Vegan Enchiladas

These vegan enchiladas are over the top delicious! Stuffed with black beans and guacamole, they’re doused in a zesty homemade red enchilada sauce.

Vegan enchiladas

WOW is all we can say about this vegan enchiladas recipe! It tops the charts (with our vegan lasagna and shepherd’s pie) as one of our most crowd-pleasing plant based recipesever. Tortillas are wrapped around a veggie filling oozing with flavor, and it’s all doused in a zesty homemade enchilada sauce. With the crunchy veggie topping, this dish looks simply incredible. And it tastes even better than it looks! Alex and my goal was a whole food plant based (WFPB) enchiladas recipe with no cheese substitutes or need for vegan cheese. With a few tasty tricks, it turned out even better than expected! Here’s how to make it.

Vegan enchiladas

What’s in the best vegan enchiladas?

Don’t let these vegan enchiladas fool you: they’ll satisfy people of all diets! They’re packed with zingy flavor and full of nutrients. Even better, there’s a lazy version and a version for when you have lots of time. Here’s what’s in these enchiladas (can you see it peeking out?):

  • Veggie filling: The tasty filling features black beans, red onion, bell pepper, and portobello mushrooms sauteed with spices
  • Guacamole! This is the secret ingredient! Instead of cheese, guacamole is what brings the savory, creamy flavor to the inside of these enchiladas.
  • Red enchilada sauce: Use your very favorite red enchilada sauce here, or the best one is homemade (see below).
  • Tortillas: Flour or corn tortillas work. See our comparison below!
  • Veggie garnish: Since there’s no cheese on top, we went for a fresh Mexican-style veggie garnish with romaine lettuce, red onion, radish, and cilantro. It makes the entire dish look stunning!
Homemade enchilada sauce recipe

Homemade enchilada sauce makes the dish!

If you have time, it’s absolutely worth making our Homemade Enchilada Sauce. Turns out, it takes just a handful of ingredients to get huge flavor. This full-bodied sauce is zingy, zesty, and you’ll never want to stop eating it. Here are a few notes on incorporating this sauce into these vegan enchiladas:

  • It’s cheaper to make homemade. This recipe calls for 3 cups enchilada sauce. Alex and I priced out our favorite brand and it would be $12 to make this recipe! The homemade version weighs in at around $5.
  • Make it the day before for quick assembly. It takes about 30 minutes to make the enchilada sauce. We recommend making it the day before and refrigerating until serving. Or, you can…
  • It adds about 15 minutes to the prep time (and a dirty pan & blender). If you make it the day of, it will add about 15 minutes to the recipe, since you can simmer it while you make the enchilada filling. Just know you’ll have a little more to clean up, too!
How to make vegan enchiladas

How to assemble these vegan enchiladas

Assembling these vegan enchiladas is the hardest part. How to make sure you have the right amount of filling so it doesn’t spill out? How to make sure the tortillas don’t split? Here are our tips:

  • Don’t overfill the tortillas. It’s easy to want to put in way too much filling. All you need is 1/4 cup veggies and 2 tablespoons guacamole. Spread them in a line like you see below.
  • Roll them tightly and place seam side down. Placing seam side down helps them stay rolled.
  • If using corn tortillas, use a good brand and cook in oil prior to rolling. Corn tortillas taste great and are gluten-free, but they can easily tear and split when rolling them. See the instructions in the recipe and the section below for more!
Assembling enchiladas
Here’s what the inside of one of the tortillas should look like!

Flour tortillas vs corn tortillas: which are better for enchiladas?

