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Veggie Black Bean Enchiladas – Cookie and Kate


vegetarian enchiladas recipe

These vegetarian enchiladas are a hearty and satisfying dinner. Make them on a weeknight and you’ll enjoy leftovers for lunch the next day. Or make it on the weekend and invite friends over to make a party out of it! You could make a double batch and freeze the extras—you’ll find freezing instructions below.

You’ll love the fresh filling in these enchiladas, made of sautéed bell pepper, broccoli, onion, spinach, black beans and warming spices. These enchiladas are nicely cheesy, but not overwhelmingly cheesy like many restaurants make them.

vegetarian enchilada ingredients

This enchilada recipe has become quite popular since I published it nearly eight years ago. I used my spinach artichoke enchiladas as a blueprint and covered them with my go-to homemade enchilada sauce, of course. They’re just fantastic and I hope you’ll give them a try, if you haven’t already.

If you’ve never made enchiladas before, you can do it! You’ll find a detailed recipe, step-by-step photos, and an instructional video below.

vegetarian enchilada components

How to Make Vegetable Enchiladas

This recipe isn’t the quickest dinner option (enchiladas never are), but it is totally worth the effort. Here’s a basic rundown with some notes and variations.

You’ll start by making my red enchilada sauce, a simple, pantry-friendly recipe using dried spices and vegetable broth. It has an amazing depth of flavor! If you want to change it up, you could use my green enchilada sauce instead, which is made from salsa verde (jarred is fine).

Then, you’ll sauté red onion, bell pepper, broccoli and spinach. Broccoli is an uncommon ingredient in enchiladas, but I love it here. If you’re hesitant and want a more neutral flavor, substitute cauliflower instead. Cumin and a small amount of cinnamon (yes, cinnamon!) ramp up the flavor.

Once the vegetables are done cooking, we’ll transfer them to a bowl and add drained black beans, plus a small amount of cheese and a splash of enchilada sauce for flavoring. Then we’ll assemble the enchiladas, drizzle the remaining sauce, sprinkle with cheese, and bake until golden. If you want extra cheesy enchiladas, you could double the cheese (use a full 8 ounces).

This recipe calls for flour tortillas. I like to use whole wheat for some extra flavor and fiber. Corn tortillas are more traditional, but my mom always used flour tortillas in her enchiladas when we were growing up, so I used flour. If you’d like to use corn tortillas, you certainly can. You’ll need more than 8 of them, likely 12. Gently warm them in the microwave or one at a time on the stovetop before using (otherwise, they might break when rolling).

Watch How to Make Vegetarian Enchiladas

how to make vegetarian enchiladas

How to Freeze These Enchiladas

You can make these enchiladas as directed and freeze them instead of baking them. I also tried baking and then freezing them, but it was more work with no payoff. To help minimize freezer burn, refrigerate the dish until fully chilled (about four hours), then cover tightly and freeze fully.

Use a freezer-safe dish, like this Pyrex dish. I’ve successfully used Pyrex baking dishes straight from the freezer to the oven. Beware there’s always a slight risk that the dish could break.

Once frozen, they will keep for up to six months in the freezer. Frozen foods technically never go bad when the freezing environment is perfectly consistent, though they generally taste better when consumed sooner.

To bake the frozen enchiladas, first ensure that the exterior of the baking dish is dry by wiping it with a towel—this helps avoid shocking the glass. Bake as directed in the recipe below, then cover the dish snugly with parchment paper or aluminum foil and bake until it is fully cooked through and bubbling, probably about 45 minutes total or longer (covering the dish prevents it from becoming too browned). Enjoy!

Serving Suggestions

These enchiladas are a well-rounded main dish offering vegetables, greens, whole grains and protein. If you’re hosting friends, perhaps start with guacamole or salsa with chips. For cocktails, try fresh-squeezed margaritas or ranch waters.

Here are some side dishes that would be lovely with these enchiladas:

vegetarian enchiladas before and after baking

More Veggie-Packed Main Dishes

Craving more hearty vegetarian meals with Mexican flavors? Here are a few of my favorites:

Please let me know how these veggie enchiladas turn out for you in the comments! I’m always so eager to hear from you.

veggie black bean enchiladas

Print

Veggie Black Bean Enchiladas

  • Author: Cookie and Kate
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Vegetarian

4.9 from 618 reviews

Amazing vegetarian enchiladas stuffed with black beans, broccoli, bell pepper and spinach, topped with homemade red sauce. My favorite enchilada recipe! Recipe yields 8 enchiladas, enough for about 4 servings.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cups homemade enchilada sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped red onion (about 1 small red onion)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch of broccoli or 1 small head of cauliflower (about 1 pound), florets removed and sliced into small, bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 to 6 ounces baby spinach (about 5 cups, packed)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed, or 1 ½ cups cooked black beans
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 whole wheat tortillas (about 8 inches in diameter)
  • Handful of chopped cilantro, for garnishing

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit with one rack in the middle of the oven and one in the upper third. Lightly grease a 9 by 13-inch pan with olive oil or cooking spray.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil until simmering. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are tender and translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the broccoli and bell pepper, stir, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 to 9 minutes, or until the broccoli is brighter green and just starting to turn golden on the edges.
  3. Add the cumin and cinnamon to the skillet and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the spinach, a few handfuls at a time, stirring until it has reduced in size. Repeat with the remaining spinach and cook until all of the spinach has wilted.
  4. Transfer the contents of the pan to a medium mixing bowl. Add the drained beans, ¼ cup cheese and a drizzle of enchilada sauce (about 2 tablespoons). Season with ½ teaspoon salt and some freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
  5. Assemble the enchiladas: Pour ¼ cup enchilada sauce into your prepared pan and tilt it from side to side until the bottom of the pan is evenly coated. To assemble your first enchilada, spread ½ cup filling mixture down the middle of a tortilla, then snugly wrap the left side over and then the right, to make a wrap. Place it seam-side down against the edge of your pan. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.
  6. Drizzle the remaining enchilada sauce evenly over the enchiladas, leaving the tips of the enchiladas bare. Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese evenly over the enchiladas.
  7. Bake, uncovered, on the middle rack for 20 minutes. If the cheese on top isn’t golden enough for your liking, carefully transfer the enchiladas to the upper rack of the oven and bake for an additional 3 to 6 minutes, until sufficiently golden and bubbly.
  8. Remove from oven and let the enchiladas rest for 10 minutes (they’re super hot!). Before serving, sprinkle chopped cilantro down the center of the enchiladas. Serve immediately. Leftovers will keep well for up to 4 days in the refrigerator, covered.

Notes

Recipe adapted from my spinach artichoke enchiladas.
Make it vegan: You could just skip the cheese altogether and still end up with awesome enchiladas. For some extra creaminess, you might top them with sliced avocado or a drizzle of vegan sour cream.
Make it gluten free: Substitute certified gluten-free “flour” tortillas, or use corn tortillas (they’re smaller than my 8″ tortillas, so you might need more than 8 tortillas). If you use corn tortillas, gently warm them together in the microwave or individually on the stove before you try to roll them up, or they might break.

▸ Nutrition Information

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. See our full nutrition disclosure here.

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