Vegetarian Enchiladas filled with fresh and seasonal veggies including shallots, zucchini, tomato, and bell pepper all wrapped in delicious corn tortillas and smothered in enchilada sauce and gooey melted cheese. Packed with delicious Mexican flavors and completely gluten-free and vegetarian.
Easy Vegetarian Enchilada Recipe
It’s the day before Cinco de Mayo and to celebrate I’m sharing my all-time favorite cheese and veggie-filled enchiladas with you today. I know you’re going to love it, especially because it is completely customizable. There are so many ways to make this delicious recipe exactly how you want it. Loaded with flavorful seasonal vegetables wrapped in warm corn tortillas, these enchiladas are one of my very favorite vegetarian recipes.
Anyway, enough about all of that. Let’s make some!
RELATED: Homemade Enchilada Sauce
Veggie Enchilada Ingredients and Variations
The ingredients needed to make delicious vegetarian enchiladas are simple – assuming, of course, that you already have a big ole jar of enchilada sauce ready to go (more on that in a sec). Here’s what you’ll need:
Enchilada Sauce – I used my favorite homemade red enchilada sauce to make this recipe. You may not have the time (or ingredients) available to do the same right now, but I highly encourage you to try making your own enchilada sauce at least once…at some point. In the meantime, pick your favorite store-bought version (so far Trader Joe’s red enchilada sauce has been the clear favorite around my house).
Veggies – These are very veggie enchiladas, so I highly recommend that you pick vegetables that you and your family like versus what you see here. Almost any vegetable will work, but here is a list of my favorites:
- Onions or shallots
- Jalapeños or other chiles (serrano, poblano, etc)
- Sweet bell peppers
- Sweet potato
- Zucchini or other squash (yellow squash, butternut squash, acorn squash, etc)
- Spinach or kale
Spices – Although your enchilada sauce will come loaded with all kinds of spice and seasoning, I highly recommend that you cook your vegetables in a little salt, black pepper, taco seasoning (homemade or store-bought), and ground cinnamon. Add more or less of what you love.
Tortillas – There are (what seems like) a million different kinds of tortillas sold in grocery stores these days. Traditionally, enchiladas are made using corn tortillas, but feel free to use any of the following:
- yellow corn
- white corn
- half-corn/half-flour (my favorite)
- whole wheat
Cheese – So many cheese options, although, when it comes to this vegetarian enchilada recipe and quesadillas, I am particularly fond of Monterey Jack. It melts nicely and has a smooth, subtle taste. Other possible options include:
- Sharp cheddar
- Pepper Jack
- Colby Jack
Toppings – Once you’ve filled and rolled your tortillas, give them a nice coat of enchilada sauce and shredded cheese. After they’ve been baked until gooey and melted, serve with all your favorite toppings like,
- Sour cream
- Green onions
- Sliced jalapeño
RELATED: Easy Chicken Enchiladas Recipe
How to Make Vegetable Enchiladas
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch casserole dish with olive oil or cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Sauté the onion/shallots and aromatics. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook your sliced shallots (or red onion) in a little olive oil until golden – approximately 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic cloves and cook, stirring continuously, for 30-60 seconds more.
3. Stir in some spices. Reduce heat to medium and add the chopped jalapeño pepper (if using) and spices (the taco seasoning, ground cinnamon, salt, and pepper) to the shallots. Mix well to combine and cook until fragrant – only 60 seconds or so as we don’t want to burn the spices.
4. Sauté the remaining veggies. Add the chopped red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and yellow squash. Cook for approximately 6-8 minutes, or until vegetables are just starting to soften. Stir in the chopped cilantro and remove from heat.
- If you choose to add beans or any other pre-cooked protein, add it to your mixture now.
5. Assemble. To assemble your vegetarian enchiladas add approximately 1/2 a cup (or more if needed) of enchilada sauce to the bottom of your prepared baking dish and spread evenly to coat the surface. Add approximately 1/2 cup (give or take) of the cooked veggie mixture down the middle of a tortilla and sprinkle with cheese. Roll up as snug as possible and transfer to your baking dish, seam-side-down. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling.
