Naughty & Nice Vegan Enchilada Casserole

235 comments

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Welcome to Day 1 of the 12 Days of Healthy Dinner Recipes!

I’m excited to bring back the healthy meals over the holidays. Sometimes, I have to remind myself that the time I spend preparing dinner is redeemed with quick, effortless lunches in the days ahead. It all balances out in the end.

First up, is a delicious and versatile enchilada-inspired Mexican casserole that’s packed with vegetables, healthy proteins, grains, and a kick of heat. It’s pure comfort food, almost like wrapping yourself with a warm blanket by the fire. Or setting your blanket on fire, depending on how spicy you like it…

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When we got back from our trip, Eric and I both found ourselves with a bit of a cold. You know the usual complaints this time of year- congestion, irritated throat, and dull headaches. It wasn’t a full blown cold, but could’ve potentially turned into one without the proper TLC. I knew I had to put away the sweets for a few days and get back to home-cooked nutritious meals. Green Monsters too! Eating out is fun and all, but there’s just something about a home cooked meal that feels amazing.

This dish was just what the doctor ordered. It’s vibrant, healthy, spicy, and comforting, while still feeling a bit naughty. We can’t be nice all the time.

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Have you ever tried a canned enchilada sauce and loved it? This was the first enchilada sauce that I’ve ever purchased (it took me 2 grocery stores to find too) and I was so put off by the taste I almost gagged! I’m not one to gag over many foods, so I’m not really sure what it was that offended my taste buds so much.

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Thankfully, enchilada sauce is really easy to make and ready in about 15 minutes. Of course, if you do have a canned enchilada sauce that you enjoy, feel free to use that instead. Just use something that tastes good as it will serve as the base of the entire casserole.

I made my sauce thick, but feel free to thin it out with water as necessary depending on what you want to use it for.

While the pasta is cooking, chop and sauté your vegetables and cook for about 5-10 mins.

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Now add half of the enchilada sauce (about 1 cup), taco seasoning, and drained & rinsed beans. The spicier you like it, the more taco seasoning you can add. I used a couple tablespoons of my homemade taco seasoning and it was quite spicy.

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Stir it all up and taste test.

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After cooking for 5 mins more, add in the chopped green onion and Daiya cheese.

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Spread 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce over the bottom of the dish. Stir in the cooked pasta really well and place into a 2 quart casserole dish.

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and for a little crunch…

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In a baggie, crush 2 handfuls of your fav nacho chips (about 20 chips):

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I recommend sprinkling on the crushed chips just before serving if you plan on having leftovers. The chips will get a bit soft while in the fridge so it’s best to put them on right before serving.

Bake for about 15-20 mins at 350F until heated through. Sprinkle on chips.

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Top with avocado, salsa, sour cream….whatever tickles your fancy!

Serve with a big green salad and tortilla chips. Pretend you are on a beach in Mexico.

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What I love about this casserole is how versatile it is!

Here are a few different ways you can enjoy it:

  • Leave out the pasta and use it as a burrito filler
  • Spoon the warm casserole over a big salad as a sneaky way to get in more greens
  • Make a quick, rushing-out-the-door, breakfast wrap
  • Use brown or wild rice instead of pasta, or other grain of choice to change it up
  • Add more Daiya cheese (maybe another 1/2 cup), leave out the pasta, and use the mixture as a hot dip for nacho chips!!! It could potentially make quite the party dip with a few changes.

 

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Sinuses clear.

Belly content.

Cold be gone.

Lunch today…

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

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Kristina Frawley March 16, 2017

I’m making this recipe for some friends but they will be freezing it. Any suggestions as to the best way to freeze this dish?

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Jessica March 21, 2017

I would love to know the answer to this as well!

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Angela Liddon April 3, 2017

Hi Kristina, If your friends will be freezing the dish, I’d recommend sprinkling the crushed chips on individual portions only, just before serving each time (rather than sprinkling them all over the whole thing at once). That way the chips will always be at their perfect crunchiest, rather than risking getting soft in the fridge, burnt during reheating, etc. To freeze the casserole, simply place it into an airtight freezer-safe container of choice, leaving an inch or so of space at the top to allow for any expansion; for individual servings, feel free to split the casserole up into smaller containers. As well, depending on how long I plan to store a certain dish in the freezer, I sometimes place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the food because I find it helps prevent freezer burn. I hope this helps, and that your friends enjoy the meal!

