These vegetarian black bean enchiladas are so easy to make and are packed with bell peppers, sweet corn, onions, and red enchilada sauce. These are a great option for anyone who is new to eating plant-based.
- Dietary-features: Vegetarian, vegan-optional, soy-free and nut-free.
- Quick & easy: These enchiladas are ready just over 30 minutes using pantry staples and a few fresh vegetables.
- Healthy and balanced: Filled with plant-based protein and fiber from black beans, bell peppers, corn, and onions.
- Great for beginners: These vegetarian enchiladas are a great meatless option if you are new to plant-based meals. The filling is versatile and the seasonings, veggies, and beans can all be adjusted to your preference.
These black bean enchiladas are in regular rotation at my house because they are budget-friendly and can even be frozen for later.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Black beans: You can use canned beans or black beans cooked from dry. One 15 ounce can of black beans yields 1 and ½ cups of beans. Alternately, you can use white beans, kidney beans, or whatever cooked bean you have on hand.
- Red bell pepper: Sweet bell peppers are packed with Vitamin C and add color to the enchilada filling. You can use yellow, orange, or green bell pepper.
- Frozen sweet corn adds a lightly sweet crunch to these enchiladas. Canned, drained sweet corn works as well.
- Red onion and garlic: Onion and garlic bring the flavor to these enchiladas! Sweet or white onions work well too.
- Tortillas: 9-inch tortillas are the perfect size for enchiladas. Choose whole wheat tortillas for a healthier spin, or go the traditional route with white flour tortillas.
- Shredded: Monterey jack or cheddar are my go-to cheeses. You can easily make vegan enchiladas by omitting the cheese or replacing with a meltable vegan cheese.
- Red enchilada sauce: Choose a can of store bought enchilada sauce that's at least 16 ounces (2 cups). Choose mild, medium or hot depending on desired heat level. Or make your own homemade enchilada sauce.
Steps to make enchiladas
- Saute veggies: Sauté the red onion and bell pepper until softened.
2. Add aromatics: Add the garlic and jalapeno and sauté until aromatic.
3. Add remaining filling ingredients: Add the frozen corn, black beans, ½ cup of the enchilada sauce, and the seasonings. Simmer until the corn is completely thawed.
4. Spread 1 cup of enchilada sauce in a 9x13 inch baking dish.
5. Assemble the enchiladas. Add ½ cup of filling to the center of a 9" tortilla. Roll up the tortilla into a cylinder, then place the enchilada in the baking dish seam side down.
6. Pour the remaining ½ cup of enchilada sauce on top of the rolled tortillas.
7. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 15-18 minutes at 350 F, or until the cheese is melted and the black bean enchiladas are heated through.
- Baking dish: I use a 9x13 casserole dish to make vegetarian enchiladas. You need to use a dish that is at least 9 inches wide, but you can always rotate the enchiladas if you need more space.
- Warming up flour tortillas in the microwave makes them easier to roll.
- Optional add-ins: Have extra frozen or cooked veggies on hand? Throw them in while simmering the frozen corn. Get creative with broccoli, roasted sweet potatoes, butternut squash, or mushrooms. Fajita veggies would also go really well in here.
- Extra protein: You can add vegan tempeh taco meat, tofu chorizo, or an extra can of beans for extra protein.
- Serving ideas: Serve the black bean enchiladas with a side of fresh black bean salad or enjoy on their own topped with avocado, sour cream, cilantro, pickled onions, and salsa.
I haven't tried making gluten-free enchiladas but it should work with gluten-free flour tortillas. I don't recommend using corn tortillas because they are too small.
Sure! I haven't made this recipe with green enchilada sauce but only the flavor should be affected.
The vegetarian enchilada filling can be made up to 48 hours in advance. I don't recommend assembling the enchiladas in advance because they may become soggy in the fridge.
Yes, this recipe can easily be made vegan by using vegan shredded cheese in place of traditional cheese.
- Fridge: Keep refrigerated for up to 4-5 days for best quality.
- Freezing: Enchiladas freeze well. You can cover the entire casserole dish tightly with foil and freeze it or freeze individual portions in freezer-safe containers. Freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
- Reheating in the oven: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the entire casserole dish, uncovered, in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the enchiladas are heated through.
- Reheating in the microwave: Reheat individual enchiladas in the microwave in about 2 minutes. Time will vary depending on the strength of your microwave.
Looking for more vegetarian dinner ideas?
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Vegetarian Black Bean Enchiladas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium red bell pepper diced
- 1 small red onion diced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 small jalapeño minced (optional)
- 2 cups (16 ounces) red enchilada sauce, divided see note #1
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon lime juice from ~½ lime
- 5 9" flour tortillas
- 1 and ½ cups shredded Monterey jack or cheddar cheese
- cilantro, avocado, salsa, additional lime wedges for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and red onions and sprinkle with salt. Sauté for 6-8 minutes, until onion is translucent.
- Add garlic and jalapeño and sauté 1 minute more, until aromatic.
- Add the ½ cup enchilada sauce, frozen corn, black beans, chili powder, cumin and lime juice. Cook over medium until the corn is defrosted, about 4-5 minutes.
- Spread 1 cup of enchilada sauce into a 9x13 inch or similarly sized casserole dish.
- To make the enchiladas: Add a heaping ½ cup of the black bean filling to a tortilla and roll up tightly. Line up the enchiladas in the glass dish with the fold down.
- Spread remaining ½ cup enchilada sauce, or additional black bean filling, on top of the enchiladas.
- Sprinkle with 1 and ½ cups of cheese. Bake, uncovered, on the middle rack for 15-18 minutes at 350F, or until the cheese is melted.
- Remove from the oven let rest for 5 minutes. Serve topped with diced avocado, cilantro, salsa and additional lime wedges.
- Enchilada sauce: Choose mild, medium or hot red enchilada sauce based on your spice preference.
- Freezing instructions: You can cover the entire casserole dish tightly with foil and freeze it or freeze individual portions in freezer-safe containers. Freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
- Storage and reheating: Keep refrigerated for up to 4-5 days for best quality. Reheat individual portions in the microwave in about 2 minutes.
- To reheat in the oven: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the entire casserole dish, uncovered, in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the enchiladas are heated through.
This recipe was first shared January 19, 2019. It was updated on February 26, 2021 with new photos, a video and new tips. The recipe remains the same.