Layers of corn tortillas, zesty beans and veggies, and spicy sauce are baked up to bubbly perfection to make this mouth-watering vegan enchilada casserole. Absolutely delicious and easy enough for a weeknight!
Enchilada casserole is the perfect meal for people who love enchiladas but hate rolling them. I don't exactly hate rolling enchiladas, but sometimes I need a break.
Like right about now, I'm a little beat. It's been a long, dark winter, I just lost an hour of my life over the weekend (thank you, daylight savings time!) and cold and flu season kind of put me through the ringer. Can you relate? Need some comfort food? Make enchilada casserole.
Also, I kind of just like enchilada casserole better than regular old enchiladas. I can't say why. I think there's something about sinking my fork into a big old tortilla casserole made with layers of zesty fillings and sauce. Oh, the enchilada sauce! There's a lot of it, and sauce is the best part of enchiladas if you ask me.
How It's Made
First, you need your sauce! I posted an enchilada sauce recipe over the weekend, and that's the sauce I used to make my casserole. If you prefer store-bought sauce, go for it. It won't hurt my feelings!
Make the Filling
Traditional enchilada casserole is made with a meat filling, but we're keeping ours vegetarian (and dairy-free!)
To make the filling, you'll start by cooking some onion, garlic and bell pepper in a bit of oil. After a few minutes, add some spices, beans, corn, and your enchilada sauce. Yes, the enchilada sauce actually goes in the filling for this one, and trust, me it's awesome.
Simmer everything for a few minutes to reduce the sauce a bit and then mash up just a few of the beans with a potato masher.
Ladle even more sauce into the bottom of a casserole dish, then layer some corn tortillas on top. If you're using a square casserole dish like me, you may want to cut some of your tortillas in half so you have night straight edges that line up with the sides of your dish.
Arrange half or your filling over the tortillas, followed by a second layer of tortillas, then the other half of your filling, then a third layer of tortillas, and top it all off with another layer of sauce.
Bake it up until hot and bubbly.
- For a cheesy plant-based enchilada casserole, add a layer or two of your favorite shredded vegan cheese.
- This casserole firms up as it sits. You'll want to let it sit for at least a few minutes before serving. The quicker you serve it, the sloppier it will be, while the longer you wait, the neater your slices will be.
- When you salt the filling to taste, go just a tad saltier than you normally would. The tortillas will absorb some of the saltiness.
- This is one of those dishes where the leftovers are awesome. They'll keep for 3-4 days in a sealed container in the fridge, or about 3 months in the freezer.
You'll need to use a gluten-free enchilada sauce (my recipe isn't gluten-free, but they're out there), and make sure your tortillas are gluten-free.
More Vegan Casseroles
- White Bean & Tomato Polenta Casserole
- Vegan Green Bean Casserole
- Vegan Tater Tot Casserole
- Vegan Eggplant Moussaka
Loaded Vegan Enchilada Casserole
Layers of corn tortillas, zesty beans and veggies, and spicy sauce are baked up to bubbly perfection to make this mouth-watering enchilada casserole. 100% vegan and easy enough for a weeknight!
- 1 tablespoon canola oil, or high-heat oil of choice
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 (14 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14 ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
- 2 ½ cups enchilada sauce, divided
- Hot sauce, to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 18 corn tortillas
- Avocado slices
- Fresh cilantro
- Chopped scallions
- Vegan sour cream or cashew cream
Coat the bottom of a large skillet with oil and place it over medium heat.
When the oil is hot, add the onion and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pepper begins to soften up and the onion becomes translucent.
Stir in the garlic and cumin. Cook for about 1 minute more, until the garlic becomes very fragrant.
Stir in the black beans, pinto beans, corn, and 1 ½ cups of enchilada sauce.
Raise the heat and bring the sauce to a simmer. Lower the heat and allow the mixture to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
Use a fork or potato masher to mash up about ¼ of the mixture (about 10 to 12 smashes should do it). Stir everything together and allow the mixture to simmer for 1-2 minutes more.
Remove the skillet from heat. Season with hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Ladle half of the remaining sauce into the bottom of a 2 quart casserole dish (I used a 9 x 9 inch square dish).
Arrange 6 of the tortillas over the sauce. You can cut some of the tortillas in half so the edges line up with the sides of the dish, if desired.
Ladle half of the bean mixture over the tortillas.
Arrange 6 more tortillas over the bean mixture.
Ladle the other half of the bean mixture over the tortillas.
Arrange the last 6 tortillas over the bean mixture.
Ladle the remaining sauce over the tortillas, spreading it out to cover the tortillas fully.
Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes, until the casserole is hot and bubbly.
Remove the casserole from the oven and let it sit for at least 10 minutes.
Slice and divide the casserole onto plates. Top with toppings of choice. Serve.
Adapted from Delish's Chicken Enchilada Casserole.