This lightened up version of Mexican-inspired enchiladas is big on flavor. Loaded with sweet peppers, onions, black beans, and corn, Veggie Lovers Vegetable Enchiladas are smothered in a delicious homemade enchilada sauce and melty cheese.
Where are all of my veggie lovers at?
You are going to love this hearty and flavorful recipe for Vegetable Enchiladas. With just the right amount of spice, these enchiladas are loaded with healthy, colorful veggies and topped with an easy homemade enchilada sauce. (And cheese. Yay, cheese!)
Hi, my name is Teri Stephens and I blog at Buy This Cook That. We prepare and share homemade recipes and ideas for busy food lovers like you. Our favorite recipes are southern classics with a twist, but we have a spicy wild side too. I live for Mexican-inspired recipes, but they don’t always love me back. These Veggie Lovers Vegetable Enchiladas are easier on the waistline, full of healthy vegetables like sweet bell peppers, yellow onions, hearty black beans, and golden corn.
Let’s talk Veggies!
Looking for a way to get more vegetables into your life and make lightened up versions of your favorite dishes? If so, this recipe is for you. Great for weeknight dinners and tasty lunches, too, this easy recipe is big on flavor. Maybe it is the fact that we loaded these vegetable enchiladas with all the yummy vegetables, or maybe it is the homemade sauce. Hmmmm….let’s go with both!
What you’ll need to make vegetable enchiladas at home:
- Sweet bell peppers – Use any color you love. The red and orange varieties are my picks for their sweet flavor.
- Onions – For this recipe, I went with a basic yellow onion.
- Black beans – This hearty bean is a must-have for this recipe and adds protein and fiber. Plus they are super-yum.
- Corn – I love the color and sweet flavor and crunch that corn brings to this enchilada recipe.
- Tortillas – We used soft, flour 8-inch tortillas in our recipe. You can use a low-carb or gluten-free option if you’d like.
- Oil – A splash or two will do, vegetable or olive oil.
- Flour – Just a little for the base of the homemade enchilada sauce.
- Chili powder – This is the main spice used in this recipe and brings that classic warm Mexican flavor.
- Tomato sauce – This is optional, but adds a richness and burst of flavor to the enchilada sauce that I love. I’ll give you two options to make the sauce.
- Vegetable broth – We stir this into the homemade sauce. You can also use chicken broth.
- Spices – A little of this, a little of that…no worries, we keep it simple.
- Cheese – I recommend Monterrey Jack or sharp cheddar for a kick of flavor.
- Cilantro – Totally optional for garnish.
Let’s make homemade enchilada sauce!
Before we get started on building the best veggie enchiladas ever, let’s make the sauce.
A few years ago, I started making my own homemade enchilada sauce, and I’ve never looked back. Sure, the store-bought variety works in a pinch, especially when you are in a hurry. But this recipe is fast, easy, and you get to control the sodium. (See, I’m looking out for you.)
First, heat oil over LOW heat in a sauce pan. I recommend a stainless steel or non-stick. Whisk in a little flour, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt. Keep whisking for about three minutes until the mixture is smooth and bubbly.
As soon as the chili powder and cumin start to heat up, the aroma is mouth watering. Be careful to keep stirring and keep the temperature on low. You don’t want to scorch the spices or you will have to start over.
Next, gradually stir in the broth, whisking until smooth. Stir in the tomato sauce then heat to a low boil. Keep stirring the enchilada sauce frequently to prevent sticking. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
That’s it! You’ve made homemade enchilada sauce. Here are two options:
- For rich + tangy enchilada sauce – Use the tomato sauce as noted in the recipe at the end of this post.
- For a thinner, more traditional style enchilada sauce – Replace the tomato sauce with more broth.
I love both versions and the one I choose depends on what I’m making. Since this recipe is all about the veggies, I opted for the tomato-style.
Time to make Vegetable Enchiladas!
To me, the secret to getting maximum flavor from bell peppers and onions is to let them cook and caramelize slowly. Just toss the thinly-sliced peppers and onions in a little oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and a pinch of chili powder, and cook slowly until tender, about 10 to 25 minutes.
Once the pepper mixture is ready, stir in the black beans and corn. Then add about half a cup or so of the prepared enchilada sauce. Cook until the mixture is heated through. Remove from heat and stir in a big handful of cheese.
TIP: Adding the sauce and cheese to the vegetables helps bind the filling together.
Time to assemble your Mexican-inspired enchiladas!
Your sauce is ready, your filling is ready, it is time to assemble these enchiladas. Spoon a little of the sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish (this keeps them from sticking).
Generously fill each tortilla shell with the vegetable mixture. Gently fold the tortilla, overlapping the edges. Lay the filled enchilada seam side down into the bottom of the baking dish.
TIP: Warm the tortillas before filling. This makes them softer and easier to fold.
Once all of the shells are filled, pour the sauce over the top. If you love your enchiladas drenched and saucy (like me), use all of the sauce. If you prefer them a little dryer, then reserve some of the sauce for serving.
Sprinkle cheese over the top, cover, and bake for about 30 minutes.
TIP: If you have any leftover filling, spread it on top of the cheese before baking.
Look at these delicious Vegetable Enchiladas! You get all of the wow-flavor you expect from traditional enchiladas without all of the heaviness in this lightened-up version. Plus, they are filling and nutritious.
How do you top your enchiladas for serving?
I love to eat my Veggie Lovers Enchiladas sprinkled with fresh, chopped cilantro. You can also serve with sour cream, Mexican crema, avocados, or fresh pico de gallo. YUM!
You can also make this easy weeknight dinner recipe using spinach, mushrooms, or any of your personal favorite vegetables. If you love this lightened-up version of a traditional favorite, check out our recipe for Southwestern Black Bean Soup with Roasted Jalapeños. Big on flavor without killing your diet.
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 15 oz tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 sweet bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 15 oz can kernel corn, drained
- 1/2 tsp Mexican oregano
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- Big pinch of salt
- Big pinch of black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack or sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 6 flour soft tortillas, 8-inch size
- Cilantro, optional garnish
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray and set aside.
- In a medium non-stick or stainless steel sauce pan, heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil over low heat. Whisk in the flour, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Whisk constantly until the mixture is smooth and bubbly, about 3 minutes.
- Gradually whisk in the vegetable broth until smooth. Stir in the tomato sauce. Heat to a low boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
- If you prefer the enchilada sauce without tomato, replace the listed amount of tomato sauce with more vegetable broth.
- In a non-stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the sliced peppers and onions. Sprinkle with a big pinch of salt and pepper and chili powder. Stir and cook on medium low for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden and tender.
- Stir in the drained beans, corn, half a cup of the prepared enchilada sauce, and oregano. Cook and stir until heated through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in half a cup of the cheese.
- Spoon about 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce and spread in the bottom of the baking dish. Warm the tortillas by microwaving for 30 seconds. Generously fill each tortilla shell with the vegetable filling. Fold the tortilla over and place the enchilada seam side down in the baking dish.
- Repeat until all tortillas are filled. Pour the sauce over the top. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the sauce. If there is any filling left, spread this on top of the cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- Serve with fresh, chopped cilantro.
Home Chef Tip: This dish can be made ahead of time. Just prepare and refrigerate. Increase baking time by about 15 minutes or until heated through. Serve with steamed cauliflower rice for a complete vegetarian treat.
We hope you love these Veggie Lovers Vegetable Enchiladas from SoFabFood Home Chef, Teri from Buy This, Cook That, as much as we do. If you love this simple recipe, stop by our Healthier Classics Section to find more like it. For daily recipe inspiration, subscribe to our newsletter, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Pinterest. Enjoy!