There really is something to be said about food as a healing agent. Really. The entire process of finding a recipe that seems as if the very words on the page may comfort my inner being down to the chopping, stirring, sprinkling, waiting .. and then, then, the eating.
Oh yeah. Food can be healing.
I originally made these vegan enchiladas back in 2014, thanks to the recipe by Oh She Glows. Her black bean enchiladas are so good and have a deliciously filling sweet potato and black bean mixture to cozily sit inside of the flour tortillas.
They’re so good that they’re my star dish I make for people whenever I have the opportunity to cook for them.
And then I moved to Mexico.
Listen, Angela’s sweet potato and black bean enchiladas are amazing. Like, they’re still probably one of my favorite dishes to make (and eat).
But once I saw the enchilada game down here, I decided that I needed to create my own authentically Mexican version of vegan enchiladas rojas (enchiladas with red sauce).
Unlike what many Westerners do in their enchilada recipes, authentic enchiladas are actually not made with flour tortillas and baked in the oven. They’re a lot simpler than that.
In fact, when I asked my Mexican chef friend if he had a recipe to share with me, he joked that enchiladas are the easiest dish someone can make.
“Easy as enchiladas,” he said. It’s a saying in Mexico because that’s how easy they are to make.
If you’re here for the recipe, then jump ahead and get started. I’m going to hang out up here and go over a few different variations.
Vegetarian Enchilada Fillings
- Beans – You don’t have to be vegan to want beans in your enchilada. While this recipe calls for red beans, you can use black beans or pinto beans instead. In Mexico, they often use a refried bean mixture that is cooked with chopped onions and garlic.
- Cheese – If you like using cheese, then you can use any variation of vegan cheese that you’d like here. Traditional recipes will use a queso fresco sauce and drizzle over the top. You can make a vegan cheese sauce with soft tofu or cashew cream, though that recipe isn’t included here.
- Toppings – Homegirl loves chopped cilantro, so I like to pile that on anything. I usually mix chopped cilantro with chopped white onion and mash with avocado and lime juice for a chunky guacamole. You can also add a dollop of vegan sour cream for something tart.
- Tortillas – Traditional recipes use corn tortillas, which are naturally gluten free. I see a lot of western recipes opt for flour tortillas, probably because you can stuff a lot more into them. If you’re using flour tortillas, then you can fill a baking dish with the stuffed tortillas and then pour your homemade enchilada sauce over the top. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 350 Fahrenheit.
The best part about these veggie enchiladas is that you can really add whatever kind of filling you want to. The possibilities are endless, so go wild.
Vegan Enchiladas Rojas
- Boil seeded peppers for a 10-15 minutes in a small pot
- Puree in food processor peppers, onion, garlic salt and oregano.
- Transfer back to the pot and add broth, mix well.
- Boil additional 5-10 minutes to evaporate liquid and make sauce thick. Set aside
- Heat oil in a pan. Place beans, corn, tomato, bell pepper and seasoning. Cook till tender, about 3-5 mins. Mix in a little bit of the enchilada sauce and stir to coat. Cook for a couple of minutes.
- Heat tortillas in a skillet or pan on high heat, try not to make tortillas crisp, just warmer.
- Cover every tortilla in sauce, place filling and roll.
- Top enchiladas with additional sauce, garnish with chopped avocado and tomato and sprinkle scallions and cilantro.
- You can swap out the beans for any other kinds of bean you like. In Mexico, restaurants will often use refried beans, either black or pinto beans.
- I like to add steamed sweet potato as well when I’m really hungry. This makes it a really filling dish with a slightly sweet flavor.