I have a thing for Mexican-inspired food. Sure, most people like it, but my family and I love it almost too much for words. I am pretty sure we would all be perfectly happy with some version of Mexican food every day of the week–it’s an obsession of epic proportions over here. Tacos, chilaquiles, or huevos rancheros, we really aren’t picky, but enchiladas always garner a resounding “YES!!!” from my whole clan.
I have been testing out vegan enchilada recipes for a while now, and some of them were pretty darn amazing, but none of them had that creamy element that a thick layer of cheese lends to a traditional pan of enchiladas. I kept going back to the drawing board, testing more recipes, using my family as guinea pigs, and ultimately leaving each meal feeling full, but not satisfied.
It actually wasn’t until I developed my recipe for roasted red pepper cashew cream that I had a vegan enchilada epiphany. This sauce is creamy, smoky, and downright delicious… I was ravenously dipping tortilla chips in it, so why the heck not douse a whole pan of enchiladas in it too? So, that evening I made a great big pan of enchiladas and I smothered them in homemade tomatillo salsa and roasted red pepper cashew cream. It was magical! My daughter Eliza asked for these enchiladas at her 13th birthday dinner and I not only left the table fulfilled, I was finally 100% satisfied with my vegan enchiladas.
Cashew cream replaces the cheese in this vegan-friendly enchilada recipe.
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 1 1/2 cups chopped zucchini
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 1 batch Smoky Black Beans (see above)
- 10 taco-sized white corn tortillas
- 2 cups salsa verde (store-bought or homemade; here's my recipe)
- 1 batch roasted red pepper cashew cream
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup roasted pepitas
- Place all of the ingredients into a medium saucepan (including the liquid from the beans) and simmer on low heat for 5-8 minutes, until warmed through. Drain the beans (don't rinse them though!) and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion for about 2 minutes, until slightly softened. Add the zucchini and corn to the skillet and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes until the veggies are easily pierced with a fork. Add the drained black beans to the skillet, stir to combine, and remove from the heat. Allow the black bean mixture to cool slightly before trying to roll the enchiladas.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and generously grease the bottom of a baking dish with olive oil. (I used 2 small baking dishes, but a 9 x 9 sized baking dish should work fine.) Pour a 1/2 cup of salsa verde into the bottom of the baking dish and spread it around to coat the entire bottom of the dish and set aside.
- Divide the black bean and veggie mixture into each tortilla (about 1/4 cup of filling for each enchilada) and place seam side down in the baking dish. Continue with the rest of the filling until all of the tortillas are rolled and lined up snuggly in the pan. Top with the remaining 1 1/2 cups of salsa verde, making sure to cover all of the enchiladas. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until warmed through. Remove from the oven and allow the enchiladas to cool on the counter for 10 minutes.
- Pour the cashew cream liberally over the top of the enchiladas until they are completely smothered, then garnish with the cilantro and toasted pepitas before serving.
I use white corn tortillas because we are on a gluten-free diet, but you are welcome to use whatever type of tortilla you desire.
If you find that your tortillas are too dry and splitting when you roll them simply wrap them in slightly dampened paper towels and heat in the microwave for 25-35 seconds to steam them until they're pliable enough to stuff and roll.