Recipe: Vegetarian Black Bean Enchiladas
These vegetarian black bean enchiladas are filled with beans, roasted sweet potatoes, peppers, and cheese then drenched in a yummy red enchilada sauce. This healthy enchilada recipe is just as filling and delicious as a classic meat-based enchilada option.
Is there anything better than sitting down to a casserole dish filled with steamy, cheesy homemade enchiladas? Although they look daunting, enchiladas are relatively easy to make at home. We like to make these on a Sunday (paired with a skinny margarita!) and eat any leftovers throughout the week or a quick and healthy lunch.
Table of contents
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- Family Friendly: These veggie enchiladas are chock full of black beans and cheese which the whole family is guaranteed to love.
- Easily Customizable: you can easily adapt this recipe to add more protein, switch up the veggies, or make it vegan.
- Allergen Friendly: make the recipe as written and it will be gluten free and vegetarian. If you want to make vegan enchiladas, just use vegan shredded cheese.
What is an Enchilada?
An enchilada is a Mexican dish that is made from corn tortillas that are rolled around a filling and then covered with a savory chili-based sauce. The word enchilada is a variation of the Spanish word enchilar which means “to season (or decorate) with chili”. A variety of different ingredients such as meat, cheese, beans, vegetables, and potatoes are used for filling enchiladas.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Tortillas: We used corn tortillas for this recipe so it is gluten free. However, you can use flour tortillas for this recipe if you prefer.
- Black Beans: Canned black beans make for a quick and easy plant-based filling for these enchiladas. You can also use pinto beans or vegetarian refried beans instead of black beans.
- Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes add fiber, vitamins, and a little bit of sweetness that balances out the other flavors in this dish.
- Veggies (Bell Pepper, Zucchini, & Onion): Adding extra veggies to the filling for these enchiladas is a delicious way to fit in an extra serving or two. Some other veggies that would work well in the filling include: corn and mushrooms.
- Red Enchilada Sauce: We used red enchilada sauce for this recipe, but green enchilada sauce would also work just as well. Store-bought sauce is usually labeled with the spice level, so choose the best option for your spice preference.
- Cheese: we like to use a finely shredded Mexican cheese blend for these enchiladas since it melts so nicely. However, you can also use colby jack, pepper jack cheese, or cheddar cheese.
How to Make Sweet Potato Enchiladas
Although they look like a lot of work, this vegetarian enchilada recipe can come together pretty quickly and the baking time is relatively short.
- Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and chopping all of your veggies (sweet potatoes, red onion, zucchini, and bell pepper.)
- Toss the chopped sweet potato in olive oil and spread onto a baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until fork tender and golden brown. Set aside but leave the oven on for baking the enchiladas.
- Add oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil, onion, bell pepper, and zucchini. Saute for 7-8 minutes or until the zucchini is softened. Stir in the black beans and seasonings and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in ¼ cup of the enchilada sauce, ½ cup of the cheese, and the roasted sweet potatoes.
- Add ½ cup of enchilada sauce to your 9″x11″ baking dish and use a spoon to spread it evenly on the bottom. Fill the tortillas with the veggie mixture (see below for tips) and line them in a row in your baking dish. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes before adding toppings and serving.
How to Roll Enchiladas
- Soften your corn tortillas: You’ll want to warm up your corn tortillas before trying to roll your enchiladas so they don’t break. Add tortillas to a plate and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Microwave for 1 minute, flipping halfway through so that they are more pliable.
- Dip your tortillas (optional): Some enchilada recipes have you dip the tortillas in enchilada sauce before rolling them. This makes rolling a bit messier so we skipped that step.
- Don’t add too much filling: try to limit the filling to about ¼ to ⅓ cup to make them easier to roll. Overfilling can lead to the tortilla cracking.
- Add to pan seam-side down: layer the filled tortillas into the pan so that the seam lays on the bottom of the pan so they don’t unroll as you assemble your enchiladas.
- Leftover filling: if you have leftover filling, make a few extra enchiladas and put them in a separate pan OR serve it as a topping for a taco salad or as a tasty dip with tortilla chips.
How long does it take to bake enchiladas?
The baking time for enchiladas is relatively short, these vegetarian enchiladas only need to be baked for about 20 minutes. The goal of the baking step is to melt the cheese and make sure everything is warmed through.
Allow your sweet potato black bean enchiladas to cool for 5-10 minutes on the counter before topping and serving.
Enchilada Topping Suggestions
Wondering what toppings to add to your easy vegetarian enchiladas when serving? Here are a few of our favorite toppings: avocado, fresh chopped cherry tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, jalapeno, hot sauce, fresh cilantro, and chopped red onion. We also like to add a squeeze of lime juice over the enchiladas on the plate. You might also want to check out our homemade guacamole recipe as a topping!
How to Store and Meal Prep
- Refrigerator: store leftover enchiladas in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes to serve.
- Freezer: Freeze individual portions of any leftover enchiladas in airtight, freezer safe containers for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. You can also freeze the entire pan of baked enchiladas. Just wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. To heat, take off the plastic wrap and top with aluminum foil. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
More Mexican-Inspired Recipes You’ll Love
- Low Calorie Southwestern Chicken Soup
- Southwestern Sweet Pepper Nachos
- Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos
- Healthy Guacamole
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 5 serving(s)
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 cup chopped red onion (about 1 small red onion)
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups chopped zucchini (about 1 small zucchini)
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 10 (6 inch) corn tortillas
- 2 (10 oz) cans enchilada sauce
- 1 cup reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese blend
- To Garnish: chopped cilantro, chopped tomatoes, chopped avocado, chopped red onion
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the sweet potatoes to a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Toss to coat the potatoes in oil and bake for 20-25 minutes or until fork tender. Set aside but leave the oven on.
- In a skillet over medium high heat, add the other 1 tablespoon olive oil, onion, bell pepper, and zucchini. Saute for 7-8 minutes to soften the veggies. Stir in the cumin, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and salt. Cook for another minute. Transfer to a bowl and stir in ¼ cup enchilada sauce, canned black beans, sweet potatoes, and ½ cup of cheese.
- Wrap tortillas in a damp cloth towel and microwave for 1 minute, flipping halfway through, to soften them.
- Pour about ½ cup of the enchilada sauce into the baking dish and spread out to coat.
- Add ⅓ cup filling to each tortilla and roll. Place seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Once all the tortillas are rolled, drizzle remaining enchilada sauce over the enchiladas and then top with the remaining cheese.
- Bake, uncovered, on the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before adding desired toppings and serving.
Nutrition Information Per Serving
Serving Size: 2 enchiladas
Protein: 20 gram(s)
Fat: 12 gram(s)
Carbohydrates: 76 gram(s)
Fiber: 17 gram(s)
Sugar: 15 gram(s)
Recipe Cuisine: Mexican