Naughty & Nice Vegan Enchilada Casserole



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…


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.


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.


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.


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.


Stir it all up and taste test.


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


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.


and for a little crunch…


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


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.


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.


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.



Sinuses clear.

Belly content.

Cold be gone.

Lunch today…

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{ 228 comments… read them below or add one }

Carolyn January 8, 2012

I finally got around to making this recipe and knew I was going to like it but WOW… I loved it. I completely forgot that I had already used my peppers up earlier this week when I started cooking this so I ended up substituting in spinach and mushrooms and it was still fantastic. Can’t wait to make it again with the peppers. Thanks for your wonderful blog and recipes.


Ashley January 12, 2012

Made this tonight with just a couple modifications (added chicken and regular cheese) but it was divine. The flavors were excellent and that enchilada sauce was amazing.


jessica January 22, 2012

just made this, although i added a large sweet potato, carrots, celery and diced tomatos and subbed the pasta for 1 cup of brown rice. so i guess, i sort of made this. either way, you inspired me! thank you for the happy belly i have now :)


Susan February 1, 2012

I made this for supper and it was incredible – the perfect amount of heat! I actually divided it between 2 smaller casserole dishes and plan to freeze the second one – we’ll see how that works out.


Andrea February 2, 2012

Do you just add the pasta to the skillet mixture before you put it in the casserole dish? I couldn’t find it in the directions


Andrea February 2, 2012

Nevermind Angela, I made this tonight and it turned out amazing!!! Sooo looking foward to the leftovers :) Thanks for the awesome recipe!


Christina February 7, 2012

Awesome recipe!! I almost forgot to mix the pasta in though as I think you forgot that step in your directions!! Just pulled it out of the oven and about to enjoy! Thanks!


Angela (Oh She Glows) February 8, 2012

thanks for letting me know, I just updated it!


Megan April 11, 2012

I’m so sorry if these are really dumb questions, but I’m eager to make this and want to make sure I get it right… If I’m subbing rice for pasta, do I still just use the same amount of uncooked rice as I would pasta (8oz)? Does it need to be quick-cooking pasta? Will using rice alter the baking time? Thanks so much!


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 11, 2012

There are no dumb questions when it comes to cooking! :)
The pasta is cooked before baking the casserole. I didnt use quick cook, just regular.
If using rice instead of pasta, I would probably use 1 cup dry rice (should yield about 2 cups cooked, maybe?). Rice is much more dense, so I wouldnt use much more than that as you dont want a dry casserole. I hope it turns out for you. You can also read the comments as someone may have already tried rice. Goodluck with everything!


Megan May 17, 2012

I made this last night for my boyfriend and I. It was sooo good. They only thing I did differently was sub brown rice (cooked w veggie stock) for the pasta :) YUM


Carmie June 4, 2012

This is fantastic!

I made this tonight because I had a bunch of bell peppers hanging around and your beautiful pictures made me drool. Oh my gosh! I am stuffed, having eaten way more than I should have. I’m already dreaming of leftovers.

Thanks so much!


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 5, 2012

I’m happy you enjoy it Carmie!


Christine July 15, 2012

Is it really 16 total ounces of tomato paste? The cans I found are either 6 or 12 ounces.


Becca J July 19, 2012

This was amazing!!! Thank You!!


Jessica August 7, 2012

Hi! I just wanted to say I absolutely LOVE your website! It is so inspirational! I just so happened to run across it while at work, and can’t wait to try so many different recipes! I tried this enchilada casserole last night and it turned out GREAT!! Thank you for all your hard work and amazing, healthy recipes!


Angela (Oh She Glows) August 7, 2012

Thank you so much Jessica!


jodi m August 11, 2012

Made this tonight, so tasty, everyone had seconds!!! I added some soy cream cheese to the sauce and whisked it through, which made it nice and creamy too…..a wonderful meal with a salad. Love your photos that inspired me to make it!! Thumbs up from my family of 7!!!


Finnieblue August 12, 2012

Just made this tonight for dinner. FABULOUS. For our plates, I had four avocado slices on the bottom and put a cup of the casserole on top of it, with a tbsp of sour cream on top. Hubby loved it, and there’s a ton left for tomorrow! Thank you, angela!! Another great recipe for my weekly lineup!


Finnieblue August 12, 2012

PS! I found Frontera enchilada sauce at our whole foods so I wouldn’t have to make the sauce….and it was GREAT.


Kscollard October 1, 2012

Trader Joes makes a pretty good enchilada sauce. I also added zucchini to get moe veggies in the recipe. It was yummy!


Erynn October 3, 2012

Hi Angela,

My husband made this last night and it was fabulous!!! Thank you so much for your amazing recipes!


Chris October 6, 2012

I made this and it was delicious! My 13 year old son, very much a meat eater, loved it too!


Carie October 19, 2012

This is an awesome recipe! So simple, too – it seems like a meal you could whip up fairly quickly and easily. I wish my family liked spicy foods, black beans, and peppers. It’s way too much to make all for myself :( Maybe I’ll find something to make it for sometime, it’s really too good to pass up!


