These simple but scrumptious vegan enchiladas make a crowd-pleasing Mexican feast for friends. Packed with black beans, sweetcorn, peppers and chipotle paste, and smothered in a vegan cheese sauce.
One of the things I love about vegan food is how intensely colourful even the most cosy, comfort-food meals can be. Take these smoky vegan enchiladas - if they were made with the traditional meat filling they would be, well, brown and beige. But look at the photo below of these ingredients - a rainbow of plants, that taste as vibrant as they look.
This is one of those really handy crowd-pleasing recipes that you can cook for everyone if you have a vegan coming round for dinner, and no one will feel hard done by.
Make them as spicy as you dare. The combination of a fiery chilli hit from the filling which is then extinguished by the creamy, 'cheesy' sauce is what these enchiladas are all about.
Even if you're not a fan of vegan cheeses, I urge you to give it a try in this dish - I find even those I wouldn't eat on their own work quite well melted into cheesy sauces, and when used in a spicy and flavour-packed dish their own flavours aren't overpowering.
🌮 What are enchiladas?
If you haven't had enchiladas before, they are basically a tortilla wrap rolled up with fillings inside, then covered in a savoury sauce and baked. They are a bit like fajitas but you make them in advance, and bake them in a cheesy sauce.
Enchiladas are perfect for people like me who can't manage to eat a fajita without 48% of the filling ending up in their lap! Baking them seals up the fillings in their tortilla pockets, and also means you eat them with a knife and fork rather than your fingers.
📝 What you need
- red onion
- spring onions
- fresh coriander
- dairy-free margarine
- dairy-free cheese
- dairy-free milk
- tinned sweetcorn
- tinned black beans
- ready-chopped garlic / garlic purée
- chipotle paste
- rapeseed or sunflower oil
- tortilla wraps
- plain flour
- large lidded frying pan or casserole
- small saucepan
- roasting tin
👩🏽🍳 Variations on the enchilada recipe
You can make all sorts of tweaks to this recipe to suit your own taste. How about:
I wouldn't recommend freezing these enchiladas as the tortillas will turn soggy and lose their texture.
However, if you're planning to make these for a special occasion, you could most definitely get ahead by making the filling in advance and freezing it. Then on the day you would just need to defrost it, roll up the tortillas, make the cheese sauce then bake.
Sometimes the spices and seasonings are tamed a bit during the freezing process, so I would recommend tasting a little of the filling before using it, and adjusting the chilli and seasoning as required.
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Easy Vegan Enchiladas
For the filling:
- 2 tbsp rapeseed or sunflower oil
- 1 red onion
- 2 peppers
- 1 courgette
- 1 tsp ready-chopped garlic / garlic purée
- 400 g tinned black beans
- 165 g tinned sweetcorn
- 2 tbsp chipotle paste (or 3 if you like it spicy!)
- 500 g passata
- 1 tsp sugar
- handful fresh coriander
- 8 tortilla wraps
For the 'cheese' sauce:
- 2 tbsp dairy-free margarine
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 300 ml dairy-free milk (I used oat, but soya or nut would work well too)
- 60 g dairy-free cheese
- 2 spring onions
To make the filling:
- Heat a large, lidded frying pan or casserole. Finely chop the onions and add to the pan, frying gently for a couple of minutes.
- Finely chop the peppers and courgette and add to the pan along with the garlic. Cook for 4-5 minutes until starting to soften.
- Drain and rinse the black beans and sweetcorn and add to the pan, followed by the chipotle paste. Stir and cook for a further minute, then add the passata and sugar, and stir to combine.
- Remove the leaves from the coriander stalks and set aside for later, then finely chop the stalks and add to the pan. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, adding a little water if it becomes too dry, (or removing the lid for a while if it is too runny to fill your tortillas neatly!). Taste and add salt and black pepper as required.
To make the 'cheese' sauce:
- Whilst the filling is cooking, heat the margarine in a small saucepan over a gentle heat. Add the flour and stir until a thick paste is formed, then add the dairy-free milk little by little until the sauce is thick and bubbling. Remove from the heat, and season well with salt and black pepper.
- Grate the dairy-free cheese and add two-thirds to the sauce, (keeping one-third aside for later). Stir until melted through the sauce.
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan) / 350ºF / Gas Mark 4.
- Take each tortilla wrap, fill it with the black bean filling, then fold in the ends, roll up and tuck neatly into a lightly oiled roasting tin.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the top, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and just turning brown.
- Finely chop the coriander and spring onions, and sprinkle these over the enchiladas just before serving.