Vegetarian enchilada casserole is a hearty and flavorful dish that’s perfect for a weeknight dinner or for feeding a crowd. This vegetarian main dish casserole is packed with colorful veggies, protein-rich black beans, and gooey melted cheese, all baked together with a red enchilada sauce. It’s a family-favorite that’s easy to make ahead and customizable to what you have on hand.

An overhead shot of a rectangular baking dish with a cooked vegetarian enchilada casserole. There are lime slices, sprigs of cilantro, and small bowls with jalapeños and cilantro around them.

5 star review

“Thank you so much for this yummy recipe! My daughter is vegetarian so I’m always looking for delicious dinner ideas that the whole family can eat. This was a winner!”

– Jenny

About Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole

I must admit, I’m a huge fan of enchiladas (hello, easy chicken enchiladas, green chili chicken enchiladas and simple ground turkey enchiladas), but for this recipe I wanted to create a vegetarian casserole that tastes like enchiladas without all the fuss of rolling tortillas.

I love how simple and versatile this healthy vegetarian enchilada casserole is – especially since the filling comes together in one pan and then you layer with tortillas and cheese.

If you’re worried about appealing to different tastes, trust me when I say that this is a crowd-pleaser!

Even meat-eaters will love this hearty, healthy dish filled with nutrient-rich vegetables, creamy beans, and gooey cheese.

And since this main course vegetarian casserole is so easy to make-ahead and freeze, I highly recommend making a double batch and freezing the other pan for a later meal.

And if you’re looking for another vegetarian enchilada dinner idea, you have to try my sweet potato and black bean enchiladas!

Visual Guide: How to Make Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole

Jump to Recipe Instructions

Time-Saving Tips & Tricks

My goal is always to provide nutritious, flavorful recipes that are simple and quick to make, and this easy enchilada casserole is just that.

Many enchilada casseroles contain a lot of ingredients and lots of steps, and I wanted to include a variety of vegetables and plant proteins, but also keep the ingredient list as short as possible and the process doable.

Something I love about this recipe is that the filling comes together in one pan, which also means fewer dinner dishes (a huge win!).

If you’re a fan of enchiladas like me, I highly recommend keeping a batch of easy homemade enchilada sauce on hand to save time.

While you can use a good store-bought enchilada sauce, I do love the flavor of my easy enchilada sauce, and always have a jar ready to use.

When it comes to assembling this casserole, you don’t have to be super precise with the tortillas – simply slice in half and cover the layer.

Also, this recipe can be easily customized to your liking, by adding your favorite veggies like mushrooms, sweet potatoes, or even roasted eggplant to the filling. 

And you can also substitute the black beans with pinto beans or lentils for added protein. 

If you’re a fan of spice, add jalapeños or chipotle peppers to the veggie mixture.

Make It Gluten Free + Dairy Free

This recipe is naturally gluten free, however if you are using store-bought enchilada sauce, make sure it’s gluten free. To make a dairy free and vegan version, substitute the cream cheese with dairy free cream cheese and top the enchilada with dairy free cheddar cheese.

What to Serve with Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole

Serve this vegetarian enchilada casserole with your favorite toppings like avocado, cilantro, or sour cream.

It also pairs well with a side of Mexican rice, creamy cabbage slaw, Mexican slaw, or a simple salad topped with chipotle honey vinaigrette.

If you’re looking for other Mexican-inspired dishes to serve alongside this casserole, try making a batch of guacamole or homemade salsa to dip your tortilla chips in.

A straight on shot of a layered tortilla, and vegetable dish on a white shallow bowl. The slice is topped with cilantro and sliced jalapeño.

Key Ingredients and Substitutions

Onion: White onion, yellow onion, or red onion can be used.

Bell pepper: Use your favorite color of bell pepper (red, yellow, orange, or green).

Zucchini: Feel free to leave the zucchini out if you don’t like it, or substitute it with another vegetable such as eggplant, more bell pepper, mushrooms, or sweet potato.

Kosher salt: Look for kosher salt with the regular iodized salt at the grocery store. It has a subtler flavor. Use less iodized salt if that’s what you have on hand.

Garlic powder: I like the ease of using granulated garlic powder in this recipe, but if you prefer fresh minced garlic you can substitute 2 minced garlic cloves in its place.

Spinach: Feel free to leave out the spinach or substitute with chopped kale or other dark leafy green.

Corn: While fresh sweet corn is a delicious option in the summer months (when it’s in season and easy to find), frozen & defrosted corn works just as great in its place.

Diced green chilis: Use mild to keep the chili less spicy, or look for hot green chilis to kick up the heat.

Cream cheese: For a dairy free version, substitute dairy free cream cheese.

Black beans: You can use kidney or pinto beans if you prefer.

Mexican cheese blend: This is typically a blend of four cheeses – including Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Queso Quesadilla and Asadero cheeses. So it’s a great shortcut ingredient. You could also use just all of one type of cheese that you like, for instance all Monterey Jack cheese or cheddar. Substitute dairy free cheddar for a dairy free version.

Enchilada sauce: I used 1 batch of my easy homemade red enchilada sauce but you could also use a 15-ounce can of store bought enchilada sauce. 

Tortillas: I used corn tortillas in this recipe, but you can also use small flour tortillas.

How to Store & Freeze

This recipe can be made ahead and frozen! 

You can freeze it unbaked or baked by simply covering it with plastic wrap and placing it in the freezer.

To cook from frozen, simply add an additional 15 minutes to the cooking time.

Otherwise, leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days in a tightly sealed container – making this a great dinner to prep ahead for an easy weeknight meal!

This Recipe is…

Follow my step-by-step video:

An overhead shot of a rectangular baking dish with a cooked vegetarian enchilada casserole. There are lime slices, sprigs of cilantro, and small bowls with jalapeños and cilantro around them.
5 stars (9 ratings)

Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole

Vegetarian enchilada casserole is a hearty and flavorful dish that's perfect for a weeknight dinner or for feeding a crowd.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 large bell pepper (red, orange, or yellow), finely diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen-defrosted corn kernels
  • 1 (4-oz) can diced green chilis
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 2 (15-oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
  • 2 cups red enchilada sauce
  • 12 small tortillas (corn or flour), cut into halves

Instructions 

  • Heat the oven to 375F.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, zucchini, and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • When the vegetables are tender, turn the heat to medium low, then add the garlic powder, spinach, corn, black beans, green chilis, 1 teaspoon salt, and cream cheese, stirring to combine. Cook until the spinach is completely wilted and the cream cheese is evenly distributed, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat, and lightly mash some of the black beans with the back of a fork. Add 1 cup cheese, stirring until well combined.
  • Add 1 cup enchilada sauce to the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Add a layer of overlapping tortillas to cover. Spoon ⅓ of the vegetable bean mixture on top. Add a second layer of overlapping tortillas, cover evenly with ½ cup enchilada sauce, then spoon ⅓ vegetable bean mixture on top. Add the final layer of overlapping tortillas, cover with the remaining ½ cup enchilada sauce, and the remaining ⅓ cup vegetable bean mixture.
  • Top with 1 cup shredded cheese, then cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until bubbling. Uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is lightly browned.

Notes

See blog post, above, for substitution suggestions including dairy free and vegan, storage, and more. 

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 (of 12), Calories: 188kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 21mg, Sodium: 782mg, Potassium: 226mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 1369IU, Vitamin C: 24mg, Calcium: 159mg, Iron: 1mg
Nutrition disclaimer
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