- If you are using corn tortillas, keep reading for my tips on how to prevent them from cracking.
- Remember, these are enchiladas – not burritos. Try not to over-fill your tortillas.
6. Top with sauce and cheese. Once your baking dish is filled with rolled-up enchiladas, drizzle with the remaining sauce and sprinkle the top with shredded Monterey Jack cheese.
7. Bake. Transfer to your preheated oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and bubbly.
8. Serve. Remove from the oven and serve with your favorite garnishes such as,
- Sour cream
- Green onions
- Sliced jalapeño
- Lime wedges
How to Prevent Corn Tortillas from Cracking
The key is to quickly fry your corn tortillas in a little bit of olive oil. Here’s how it’s done-
- Add one tablespoon of oil to a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add one corn tortilla to the center of the skillet.
- Allow the tortilla to cook for several seconds then flip (with your hands or a spatula), and immediately add your second corn tortilla to the top (creating a two-layer stack). Continue to cook the first tortilla for several more seconds on the other side. This allows the tortillas to share excess oil and prevents them from becoming too greasy.
- Remove the bottom tortilla to a clean plate and flip the top tortilla so that its “dry” side is now facing down on the skillet.
- Repeat until all the tortillas have been warmed/browned/oiled, adding additional oil (in small amounts) to the skillet as needed.
- Remove tortillas to paper towels wrapped in aluminum foil to stay warm until ready to roll.
Note: I have tried warming in damp paper towels in the microwave and this DOES NOT work.
More Mexican Food Recipes,
If you try making this Veggie Enchilada Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
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Easy Veggie Enchilada Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 large shallots (peeled and sliced)
- 5 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 1 jalapeño pepper (seeded and diced)
- 1.5 tablespoon taco seasoning (homemade or store-bought (see notes))
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 red bell pepper (seeded and diced)
- 10 oz cherry tomatoes (halved)
- 2 medium zucchini (chopped)
- 2 medium yellow squash (chopped)
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
- 8-12 flour or corn tortillas (approximately 8” in diameter (see notes))
- 2 cups red enchilada sauce (plus more as needed (see notes))
- 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese (shredded)
- Fresh cilantro, sour cream, additional cheese, lime wedges (for serving, optional)
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch casserole dish with olive oil or cooking spray. Set aside.
- Add the olive oil to a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the sliced shallots and cook, stirring often, until tender and starting to turn golden - approximately 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring continuously, for 30-60 seconds more.
- Add the chopped jalapeño pepper (if using) and spices (the taco seasoning, ground cinnamon, salt, and pepper) to the shallots. Mix well to combine. Cook for approximately 30-60 seconds.
- Add the chopped red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and yellow squash. Mix thoroughly and continue to cook, stirring often, for approximately 6-8 minutes, or until vegetables are just starting to soften. Stir in the chopped cilantro and remove from heat.
- To assemble your enchiladas add approximately 1/2 a cup (or more if needed) of enchilada sauce to the bottom of your prepared baking dish and spread evenly to coat the surface. Add approximately 1/2 cup (give or take) of the cooked veggie mixture down the middle of a tortilla and sprinkle with cheese. Roll up as snug as possible and transfer to your baking dish, seam-side-down. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling.
- Once your baking dish is filled with rolled-up enchiladas, generously drizzle with the remaining enchilada sauce and sprinkle the top with shredded Monterey Jack cheese.
- Transfer to your preheated oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and bubbly.
- Remove from the oven and serve with optional garnishes such as additional cilantro and enchilada sauce, sour cream, or fresh lime juice.
- 2 tsp chili powder (not the spicy kind, that's cayenne which is optional)
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp cornstarch - optional
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cayenne - optional (omit if you're sensitive to spicy foods)
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)