I've been playing around with an enchilada recipe for awhile now. It started around Christmas and has been made at least 3 times since. I just kind of went to the kitchen and started cooking, never really writing anything down. But each time I made them they turned out nearly identical and we found ourselves wanting them again the very next week. So the last time I decided to whip up a batch of enchiladas I paid attention and wrote a few things down.
For this version I decided to make things as simple as possible. The recipe strays slightly from traditional enchiladas, creating a layered enchilada bake and only requiring 1 pan for all of the cooking. I was previously roasting a pan of potatoes in the oven, sautéing vegetables on the stove, then filling 2-3 baking dishes to actually bake the enchiladas in. A few too many things to clean and keep track of for a weeknight meal.
The sauces create a bit more work but at least now you'll only need 1 pan for the cooking and baking of this meal.
Instead of using real cheese I wanted to create a new type of vegan nacho "cheeze" sauce. And instead of using the typical cashews or tofu I decided to make this sauce with cauliflower. It's nothing like gooey, melted cheese but it's totally satisfying in its own way and I'm completely sold with the results. And since this sauce is vegetable-based you can feel free to go to town and smother away.
The sauces can definitely be made a few days ahead of time or you can easily sub with your favorite store-bought sauces [I hear Trader Joe's has a tasty enchi sauce!].
The 1-pan process is pretty easy. Potatoes + onions go first.
And then you load up the pan with peppers, kale, corn, and beans. My pan was stuffed! I definitely recommend a 12-14 inch [oven-safe!] pan. A 10-inch is just a little too tight.
Next, the tortillas! No rolling required! Just cut up corn or flour tortillas for layering. Although, you can definitely use this vegetable mixture and make traditional enchiladas if you like.
You'll empty the veggie mixture into a bowl and then start larying the pan.
sauce --> tortialls --> veggies --> repeat!
At the end of baking you'll slather on the cauliflower nacho sauce and heat in the oven for a few more minutes. Or, feel free to add grated cheese to each layer if that's your thang'.
Serve with chips, guac, and more sauce on the side and then dig in.
1-Pan Vegan Enchilada Bake with Cauliflower Nacho Sauce
gluten-free, vegan // yields 4-6 servings
- 1 tablespoon safflower oil
- 1 sm/med onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cups diced potato, be sure they’re diced very small, ~1/4-inch
- 1 teaspoon mild chili powder
- 3/4 teaspoon cumin
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 4 heaping cups chopped lacinato/dino kale
- 1 1/2 cups black beans, rinsed + drained
- 1 cup frozen or fresh corn
- salt + pepper to taste
- 6-8 corn tortillas, cut into strips
Cauliflower Nacho Sauce:
- 2 1/2 cups cauliflower florets, halved
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup red salsa
- 2-5 tablespoons vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice
- 2-3 teaspoons chipotle adobo sauce
- 1 teaspoon mild chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon salt + pepper, to taste
1 recipe for Easy Enchilada Sauce – Reserve about 1/3-1/2 cup to use as a topping. Store bought is also fine. You’ll want about 3-4 cups of sauce.
For the Enchilada Bake: Heat oil in a 12-14 inch oven-safe pan. Add the onions stirring occasionally until just starting to soften, ~4-5 minutes. Add the potatoes, cover, and cook for 7-10 minutes until just tender, stirring frequently. Remove cover and stir in chili powder, cumin, and garlic then stir for about 30 seconds. Add in the pepper and kale and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add in the beans, corn, and salt + pepper. Stir until everything is heated through and kale has wilted a bit.
Preheat your oven to 350* F.
Empty ingredients into a large mixing bowl and wipe out your pan [no need to fully clean]. Pour just enough enchilada sauce to cover the bottom of your pan and then place tortilla strips over top, covering edge to edge. Scoop 1/3 of the veggie mixture over the tortillas and spread around. Dot with more enchilada sauce and spread [not fully covered]. Repeat for another two layers ending with enchilada sauce.
Cover with foil and bake for 22-25 minutes. Uncover and top add desired amount of cauliflower nacho sauce, then bake for 5 more minutes, or serve warmed sauce on the side. Refrigerate leftovers for 3-4 days.
For the Cauliflower Nacho Sauce: While the enchilada bake is in the oven steam or boil the cauliflower until just tender. Place in a high-powered blender with all other ingredients, starting with 2T broth. Blend on low working up to high for about 20-30 seconds until fully smooth. Add more vegetable broth to thin if needed. Taste and adjust salt, pepper, salsa, etc. if needed. Heat over med-low heat in a small pot until hot then serve. Cool and store excess in a sealed jar in the fridge for about 5 days.
Notes: You can use all 1 type of potato or a mixture. I used russet and sweet potato here but red, purple, yukon, etc. would all work. If you want to add cheese, shred cheddar or pepper jack and add a bit with each layer and on top. Broil for a few minutes after baking is complete. To reheat, bake covered or heat in a pan over medium heat with a little oil.
I just made and ate this meal [and most of the leftovers] last week, but all I want to do is face plant into the bowl above. I also highly recommend smothering your breakfast burrito in both of these sauces. Ohhhhh, the possibilities!!!