Corn tortillas are more traditional in Mexican-style enchiladas. Flour tortillas are more traditional in American style enchiladas. There are pros and cons to both! When we tested this vegan enchiladas recipe, we had a lot of issues with corn tortillas that split open when we went to roll them. Here are some pros and cons to each:

  • Corn tortillas are gluten-free and more authentic Mexican. But many brands easily split when you go to roll them! To combat this, find the best corn tortilla brand you can. Then brush it with oil and cook it 15 seconds per side before assembling. Doing so can help to make it more supple for rolling (and infuses a little flavor).
  • Flour tortillas are more authentic to American enchiladas. They’re not gluten-free but they are much easier to roll! We also both loved how gooey they get when soaked in the enchilada sauce.
Vegan enchiladas

Homemade vs purchased guacamole

Our homemade guacamole recipe is so good, it’s worth making if you have time! But since storebought guacamole is so easily available, we’d recommend getting your favorite purchased brand to speed up prep time for the recipe. It takes about 15 minutes to make the guacamole. If you’re making of the components at home, we’d recommend the enchilada sauce instead.

But if you do have time, it’s worth making this incredible homemade guacamole, and you can use the extras as a side dish. You could also make it ahead and store it using this storage tip so it doesn’t brown: refrigerate it with 1/2″ of water on top of the guac. This serves as a barrier to the air and works like a charm!

Vegan enchiladas

Sides to serve with vegan enchiladas

These enchiladas are a stunning vegan dish that’s perfect for dinner parties or weeknight meals. What to serve with these vegan enchiladas to make it a full meal? We’ve got lots of options. Here are our favorite sides to serve with enchiladas:

This vegan enchiladas recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free (with corn tortillas).

Print
Vegan enchiladas

Vegan Enchiladas (Best Ever!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (10 votes, average: 4.40 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 1x

Description

These vegan enchiladas are over the top delicious! Stuffed with black beans and guacamole, they’re doused in a zesty homemade red enchilada sauce.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce or purchased sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large portobello mushroom caps
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth (leftover from the enchilada sauce recipe) or water
  • 1 1/2 cups guacamole (homemade or purchased)
  • 12 8-inch flour or corn tortillas (read section above)
  • For the garnish: 1 cup thinly sliced romaine lettuce, 1 to 2 radishes cut into matchsticks, 2 tablespoons minced red onion, and torn cilantro
  • Optional: Vegan sour cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Start the Enchilada Sauce (or for quicker prep, make it the night before). 
  3. Remove the stems from the mushroom caps and thinly slice them. Thinly slice the red onion. Thinly slice the bell pepper
  4. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Saute the veggies for 6 to 7 minutes until tender. Add the black beans (drained and rinsed), garlic powder, cumin, onion powder, paprika, kosher salt, lime juice and vegetable broth or water. Cook for 2 minutes until the liquid is thickened into a sauce. 
  5. Spread 1 cup of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish. 
  6. If using corn tortillas ONLY: Brush both sides of each tortilla lightly with olive oil. Heat a large griddle to medium-high heat. Cook the tortillas in batches for 15 seconds per side until lightly browned.
  7. Fill each tortilla with 1/4 cup of the vegetable filling and about 2 tablespoons guacamole, running in a line down the center (see the photo). Roll it up and place it in the baking dish seam side down. Once all of the 12 tortillas are in the dish, pour over the remaining 2 cups of enchilada sauce.
  8. Bake for 5 minutes until warmed through. Top with garnishes and serve. (Leftovers keep well refrigerated.)

Notes

*Prep time listed below does not include time for making enchilada sauce. This adds about 15 minutes to the prep time, since you can simmer the sauce while making the filling.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop / Baked
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: Vegan Enchiladas

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

6 Comments

  • Reply
    mohan kumar
    March 3, 2020 at 12:26 am

    Great recipe loved by all, so simple to make and tasty.

  • Reply
    Alice | SkinnySpatula
    March 3, 2020 at 4:12 am

    I’ve been looking for a vegan enchiladas recipe for a while. I’ll give yours a try – looks fantastic!

  • Reply
    Lisa D.
    March 5, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    Is a “large baking dish” a 13×9?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      March 5, 2020 at 8:58 pm

      Yes, that will work!

  • Reply
    Lisa Spier
    March 12, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    can this be frozen? if so, should it be baked first?
    thanks!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      March 14, 2020 at 9:22 am

      We haven’t tried it, but I think I would assemble in an aluminum freezer pan and then wrap and freeze. You should be able to go straight from the freezer to the oven, and just cook until warmed through.

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