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!
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!
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!
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!
Top the tortillas with a bean and veggie layer.
Then we repeat a couple times: sauce, tortillas, 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!
We hope you LOVE this enchilada bake! It’s:
& 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 Margaritas, Mexican Quinoa Salad with Orange Lime Dressing, or Quinoa Salad Cups with Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing!
More Enchilada-Inspired Recipes
- Cornbread & Black Bean Enchilada Bake
- Plantain Black Bean Enchilada Bake
- Enchilada-Stuffed Butternut Squash
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!
Pinto Bean & Veggie Green Enchilada Bake
- 6 (6-inch) yellow or white corn tortillas (find our recipe for homemade here)
- 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
- 1 cup Easy Green Enchilada Sauce (or sub store-bought)
- 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.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with 1 cup zucchini, 1 cup carrots, 2 cups spinach, and without optional ingredients.