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Jodi December 18, 2016

I made this yesterday for a potluck and it was sooooo good! I’m eating leftovers for breakfast now. Highly recommend making this. What are you waiting for??!! Thank you Angela for yet another wonderful recipe :)

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Angela Liddon December 19, 2016

Thanks so much for the lovely comment, Jodi! I’m pleased to hear the casserole was a hit. :)

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Megan Russell February 14, 2016

Okay so I just want to leave this comment here for anyone who is considering making this recipe: IT IS THE BEST THING EVER. Literally the perfect recipe and my favorite food. I have made this recipe more than 30 times already over the last 2 or so years since I found it. It is absolutely incredible. And anytime I make any type of enchilada anything I use the enchilada sauce from this recipe. I love almost all the recipes on this blog but this by far is my favorite. Thank you Angela for creating this beautiful food. Really, thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

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Angela Liddon February 25, 2016

You are too sweet, Megan! This recipe is definitely one of my favs too. :)

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Beachgirl56 November 2, 2015

I took this to a gathering Sunday afternoon. It was my first time making it and I used a vegan cheese recipe made with potatoes and carrots. It was a huge hit! One person told me at least three times how much he enjoyed it!!! I always have succes with your recipes!! Thank you SO MUCH for this blog. One day I hope to get a copy of your cookbook.

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Colleen October 1, 2015

Has anyone tried this with gluten free pasta?

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Stacy September 29, 2015

This was really good. Our 13 year old (maybe vegetarian) loved it. I think it was a little bit too much on the tomato paste. Next time I will likely reduce to about 2/3 and add some broth. But very good. I like the idea of the brown rice to make a burrito filling. Even the veggies/beans alone could be put on top of spinach for a salad.

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Lauren Daniels July 26, 2015

This was delicious! It was a major win with my meat-eating fiancé too! He came back for seconds :) thank you Angela! You are a culinary genius! I love that I can count on your website for the most delicious plant-based recipes too (I also have your cookbook) :)

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Sarah June 30, 2015

Hello,
I made this recipe last night and it was delicious. I took your recommendation for substituting the rice for the pasta in order to make burritos. I took it an extra step by assembling a burrito with avocado, cheese, and the filling and then using a panini press to make it a grilled burrito.

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Tess May 10, 2015

Love this. Angela you’re brilliant. Just made this for dinner. And posted it on my blog. Did I mention I love just about every single on of your recipes?

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Roxy April 9, 2015

Made this tonight, turned out great! I was significantly short on tomato paste so I just substituted the water in the enchilada sauce for tomato puree and added a few tbsp of tomato paste to it. I also used some homemade cashew cheese instead of Daiya which was lovely. Thanks so much! Will be sure to add this to the collection :)

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Dougie April 7, 2015

I used the vegan queso recipe from the website I linked to and it was off the chain! I hope I’m not breaking any rules by doing this but it was so delicious I couldn’t not share it. http://minimalistbaker.com/vegan-mexican-cheese-three-ways/

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Caroldean Jude January 25, 2015

Love this – a little spicy for some family members but that is easy to tone down. I have eaten it 3 days in a row and stil loving it! Your website rocks!!!

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Kim September 30, 2014

I love this recipe! I added corn, black olives, and topped it with a vegan cheese sauce. It almost tastes like a healthy chili mac recipe.

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Tracy September 26, 2014

Where do I get vegan sour cream?

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marci September 7, 2014

Hi,

I am looking for a recipe that I can make, then freeze for someone to reheat a little later. Will that work for this recipe?
It looks yummy.

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Stephanie August 3, 2014

This was delicious! Don’t skip the sour cream, it really elevated the taste.

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Jessica July 22, 2014

Just made this last night and it’s soooo good! the flavors are so wonderful and making the enchilada sauce and taco seasoning I think really aided in that. Awesome recipe that I’ll definitely make again!

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Jen June 21, 2014

This was delicious! I used gluten-free brown rice pasta instead of what the recipe said. I also used the enchilada sauce recipe and the taco mix recipe. The entire thing was a big hit! Thank you!

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Nicole June 4, 2014

I made this to bring as my lunch this week and it is absolutely delicious! Great job and thank you for sharing. I look forward to trying more of your creations in the future.

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Peggy May 31, 2014

HI there,

I want to make the Vegan Enchilada Casserole but I want to freeze it afterwards for a party in two weeks. Do you think it will freeze ok?

Thanks

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 2, 2014

Hi Peggy, I’m sorry I haven’t tried freezing it yet. I would do a test run to see. Generally, casseroles freeze pretty good, but I cant comment specifically on this one. Let me know if you try it out! :)

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Michelle June 8, 2014

Hi,

Did you have luck freezing? Thanks!

