Pinto Bean & Veggie Green Enchilada Bake

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Plate with a layered enchilada bake topped with cilantro, vegan sour cream, radish, and shallot

We’re big fans of enchiladas (SO satisfying and flavorful), but we know we’re not the only ones who’ve faced the tragedy of corn tortillas cracking when you try to roll them. Not anymore, friends! The ultimate weeknight enchiladas are here — in casserole form! 

This green enchilada casserole is saucy, savory, hearty, and full of veggies and plant-based protein. It’s a nourishing entrée that comes together quickly with just 10 ingredients required. Let us show you how it’s done! 

Serrano, onion, carrots, zucchini, tortillas, green enchilada sauce, salt, garlic, pinto beans, oil, and chili powder

Origin of Enchiladas

Enchiladas may have originated from a similar Mayan dish called papadzules. But the first written recipe for enchiladas didn’t appear until a cookbook called El Cocinero mexicano was published in 1831 (source).

Typically, enchiladas are made with meat, seafood, beans, cheese, or vegetables stuffed in corn tortillas and topped with enchilada sauce. We’ve put a spin on the traditional style by creating this roll-free enchilada bake that’s plant-based and complete with all the savory and saucy goodness of the original!

How to Make an Enchilada Bake

We start the enchilada bake by sautéing a savory base of onions, garlic, spicy peppers, and chili powder. Jalapeños and serranos both work, depending on your heat preference!

Sautéing onion, garlic, serrano, and chili powder in a skillet

Next, we add fresh veggies for fiber and nourishment! We like zucchini, carrots, and spinach for a contrast of colors and textures, but most of your favorite veggies can work here. Bell peppers, corn, or kale would all be winning options!

We finish off the filling by adding pinto beans for plant-based protein. Other legumes like black beans or lentils will also work for a similar hearty addition!

Sautéing beans and veggies in a skillet

Then with the filling ready, it’s layer time! We cut the corn tortillas in half and place them with the flat sides toward the edges of the pan. The enchilada sauce under the tortillas helps to soften them and make the enchilada bake extra flavorful!

Baking pan with tortillas over green enchilada sauce

Top the tortillas with a bean and veggie layer.

Bean and veggie filling over tortillas

Then we repeat a couple times: sauce, tortillas, veggie filling.

Tortillas layered over a bean and veggie filling

Lastly, we finish with tortillas and a final layer of green enchilada sauce. And then it’s time to throw it in the oven! After baking, we like to top it with vegan sour cream (or avocado crema), radishes, red onion, and cilantro. And then devour — major yum!

Baking pan showing green enchilada sauce over layers of tortillas and filling

We hope you LOVE this enchilada bake! It’s:

Bright
Saucy
Hearty
Savory
Spicy
& SO delicious!

This enchilada bake is a satisfying, weeknight-friendly meal on its own. But if you’re planning a feast, pair it with other Mexican-inspired recipes like our 5-Ingredient Ginger Beer MargaritasMexican Quinoa Salad with Orange Lime Dressing, or Quinoa Salad Cups with Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing!

More Enchilada-Inspired Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Vegan sour cream, shallot, radish, and cilantro over a green enchilada casserole

Pinto Bean & Veggie Green Enchilada Bake

Saucy, satisfying enchilada casserole with green enchilada sauce, veggies, and pinto beans. A hearty, quick, nourishing entrée that’s vegan, gluten-free, and easy to prepare. Just 10 ingredients required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Plate of our green enchilada bake recipe
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 (Servings)
Course Entree
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mexican-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3 Days

Ingredients

TORTILLAS

  • 6 (6-inch) yellow or white corn tortillas (find our recipe for homemade here)

FILLING

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (if oil-free, sub water)
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced (1 small onion yields ~1 cup or 160 g)
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 medium jalapeño or serrano pepper, finely diced (we used serrano for more heat)
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt (use less if your chili powder has salt in it)
  • 2 tsp chili powder blend (NOT chili flakes, cayenne pepper, or pure chili)
  • 4 cups fresh veggies of choice, finely diced (we used 1 cup zucchini, 1 cup carrots, and 2 cups baby spinach)
  • 1 (15-oz.) can pinto beans (or sub black beans), drained

