This enchilada casserole tastes like my favourite vegetarian enchiladas, but only takes 15 minutes of effort - no rolling or layering! The perfect veggie-packed comfort food.
Some of my favourite dinners are those that can be a bit of a faff to make - lasagne, shepherd's pie, enchiladas... They're always worth it in the end, but sometimes I just don't want to stand there for half an hour preparing my dinner.
Luckily, I'm the queen of a shortcut - and this enchilada casserole is a much quicker way to make vegetarian enchiladas, without all the fiddly rolling!
What are enchiladas?
Just in case you've never had enchiladas before (what have you been doing all your life?), I'll give you a brief description.
Regular enchiladas consist of vegetables and beans (or whatever other fillings you fancy), rolled up in large tortillas, and coated in enchilada sauce. They're then baked in the oven until they're hot and bubbly.
They're one of my all-time favourite Tex-Mex meals - not only do you get all the incredible Tex-Mex flavours of a burrito or a quesadilla, but you also get the added bonus of a tasty sauce and a crispy cheese topping.
Enchiladas are all sorts of good bits, rolled up in one incredible dish.
Vegetarian enchilada casserole
This enchilada casserole is basically the low effort way to make vegetarian enchiladas. Instead of rolling the veggies and beans up into individual tortillas, I just mixed it all together (including bitesized pieces of tortilla), casserole-style.
Why does it matter whether the 'filling' is actually wrapped in a tortilla, or if it's underneath it, or on top of it? It all tastes the same once you're eating it, so why bother faffing around rolling each enchilada up separately?
This version takes less time, involves less hands-on prep work, and creates less washing up.
Win win win!
How to make roasted vegetable enchilada casserole
Step 1: Roast the vegetables
As you might guess from the name of this dish, it begins with roasted vegetables.
Roasting is by far my favourite way to cook the majority of vegetables. It's hands-off, and it always gives the veg a really lovely flavour. They end up soft in the middle, with nice little crispy bits around the edges.
You can pretty much roast up whatever vegetables you like for this enchilada casserole. I stuck with my favourite Tex-Mex veggies - peppers (red and yellow), mushrooms, and courgette (zucchini).
Step 2: Prepare the enchilada sauce
There's absolutely no reason why you couldn't use a shop-bought enchilada sauce for this casserole, if you can find one you like. This is meant to be a low effort dinner, after all - and in fact, if you do just use a jar, this will end up being a one pot dinner, which is always good!
However, enchilada sauce is actually not that easy to find in the UK - and when I do spot it somewhere, it's always super expensive. So, since homemade enchilada sauce literally takes just a few minutes to make, and the ingredients are things I always have in the kitchen anyway, I decided to make my own. Either way works just fine.
You'll also need to cut up some flour tortillas, ready for adding to the casserole.
Step 3: Mix everything together
When the vegetables are nice and roasty, it's time to mix everything together:
- the roasted vegetables
- your (shop-bought or homemade) enchilada sauce
- pieces of flour tortilla
- a tin of black beans
I mix it all straight in the baking dish, so it doesn't create any additional washing up.
Step 4: Bake until crispy
Top the dish with a bit of grated cheese, and pop it back in the oven for about another 15 minutes, until it's all nice and crispy.
The end result tastes just like my favourite vegetarian enchiladas. The pieces of tortilla soak up a little of the sauce, just like in 'real' enchiladas - and by the time you've scooped up a big forkful, it's totally irrelevant that they weren't neatly rolled.
How to serve enchilada casserole
This enchilada casserole doesn't really require any side dishes - it's already a full meal in itself.
However, it's sometimes nice to prepare some side dishes, if only so you can have a bit of variety on the plate. I probably wouldn't bother if I was just making this for my family, but if we had guests, I'd probably choose one or two of these to serve alongside:
- green salad
- sour cream
- corn on the cob
- garlic bread (if you don't mind double carbs...)
What vegetables can you use in enchiladas?
To make my enchilada casserole, I used mushrooms, courgette (zucchini), and red and yellow peppers. These are my go-to veggies for Tex-Mex cooking.
You could also use:
- onion / red onion
- eggplant (aubergine)
- tinned sweetcorn (add along with the black beans)
- sweet potato
Or, to be honest, pretty much anything else that roasts up nicely. For example, carrot may not be a vegetable I would often put in enchiladas, but it does roast up really nicely, so there's no reason you couldn't add that too.
Just be aware that some vegetables roast more quickly or more slowly than others, so bear that in mind - you may need to add some veg to the dish a little later than others.
Can you freeze vegetarian enchilada casserole?
Yep! Vegetarian enchiladas (including this casserole version) are just the sort of meal that can be frozen easily - so they're perfect for batch cooking. Just transfer the cooked casserole to a freezer-safe tub, and pop it in the freezer.
I'd personally reheat it thoroughly in the microwave. You could reheat it in the oven instead if you prefer, but it may dry out a little.
Roasted Vegetable Enchilada Casserole
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- 1 red pepper
- 1 yellow pepper
- 1 small (or ½ large) courgette (zucchini)
- 100 g (~ 3 ½ oz) mushrooms (~ 6 medium mushrooms)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 250 ml (~ 1 cup) enchilada sauce (shop-bought or homemade)
- 400 g tin black beans, drained (240g, or ~ 1 ¼ cups, when drained)
- 4 small flour tortillas, cut into bitesized pieces
- 75 g cheddar cheese, grated (~ ¾ cup when grated)
- Fresh coriander (cilantro), to garnish
- Cut the vegetables into chunky dice, and toss them in a little oil. Place them in a baking dish (mine measured approximately 10 x 7 inches), and roast at 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F) for around 30-40 minutes, stirring halfway, until the vegetables are fairly soft.
- If you're using homemade enchilada sauce, prepare it while the vegetables are roasting. You can see my full enchilada sauce recipe here. Shop-bought sauce is also fine to use.
- When the vegetables are fairly soft, add the enchilada sauce, tinned black beans, and the pieces of tortilla. Mix well until everything is coated in the sauce.
- Sprinkle with some grated cheese, and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes, or until the cheese is crispy and the sauce is hot and bubbly. Garnish with fresh coriander (cilantro), if desired.
Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.