Take your enchiladas to the next level by layering them in a pan for a vegan enchilada casserole to die for. This vegan enchilada casserole recipe is easy, so you will never roll another enchilada again!
Something about a hot vegan enchilada casserole brings comfort on a cold day. So instead of making vegan enchiladas, I made a vegan enchilada casserole recipe by layering the ingredients in a casserole dish for an easy dinner.
Since the weekdays are hectic, I'm all about easy meals I can make ahead of time and cook when ready. Vegan enchilada casserole layers vegetables, corn tortillas, and vegan nacho cheese sauce for a delicious meal.
Another bonus to this recipe is that I can make it ahead of time and then bake it whenever I want. Sometimes, I even bake it ahead of time and reheat the enchilada casserole.
- Corn Tortillas: Corn tortillas are both gluten-free and oil-free. They have a sturdy texture perfect for layering in a casserole.
- White Onion: White onions are commonly used in salsas as well as other Mexican recipes.
- Jalapeno: Jalapenos, although thought to be hot, are actually not very spicy if their seeds and veins are removed.
- Red Bell Pepper: Red bell peppers are sweeter than green peppers and add sweetness to the casserole.
- Corn: Corn adds sweetness and substance to the enchilada casserole recipe.
- Pinto Beans or black beans: I used pinto meats because they are meaty and hold up well when cooked.
- Enchilada sauce: I made my own enchilada sauce which is included in the recipe.
- Vegan Lentil Taco Meat: I make vegan taco meat from lentils. This is an optional ingredient.
- Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce: I make a vegan nacho cheese sauce from carrots and potatoes.
- Cilantro (garnish): I love adding cilantro to any vegan Mexican dish.
- Roma Tomatoes (garnish): I used Roma tomatoes because they have few seeds and they are easy to dice without any mess.
- Green Onions (garnish): green onions add a slight onion taste and a beautiful green garnish.
- Tomato Sauce: I prefer organic tomato sauce. A tomato naturally has three flavors: sweetness, acidity, and umami. The trick to a flavorful tomato sauce is to balance or accentuate those three flavors.
- Vegetable Broth: Vegetable broth is made of vegetables boiled in water to create a flavorful liquid.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar flavor is tart, tangy, or slightly sweet with an acidic taste.
- Adobo Chili Peppers: Adobo Sauce is made from chili powder, vinegar, sugar, garlic, and herbs
- Chili Powder: Chili powder is usually used as a seasoning spice made with chili pepper base and made-up cumin and garlic powder.
- Smoked Paprika: Smoked paprika has a smoky and spicy flavor with hints of sweetness.
- Cumin: Cumin is rich and hearty, earthy and warm, with an edge of citrus.
- Onion Powder: Onion powder provides an additional onion flavor.
- Garlic Powder: Garlic powder is dried ground garlic. It adds another level of savory to this enchilada casserole.
- Salt: Salt enhances the ingredients in the enchilada casserole recipe.
Sauce Ingredients Substitutions
Another option for a quick and easy enchilada sauce for a vegan enchilada casserole recipe is to combine two simple ingredients:
- Fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- Hatch green chili sauce
- Or, buy canned or jarred enchilada sauce already prepared.
How to Make the Casserole
Begin the enchilada sauce by pouring ⅓ of the sauce on the bottom of an 8 X 8 casserole dish. As a result, the casserole won't stick to the bottom of the dish.
Next, cut the tortillas in half and arrange them on top of the enchilada sauce crisis crossing half the tortillas into a sealed layer. Then, add half the sauteed vegetables and beans, half of the vegan nacho cheese sauce, vegan lentil taco meat(optional), and more enchilada sauce.
Once the first layers are complete, repeat with more tortillas, beans, vegetable mixture, lentil meat (if using), and vegan nacho cheese sauce. Top with the rest of the enchilada sauce, and cover with aluminum foil for baking.
Bake the enchilada casserole immediately, or bake it later. Bake the vegan enchilada casserole recipe ahead of time and reheat the casserole when desired.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Cook the vegan enchilada casserole covered for 40 minutes.
- Uncover and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
- Remove the casserole from the oven and cover it again with aluminum foil and allow it to set up for about 10 minutes.
- Or, bake the casserole, allow it to cool completely, and refrigerate until you are ready to reheat individual pieces or the entire casserole.
While enchiladas and burritos have similar ingredients, burritos usually use flour tortillas. Enchiladas, on the other hand, use corn tortillas.
Yes. Flour tortillas work as well. However, flour tortillas are not gluten-free unless you purchase gluten-free tortillas.
Mexican street corn salad, black beans and rice, lime, cilantro rice, chips, and salsa are all excellent side dishes for this vegan enchilada casserole recipe.
- As a shortcut, choose canned or jarred enchilada sauce.
- The enchilada casserole can be made with only vegetables without the lentil taco meat.
- Or choose a different type of taco layer filling such as walnut taco meat, mushroom chorizo taco meat, or jackfruit carnitas.
