This vegan enchilada casserole is simple to prepare and it’s made using wholesome ingredients for a nutritious and easy vegan dinner recipe.
It’s hearty and healthy and will leave you completely satisfied. The whole family will enjoy this one, just use less spice if cooking for young children or picky eaters.
PS. Check out this collection for more easy, healthy vegan dinner ideas!
What are enchiladas?
Enchiladas are a staple Mexican cuisine, typically consisting of corn tortillas stuffed with a savoury filing and drenched in spicy enchilada sauce, and always eaten with a fork.
Enchiladas are not like burritos, in that you definitely cannot eat with them using your hands. The sauce makes that pretty much impossible. (But also insanely yummy!)
So where’s the corn tortilla?
Yes, I’m cheating here, I know! I wanted to make this vegan enchilada casserole without the tortillas to keep the calorie count lower.
Instead, I’m using quinoa as my grain, and no tortillas at all.
The enchilada sauce is really what brings this dish together and the quinoa adds a nice hearty bite.
What is enchilada sauce made from?
Authentic enchilada sauce is typically made using broth, garlic, tomato paste or sauce and chili peppers or jalapenos for spice.
My spicy red sauce includes all of the above with the jalapeno option. Plus I’m adding cumin and chili powder for even more flavour.
What’s in my enchilada casserole?
I’m using homemade enchilada sauce. You may use store bought if preferred, but homemade really is the best!
Plus, when you make it yourself, you can control the ingredients and make it that much healthier. Plus, it only takes 15 minutes from start to finish, so if you have the extra time, I highly recommend making it from scratch.
Alternatively, you can make the sauce in advance to save you time on a busy weeknight.
For my filling, I’m using:
- Quinoa that you’ll add to the casserole uncooked. It will cook in the oven, WOO HOO!
- Canned black beans, for convenience, but you may also use cooked if you already have some.
- Sweet potato, diced into half inch chunks. Don’t make the pieces too big, or it won’t soften enough.
- Bell peppers in a variety of colours but you may stick with 1 colour if preferred.
- Zucchini, diced, but larger pieces are fine here since zucchini cooks quickly.
- Frozen corn, and no need to thaw ahead of time. You may add it frozen.
(this is a summary, be sure to scroll to the recipe card below for the full recipe details.)
How to make this vegan enchilada casserole
Begin by making your enchilada sauce and set aside.
While the sauce is simmering, you may prepare and chop up all your veggies and place them directly into your baking dish, along with the raw quinoa and black beans.
Now cover your veggies in the vegetable broth and the enchilada sauce and mix well.
Then cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, give everything a stir and bake another 15-20 minutes, until liquids are mostly absorbed and potatoes are cooked.
While your enchilada casserole is baking, prepare any optional toppings you’d like to use.
Can you prepare in advance?
Yes! That’s one of the best parts. You may fully make the enchilada sauce and and chop up your veggies and store overnight in the refrigerator if you’re working ahead.
Right before baking, combine everything in your dish and pop it in the oven.
I don’t suggest fully preparing everything in the casserole dish with the liquids too far in advance. So just keep the liquids separate until ready to bake.
How long does it keep?
You may refrigerate your leftover vegan enchilada casserole for up to 4 days and reheat in the oven, or in a skillet on stove top.
I don’t recommend freezing as the veggies will get overly soft. That said, if you don’t mind softer veggies, feel free to freeze as well.
More vegan Mexican recipes
- Low Calorie Mexican Zucchini Boats
- Easy Vegan Cauliflower Tacos
- Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Walnut Cheese Sauce
- Mexican Corn Salad [Vegan +GF]
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- 11"x15" Baking Dish (or similar)
- 1-3 jalapenos finely chopped
- 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 4 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
For the Enchilada Sauce
- Add the jalapeno with a tablespoon or two of your broth to a small saucepan and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add all remaining ingredients, mix well and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 8 minutes until slightly reduced. Set aside
For the Enchilada Casserole
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and grab a baking dish that measures 11"x15" or similar.
- Meanwhile, chop up all your veggies and add them to the baking dish along with the uncooked quinoa. Pour the 2 cups of broth and your 2 cups of enchilada sauce you just made over top. Mix well.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil, give everything a stir and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until the liqduid is mostly absorbed and potatoes are cooked through.
- Serve with cashew cream, cheese sauce, guacamole or salsa, and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.