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Think of this vegetarian enchilada casserole as a veggie-packed Mexican-inspired lasagna with corn tortillas standing in for the noodles! If your peppers are mild and you like heat, opt for spicy pico de gallo. This easy vegetarian dinner recipe is sure to become a new family favorite.

EatingWell.com, February 2020; updated October 2022

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Recipe Summary

active:
25 mins
total:
1 hr
Servings:
8
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How To Make Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole

We ditched the meat and loaded up on the veggies for this vegetarian enchilada casserole. This crowd-pleasing casserole is easy make and it can be easily tailored for heat lovers or the spice averse. Here's how we make it:

Make The Filling

The filling starts with onion, garlic, poblano peppers, zucchini, summer squash, fresh corn and pico de gallo. The ingredients are cooked together to build flavor and release moisture so the casserole isn't too soggy coming out of the oven. Pico de gallo is a raw salsa that offers fresh, bright flavors. You can make your own, or use store-bought. Look for pico de gallo in the produce section where refrigerated products like dips are sold. While fresh corn offers the sweetest flavor, frozen corn kernels can be used in its place.

Build The Layers

Once the filling is made, it's time to assemble. This casserole is layered (like lasagna) with corn tortillas with the veggie filling nestled in between. It's helpful to spray your baking dish before you begin the layering process to prevent sticking. A small amount of the filling goes between the first layer of tortillas and the baking dish to prevent burning and to moisten the tortillas. Unlike lasagna, there will be some gaps in the tortilla layers - that's okay. Next, half of the remaining filling goes on top of the first layer of tortillas, then the process is repeated. The final layer of cheese is placed on top for some ooey-gooey goodness.

Bake The Casserole

The casserole is baked in a 350 degrees F. oven until the cheese is bubbly, which takes about 25 to 30 minutes. It's best to let the casserole sit for about 10 minutes before slicing it up and adding the garnishes.

How To Adjust The Spice Level For Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole

Some like it hot, some don't. Luckily, it's easy to turn the spice level down (or up!) in this recipe.

How To Make Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole Less Spicy

Poblano peppers are generally mild, but if you want to avoid the heat you can use green or red bell peppers in their place. Look for mild pico de gallo and use Monterey Jack cheese in place of the pepper Jack.

How To Turn Up The Heat For Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole

For some metabolism-boosting heat, add a minced jalapeño to the poblanos and look for hot pico de gallo. For added flavor and heat combined, a teaspoon or two of chili powder will spice things up.

Can I Make Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole Ahead?

Absolutely. Assemble the casserole through Step 2. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours then bake as directed.

Additional reporting by Hilary Meyer

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, poblanos and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add squash, zucchini, corn, pico de gallo and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid comes to a simmer, 5 to 6 minutes. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid reduces by half, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in pinto beans and black beans.

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  • Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon one-third of the vegetable mixture into the prepared dish. Top evenly with 4 tortillas. Repeat with half the remaining vegetable mixture and the remaining 4 tortillas. Top with the remaining vegetable mixture. Sprinkle evenly with cheese.

  • Bake until the cheese is bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle evenly with avocado and scallions. Dollop with sour cream.

To make ahead

Assemble casserole through Step 2. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Bake as directed.

Nutrition Facts

1 1/2 cups
357 calories; protein 13.8g; carbohydrates 42g; dietary fiber 9.3g; sugars 6.5g; fat 16.8g; saturated fat 6.1g; cholesterol 24.6mg; vitamin a iu 621.5IU; vitamin c 21.4mg; folate 101.1mcg; calcium 280.5mg; iron 2.7mg; magnesium 85mg; potassium 670mg; sodium 468.2mg; thiamin 0.1mg.
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