An endlessly flexible veggie enchiladas recipe made with a variety of vegetables, beans and flavorful enchilada sauce. The vegetables and beans used in these can be substituted as needed based on what you have available in the kitchen. We provide lots of suggestions below. Jump to the Veggie Enchiladas Recipe or read on to see our tips for making it.
We have a few enchilada recipes on the blog (see these red chicken enchiladas and these easy salsa verde enchiladas), but these veggie and bean enchiladas are my current favorite. They are simple to make, are flexible, and truly taste amazing. There are lots of options provided below to really make these your own. Let’s dive right in.
The filling for these veggie enchiladas is a combination of beans and vegetables. Our go-to bean for these is pinto beans because they are so meaty, but black beans, white beans, and even lentils would work nicely.
In our photos, we’ve used onion, bell pepper, mushroom, corn and spinach. These are all delicious in the filling and cook quickly. More ideas for which veggies to add are below:
- Roasted potato, sweet potato or butternut squash
- Hearty greens like kale, Swiss chard, collard greens or cabbage
- Spicier peppers like poblano, Anaheim or jalapeños
- Broccoli or cauliflower
- Zucchini or yellow squash
- and most other vegetables you can find!
When choosing the combination of vegetables you plan to use, think about how hearty they are. For example, if you plan to add sweet potato, consider roasting them first before adding to your filling.
Choosing sauce for enchiladas
Enchiladas are really flexible. Here are four options when it comes to which sauce to use:
- Make our easy authentic red enchilada sauce. To make it, we start with dried chilies and then blend them with garlic, onion, and spices. The sauce is rich and deeply flavorful. You’ll need about 35 minutes to make it.
- Make our quicker recipe for enchilada sauce that swaps dried chilies for chili powder and spices that you probably already have in your kitchen. The sauce tastes different to the more authentic version shared above, but it’s still delicious! We used this sauce to make the enchiladas shown here. You’ll need about 15 minutes to make it.
- Make green enchiladas and use our homemade salsa verde. We love red and green sauce equally. You’ll need about 25 minutes to make it.
- Use store-bought sauce. I particularly like Hatch.
Prepping the tortillas
For the best enchiladas, use corn tortillas (here’s our homemade corn tortillas recipe). We’ve occasionally use flour tortillas and when used in these creamy chicken enchiladas, are super happy, but for the most authentic enchiladas, corn tortillas are the way to go.
Since corn tortillas have a tendency to crack when they are cold or even room temperature, we lightly coat them in oil and then place them into the oven to warm them up.
Another popular method for the prepping tortillas is to fry them in oil in a skillet. This works just fine, but I find it takes a bit longer than I’d like. By “oven frying” the tortillas, we can make a large batch all at once.
There are two options for assembling these:
- Dip the warm tortillas in sauce, add filling, and then roll up.
- Skip the extra dip in sauce, add the filling, and then roll up.
If you take a look at these chicken enchiladas, when the tortillas are still warm, I quickly dipped them into enchilada sauce before filling with shredded chicken and cheese. This adds sauce to every single bite.
Then, for these green enchiladas, we simply add sauce to the bottom and top of the rolled up enchiladas. This method is a bit quicker and less messy, but both make an excellent dish. It all depends on what you want to serve.
No matter which method we choose, when all the rolled up tortillas are lined up in the pan, we spoon a bit more sauce on top, add some cheese down the middle, and then cover with foil. (You can also tuck parchment paper down the sides to cover it.)
They bake covered for 15 minutes, and then uncovered for another 10 minutes.
Make ahead tips
These are great for making in advance. Here’s all my tips:
- The sauce and vegetable mixture can be made and frozen. We provide freezing instructions for both red enchilada sauces suggested in their recipes.
- Assembled and cooked enchiladas can be frozen and then thawed in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat before serving in the oven.
- Assembled, unbaked enchiladas can also be frozen, thawed overnight, and then baked before serving. We recommend leaving the cheese off until you are ready to bake.
Easy Homemade Veggie Enchiladas
Endlessly flexible veggie enchiladas. The filling is made with a combination of veggies and beans. The recipe calls for pinto beans, but most cooked or canned beans will work as a substitute (this includes lentils). For the vegetables, use what you have on hand. If you plan to add a heartier vegetable (like sweet potato), consider roasting it first before adding to the filling.
A 13×9-inch baking dish will fit 12 enchiladas (made with 6-inch tortillas) when they are lined up in two rows, 6 enchiladas per row. Or you will be able to fit 9 to 10 when lined up in one row down the middle of the dish.
You Will Need
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 red bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
5 to 6 small mushrooms or 1 large portobello mushroom, chopped (1 cup)
1 cup frozen corn kernels
4 to 5 ounces spinach, chopped (about 4 cups, packed)
1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed, or 1 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
Cooking spray or oil
- Prepare Filling
1Arrange an oven rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they start to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the peppers and mushrooms and cook until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the beans, corn and spinach. Cook until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.
3Add 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce and then toss until the veggies and beans are well coated. Taste the mixture and adjust with salt and pepper as needed.
- Prepare Tortillas
1Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, and then place six tortillas on the baking sheet so that they are laying flat and barely touching each other. Lightly spray or rub both sides of the tortillas with oil. Bake the tortillas until they just start to crisp up, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the baked tortillas to a plate lined with paper towel, and then repeat with the remaining tortillas.
- Assemble and Bake
1Spread 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce down the center of a 13×9-inch baking dish, and then set aside.
2Optional: Add 3/4 cup of enchilada sauce to a low sided, wide bowl and then quickly dip each baked tortilla into the sauce just to coat.
3Divide the veggie and bean mixture between the tortillas, adding about 1/3 cup of filling to each and then top with a little cheese, leaving some cheese for scattering on top of the rolled up enchiladas. Roll the tortillas up and place them seam-side-down into the baking dish with sauce.
4Spoon 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of sauce over the top of the enchiladas and then finish with the remaining cheese scattered down the middle.
5Cover the dish with aluminum foil or cover with parchment paper by tucking the sides and corners down around the enchiladas.
6Bake, covered, for 15 minutes. Uncover, and then bake another 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbling on top.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Refrigerate leftover sauce and filling and stir into scrambled eggs or serve in warmed tortillas as tacos.
- Our method for prepping the tortillas is a little different to other recipes since we use the oven instead of frying the tortillas on the stove. If you prefer to prep the tortillas in the more traditional way (in a skillet with oil), you can.
- These are vegetarian enchiladas, but do include cheese. To make these vegan, omit the cheese completely. You can also substitute with a tablespoon or two of nutritional yeast or vegan cheese sprinkled on top.
- Nutrition Facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values. We have assumed 12 enchiladas and this enchilada sauce recipe for the calculations.