You can’t tell by looking at them, but these enchiladas are chock full of veggies.   Summer gardens will soon start offering up their bounty, and now you can be ready to make use of all the goodies with this dish.  This recipe is very similar to that for my favorite chicken enchiladas but this version calls for filling them with zucchini, bell pepper, onion and black beans.  You could easily make additions and substitutions as needed.  I, for one, am excited to trying them with mushrooms and corn added to the mix.  Even though these are vegetarian enchiladas, I find them every bit as filling and satisfying as those filled with chicken or beef.  My only complaint is that the sauce was just a bit too thick for my liking, and next time I would add more water to fix that.  I have noted a range of water in the recipe below so you can achieve whatever consistency you prefer.  I’m always looking for more meatless meals to add to our repertoire and I’m very glad to have this one up my sleeve.

  • Yield 12 enchiladas


For the sauce:
1 tsp. canola oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. sugar
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
½-¾ cup water
Salt and pepper

For the filling:
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped fine
1 (8 oz.) zucchini, halved lengthwise, seeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1½ cups enchilada sauce (above), divided
1 cup finely crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese
½ cup minced fresh cilantro
¼ cup drained chopped canned green chiles
Salt and pepper

For assembly:
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Lime wedges, for serving


  • 01

    To make the enchilada sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin and sugar and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the tomato sauce and water, bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  (This makes more sauce than you will need for the enchiladas.  The extra can be frozen for later use or passed with the enchiladas for serving.)

  • 02

    Preheat the oven to 450˚ F.  Transfer half of the black beans to a bowl and mash with a fork until almost completely smooth.  Set aside.  Add the oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until slightly softened, 5-7 minutes.  Add the zucchini and cook just until tender, 3-5 minutes more.   Stir in the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the mashed beans and remaining whole beans and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes.

  • 03

    Transfer the veggie mixture to a large bowl and stir in ½ cup of the enchilada sauce, the queso fresco, cilantro and green chiles.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • 04

    To assemble, briefly microwave the tortillas until warm and pliable, about 30 seconds.  Place 1/3 cup of the filling mixture down the center of a tortilla.  Tightly roll up the tortilla and place in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, seam side down.  Repeat with the remaining filling and tortillas.  Pour 1 cup of the sauce over the enchiladas, spreading it evenly.  Sprinkle the shredded cheddar over the top of the sauce.  Cover with foil and bake until the enchiladas are heated through, about 10 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue to bake until the cheese is melted, 3-5 minutes more. Sprinkle with additional queso fresco and cilantro for garnish, if desired.  Serve warm with lime wedges.