Made with zucchini, kale, corn, beans, peppers, and onions, these Vegetarian Enchiladas are bursting with flavor and nutrition.
Pair these Veggie Enchiladas with a side of Instant Pot Spanish Rice and a Pina Colada Smoothie for a restaurant-quality vegetarian meal that is easy enough for a weeknight meal, yet impressive enough to serve to company!
Whether you are looking for more plant-based recipes, a way to incorporate veggies into your diet, or just a flavorful, easy family meal, these Vegetarian Enchiladas are for you!
This veggie enchilada recipe is the best because:
- Incredibly flavorful. Filled with a combination of sauteed vegetables and seasoned beans, these veggie enchiladas are perfectly spiced, perfectly balanced, and not only have amazing flavor but incredible texture.
- Just spicy enough. Smothered in homemade enchilada sauce, the flavor is taken over the top. The enchilada sauce adds a subtle punch of spice, yet these enchiladas are mild enough for even the kids to enjoy.
- Bursting with nutrition. Veggie Enchiladas, like my recipe for Sweet Potato Burritos, are filled with fiber, vitamins, and plant-based protein thanks to the combination of vegetables and beans.
- Vegan-friendly. When made as written, this recipe for vegetable enchiladas is both a plant-based and vegan recipe. hen served with a dollop of homemade guacamole, these enchiladas have a rich, creamy finish--just as though they were baked smothered in cheese.
- Adaptable. Love cheese? Add it! Hate onions, omit them! Don't care for black beans? Use pinto beans! The base recipe is forgivable and adaptable, meaning you can use whatever beans and vegetables you like or have on hand and opt to add cheese or keep this meal dairy-free and vegan-friendly.
- Can be made in advance. I have provided directions to make these enchiladas up to 24 hours in advance, which is a great option when entertaining or when you know you will have a busy evening.
Vegetarian Enchiladas need to become a regular rotation at your house. They are a great way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet without sacrificing taste or flavor!
Notes on Ingredients
As stated earlier, this recipe for Vegetarian Enchiladas is adaptable based on the ingredients you have on hand and your dietary preferences. Below are notes of suggestions and substitutions or variations that will still ensure you have delicious results.
- Vegetables: Select vegetables that you and your family enjoy eating. I personally prefer these vegetable enchiladas made with a combination of bell peppers, zucchini, onions, garlic, and corn. The onions and garlic add a nice base of flavor. The bell pepper and zucchini both add contrasting texture to the vegetable filling. The corn adds a bit of sweetness to the filling that compliments the spice in the recipe.
- Kale: Kale is a powerhouse of nutrients and adds great flavor and texture to the enchilada filling. but feel free to use spinach in place of kale if desired or you can omit the greens completely. If using kale, use baby kale, or remove the thick stem and cut the leaves into bite-sized pieces before adding to the filling.
- Beans: Use either pinto beans or black beans, which complement the other flavors and help to make these Vegetarian Enchiladas hearty and filling.
- Jalapeno: The addition of jalapeno is optional, but does add a subtle heat to the filling. Feel free to omit it for a less spicy filling.
- Fajita Seasoning: The filling of these veggies enchiladas is seasoned with Homemade Fajita Seasoning, which is made with garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, and salt. It adds just the right combination of flavor without overwhelming the vegetables.
- Fresh Lime: Adding both lime zest and lime juice to the enchilada filling adds so much bright flavor and helps to make the filling pop with dimension and freshness.
- Enchilada Sauce: You can use store-bought red enchilada sauce but homemade enchilada sauce is so easy to make and so much better tasting (plus it can be made gluten-free if needed.)
- Tortillas: You can use any variety of soft-taco-sized (8-inch) tortillas you like. Gluten-free, flour, corn, or homemade tortillas all work.
- Cheese: The addition of cheese is completely optional. Without the cheese, these Vegetarian Enchiladas are vegan-friendly, but if you are not vegan or dairy-free, feel free to add shredded Mexican, Colby, or cheddar cheese to the enchiladas before baking. and lime juice to the enchilada filling adds so much dimension to the filling.
How to Make Vegetarian Enchiladas
Step One: Prepare Veggie Filling
For the vegetable filling, it is best to begin by sauteeing the veggies to help them develop flavor and release their natural moisture. This will ensure that your enchiladas will not be soggy and that they will have an incredible depth of flavor.
- Over medium heat, saute the onions, bell pepper, and jalapeno in a bit of oil, until the onion begins to just soften.
- Add the fajita seasoning and minced garlic and saute for 1 minute longer to lightly toast the garlic and spices.
- Add the zucchini and kale and continue to saute until the greens are wilted and the zucchini has softened.
