Vegetarian Enchiladas

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Enchiladas are one of my go-to meals for an easy weeknight dinner and vegetarian enchiladas make for an even quicker meal. Without needing time to cook and chop meat, this meal comes together very quickly. There isn’t a whole lot of veggie chopping either because, again, we’re looking for QUICK prep time! Mission accomplished with this dynamite recipe.

But while this dinner is quick, we’re not sacrificing flavor in the slightest. There’s a great balance of textures, spices, and a hit of acidity from the fresh lime.

Today I’m sharing our favorite Vegetarian Enchiladas along with some quick tips, answering some enchilada questions, and giving plenty of variation ideas. Let’s get started!

Vegetarian Enchiladas quick tips'


  • Use frozen corn or corn cut right off the cob for the best flavor and texture.
  • Freshly grate the cheese. Store-bought cheese has a waxy coating to keep the cheese shreds from sticking together. This coating gives the cheese an “off” flavor and keeps it from melting as well.
  • Toast the spices. Allow the spices to sufficiently toast in the skillet before adding the enchilada sauce. This gives the enchiladas a more robust flavor.
  • Don’t forget the toppings. Some fresh avocado, fresh lime, and fresh cilantro liven up these enchiladas so much. We also love sour cream on the side!

Vegetarian enchiladas variations

  • Vegetarian enchilada casserole: While this recipe can convert to a casserole, I have a similar popular casserole recipe that I recommend here: quinoa enchilada bake.
  • Add a grain: Add in some cooked and slightly cooled quinoa or rice to the enchiladas (2-3 tablespoons per enchilada); you’ll likely want to bump up seasonings a bit too.
  • Vegetarian enchiladas without beans: I’d recommend replacing the beans with other veggies such as chopped and sauteed mushrooms and/or zucchini.
  • Get creative with the type of cheese you add: We use Monterey jack, but sharp Cheddar cheese, Colby jack, or even pepperjack would all be delicious.
  • Vegetarian Enchiladas with spinach: It’s easy to add spinach to this recipe! Coarsely chop up about 4-5 ounces fresh baby spinach and saute it with the veggies until wilted.
  • Vegetarian Enchiladas with sweet potato: try this version here!
  • Vegetarian Enchiladas with refried beans: Replace the black beans with pinto beans and mash them down a bit in the skillet.
Image of these easy Vegetarian Enchiladas on a plate with one of them cut open.

Vegetarian Enchiladas
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins
Flavorful and simple to make Vegetarian Enchiladas are packed with black beans, corn, peppers, fresh lime, and cheese. The enchiladas are topped with sauce, cheese, fresh avocado, and cilantro.
Course: Dinner, Main Course, Vegetarian
Cuisine: American, Healthy, Mexican
Keyword: vegetarian enchiladas
Servings4 servings (2 enchiladas per person)
Calories236 kcal
AuthorChelsea
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced (1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced (3/4 cup)
  • Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika (or smoked paprika for a smokier flavor)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chili powder
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 and 1/2 cups good quality red enchilada sauce, separated (homemade or storebought)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 8 (8 inch) flour tortillas (I like cooking up the TortillaLand tortillas for these enchiladas)
  • 2 cups freshly grated Monterrey jack or Cheddar cheese, separated
  • freshly diced cilantro and avocado, for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large skillet, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat over medium. Add the diced red onion and diced red pepper. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper to taste (I add 1/4 teaspoon of each) and saute for 4-6 minutes, or until onion is translucent and tender. Add garlic and saute for 30 more seconds or until fragrant. Add in the paprika, cumin, and chili powder. Stir until spices are fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. (Lower the heat as needed to prevent burning).
  3. Add in the frozen corn (no need to thaw), black beans, 1/2 cup enchilada sauce, and fresh lime juice. Lower the heat to medium low and cook, stirring frequently, until the corn is completely defrosted, about 4 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the tortillas according to package instructions (if using raw tortillas). Set aside to let cool.
  4. In a 3-quart baking dish (9x13-inch pan), spread 1/2 cup enchilada sauce along the bottom.
  5. Add a slightly heaping 1/2 cup of the veggie filling and 2 tablespoons freshly grated cheese to a cooked tortilla and roll up tightly. Place the enchilada seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat until you've used up all the veggie filling and 1 cup of cheese (which should evenly fill 8 tortillas).
  6. Evenly spread the last remaining 1/2 cup enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas. Keep the corners uncovered by enchilada sauce so they get a little crispy in the oven. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup of cheese on top of the sauce.
  7. Bake, uncovered for 15-18 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
  8. Remove and serve immediately with diced avocado, cilantro, sour cream and additional lime juice.
Nutrition Facts in vegetarian enchiladas