Vegetarian Enchiladas

May/June 1997, The Essential EatingWell Cookbook (2004)

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The secret to this creamy enchilada sauce is pureed toasted corn, enriched with roasted garlic.

"I can't give it enough props. It was amazing! The corn sauce is very unique and a lovely texture. I would have liked to add green chiles or salsa verde to the corn sauce - if the kids weren't eating with us. I added zucchini, yellow...
Vegetarian Enchiladas

Makes: 6 servings, 2 enchiladas each

Active Time:

Total Time:


Corn sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 2 10-ounce packages frozen corn
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste


  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, wiped clean, stemmed and sliced
  • 10 ounces fresh spinach, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
  • Cilantro & Pumpkin Seed Pesto, (recipe follows) and/or prepared tomato salsa

This recipe calls for:


  1. To prepare corn sauce: Roast garlic in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat, shaking the pan often, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add half the corn and cook, stirring often, until lightly toasted, about 8 minutes. Reserve the garlic; transfer the corn to a blender. Toast the remaining corn. Place all but 1/2 cup of the corn in the blender. Peel garlic and add to blender along with milk and cayenne. Blend until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl. Stir in reserved corn. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. To prepare enchiladas: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch or similar baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Drain off excess liquid. Remove from heat and stir in onion, salt and pepper.
  4. Toast tortillas (see Tip).
  5. Sprinkle a generous tablespoon of cheese down the center of a tortilla. Cover the cheese with a scant 1/4 cup of the spinach mixture. Fold one side of the tortilla over the filling, then roll up tightly. Place the enchilada seam-side down in the prepared dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, cheese and spinach mixture. Spoon corn sauce over the enchiladas, covering completely.
  6. Cover baking dish with foil. Bake for 25 minutes, or until heated through. Uncover and bake for 5 minutes more.
  7. Meanwhile, make Cilantro & Pumpkin Seed Pesto, if using.
  8. Divide enchiladas among 6 plates. Top with the pesto (and/or salsa). Serve immediately.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 5. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
  • To toast tortillas, place directly on a burner (gas or electric) set at medium heat. Turn frequently with tongs, until golden, 30 to 60 seconds.


Per serving: 381 calories; 14 g fat (5 g sat, 2 g mono); 25 mg cholesterol; 52 g carbohydrates; 16 g protein; 8 g fiber; 431 mg sodium; 665 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (100% daily value), Fiber (36% dv), Vitamin C (35% dv), Folate (34% dv), Potassium (31% dv), Calcium (30% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 4

Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 medium-fat meat, 1 fat

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