These super easy vegetarian enchiladas are filled with a simple lightly spiced creamy mixture of black beans, corn, and cream cheese. They're topped with a delicious red sauce and melty, bubbly cheese. They come together in 30 minutes for a great weeknight dinner for the family!
Vegetarian Black Bean Enchilada Recipe
I grew up in Arizona from the ages 5 to about 17 and during those 12 years Mexican food was always my absolute favorite! And to be honest, it still is. I have so many fond memories of going over to a friend's house and their mom would make me the besttt vegetarian-friendly Mexican food.
I pretty much survived college and all my years after that on these veggie enchiladas because they're so quick to make, super flavorful, and only requires a handful of ingredients.
Ask any of my friends or old roommates, it's probably my favorite thing to cook for them! I make it at least once a week.
This is by no means authentic enchiladas, but inspired by some of my favorite meals growing up.
The ingredients are so dang simple, which makes it so easy to make at a moments notice. Here's what you need:
- Black beans & corn: The two main ingredients! I buy it canned and frozen to make it easy. You can also add jalapeños or sliced poblano peppers for a bit of green.
- Spices: A bit of cumin and some chili powder add so much flavor to the filling for those bits and pieces that fall out of the tortilla.
- Cheese: We're using cream cheese and a shredded blend of cheese. For the shredded blend, I like to use the "Mexican blend" that you can pick up at any store. You can opt for low fat options if you'd like to.
- Tortillas: I recommend corn tortillas that you can pick up in store that are medium-sized. You can also make them yourself.
- Enchilada Sauce: I've never tried this with verde enchilada sauce but I think it would be so good as well!
Which Enchilada Sauce to use
If I'm not making my own sauce, I've tried what feels like a million ready-made enchilada sauces to make my meal quicker. So far my favorite has been the Red Enchilada Sauce from Trader Joe's!
A good enchilada sauce should be a little spicy and tangy. To make your own, check out this tex-mex style Easy Red Enchilada Sauce by Isabel Eats, a Mexican-American food blogger. She also has an authentic enchilada sauce recipe!
How to Make Vegetarian Enchiladas
Make the black bean, corn, and cream cheese filling
If using canned black beans, drain and rinse out the beans. Transfer them to a pan on medium heat with a tablespoon of oil. Allow some of the excess water to simmer off. If using frozen corn, rinse the corn in warm water and then add it to the pan with the beans. Add in the spices and salt. Sauté them until they soften up.
Make a space in the middle of the pan and add in the cream cheese. Break it down into pieces with a spatula and let it melt. Fold the beans and corn into the cream cheese. Simmer for a 2-3 minutes after the cream cheese has fully melted and remove from heat.
Assemble the enchiladas
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
If using store-bought tortillas, they will most likely have some preparation instructions. Most of them require a minute in the microwave between two damp towels so they can be rolled without cracking. Prepare the baker with a thin layer of enchilada sauce - this helps the tortillas not stick to the bottom.
Once the tortillas are prepped, add a small handful of shredded cheese (I measure with my heart). Spoon in about two tablespoons of filling closer to one side - this makes it a bit easier to roll. Tightly roll the enchilada and place it seam side down in the baker. Repeat for the rest of the tortillas. If there's leftover filling, I like to spread it on top of the enchiladas before adding any of the sauce.
Top all the tortillas with the enchilada sauce and then with the rest of the shredded cheese.
Bake and serve the enchiladas
Once the enchiladas are topped with cheese, pop the baker into the oven for 15 minutes until the cheese is melty and bubbly. Remove from the oven.
Top the enchiladas with cilantro. Serve with pickled onions, lime slices, avocado, and sour cream.
How to Store
Store the enchiladas in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. I find that the enchilada sauce keeps it from drying up, so you can cover the baker with a sheet of aluminum foil for a day or two.
To reheat, pop it in the oven at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes or the microwave for 2 minutes.
More Dinner Recipes to try
- Cacio e Pepe Orzo
- Butter Masala Pasta
- Creamy Garam Masala Lemon Butter Chicken
- Jumbo Stuffed Pasta Shells
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Vegetarian Black Bean and Corn Enchiladas
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Drain the can of black beans and rinse the beans. Heat a pan with a tablespoon of neutral oil on medium heat and pour in the black beans and corn. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until softened, and then add in the cumin powder, chili powder, and salt.
- Make space in the middle of the pan and add in the cream cheese. Break it down with a spatula and allow it to melt. Fold the beans and corn in and simmer for another 3-4 minutes. Take the pan off heat and set the filling aside.
- Wrap the stack of tortillas between 2 damp paper towels. Microwave the tortillas for a minute. Meanwhile, spoon a very thin layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the baker.
- Place a bit of shredded cheese in the middle of each tortilla, and then top with 2 tablespoons of the bean and corn filling. Tightly roll and wrap each enchilada. Place it seam side down in the baker.
- Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce evenly over the enchiladas. Top it with the rest of the shredded cheese. Bake the enchiladas for 15 minutes until the cheese is fully melted.
- Serve the enchiladas warm with avocado, pickled onion, sour cream, and chopped cilantro.