Say hello to your new favorite Tex-Mex dinner! This Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole has all the classic enchilada flavor, but with about a quarter of the work!
Plus, the recipe is incredibly flexible and you can add whichever veggies or protein you’d like to it, within reason.
It takes about 20 minutes to toss together, but you can also make it well in advance and then bake it when you’re ready for dinner!
Think of this enchilada casserole as a cheat code to your favorite Tex-Mex Dinner!
Let’s make it!
Making the Vegetable Filling for Enchiladas
The truth is that there is a wide range of veggies that would work here. I went with a mix of onions, sweet potatoes, red peppers, and jalapenos.
Black beans, corn, and green chiles go in later, but you want to saute these alone in some olive oil with spices so they soften. They will need to cook for 5-6 minutes over medium heat.
Once they have softened, you can add the canned ingredients. I also added the garlic during this step so it wouldn’t burn. Looking good!
To finish the filling, add about 1 1/2 cups of enchilada sauce to the skillet and simmer everything together for a few minutes. Taste it and adjust it to your liking!
Other Filling Ideas for Enchilada Casserole
Go crazy with filling ideas here! For vegetables, any beans will work great. Mushrooms are a hearty addition.
If you have some protein in your fridge you could brown up some ground beef instead of the beans and make a beefy casserole or dice up some chicken and go that route!
Building the Enchilada Casserole
Think of this as a kind of tex-mex lasagna!
Add some enchilada sauce to the bottom of your baking dish, top with corn tortillas, then add the filling, cheese, more tortillas, more filling, more cheese, more tortillas.
The amount of filling you use for each layer will depend on the size of your pan. If you have a long narrow pan, you can spread out the filling. If you have a high pan, you can pile up the filling or even add another layer.
The last layer of the casserole should a few tortillas on top. These act as a nice top layer that get kinda crispy as they bake.
Baking the Enchilada Casserole
Cover the casserole and bake it for 20 minutes or so at 375˚F. Then remove the foil, add some extra cheese, and bake for another 10-15 minutes to melt the cheese. Everything should be bubbly and delicious.
When the enchilada casserole comes out, top it with cilantro, red onion, and diced tomato. YUM!
Can you this in advance?
There is some work involved in putting this casserole together (although less than traditional enchiladas) so it can be helpful to prep everything and then just toss it in the oven!
This works fantastically. You can completely make the casserole and then just bake it off when you are ready for dinner.
- Something easy to serve with this casserole? Try my fresh cabbage salsa!
Storing and Reheating
You’ll probably have leftovers. YAY! The casserole will keep great in the fridge for 4-5 days. You can reheat the whole thing in the oven until warmed through or reheat individual portions in the microwave works fine also.
You can freeze this casserole. If you do this, cool it completely and transfer it to a freezer-safe container. You can thaw/bake it in the oven until warmed through in the center.
I like to serve this vegetarian enchilada casserole with chips, avocado, and sour cream. It’s a winner!
Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 2 cups cubed sweet potatoes
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 15 oz. can sweet corn, drained
- 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 4 oz. can green chiles
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 cups red enchilada sauce, divided
- 10 6-inch corn tortillas
- 10 ounces monterey jack cheese
- Diced red onion
- Minced cilantro
- Diced tomatoes
- Preheat oven to 375˚F. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil along with sweet potatoes, onions, red peppers, and jalapenos. Add salt, cumin, and chili powder and saute the mixture for 5-6 minutes until vegetables start to soften.
- Add black beans, corn, and garlic to the skillet. Continue to cook for a few minutes to combine flavors.
- Add 1 1/2 cups of the enchilada sauce to the skillet and stir to combine. Simmer for a few minutes and then remove from heat. Taste and adjust flavors to your liking.
- In a 2 1/2 quart baking dish or similar sized baking dish, add 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce and spread it out on the bottom of the dish. Then add a layer of corn tortillas. Rip up the tortillas to cover any gaps. Add a layer of the vegetable filling, followed by about 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat with more tortillas, the rest of the vegetable filling, more cheese, and a final layer of corn tortillas.
- Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
- Uncover the baking dish and add the reserved cheese to the top. Bake, uncovered for 10-15 minutes until cheese is bubbling.
- Top the enchilada casserole with diced red onion, tomatoes, cilantro, and avocado. Serve while warm.
- Enchilada casserole keeps well in the fridge for 4-5 days. Reheat the whole casserole in a 350˚F oven until warmed through, or microwave individual servings until hot and cheese is re-melted.