Jun 15, 2011

Vegetable Enchiladas

vegetable enchalidas 1

I make a conscious effort to have a variety in my menu plan each week – and includes making sure we have a few vegetarian meals each week.  I am well aware that Americans get plenty of meat in their diet already – and we are no exception to that fact.  It’s really no sacrifice to skip the meat – when you make a very flavorful vegetarian dish.  These enchiladas are the perfect example of that!  

I like a recipe that can be make completely from scratch – and this includes the enchilada sauce.  I recommend if you are going to go this route – make the sauce in advance.  I found that making the sauce, filling and then filling and baking these took me over an hour and half in the kitchen.  It also didn’t help that I also made mexican rice – which is also somewhat involved.   Enjoy! 

vegetable enchalidas 2


For the sauce:

  • 1 tsp. canola oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Salt and pepper

For the filling:

  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 zucchini, halved lengthwise, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups enchilada sauce (above), divided
  • 1 cup finely crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup drained chopped canned green chiles
  • Salt and pepper

For assembly:

  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • vegetable oil spray
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
  • Lime wedges, for serving


1. To make the enchilada sauce: Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin and sugar and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the tomato sauce and water, bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

2. To make the filling: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

3. Transfer half of the black beans to a bowl and mash with a fork until almost completely smooth.  Set aside. 

4. Add the oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until softened and browned, 5-7 minutes.  Add the zucchini and cook just until tender, 3-5 minutes more.   Stir in the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the mashed beans and remaining whole beans and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes.

5. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce, the queso fresco, cilantro and green chiles.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6. To assemble: Lightly coat both sides of the tortillas with vegetable oil spray.  Place 6 tortillas on a baking sheet and bake until the tortillas are soft and pliable – 2 to 4 minutes.  Working quickly place 1/3 cup of the filling mixture down the center of a tortilla.  Tightly roll up the tortilla and place in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, seam side down.  Repeat with the remaining filling and tortillas. 

7. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees F.

8. Pour 1 cup of the sauce over the enchiladas, spreading it evenly.  Sprinkle the shredded cheddar over the top of the sauce. 

9. Cover with foil and bake until the enchiladas are heated through, about 10 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue to bake until the cheese is melted, 3-5 minutes more. Sprinkle with additional queso fresco and cilantro for garnish, if desired.  Serve warm with remaining sauce and lime wedges.

Source: America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

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  1. I love enchiladas and homemade sauce makes such a difference! These sound great!

  2. We are lazy menu planners, but I do have one "Ethnic Night" each week. I will definitely try this recipe out next time!