Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole

Whenever we have dinner at our favorite local Mexican restaurant, my husband frequently orders enchiladas. His love of them has rubbed off on our kids, evidenced by how they spend most of the meal going between what they've ordered and (much to hubby's chagrin) taking repeated bites off of his plate. Given that my family's appetite for enchiladas is greater than how often we eat out, I decided to learn how to make them.

If you're not used to preparing enchiladas at home, making homemade enchilada sauce might seem a bit intimidating, but it's actually quite easy (or at least my version is simple!). The list of ingredients may seem long, but they are all very likely things you already have in your pantry, spice drawer, refrigerator and freezer.

If you're like me and have a house full of enchilada lovers but want to save a few bucks by making dinner at home, you'll be happy to discover it's easy to do -- and you can make enough so that no one has to pick off of anyone else's plate!

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Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole (serves 12 )

Prep Time: 25 mins Cook Time: 40 mins

nut free

gluten free

Ingredients

  • Enchilada Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small Onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 14-ounce can usalted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • Filling:
  • 1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1-15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded mexican blend cheese, divided
  • 6 corn tortillas

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and sauté the onions for 4 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, cumin and chili powder and sauté an additional minute.
3. Add the honey, diced tomatoes and water. Stir, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Allow mixture to cool for 10 minutes then place in a blender, puree and set aside.
5. In a large bowl, whisk the onion, garlic, cumin powder, salt, sour cream and egg.
6. Stir in the corn, black beans, bell pepper, cilantro and 2 cups of cheese to combine.
7. Pour 3/4 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 7×11 baking dish. Cover with 2 corn tortillas.
8. Spread half of the mixture on top of the tortillas and top with another ½ cup of sauce followed by 2 more tortillas.
9. Spread the remaining mixture on top of the tortillas, top with the remaining 2 tortillas, sauce and cheese.*
10. Bake for 40 minutes uncovered.
11. Serve.
*At this point the casserole can be covered and frozen. When ready to serve, bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.
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Hi, I’m Catherine. Mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. My passion is creating simple, healthy recipes that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

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54 comments

  • Maryea Happy Healthy Mama

    I make a similar recipe and you just reminded me that I haven't made it in a while and need to! Your recipe looks fantastic. :-)

    leave a comment

  • Kiki D

    this looks AMAZING! my mouth is watering and it's not even 7:30 AM lol

    leave a comment

  • Kristin

    SHORT CUT: I use a can of tomato sauce (and throw in some salsa from the fridge)-add all spices above for enchilada sauce and then follow steps for layering.

    When it cooks all the flavors will blend.

    leave a comment

  • Stefany

    what size corn tortillas????

    leave a comment

  • Gina

    This sounds great! Can't wait to make it.

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  • Brandi

    This looks absolutely amazing :)

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  • Cassie

    omg looks delish!!!!! i have to try

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  • Yeni

    This looks great! I make a similar recipe and call it Mexican Lasagna. I cut the corn tortillas into triangles (for ease of serving mostly) and layer them. I also add zucchini...and chicken once in a while for a change. I'll definitely try this one, thanks!
    P.S. Thanks for the enchilada sauce recipe. Never tried making that myself, but will take the plunge with your version.

    leave a comment

  • Amy Wright

    This is the recipe that is good for those who are health conscious and would not like take or eat meat.

    leave a comment

  • Libby

    This looks great! I can't wait to try it.

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  • Michelle

    YUM!!! I may just have to make this on Meatless Monday! :)

    leave a comment

  • Jessica

    Made this last night - it was great! My husband is always skeptical that vegetarian dishes will be filling, but he liked it too.

    I am especially glad to have a simple recipe to make homemade enchilada sauce! I hate using mystery sauce from the can, and this was so easy and tasted just like I expected it to. Thank you!

    leave a comment

  • Jess

    I made this for dinner tonight and wow! So delicious! The best part: my 13-month-old son, who's quite the picky eater, LOVED it. Thank you for another great recipe!

    leave a comment

  • Catherine

    Seems like a lot of cumin for the sauce...

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  • Laura

    Made this tonight. Absolutely delicious! My 5 year old loved it and so did we. Will be making it again for sure. thanks for another great recipe! I make at least one of your recipes every day.

    leave a comment

  • Amy

    I have been looking for a good enchilada sauce recipe yay Will be trying this asap

    leave a comment

  • Beena K

    Can't wait to try to this for dinner tonight!!

    leave a comment

  • Summer

    I made this recipe following the instructions to the letter but it came out watery. Not sure why..

    It looked like mush so my kids wouldn't even taste it but I thought it was delicious.

    leave a comment

  • SummerE

    Does anyone have any substitutes for corn tortillas? Apparently they aren't popular in my grocery stores. Can I use flour tortillas or will they not be dense enough?

    leave a comment

  • Rebecca

    I just made this tonight for three of us and it was delicious. the whole thing is gone!

    leave a comment

  • Marta Howard

    in the oven right now, smells great.