Meredith November 29, 2012

Made this tonight – soooo good! It’s hard to nail down my favourite recipe of yours, but this may be it!


Meredith November 29, 2012

P.S. I’m totally eating the leftovers for breakfast :)


Natasha December 3, 2012

i made this tonight! It was delicious and my kids loved it as well..


Nicole December 13, 2012

Do you think I could put all the ingridents minus the garnishes in a slow cooker and cook it that way? I want to make this tomorrow but am thinking it may be easy to throw together in the crock pot in the morning. Thanks!


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 17, 2012

I think my reply is now too late, Im curious what you ended up doing?


Nicole December 17, 2012

Well, I overslept Friday morning so ended up not having time to prep it. :) I still want to try it out though. I made it the regular way that night and even fooled my meat eating Dad. He really liked it!


Susan schwarz December 27, 2012

This is delicious but I wished I was was warned of the hazards of jalapeño peppers. I am a novice vegan and had not cooked with jalapeño peppers before. I did not ware gloves and touched my face and now my hands and face and stinging so badly I may go to the ER. I googled what to do and nothing works. Please warn people of this with any recipes that call for jalapeños so they can avoid this misery.


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 28, 2012

Oh Susan Im so sorry to hear about this! I will be sure to add it into the recipe.


Steph January 14, 2013

I made this tonight and it was fantastic. Manfriend said it was his favorite meal that I’ve made for him. Kudos on a delish recipe!


Genesis January 18, 2013

This was sooooo delicious. I think I’ve found my new go-to Mexican fix! I made this tonight for myself and my carnivorous hubby (he got some extra cheese to make up for the lack of meat) and we both LOVE it. It was a tad spicy, but I’m not sure if it was the jalapeno or the taco mix (I made my own), but I fought through the pain and it was totally worth it. I added some pico de gallo and guacamole on top and I didn’t even miss my usual sour cream. Tomorrow I’m going to make tortilla wraps out of the leftovers. Mmm-mmm!!


Katherine January 19, 2013

I just made this for dinner- it was delicious! Definitely spicy!


Sam February 20, 2013

My employees are mostly Egyptian, and they do regular fasts (periods of being vegans). Every month, I throw a party for birthday celebrations, and this month they happen to be fasting on the day of the party. So, I decided to make this for them! The party is today and I hope they love it! Thanks for the great idea!


Jen February 26, 2013

Thanks so much for this DELICIOUS recipe!! I made this yesterday, and we LOVED it!! My husband couldn’t stop raving about it. He said we need to put it “in the rotation.” :) This is a keeper, for sure!!


Ginger February 26, 2013

Found this recipe on Pinterest and made it tonight. It was DELICIOUS! Even my very non-vegan 16-yo proclaimed it to be a winner! I will definitely make this again! Thanks so much!!!


Lea March 4, 2013

We tried this dish last night and all i can say it AHH..MAZING! So glad we made it


Kristi Powell March 5, 2013

Let me just say “You are my hero!” I look forward to making your recipes because I know they will always be fantastic and tasty! I printed off this recipe a while back and had not made it, until last night…and my husband and I had left-overs for lunch, and I know it’s bad, but I’m thinking about having the same for dinner tonight:)
We omitted the non-dairy cheese just because I have still not found one that I am fond of, and omitted the sour cream.
I was so excited to eat it last night that I completely forgot avocado (my favorite!) and the salsa. I did remember today-wonderful!!
When is your book coming out?! I can’t wait to buy it!!!
I am still getting requests to make your wonderful chocolate cupcakes-from vegans and non-vegans alike!


Pam March 28, 2013

Angela, this was so good! Your recipes are fantastic because even the meat-eaters in my family are eating them up and going back for seconds.


Angela (Oh She Glows) March 28, 2013

Hi Pam, so glad to hear that!


Rhonda June 17, 2013

Just made these and have to say they were excellent! Added pico on top and had a watermelon smoothie with it.


Nicole August 6, 2013

I made this tonight and it was great! I used brown rice pasta and left out the Daiya cheese. I also crumbled Neal’s Brothers Organic Blue with Flax Extremely Tasty Tortilla chips (the best tortilla chips out there) on top along with avocado. It was fabulous! I will be looking forward to lunch tomorrow. Thanks.


Andie August 11, 2013

Making this for dinner tonight. Except I only have one bell pepper and loads of squash, so I’ll use those in place of two peppers. Also, I’ll be adding corn because its summer and I have lots of it. Thanks for the recipes! Keep em coming.


Ashley August 16, 2013

I just made this last night, subbing 2 cups cooked brown rice for the noodles, and using the Rick Bayless Red enchilada sauce from whole foods. IT WAS SO GOOD! Thanks for all your great recipes.


Candice August 23, 2013

This was delicious! We make it often and we threw in corn and diced tomatoes. It makes it hearty!


ali September 21, 2013

This was delicious! Definitely a keeper.


MaryDg October 27, 2013

Delicious! I made everything from the taco seasoning to the enchilada sauce. The only thing I added was some corn. This dish is So colorful! So flavorful! I will make this again…Thank you


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