Vegetable Enchilada Casserole

Enchilada Casserole is such a classic. I’ve seen a million different interpretations of this dish over the years. Why? Because it’s easy and it’s satisfying. End of story.

For my version, I began with a simple mix of black beans, corn, green chiles, green onion, and cilantro. To up the vegetable content, I also added a diced zucchini. I layered the vegetable mix between corn tortillas, cheese, and my Easy Red Enchilada Sauce. After a little time in the oven to make sure the vegetables are nice and tender and everything gets infused with the flavorful sauce, you’ve got a warm, filling, and insanely delicious casserole. And that’s something that everyone deserves at the end of the day.

I planned on making this casserole sans cheese because cheese is so expensive these days, but when I got to the store there was an insanely good sale on cheese. What luck! Anyway, to achieve the “creamy” factor without cheese I was going to stir 1/2 cup of sour cream into the enchilada sauce. I haven’t tested this technique, but I think it would have made for a really delicious and creamy casserole, even without cheese.

If you want a little more “tooth” or texture to your casserole, you can toast the corn tortillas in a dry skillet until golden brown before layering them into the casserole. They soak up quite a bit of liquid while baking, so they get pretty soft otherwise.

Want to add meat? Easy. Just brown some ground beef or chicken, season it with salt and pepper, and mix it into the vegetables.

Don’t like zucchini? Other vegetables that would be quite good in this include: red bell pepper, poblano peppers, or avocado. Mix it up and make it your own! :D

Vegetable Enchilada Casserole - BudgetBytes.com

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Vegetable Enchilada Casserole

A colorful vegetable mix, homemade enchilada sauce, corn tortillas, and cheese make this Vegetable Enchilada Casserole the epitome of comfort food.

Total Cost $6.10 recipe / $1.02 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 12 small corn tortillas $0.64
  • 1.5 cups shredded "taco blend" cheese $0.94
  • 1 zucchini (about 3/4 lb.) $0.95
  • 15 oz can black beans, drained* $0.55
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels $0.63
  • 4 oz can diced green chiles $0.87
  • 1/2 bunch (3-4 each) green onions $0.38
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro (optional) $0.22
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02

Enchilada Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil $0.08
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder $0.30
  • 2 Tbsp flour $0.02
  • 2 cups water $0.00
  • 3 oz can tomato paste $0.33
  • 1/2 tsp cumin $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 3/4 tsp salt $0.03

Instructions

  1. Cut the zucchini into small cubes. Rinse and drain the black beans. Slice the green onions (both green and white portions). Pull the cilantro leaves from the stems and give them a rough chop. Combine the zucchini, black beans, frozen corn kernels, green onions, cilantro, and diced green chiles in a bowl. Add 1/4 tsp salt and stir until evenly combined.
  2. To make the enchilada sauce, combine the oil, chili powder, and flour in a small sauce pot. Whisk them together over medium heat and allow it to begin to bubble. Let the mixture bubble while whisking for about one minute. Add the water, tomato paste, cumin, garlic, cayenne, and salt. Whisk until smooth. Heat the sauce until thick and bubbly (about 3-5 minutes).
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9x9 casserole dish by coating lightly with non-stick spray. Spread a 1/2 cup of the sauce in the bottom of the dish. Arrange 1/3 of the tortillas over the sauce, followed by 1/3 of the vegetable mixture. Drizzle 1/2 cup of the sauce over the vegetables, then top with 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat these layers two more times, or until the vegetable mix, sauce, and cheese are gone.
  4. Bake the casserole for 40-45 minutes, or until the edges are bubbly and the cheese just begins to brown on top. Slice into six portions and top with extra green onions and cilantro, if desired.

Recipe Notes

*I used beans that I had cooked from dry and stored in the freezer.

Vegetable Enchilada Casserole

Vegetable Enchilada Casserole - BudgetBytes.com

Vegetable Enchilada Casserole - BudgetBytes.com

Step by Step Photos

Diced Zucchini

Cut a 3/4 lb. zucchini into a small dice. The small size of the cubes is important so that they cook through and don’t create huge lumps in the casserole.

Enchilada Casserole Filling

Combine the diced zucchini (they’re on the bottom) with a 15oz. can of black beans (rinsed and drained), 1 cup frozen corn, 4oz. can diced green chiles, 3-4 sliced green onions, and about 1/4 bunch chopped fresh cilantro in a large bowl.

Enchilada Casserole Filling

Add 1/4 tsp salt and stir the vegetables until they’re well mixed.

Oil Flour Chili Powder

Next make the enchilada sauce. In a small sauce pot combine 2 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil, 2 Tbsp chili powder, and 2 Tbsp flour.

Bubbling Chili Roux

Whisk the oil, flour, and chili powder together over medium heat until it begins to bubble. Let it bubble, while whisking, for about one minute.

Thickened Enchilada Sauce

Next add 2 cups water, 3oz. tomato paste (half of a 6oz. can), 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, and 3/4 tsp salt. Whisk until smooth and heat over medium flame until it thickens. It will begin to thicken as it approaches a simmer (thanks to the flour-chili powder roux created in the first step).

Layer 1 Enchilada Sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and begin to layer the casserole. Start by coating the inside of a 9×9 casserole dish with non-stick spray. Spread 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce over the bottom.

Layer 2 Tortillas

Next, add a layer of corn tortillas. I like to cut some in half so that I have a straight edge to line the dish. I used four tortillas per layer.

Lyaers 3 and 4 Vegetables and Sauce

Add 1/3 of the vegetable mixture on top of the tortillas, then drizzle 1/2 cup of the sauce over top.

Layer 5 Cheese

Finally, add 1/2 cup of shredded cheese on top of the vegetables and sauce. Repeat these layers two more times (tortillas-vegetables-sauce-cheese).

Layered Vegetable Enchilada Casserole

Until all the vegetables are used up and the casserole dish is full.

Vegetable Enchilada Casserole - BudgetBytes.com

Bake the casserole in the preheated 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the edges are really bubbly and the cheese just begins to brown on top. Warning: it smells AH-MAZ-ING. Top with extra cilantro and green onion if desired.

Vegetable Enchilada Casserole - BudgetBytes.com

Vegetable Enchilada Casserole - BudgetBytes.com

Holy yum.

Vegetable Enchilada Casserole - BudgetBytes.com