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Bonnie May 25, 2014

Angela,

I made this recipe for my family last night and they loved it! I can’t have gluten (made some substitutions) and I’m a vegan, so my family and I struggle to find food that we can all agree on.

As a side note I wanted to really send a heart felt thank you for your website. I’m currently living with my twin brother and my father in a completely different city than my husband, because my mom is very ill, and just recently suffered a stroke. Although this may sound silly, to be able to find a recipe that – in the midst of this chaos, was able to bring us all together, if only for a moment, is something I am so grateful for.

Thank you, thank you, thank you,

Bonnie

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 27, 2014

Hi Bonnie, Thank you for your kind words. My heart and thoughts go out to you and your family!

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Adam April 27, 2014

Unless you use egg-free pasta, this dish doesn’t quite cut the ‘vegan’ moniker. Consider TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein.)

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Daniela April 17, 2014

Hello, I’m mexican and I’m pretty open minded in regards to the variations of mexican dishes made by people in other parts of the world, but this recipe is nothing like an enchilada, no mexican would call it that.
This is a pasta dish with vegetables and salsa, oh! and tortilla chips. The fact that you used a can of salsa, avocado and tortillas donesn’t make it an enchilada. I’m not sure if this dish is your creation, if it is, be carefull, you can confuse people.
Did you know that the UNESCO declared Mexican Cuisine Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity??
Other than that, I love your blog.

Best regards

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Rachael March 16, 2014

Took this to a pot luck. Everyone loved it!

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Jana March 13, 2014

I accidentally made a revision, but it was good. I left out the chilies in deference to my son. I opened my can of enchilada sauce, and it was GREEN! Made for a yummy casserole, though! My husband thanked me for leaving out the olives. (: It would probably be good with olives…

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Stephanie March 3, 2014

Trying this one but will probably have to use real cheese. I try to cut dairy as much as possible but the fake cheese has so many suspicious ingredients in it and GMOs that I prefer going w/grass fed.

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DonnaD January 26, 2014

Thanks for a great recipe! Loved everything about it and will definitely make it again. I think I might add a can of corn at the same time as the beans, just cause I love corn!

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Amara January 23, 2014

Don’t know how I hadn’t seen this recipe before now! Bookmarked this a few days ago and then found myself with a sneaky cold-like feeling yesterday. This was absolutely perfect. Helped clear out my sinuses and now I’ve got yummy lunch for days! This is a keeper!

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Karen January 16, 2014

Made this for dinner tonight – I used brown rice instead of pasta and added chicken. It was amazing AND a huge hit with the family! Thanks for the great recipe.

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Sarah January 11, 2014

I just made this today and it was delicious! Saving the leftovers for the football game tonight (and making your chocolate peanut butter balls) :)

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Dana January 4, 2014

Made this for the first time tonight with enchiladas verdes sauce (b/c I prefer it) and also a first trying daiya cheese and non-dairy sour cream. For chips, I used TJ’s sweet potato chips. It was delicious! And my husband loved it too! Was concerned it might be a bit spicy for the kiddos so I did a separate dish for them without the jalapeno and enchilada sauce but I wouldn’t do that again as it turned out not to be necessary – it wasn’t too spicy after all (perhaps because I only used 1 rounded tbsp of taco seasoning). Raved to my husband about finding your blog and now want to pre-order your cookbook!

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Christie December 31, 2013

I’m not a vegan, I’ll admit it. I do like to cook without meat though, which can be difficult considering my husband is as carnivorous as they come. But Angela, he LOVES this casserole (as do I). It is so delicious. I know this is an old blog post, but I felt the need to tell you this recipe is one of our favorites and I make it often. :)

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Julie December 10, 2013

I made this a couple of weeks ago, and it was FABULOUS. One of my favourite recipes and fool-proof for people who aren’t used to cooking a lot because it’s in one casserole :) But I like spice so I added about 10 times the amount of chili powder, makes my breath almost flammable.

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Lauren December 4, 2013

Anybody have an idea of the calories for this casserole?

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Danielle November 19, 2013

This looks yummy. I need to lay off tomatos so I was wondering if you had any suggestions on a tomato paste substitute that is still vegan?

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Ciera October 28, 2013

Made this twice this week–one to try it out and once for a block party. Was a hit with my family and then my neighbors–as ALL your recipes are!!! Thanks!!!

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