So, the Trader Joe’s grocery store makes these frozen microwavable enchiladas with black beans and corn and tofu. Of course, I would never partake in these type of things, but I heard from a “friend” that they taste pretty decent. Even better, the ingredient list is completely vegan and contains only real foods, which made my “friend” quite happy.

Seriously though, after trying these Trader Joe’s enchiladas, I was inspired to make my own (even better ones!) from scratch, so here we are… It starts with a homemade enchilada sauce, which is surprisingly easy to make and so much fresher than anything you can buy. Then, we make a hearty filling with sautéed veggies, black beans, and a few other classic enchilada ingredients. All of this is rolled into corn tortillas, drizzled with more sauce, and baked to perfection. To take it over the top, we serve them with cashew sour cream and sliced avocado. Oh yes.

Vegan-Enchiladas

Makes 8-9 enchiladas

Ingredients:

    Enchilada Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
    Enchilada Filling

  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 small zucchini
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 can black beans (drained)
  • 1/4 cup sliced olives
  • 3 green onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 8+ corn tortillas

Vegan-Enchiladas-Top

1. Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Making homemade enchilada sauce is super easy, and once you taste the deep and complex flavors, you’ll never want to use the bottled stuff again.

  • In a small saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil until warm (but not scalding).
  • Add 2 tablespoons of flour into the pan and whisk until no clumps remain.
  • Slowly add all the spices (chili powder, oregano, garlic powder, and salt) as well as the tomato paste. Whisk to combine (it will be very thick).
  • Pour in the vegetable broth slowly, in thirds, whisking to incorporate the spices and remove any lumps.
  • Turn the heat down and let this simmer for 15 minutes to thicken slightly. At this point, give it a taste and feel free to adjust any spices as necessary.

2. The Filling

This filling, made with black beans, sautéed veggies, olives, and cilantro is the perfect, healthy compliment to the corn tortillas and fresh enchilada sauce. Here’s how to do it:

  • Chop half a white onion and add to a skillet with a splash of water and allow it to cook and soften for several minutes.
  • Meanwhile, loosely chop 1 bell pepper (any color) and 1 small zucchini squash into bite-sized pieces and throw them into the pan as well.
  • Season with a few pinches of salt and pepper and allow to cook until fully softened (but not browned) for about 6-8 more minutes.
  • Drain the can of black beans and add them into the pan, just until warmed, then remove from the heat and get ready to assemble the enchiladas.
  • Also, chop the black olives, slice the green onions, and chop the cilantro.

3. Assemble & Bake

Vegan-Enchilada-Sauce

Assembling enchiladas can be tricky, as the corn tortillas have a tendency to break apart if not softened… Getting just the right amount of filling into each tortilla, rolling them, and adding into the pan takes some practice, but don’t worry if they fall apart: they’ll still taste just as good!

  • First, preheat the oven to 350º and spread 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce along the bottom of a large casserole dish (this will help the enchiladas stick after being rolled).
  • Heat the tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds to make them much softer and less likely to crack in half.
  • The easiest way to assemble the enchiladas is by pouring a generous amount of sauce into a skillet (not heated) and then dip one side into the sauce and flip it over so that both sides are coated with a little sauce (as shown above).
  • While still in the skillet, add about 2-3 tablespoons of the veggies and black beans along with a few olives, green onions, and a sprinkling of cilantro.
  • From there, gently roll the enchilada around the filling and carefully place it into the casserole dish, with the seam towards the bottom so it stays rolled.
  • Repeat for all the enchiladas, then cover the dish with foil and bake at 350º for around 20 minutes until the sauce turns slightly darker and begins bubbling around the edges.

Garnish options: Top with a drizzle of cashew cream by simply blending equal parts raw cashews and water with a pinch of salt. Also, avocado slices make an excellent pairing.

Vegan-Enchiladas-Dish