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Easy Vegetarian Recipe For Cheese Enchiladas With Vegetables

Updated on December 12, 2011


Years ago, I went to a fabulous Mexican restaurant in Portland, Oregon. I wanted something "different" and so decided to try something on their menu called vegetarian enchiladas. It turned out that these enchiladas were a mixture of beans, rice, and vegetables.

So years later, I remembered this wonderful meal I had at this fabulous restaurant and decided to try and figure out a recapture of this delicious vegetarian version of one of my favorite meals.

After a few tries at coming up with my own recipe for vegetarian cheese enchiladas with vegetables, I think I've got a recipe that will please even folks who prefer chicken or beef enchiladas.

Let creativity be your guide. Try different kinds of beans and different kinds of vegetables.

You can even use non-dairy cheeses in this recipe if you happen to be lactose intolerant.

from the kitchen of Audrey Kirchner
from the kitchen of Audrey Kirchner

Makes about 12-18 enchiladas depending on size of tortilla


  • 12 or so uncooked flour tortillas (I use Costco's dairy case uncooked tortillas) at room temperature (or heat slightly wrapped in foil in oven to make them easier to roll)
  • 3 carrots (shredded or super fine dice)
  • 3 small zucchini (shredded or super fine dice)
  • Baby spinach (washed and dried)
  • 1-2 cups of cheese (I used low fat jack for this recipe)
  • Diced onions or shallots - sweet, red or green - or combo of these
  • Low fat sour cream - 1/2 to 1 cup according to taste
  • 1-14.5 ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small can of diced green chilies - divided
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice - brown, white or wild (you'll need 1 cup cooked)
  • 2-14.5 ounce cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Dash of sugar
  • Red pepper flakes if desired


  1. Cook 1/2 cup rice as directed on package - so you'll have 1 cup of cooked rice. Cook in vegetable broth if desired for more flavor.
  2. Use vegetable spray to lightly spray a 9 x 13 pan or a slightly larger pan. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Combine 2 cans of diced tomatoes, about 1/4-1/2 cup of water, cumin, pinch of sugar and half of the green chilies in a saucepan. Simmer until reduced a bit and thickened. Add red pepper flakes if desired.
  4. If you are using diced vegetables, you can drop them into boiling water for a few seconds to blanch them, then drain and set aside. If using shredded vegetables, no blanching is required.
  5. Combine cooked cooled rice with carrots, zucchini, spinach, onions and beans in a large bowl. Stir in sour cream until you have the consistency for enchilada filling desired.
  6. Stir in about half of the green chilies. If desired, add 1/4 cup of grated cheese to your enchilada mixture.
  7. On a flat surface such as a cutting board, place 1 tortilla at a time, fill with enchilada mixture and roll up. Place seam side down side by side in pan until all filling is gone.
  8. Pour cooked sauce over the rolled enchiladas and cover loosely with foil. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes. Top with cheese according to your preference for how much cheese you like on top. If desired sprinkle with green onions and return to the oven for 5 or so more minutes until the cheese melts.
  9. Let stand for about 5-10 minutes before serving.

Serve these with salsa on the side, extra sour cream, more green onions and chopped olives if desired.


You can tweak this recipe many different ways. Just some suggestions:

  • Add chicken or beef instead of beans
  • Try different types of cheese
  • Make a tomatillo (green) sauce instead of a red sauce
  • Try wheat or corn tortillas (heat to make pliable)
  • Substitute pinto beans, kidney beans or small red beans
  • Try other vegetable combinations
  • Make this recipe as a casserole by layering the ingredients between tortillas and not rolling them up. Pour sauce over the top

This is a great healthier enchilada recipe that you can serve up pretty quickly. These also freeze really well. Try these for a family dinner or for a special event. I'm sure you'll find that people come back for seconds!


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    • kimberly Crocker profile image

      kimberly Crocker 6 years ago from Southern New Hampshire

      this is a great recipe, my boyfriend is a vegetarian and i am always looking for new recipes so he can eat something other than an over load of sides of asparagus and caesar salads :)

    • profile image

      Ron 6 years ago

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Washington

      Seanorjohn - hope you enjoy~!