- Another option is to use prepared brown lentils. I have used Trader Joe's steamed brown lentils.
- Cover the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of enchilada sauce to prevent the tortillas from sticking to the bottom of the casserole.
- Allow the enchilada casserole to sit, covered for at least 10 minutes before servings. Otherwise, the casserole will not stay together.
Instead of rolling individual enchiladas, make a quick and easy vegan enchilada casserole the whole family will love!
Other Mexican Recipes to Try
If you love this vegan enchilada casserole recipe, give us a 5-star review and comment below. We would love to hear from you!
Vegan Enchilada Casserole
Vegan Enchilada Casserole
- 10 corn or flour tortillas cut in half (if choosing flour tortillas, buy the small ones the same size as corn tortillas)
- ½ cup white or yellow onion diced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 jalapeno deseeded and deveined, diced
- 1 cup frozen or fresh corn
- 1 15 ounce can pinto beans rinsed and drained (or black beans)
- 2 cups vegan nacho cheese sauce
- 2 cups lentil taco meat optional
Homemade Enchilada Sauce or Enchilada Sauce of Choice (15 ounce can)
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 2 cup vegetable broth
- 1 Tablespoon Apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoon of ground cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 adobo chili pepper + ½ teaspoon sauce from the can
- 2 Roma tomatoes diced
- 5 green onions chopped
- ½ cup cilantro chopped
- Make the enchilada sauce by combining all the ingredients in a high-speed blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Set aside
Sauteing the Vegetables
- In a skillet, saute onions until translucent.
- Add red bell pepper, jalapeno, pinto beans, and corn.
- Cook until heated through and all the fluid dissipates.
Prepare the Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce
- Prepare the vegan cheese sauce, and measure 2 cups.
- Refrigerate or freeze the reamining cups.
- Set aside.
Prepare the Lentil Taco Meat (Optional)
- Prepare the lentil taco meat ahead of time and allow to cool before adding to the casserole.
Laying the Vegan Enchilada Casserole
- Begin by pouring ⅓ of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of an 8 X 8 casserole dish.
- Spread the sauce evenly on the bottom.
- Now, cut the tortillas in half, and place half of them in the casserole pan's base, overlapping each other, creating a tortilla layer.
- Add ½ of the bean vegetable mixture.
- Add ½ the lentil meat (if using)
- Pour 1 cup of vegan nacho cheese sauce next.
- Next, pour ⅓ of the enchilada sauce.
- Repeat the layers, ending with the last ⅓ of the enchilada sauce
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Cover the casserole with a top or aluminum foil and cook for 40 minutes.
- Remove the cover or casserole top and cook for 10 more minutes, uncovered.
- Remove from the oven and cover again, allowing the casserole to set up before cutting.
- Cut into 6 pieces
- Serve with fresh diced tomatoes, cilantro, and green onions.
- The casserole can be cooked in advance and reheated piece by piece or by reheating the entire casserole.
- Allow the casserole to rest for at least 10 minutes covered before cutting.
- Serve with Mexican rice, Mexican chopped salad, or Mexican street corn.
- For shortcuts, use canned or jarred enchilada sauce, plain lentils, and store-bought vegan cheese.
- This vegan enchilada casserole stays fresh in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- To freeze, cut into individual pieces, and freeze for up to 3 months. When reheating, allow the enchilada casserole o thaw completely before reheating in the oven.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂
Do you think you could assemble it a day ahead and cook it the next day?
Hi Michelle, actually, it is better to prepare and cook it the day ahead. The longer it sets up, the better. Then, reheat it the day you plan to serve it.
It is very hard to find tortillas with no oil
What brand do you use
Hi John, Mission corn tortillas, Engine 2 tortillas, and La Tortilla Factory all make oil-free tortillas.
The nutrition information says 22g of cholesterol. If it's vegan there should be no cholesterol, as cholesterol is only found in animal products???
Brian, thank you for pointing out the error. The automated nutritional calculator doesn't recognize vegan cheese made with potatoes and carrots; it assumes it is regular vegan cheese, as well as some of the other ingredients. I fixed it. Thank you. I appreciate you letting me know. I missed it.
I have a 12 ounce can of taco sauce and I'm wondering if you think that would work well to replace the 15 ounce can of enchilada sauce?
Hi Amelia, yes, you can use the taco sauce. That will work as well. I hope you enjoy the casserole.
I made the vegan enchilada casserole last night for dinner. I used fat free flour torillas as my husband likes them better than corn. I also used a prepared enchilada sauce. My husband said it was the best dinner he has had in 6 months!! I made the cheese sauce which was great, and will use it anytime i need a cheese sauce from now on. Thanks for a great recipe!!
Hi Denise, I'm so glad your husband liked the enchilada casserole. It's always a win when our husbands like it! And if the kids like it, I'm elated! Thank you for the feedback. I appreciate. I hope you try some more of my recipes.
How much apple cider vinegar in the enchilada sauce?
Hi Lu, 1 Tablespoon. I hope you enjoy the enchilada casserole. 🙂