What I’m sharing today may, at first, seem like random musings about a vegetable enchilada casserole, pizza dough, and deep-seated beliefs, but I promise a common thread between them ties up nicely in the end.
It Was Supposed to be About Enchiladas
On Saturday morning I pulled my chair up to tell you about a vegetable enchilada casserole and two hours later I had approximately 1000 words that had nothing to do with vegetables, enchiladas, or casseroles. After I hammered out the last word and leaned back I realized I could sum up what I had written in far fewer words: I’m free! Beliefs I once thought held me hostage, are actually shackled in my mind by me. My own hands grip those beliefs tight and, if I choose, I can release them. The idea was like a splash of cold water on my face.
And I only share this tidbit because most of those 1000 words were about writing and letting go of the belief that “this sort of stuff doesn’t belong on a food blog”. It’s a belief that has cast a long shadow across the posts I’ve written over the years. I’ve always wanted this site to be more than just recipes brightly colored with phrases like, “it’s great!” and “you should make this!”. I want it to have more texture and be, well, more me. If I’m not squirming in my chair at least a little bit before hitting publish (like I am right now) then I know old beliefs have elbowed their way back in and are in my grasp.
But there should probably be a little something about enchiladas weaved in, so, on Saturday, I switched gears to melted cheese, tortillas, and black beans. But it was Feynman, with his “can we go to the dog park, pleeeaase!” face, who encouraged me to press pause on the words and, with that, our weekend began.
The enchiladas would have to wait.
So here I am on Monday morning, ready to share all the details about this comforting vegetable enchilada casserole, but first I have to tell you about pizza dough.
Saturday night, basking in the afterglow of my I’m free revelation, I mixed together ingredients for a basic pizza dough. It was an act of bravery that challenged my assertion that homemade pizza requires advanced planning, so therefore pizza delivery makes much more sense. Not long after I made the dough the old pizza beliefs disappeared as I pulled a bubbly hot pepperoni pizza from my oven. To celebrate, I poured a glass of wine and devoured it all while catching up on trashy TV. And there’s more! On Sunday morning, I rolled out a leftover blob of dough, brushed it with melted butter and sprinkled cinnamon sugar over the top. Thirty minutes later the rolls emerged warm and puffy from the oven and my house was pleasantly scented with cinnamon for most of the day.
It’s was a great (and freeing!) weekend.
Vegetable Enchilada Casserole
And now we have a vegetable enchilada casserole, which is a break from a belief that rolling tortillas, with the filling tucked inside, is the only way to make enchiladas. What about stacking the tortillas in a baking dish with layers of filling and shredded cheddar cheese? It’s so much easier and far less messy to stack, as many people before me have discovered.
I may never roll another tortilla again.
I adapted the filling from a sweet potato tater tot hot dish recipe I made on an icy cold Monday night a few weeks ago. As the cheese melted in my old cast iron skillet filled and the warmth of sauteed vegetables filled my kitchen, I thought it would make a rich and cheesy filling for enchiladas, but instead of rolling I layered it all in a baking dish with tortillas and shredded cheese. So about a week ago, without even realizing it at the time, I kicked my old enchilada beliefs to the curb and baked a vegetable enchilada casserole. Poof! A belief was released.
Ingredients & a Few Notes
- The filling is a medley of vegetables and I recommend starting the mushrooms first to give them time to brown and release some of their moisture, which gives them a nice meaty texture. Add the onion, garlic, bell pepper, and poblano pepper and let it all mingle to together.
- The veggies are coated in cumin, chili powder, and chopped cilantro.
- Flour and milk help create the cheese sauce.
- Melt shredded cheddar cheese in the pan with all the veggies.
- Add black beans and frozen corn to finish off the filling.
- I used small flour tortillas and tore them in half to make the layers. Drizzle some enchilada sauce in the bottom of the pan and spread it into an even layer before adding the bottom layer of tortillas. From there, drizzle a little more sauce on the tops of the tortillas before adding the filling.
- I used a 9 x 13 Pyrex baking dish and stacked two layers of tortillas, filling, and shredded cheese finishing with a layer of tortillas on top with shredded cheese.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20ish minutes or until hot and bubbly.
It’s a good idea to let the casserole stand for a few minutes to ensure nice clean slices and don’t forget garnishes. While it baked I sliced fresh grape tomatoes and green onions, which sat atop a spoonful of sour cream. A sprinkling of chopped cilantro and sliced green onions finished it off.
More Enchilada Recipes
And here are some rolled enchilada recipes from my past. I haven’t tested them using the stacking method, but I’m guessing they’d all take well to a lower maintenance assembly process.
- Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas
- Enchiladas with Black Beans & Spinach
- Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas
- Creamy Poblano Chicken Enchiladas
This vegetable enchilada casserole has a creamy, cheesy vegetable filling and, instead of messy rolled tortillas stuffed with filling, everything is stacked together in a baking dish. Easier to make and serve it’s everything you love about enchiladas without all the hassle.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bell peppers (I used red and yellow), diced
- 1 poblano peppers, diced
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup 2% milk
- 10 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 (14-ounce) can black beans
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 8 ounces jarred enchilada sauce
- 10 (8-inch) flour tortillas, all except for two torn in half
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 10–12 grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Melt the butter over medium heat in a 10-inch skillet. Add the mushrooms and spread them out in a single layer. Let them brown before giving them a stir. Cook them for approximately five minutes, or until they are golden and have released some of their moisture.
- Add the onion, garlic, and peppers to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until the veggies have softened. Add the cumin, chili powder, cumin, and salt and stir to coat all the veggies. Sprinkle the flour over the top of the vegetables and stir. Add the milk and stir to combine. Add half of the shredded cheese to the pan and stir until it’s melted. Add the black beans and corn. Stir until well combined.
- Spread a couple tablespoons of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Place a four tortilla halves on top. Drizzle a couple more tablespoons of enchilada sauce over the top. Spoon approximately half of the filling over the tortillas and spread in an even layer. Top with 1/3 of the remaining shredded cheese. Top with another layer of tortillas, sauce, the rest of the filling, and another 1/3 of the cheese. Place two whole tortillas on top, drizzle the remaining sauce, and cover with the remaining cheese.
- Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the casserole is bubbly and hot. Let it stand a few minutes before slicing.
- Garnish each slice with the green onions, cilantro, tomatoes and sour cream.
Nutrition estimate does not include the garnishes
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
- Calories: 652
- Sugar: 8.1g
- Sodium: 2094.3mg
- Fat: 29.3g
- Saturated Fat: 10.9g
- Unsaturated Fat: 14.8g
- Trans Fat: 0.4g
- Carbohydrates: 73.9g
- Fiber: 8.4g
- Protein: 26.7g
- Cholesterol: 47.9mg
Keywords: enchilada casserole, vegetable enchiladas