- Add the beans and cook for just a minute or two, just to warm through.
- Turn off the heat on the skillet and add in the lime zest and lime juice. Tip: Be sure to zest the lime BEFORE juicing. It is next to impossible to zest a lime after it's been cut.
- Give the mixture a quick taste test to see if you need to add additional salt to the vegetables.
Step Two: Assemble Enchiladas
It is best to warm or toast your tortillas before filling them with the bean and veggie mixture. This will help the tortillas to have more flavor and become more pliable and easy to roll into enchiladas. This is especially crucial when using corn tortillas as they tend to crack and break easily.
- Lightly toast tortillas in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until just warmed through on both sides.
- To fill the enchiladas, place ⅓ to ½ cup vegetable mixture onto tortillas and roll them up as you would a burrito. You want enough filling to make these enchiladas hearty, yet not too much filling that they are difficult to roll.
- Once rolled, place the veggie enchiladas into a greased baking dish. I don't spread the bottom of my baking dish with enchilada sauce, as I find that can make the enchiladas soggy. However, if you like enchiladas with a softer texture, feel free to spread ¼ cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the baking dish before adding the enchiladas.
- Pour the enchilada sauce evenly over the assembled enchiladas and top with shredded cheese if desired.
Step Three: Bake & Serve
- Bake the enchiladas, uncovered until warmed through.
- Once baked, serve these enchiladas as desired. They are delicious with sour cream, diced avocado, diced tomato, pickled jalapenos, and cilantro.
How to Prevent Soggy Enchiladas
I do not care for "wet" or soggy enchiladas that are swimming in so much enchilada sauce that the enchiladas fall apart after baking.
To prevent this, I recommend doing two things.
- Instead of spreading enchilada sauce on the bottom of your baking dish, simply spray the pan with nonstick spray. That will prevent the enchiladas from sticking without getting soggy.
- Bake uncovered. If you cover your enchiladas with foil before baking the heat is trapped and moisture will circulate around the enchiladas, keeping them super moist, to the point of potentially becoming soggy.
If you like softer enchiladas, spread an additional ¼ cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of your baking dish and bake the enchiladas covered with foil.
These Vegetarian Enchiladas can be assembled up to 24 hours in advance. To do so, prepare the enchilada filling as directed. Toast and fill the tortillas with the mixture. Place the rolled-up enchiladas into a greased baking dish and cover tightly with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Do NOT add the enchilada sauce (this will cause the tortillas to become soggy and disintegrate. When ready to bake the enchiladas, remove them from the refrigerator while the oven preheats. Once the oven has preheated, uncover, top with enchilada sauce (and cheese if using), and bake as directed.
More Vegetarian Mexican-Inspired Recipes
If you tried this recipe for Vegetarian Enchiladas, I would love for you to leave a review and comment below.
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion minced
- ½ cup diced yellow and/or red bell pepper about 1 small pepper
- ½ small jalapeno, seeded and minced optional
- 1 clove minced garlic or 1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 cups zucchini (about 2 small zucchini) diced into half moons
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- 2 cups chopped kale stems removed
- 15 ounces pinto beans or black beans drained and rinsed
- 2 teaspoons fajita seasoning
- 1 lime zest and juice
- 8 ( 8-inch) flour or corn tortillas
- 1 cup homemade enchilada sauce or canned red enchilada sauce
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese optional
- avocado, cilantro, sour cream, tomato, etc for serving
- Preheat Oven to 400 degrees F and grease a 7x11 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno and saute for 3-4 minutes, or until the onion just begins to soften. Add the fajita seasoning and minced garlic and saute for 1 minute, to lightly toast the garlic and spices.
- Add the zucchini, corn, and kale and cook until zucchini is softened and kale is wilted, about 5-7 minutes, being sure to stir frequently. Add rinsed and drained beans to the vegetable mixture and cook for about 1 minute, just to warm through. Turn off the heat and add in the zest and juice of the lime.
- Warm the tortillas for 30 seconds per side in a dry nonstick skillet over high heat until soft and pliable.
- Place ⅓ to ½ cup of the vegetable mixture onto the center of each tortilla. Fold in the sides of the tortilla and roll up the tortilla lengthwise. Place the prepared enchilada into the prepared pan.
- Pour the enchilada sauce over the top of the tortillas, spreading if needed. Top with cheese if desired. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the enchiladas are warmed through and the cheese is melted.
- Remove the vegetarian enchiladas from the oven and let cool slightly. Serve with minced cilantro, avocado, tomatoes, etc.
This post was originally posted in 2020 and then updated in 2022.