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  • Libby

    This was great. I made it with Trader Joe's fire roasted frozen corn and some diced zuchinni that I needed to use up. Everyone loved it. Thanks!

    leave a comment

  • Joanna

    I made this last night and had the same experience as Summer (#18 above). :(
    I followed the recipe almost exactly: the only difference was that I used a \"small saucepan\" per the instructions and then ran out of room! I added the can of tomatoes with the water/juice in the can and did not add the extra 1 c. water. But, if anything, that would make it LESS watery, right? I cannot figure out why this turned into one big pile of mush. Delicious mush, but mush nonetheless. My daughter (nearly two) looked at it on her plate and cried. Needless to say, she didn't eat it :(

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  • Mebrr

    It was delicious.
    I did have some changes- canned corn (drained) and used wheat tortillas. And I didn't add water.
    But it was still watery. My 2yr old had seconds. Okay, so did I :) I'm hoping it will do what most casseroles do-- get better as leftovers.

    leave a comment

    • Hiroki

      Made this dish last night and it was great! I made a few adjustments by ctitung all ingredients in half except for the chicken and made more of an enchilada shredded chicken instead of a stew. Enjoyed it with some cilantro/lime rice and a little guacamole. Highly recommend this recipe.

      leave a comment

  • Drmomsie

    Tried this last night and loved it! Featuring it on my blog today as the Casserole of the Week! Thanks for all your awesome recipes!

    leave a comment

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  • Kiki

    I omitted the cup of water in the sauce. This turned out wonderfully! Tastes great! I couldn't find corn tortillas so I used flour and they worked well.

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  • Laura

    Could you bake this in a 9x13? That's the only larger size dish I have. Would this alter the cooking time? ALso, I am allergic to black beans. What would be the best bean substitute? Thanks!

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    • Stefanie

      This is one of the most delicious paleo meals for me to date. For real I ate it while it was still so hot I burnt my tognue then kept eating it. The flavors work so well together, big fan! I want this cookbook of yours STAT!

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  • Naomi G.

    A hit with the 15 mo old! I let the sauce cook longer to thickened up, and used less of it. Still on the mushy side, but tasty, and the kid is happy.

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  • Tiffany

    I was looking forward to making this but I have to admit, I wasn't very happy with how it turned out. It turned into mush for me as well and it was very spicy. So spicy my husband was complaining and I couldn't feed it to my 14 month old. This was after I halved the amount of cayenne pepper. I'm not sure that I would want to try it again which was surprising because we usually love weelicious recipes :(

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  • Tiffany

    *chili powder not cayenne pepper

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  • kcarmont10

    can this be put in the fridge over night and bake the next day??

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    • Catherine

      Yes! Either let it come to room temperature before baking, or add about 7 minutes to the bake time!

      leave a comment

  • Lori

    This is now a favorite of my kids ages 8, 10 and 13. I have to admit that I use considerably more corn tortillas than the recipe calls for. Perhaps that is why mine isn't too watery. I also added a can of sliced black olives. We love olives!

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  • Mary

    I made this recipe mostly as is - I added shredded chicken, shredded carrots, and fresh spinach. I did, however, follow the enchilada sauce exactly. The dish turned out perfect and it was not watery at all. My 16 month old (plus me and my husband) loved it!

    I have found that some brands of chili powder are VERY spicy depending on which kind you purchase. Or maybe I'm crazy?

    Anyway, thanks for another great recipe!

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  • Miranda

    I have been making this recipe with variations for a few years now. It has served me well! Something that I do occasionally is add TVP for some extra protein. I also use Trader Joe's chunky salsa instead of canned tomatoes. It adds some great spice to the dish and saves cooking time!

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  • Jody

    Can you freeze this after cooking?

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    • McCord

      I prefer to freeze before cooking, but I bet it would be okay to freeze after as well!

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  • Mousie

    I tired this last night as well as the sweet potato enchilada recipe. The sweet potato black bean enchiladas won over everyone, hands down. I made this exactly to recipe except that I rolled them into enchiladas. They were good, but not as easy or special as the sweet potato ones. I do recommend the enchilada SAUCE recipe here. It was very nice, as I don't like many canned versions. Thanks for a new dinner option!

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  • Lauren

    Hi Catherine, how would you suggest incorporating ground turkey into this meal? i..e. should it be fully browned before sprinkling in as a layer? Thanks in advance!

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    • McCord

      Definitely cook it fully before adding to the layers!

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  • Sumi

    This was delicious! They don't have corn tortillas or black beans where I live so used flour tortillas and red kidney beans instead. And also layered some cilantro lime rice into the mix! Very hearty and filling meal, will be making again and again!

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  • Cindy Loves To Cook

    Serves 12?? Umm... not to sure about that... In a 7X11 pan, you might feed 4 - 6 with rice and beans side dishes. Is this incorrect?

    leave a comment