SAUCE

FOR SERVING optional

Instructions

  • If using homemade green enchilada sauce, start preparing it at this time. You can proceed with making the casserole while the enchilada sauce ingredients are roasting. For the casserole, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and position a rack in the middle of the oven.
  • FILLING: Heat a large rimmed stainless steel or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the olive oil and onion and sauté until fragrant and softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeño (or serrano), salt, and chili powder. Toss to distribute the spices and sauté for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the veggies (we used zucchini, carrots, and whole baby spinach) and sauté. Stir frequently, until the vegetables have brightened in color and are beginning to soften, about 3-5 minutes. Add the drained pinto beans and mix once more to combine. Let the pinto beans warm through for ~2 minutes, then taste and adjust the filling, adding more salt for overall flavor or more chili powder for smokiness and heat.
  • CASSEROLE: Cut all the tortillas in half so you have 12 half moon-shaped tortillas, and set nearby. Pour 1/3 cup (80 ml) of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of an 8×8-inch (or similar size) glass or ceramic baking dish and spread to evenly coat.
  • For the first layer, place 4 corn tortilla halves on top of the sauce (see photo), then put half of the filling mixture on top of the tortillas and spread evenly. Top the filling with 4 more tortilla halves, then another 1/3 cup (80 ml) sauce, and the rest of the filling. Place the final 4 tortilla halves on top of the filling and top with the final 1/3 cup (80 ml) of enchilada sauce.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until warmed through. Top with desired toppings and serve. We went with vegan sour cream, red onion, radish, and cilantro, but this enchilada casserole is delicious on its own!
  • Leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator up to 3 days or in the freezer up to 1 month, though best when fresh. Reheat in a 350-degree F (176 C) oven for 15-20 minutes or until warmed through.

Video

Notes

*Prep and cook time do not include making enchilada sauce.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with 1 cup zucchini, 1 cup carrots, 2 cups spinach, and without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 322 Carbohydrates: 49.2 g Protein: 11.8 g Fat: 10.3 g Saturated Fat: 1.5 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.9 g Monounsaturated Fat: 6 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 919 mg Potassium: 830 mg Fiber: 11.3 g Sugar: 6.1 g Vitamin A: 8577 IU Vitamin C: 34 mg Calcium: 151 mg Iron: 3.1 mg

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My Rating:




    • Missy says

      I’ve never ordered enchiladas before or really had them but tried this recipe with a mushroom, celery, carrots mixture in addition to the beans and I’m with everybody else- this absolutely blew me away!! Fantastic creation, thank you!

  1. Meri Schroeder says

    Great dinner, and so easy to make. Very versatile; so many options on the vegetables. I used carrots, red & yellow pepper, zucchini, yellow squash and spinach. I also added about a 1/2 tsp of cumin and some cheese.

  2. Laura says

    This is absolutely delicious and will be in my meal rotation a lot! I made the enchiladas oil-free, along with the easy green enchilada sauce and avocado crema! The flavors were amazing! I might throw a little fresh corn into the recipe next time. Thank you for this recipe!

  3. Becky T says

    I made this last week and it was delicious! I used Saucy Lips Green Enchilada Sauce from Whole Foods, omitted the oil, and used zucchini, orange bell pepper, corn, and kale for the veggies. Otherwise I followed the recipe as written. I doubled it so I would have plenty of leftovers. SOOO good and easy to prepare. Oh, I made a batch of cashew queso for topping and it was divine. Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ooo cashew queso sounds like it would make it even better! Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Becky! xo

  4. Lauren says

    I made this last night and loved it! I used a pre-made enchilada sauce and it was great. The vegetables I used were carrot, zucchini, and eggplant. Great recipe.

  5. Susan Davis says

    Made this recipe tonight. Only change was a little cumin n cilantro to the mixture. It was very very good. I used canned mild enchilada sauce and pre-made corn tortillas to reduce cooking time. Definitely will make again. I too am surprised more people have not tried it.

  6. Ruben says

    Fantastic. Almost bought a store jar of sauce but this sauce is simple and so delicious, well worth the effort. One of the best recipes I’ve made in awhile. Used oil, otherwise made as recipe read. So good! Thank you!

  7. Becky Moulder says

    I know this recipe only came out a few days ago, but I was still surprised to see only one rating so far. Get on it, people! Make this delicious, filling enchilada dish with all your end-of-summer zucchini. I’ll definitely be making this again!

  8. Stacy Sharp says

    I made this recipe tonight. As soon as I saw it I had to make it. It was Devine!!! The first thing my husband said was “Put this in the rotation. It’s really good.” I agree. The only change I made was omitting the oil. We aren’t completely oil free but I remove it where possible. Thank you for this wonderful recipe.

  9. Flyingmartini says

    Hello! I want to make this but I can’t eat anything spicy -not even mild. What are good subs for the peppers & chili blend?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi, you could try green bell peppers and more cumin, but we haven’t tested it that way and can’t guarantee the result. Let us know if you try it!

  10. The Vegan Goddess says

    Most corn is GMO so I avoid it even though I loved it.

    I am interested in the green sauce and the rest of the recipe but will try it with an alternate tortilla. There are other options on your wonderful website. : )

    This looks hearty, delicious and satisfying.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi, feel free to sub another tortilla! Just know it could get a little soggy in this recipe. We typically find organic and non-gmo corn tortillas at health food stores. Hope that helps!