp. maple syrup (45 ml)
  • ½ c. fresh or thawed frozen corn (56 g)
  • ½ c. shredded vegan cheddar cheese (60 g)

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (approx. 204°C). Grease a 7-x-11-inch (18-x-28-cm) or other 2-quart dish with oil. Set aside.
  • Heat the 1 Tbsp. of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for about 30 seconds. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until lightly browned, 4–5 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  • Add the baked beans, tomato paste, water, and black pepper to the skillet and stir to combine. Give it a taste and add a pinch of salt, if needed. (Mine usually doesn’t need it, but salt levels vary with canned baked beans.) Cover the skillet and set aside for now.
  • For the cornbread, combine the milk and vinegar in a small bowl and stir well to mix. (It will curdle and that’s what you want!) Set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, add the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk together.
  • Add the oil, maple syrup, and milk mixture to the mixing bowl and whisk until smooth with no clumps. Fold in the corn. Allow the batter to rest for 5 minutes.
  • Pour the baked bean mixture into your prepared dish and smooth over the surface.
  • Slowly top with the cornbread batter and spread evenly to create a second layer.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, then remove from the oven and sprinkle the shredded cheese evenly over the surface. Quickly return to the oven for an additional 15–18 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the center feels firm to the touch. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

For Best Gluten Free Version: Use gluten free all-purpose flour in the cornbread layer in place of the regular all-purpose flour, and add ½ tsp. xanthan gum to the dry mixture in step 5 if your GF flour mix doesn’t already contain it. Check all remaining ingredient labels to ensure they’re gluten free, as well.
Make-Ahead Tip: The baked bean layer (steps 2 and 3) can be made up to 2 days in advance. Allow the mixture to cool for 15 minutes before storing in an airtight container in the fridge. When needed, allow baked beans to warm to room temperature for 30 minutes before transferring to the prepared baking dish. Note: If the baked beans have become very thick, stir in a tablespoon or two of water before transferring to the baking dish.
Leftovers will keep well for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Let the baked bean casserole cool to room temperature before covering and storing in the fridge.

Nutrition

Calories: 508kcal | Carbohydrates: 82g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 1087mg | Potassium: 594mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 322IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 231mg | Iron: 4mg
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