Today I’m sharing one of my favorite meals on this earth: ENCHILADA CASSEROLE. My mom used to make it all the time for church gatherings and parties when she didn’t want to roll up tortilla for enchiladas. It’s a crowd pleaser or a homemade weeknight dinner. AND SO EASY TOO!
So, what is a casserole anyway?
It’s basically just a bunch of things thrown into a dish to get all the flavor and sauces baked at once, not only for ease, but also to make the food 100x more delicious. Just trust me when I tell you these things.
Casseroles aren’t just any old thang to throw around though. They can really be anything you want them to be as long as you know how to put it together correctly: Hispanic, Italian, Greek, Thai, American. It’s all about the ingredients you use and the flavors you put together. You can add rice, noodles, tortilla, bread. You can also make them for breakfast (think french toast casserole). FABULOUS.
Vegetarian enchilada casserole ingredients
I opted to make this healthy enchilada casserole vegetarian because I had recently been to a Mexican restaurant that served mushroom and cheese enchiladas and they were SO ridiculously good. Anyway, roasted veggies = the best thing ever, especially in enchiladas. Here’s everything you need:
- For the veggies: red bell pepper, orange bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, red onion, baby bella mushrooms, zucchini, olive or avocado oil, garlic, salt & pepper.
- For the chipotle enchilada sauce: tomato sauce, garlic, chili powder, cumin, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (from the can), milk of any choice (I like using almond or cashew milk).
- For the layers: black beans, shredded monterey jack cheese (or mexican blend), corn tortillas.
- For topping: diced avocado, jalapenos and cilantro.
How to make homemade chipotle enchilada sauce
This healthy enchilada casserole is made with a life changing homemade creamy enchilada chipotle sauce. It’s seriously delicious and perfect for slathering on scrambled eggs, throwing in burritos, slow cooking chicken in OR drizzling all over your enchiladas. To make it:
- Simply add the sauce ingredients to the bowl of a food processor
- Process for 30 seconds or until smooth
SO easy and so delicious!
Customize this vegetarian enchilada casserole
- To keep it dairy free: simply use a dairy free cheese, my cashew cheese sauce or you can leave out the cheese completely.
- Switch up your tortillas: I use corn tortillas because it’s my preference flavor-wise and keeps the enchilada casserole gluten free, but feel free to use any tortillas you’d like.
- Feel free to mix it up with any veggies you have on hand! I think sweet potato or butternut squash would be delicious in here.
- Mix up the enchilada sauce: If you’re not a fan of chipotle, feel free to use this basic enchilada sauce recipe instead.
- Add extra protein: If you’re not vegetarian, feel free to throw in some cooked, shredded chicken for an extra boost of protein.
How to store, freeze & reheat this enchilada casserole
To store: let the enchilada casserole cool completely and then either cover the whole pan and place it in the fridge or put individual slices into airtight container and place them in the fridge. This casserole will stay good for up to 3-4 days in the fridge. To reheat, simply add a slice to a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 30 seconds – 1 minute or until heated through.
To freeze: you can either bake the casserole first, cool it to room temperature, slice into servings, place in freezer safe containers and then freeze. Or, to freeze the whole pan, you can bake it, bring it to room temp, and then freeze the entire pan. Once ready to reheat, thaw it out in the fridge, then bake it, covered at 350 degrees F for 30-45 minutes or until heated through.
More healthy dinner recipes to try:
I hope you guys love this easy, healthy vegetarian enchilada casserole and get a chance to make it soon! Please leave a comment below if you make it and/or upload a photo and tag #ambitiouskitchen.
Chipotle Black Bean Roasted Veggie Enchilada Casserole
Delicious chipotle black bean roasted veggie enchilada casserole with layers of veggies snuggled between black beans, corn tortillas, a homemade chipotle enchilada sauce and cheese. This easy vegetarian enchilada casserole is protein-packed and makes the perfect weeknight dinner for a family or incredible leftovers for meal prep!
- For the roasted veggies:
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 orange bell pepper, diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 (8 oz) package sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 1 medium zucchini, quartered
- 1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper
- For the chipotle enchilada sauce:
- 1 (15 oz can) tomato sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (from the can)
- 2/3 cup any milk of choice (we love almond or cashew)
- For the layers:
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese, divided
- 9 corn tortillas
- To garnish:
- Diced avocado, jalapenos and cilantro
STEP 1: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, or you can also line two smaller baking sheets if that’s all you have available. Place diced bell pepper, diced onion, mushrooms, and quartered zucchini on prepared baking sheet(s). Drizzle with olive oil and toss garlic on top. Generously toss with your hands to coat the veggies with garlic and oil. Roast vegetables for 20-25 minutes.
STEP 2: While the veggies are roasting prepare the chipotle enchilada sauce: In the bowl of a food processor, add the sauce ingredients and process for 30 seconds or until smooth.
STEP 3: Reduce heat in oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add 1/2 cup enchilada sauce to the bottom of the pan and spread out evenly. Place 3 corn tortillas over the sauce. You may need to cut one tortilla in half to create a single layer. Next add ½ of the roasted veggies and half of the black beans on top of the tortillas. Then drizzle ½ cup of enchilada sauce on top followed by 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
STEP 4: Repeat the layers again, starting with the 3 corn tortillas, remaining veggies and beans, ½ cup enchilada sauce and 1/2 cup cheese.
STEP 5: Finally add 3 more corn tortillas on top to evenly cover the veggies and beans, then top with remaining enchilada sauce and 1 cup cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serves 6.
To keep it dairy free: simply use a dairy free cheese, my cashew cheese sauce or you can leave out the cheese completely.
How to store, freeze & reheat this enchilada casserole
- To store: let the enchilada casserole cool completely and then either cover the whole pan and place it in the fridge or put individual slices into airtight container and place them in the fridge. This casserole will stay good for up to 3-4 days in the fridge. To reheat, simply add a slice to a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 30 seconds - 1 minute or until heated through.
- To freeze: you can either bake the casserole first, cool it to room temperature, slice into servings, place in freezer safe containers and then freeze. Or, to freeze the whole pan, you can bake it, bring it to room temp, and then freeze the entire pan. Once ready to reheat, thaw it out in the fridge, then bake it, covered at 350 degrees F for 30-45 minutes or until heated through.
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats