Enchiladas are one of those dishes I dream of often, but rarely think to make.
At first glance, the idea seems complicated, requiring layer upon layer of…labor?
Make these, however, and you’ll learn, as I did, that the dish needn’t be more challenging than crafting a good taco night. In fact, some might consider it easier, as the oven does a good majority of the work involved in meddling all of the flavors.
After doing a little research, I discovered the sauce — perhaps the most critical component to enchiladas — is actually quite easy to make, too.
You could certainly go the store-bought route, but I assure you, this requires little more than picking up the right ingredients, most of which you likely already possess, and giving them all a quick whisk on the stove.
Many recipes call for flour, but I opted to keep this on the lighter side and simply used tomato paste as a thickener. I really didn’t notice the difference, especially once everything came out of the oven.
I also wanted to do a vegan version.
Excessively cheesy enchiladas turn a healthy dish into a hefty one, and with all the spices involved, that’s simply not necessary.
I did want to add a little bit of richness though, so you’ll find Daiya layered in this recipe. Feel free to use as little or as much as you desire.
I’m looking forward to crafting more of these casserole-style dishes, perfect for stretching throughout the week and also adding warmth to a Sunday night meal. Give me a shout in the comments if you have any special requests.
- For the Enchiladas:
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 med. bell pepper, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 2 chili peppers, minced
- 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained (I used Whole Food's spicy black beans)
- 1 cup corn
- 2 cups frozen spinach
- 2-3 scallions, diced, optional
- 9-10 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut in half
- Salt, to season
- 1 bag shredded Daiya cheese (I used Pepper Jack)
- 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
- For the Enchilada Sauce:
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/4 tsp. oregano
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- Start the sauce first by heating oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add all remaining sauce ingredients, and whisk until combined. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until mixture just starts to thicken. Remove from heat and let sit while you assemble the enchiladas.
- For the enchiladas, heat olive oil over medium-high in a saute pan. Add onion and pell pepper, and saute for 3-5 minutes. Stir in garlic and chili peppers, and saute for another 3-5 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
- Stir in corn, and frozen spinach. Cook for 3 minutes, and then remove from heat. Stir in scallions.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a 9x9 inch casserole dish, spread 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the dish. Arrange three (six halves) tortillas in a single layer in the pan, followed by 1/3 of the vegetable mixture, and 1/3 of the can of beans. Spread another 1/2 cup of the sauce over the vegetables, and then top with 1/2 cup cheese.
- Repeat these layers two more times, excluding the cheese, and pouring all remaining sauce on the top layer. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle remaining cheese, or amount of cheese you desire, on the top. Return casserole dish to the oven and bake another 10-12 minutes, or until cheese is melted and edges are bubbly.
- Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving. Then slice, and top with chopped cilantro.