This vegetarian enchilada casserole is loaded with savory tofu and black bean filling. Ready in under an hour using nutritious ingredients and pantry staples, this recipe makes a great fuss-free dinner option!
I've been on a roll lately with quick and easy dinner recipes, especially those with Mexican-inspired flavors. From quinoa black bean casserole to stove-top rice and beans and now this vegetarian enchilada casserole, dinner is covered!
Enchilada casserole kind of reminds me of a Mexican-style lasagna because it's filled with layers of corn tortillas, beans, and delicious enchilada sauce. It's ultra-comforting but still packed with nourishing and satisfying ingredients.
- Easy to customize: This recipe is similar to my black bean enchiladas because it is really easy to customize and is great for picky eaters.
- Balanced: Packed with vegetarian protein from tofu and black beans and it uses inexpensive pantry staples.
- Great for meal prep and freezes well.
Customize these ingredients using whatever you have on hand or based on your flavor preferences.
- Yellow onion: White or red onion also work.
- Extra-firm tofu: Super firm also works. Crumble tofu directly into the pan. You don't even need to marinate or press the tofu!
- Bell pepper: Red bell pepper lends a sweet flavor and pop of color, but any color of bell pepper will do.
- Enchilada sauce: Choose mild, medium, or hot red enchilada sauce based on your spice preferences. Green enchilada sauce does work but I like it better in these sweet potato enchiladas than an enchilada casserole.
- Green chiles: These add a pop of spice and extra flavor.
- Black beans: Choose "No salt added" black beans or cook your own from dry to control the sodium content. You can also use pinto, kidney, or red beans.
- Spices: Chili powder, cumin, garlic, and salt are used to spice things up a bit.
- Corn tortillas: Use white or yellow 6" corn tortillas. Store extra tortillas in the fridge to have on hand for tacos or quick quesadillas.
- Mexican cheese blend: This usually includes cheddar, Colby and Monterey jack cheeses. You can also shred your own cheese, as you can see I did in step #4.
How to make the casserole
There are two main steps to making enchilada casserole: making the filling and assembling the casserole layers.
Make the filling
Start by heating olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat (this is the skillet that I use).
- Once hot, add diced yellow onion and bell pepper. Crumble tofu directly into the pan, as you would with a tofu scramble. Saute until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add black beans, 1 cup enchilada sauce, green chiles, and spices. Simmer over medium-low for 5 minutes, or until enchilada sauce is heated through.
Assemble casserole layers
- Spread ½ cup enchilada sauce in a 9x13 or similarly sized baking dish.
- Layer three tortillas (6 half-moons) so that the sauce is mostly covered. Some gaps will remain and that is okay.
- Cover with half (about 2 and ½ cups) of the black bean filling.
- Sprinkle evenly with ⅔ cup cheese.
Repeat steps 2-4 once more: tortillas, filling, cheese.
Top with 3-4 tortillas (6-8 pieces). It's okay if the gaps aren't completely covered but you can add more tortilla slices if you want.
Spread 1 cup enchilada sauce over the tortillas, then sprinkle with ⅔ cup shredded cheese.
There are so many ways to customize vegetarian enchilada casserole.
- Make it vegan/dairy-free by using vegan shredded cheese instead of Mexican-blend cheese.
- Other vegetarian protein options: Swap regular tofu with tofu chorizo, soyrizo, or vegan tempeh taco meat.
- Greens: Add spinach or kale (a good source of iron for vegetarians) when adding the black beans, enchilada sauce, and green chiles.
- Extra veggies: Use up veggies like carrots or squash by sauteing with the onion and bell pepper. Roasted sweet potatoes or butternut squash also go well in enchilada casserole.
Storage and freezing
- Leftovers: Store leftover enchilada casserole for 3-4 days. Reheat individual slices in the microwave in just about 2 minutes.
- Freezing slices: Enchilada casserole freezes well. I like to separate individual portions into freezer-safe containers for quick meals. The best way to do this is by slicing the casserole once it is completely cooled. I usually do this when it is refrigerator temp for the tidiest slices.
- Freezing the entire casserole: The entire casserole can be frozen once room temp, just make sure to cover it tightly with foil and a lid. Let thaw completely in the fridge before reheating.
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Vegetarian Black Bean Enchilada Casserole
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 medium red bell pepper diced
- 14 ounces extra firm tofu
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans drained and rinsed
- 2 and ½ cups red enchilada sauce (20 ounces)
- 4 ounces diced green chiles drained
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
- 10 6 inch white corn tortillas sliced in half into half moons
- fresh cilantro, lime and avocado for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add diced yellow onion and bell pepper. Crumble tofu directly into the pan, as you would with a tofu scramble. Saute until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add black beans, 1 cup enchilada sauce, green chiles, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and salt. Simmer over medium-low for 5 minutes, or until enchilada sauce is heated through. Taste for seasonings.
- To assemble the casserole: Spread ½ cup enchilada sauce in a two quart baking dish. Layer three tortillas (6 half moons) so that the sauce is mostly covered. Cover with half of the black bean filling (about 2 and ½ cups). Sprinkle evenly with ⅔ cup cheese. Repeat once more: tortillas, filling, cheese. Top with 3-4 tortillas (6-8 pieces). It's okay if gaps aren't completely covered. Spread 1 cup enchilada sauce over tortillas. Sprinkle with ⅔ cup cheese.
- Place the casserole uncovered on the middle oven rack. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and golden.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy topped with chopped cilantro, avocado and Greek yogurt or sour cream.
- Mexican cheese blend: This is a combination of sharp cheddar, Colby and Monterrey jack cheese.
- Keeps refrigerated for 4-5 days.
- To freeze: Slice the enchilada casserole into individual servings once it is completely cooled. I usually do this when it is refrigerator temp for the tidiest slices. Store in freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months. Let thaw completely in the fridge before reheating in the microwave or oven.