We love enchiladas, but we also know that we are not the only people who have experienced the horror of corn tortillas breaking when they try to be rolled. Friends, you’re in luck! Here’s the ultimate weeknight enchiladas — in casserole format!
This green enchilada dish is saucy, savory, hearty, and packed with plant-based proteins and veggies. This nourishing dish is easy to make with only ten ingredients. We’ll show you exactly how to make it!
Enchiladas: Origin and History
Enchiladas might have originated in a similar Mayan recipe called Papadzules. The first recipe for enchiladas was not published until 1831 when a cookbook named El Cocinero Mexicano ( Source) was published.
Enchiladas typically consist of meat, seafood, or beans stuffed into corn tortillas, then topped with enchilada-style sauce. This plant-based enchilada baked dish is a twist on the traditional recipe. It’s still as savory and delicious as the original.
Enchilada Bake Recipe
Start the enchilada baking by sauteing a savory base with onions, garlic, and spicy peppers. Both jalapenos and serranos work depending on how hot you like it!
Then, add some fresh vegetables for nutrition and fiber! For a contrast in colors and textures, we like to use zucchini, carrots, and spinach, but any of your favorite vegetables will work. Bell peppers or corn would be great options.
Pinto beans are added to the filling for protein from plants. You can also use other legumes, such as black beans or lentils.
Once the filling is ready, you can start layering! The corn tortillas are cut in half and placed with their flat side towards the edge of the pan. Under the tortillas, place enchilada salsa to help soften the tortillas and give the enchilada baked extra flavor!
We finish off with tortillas and then a final layer of green sauce. Then it’s time for the oven! We like to top the baked quinoa with vegan-soured cream, radishes, and red onions, as well as cilantro. Then, devour – major.
- Find our recipe for homemade here to make six yellow or white corn tortillas (6 inches).
- If oil is not available, use water instead.
- Finely dice one small yellow onion (1 small onion yields about 160 g or 1 cup)
- Three large cloves of garlic, chopped or pressed
- One medium jalapeno or serrano pepper, finely diced (we used serrano for more heat)
- Use less salt if the chili powder contains salt.
- 2 tsp chili powder blend (NOT chili flakes, cayenne pepper, or pure chili)
- We used 1 cup of zucchini and 1 cup of carrots.
- 1 (15-oz.) Can pinto beans, drained
- Use store-bought sauce or 1 cup of Easy Green Enchilada Sauce
FOR SERVING optional
- Vegan sour cream (or avocado crema)
- Red onion (or shallot) diced
- Radish thinly sliced
- Cilantro, chopped
- Start preparing the green enchilada paste if you are using it. While the ingredients for the enchilada are roasting, you can start making the casserole. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) for the soup and place a rack at the center of the oven.
- Filling: Heat a large cast-iron or stainless steel skillet on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add in the onion and cook until softened and fragrant, about 2-3 mins. Add the salt, chili powder, garlic, serrano or jalapeno, and any other spices you like. Stir to distribute the spices evenly, and continue sautéing for 1-2 more minutes.
- Add the vegetables (we used whole baby spinach, zucchini, and carrots) and saute. Stir often until the color of the vegetables has brightened, and they are starting to soften. This should take about 3 minutes. Mix in the pinto beans that have been drained. Allow the pinto bean filling to warm for about 2 minutes. Then taste it and adjust, adding more salt or chili powder to the filling for heat and smoky flavor.
- Set aside 12 half-moon-shaped tortillas. Pour 1/3 cup (80) of enchilada into an 8×8 inch glass or ceramic dish. Spread to coat evenly.
- Spread half the filling evenly on the top of 4 corn tortilla halves (see photo). Then, top the filling by adding four more corn tortilla halves. Next, add another 1/3 cup of sauce (80 ml) and then the remaining filling. Then, place the last four tortillas on top and add the remaining 1/3 cup (80ml) enchilada enchilada.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through. Serve with desired toppings. This enchilada dish is also delicious without the vegan soy cream.
- The best way to store leftovers is to keep them covered in the fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for up to one month. Reheat leftovers in an oven at 350 degrees F (176 C) for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.