    • seanorjohn profile image

      seanorjohn 6 years ago

      Excellent. I can make this. Been thinking about going vegetarian for a while. This sounds like a tasty dish. Voted up

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Washington

      Thanks for the read, TajSingh~

    • profile image

      TajSingh 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi akirchner. Thanks for sharing another healthy recipe.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Washington

      Frogyfish - thanks for stopping in and hope you enjoy~

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America

      These sound absolutely delicious! The casserole too. I really liked the idea of making and freezing it! Yum!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Washington

      LS - Glad you like~! Enjoy!!

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Oh man, I can't wait to try this recipe. I am gaga over enchiladas and this looks quite yummy. Thank you for sharing.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Washington

      Astra - Thanks so much for the read and the wonderfully kind comment - enjoy~!

      Tebo - You can add as much of the green chilies as you personally like - that's the beauty of making things from scratch. I started out with 1/2 of a small, small can and that seemed to be just fine - if you like more spice, add more!

      MisLizzee - Too hilarious - Good luck with your weight loss goal! Thanks so much for the read.

    • mslizzee profile image

      elizabeth 6 years ago from Buncombe County, NC

      I can't imagine a world without Mexican food. I dream about it. I copied your enchilada recipe and as soon as I lose 40 pounds I'll make it. :)

    • tebo profile image

      tebo 6 years ago from New Zealand

      I will definitely try this recipe, and I am sure I could get my meat eating son to eat this too. How hot is it with the green chillies?

    • Astra Nomik profile image

      Cathy Nerujen 6 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

      It is not too often that I feel hunger after reading a hub and now this is one of these times. You really make it sound so delicious. I would love to try cooking this dish. Yum. :)

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Washington

      Hope you like, Simone - they are really, really good and I usually freeze at least half of them for enjoyment another day~

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      Oh yum. These look great! And I haven't had an enchilada since I gave up meat- I'm looking forward to trying out this vegetarian alternative!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Washington

      Thanks for stopping by TajSingh - hope you like~

    • profile image

      TajSingh 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      This looks delicious! Gonna give it a try. Thanks for sharing akirchner.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Washington

      Glad to help~! Now I have to rethink the Garbage Disposal I guess....sigh...

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

      Ah yes, "holy toledo" sounds much more graceful. From now on, it is his second nickname! LOL

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Washington

      How about holy toledo? although I guess The Pig does have a distinct ring to it....I call our middle guy The Garbage Disposal so I guess I shouldn't talk!

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

      LOL no, he's an atheist.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Washington

      Crewman6 - of course you don't have to limit the is all NO CALORIES~! Oh how I wish. I actually have to freeze some to keep my family from gobbling it all up. They don't quite get the concept that low-fat or low-calorie doesn't mean it has NO calories!

      OM - OMG - I think your boy BF needs a new nickname....holy cow...hey - maybe that one would work~ Is he religious?

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

      Ah this sounds like a win-win dish for me to make. I love vegetables and The Pig (my bf's nickname) loves cheese! Thanks for sharing, Audrey.

    • Crewman6 profile image

      Crewman6 6 years ago

      Thorough and detailed description. Healthy, too. Does that mean I don't have to limit portion sizes? You've made me very hungry with this hub!!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Washington

      Nell - Not sure it's better than yours and I like to buy ready-made too - though I find a lot of peace in cooking I suppose~

      Hanna - I'm not a vegetarian - but I try and cook up at least one vegetarian meal per week since it's SUPPOSED to be good for us - who knows~?

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      As much as I like vegetable but I am a savage and need my meat.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

      Hi, your cooking is so much better than mine! I love enchiladas, but I usually buy them already cooked! in other words I cheat! ha ha but this sounds great, cheers nell

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Washington

      Prasetio - Thanks for stopping by and hope your mom likes too!

      Catherinenbrooks - Thanks for stopping in.

    • catherinenbrooks profile image

      Catherine Brooks 6 years ago from Santa Rosa, CA


    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

      You make me hungry, Audrey. I am glad to know that this recipes contain various vegetables. I believe this recipes has great taste and delicious also. As usual....I'll show this to my mom. Well done, my friend. I'll press all button here, except funny. Cheers.....

      Blessing and hugs, prasetio

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Washington

      Thanks for the read randomcreative and glad you like!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      This sounds delicious and so easy! I love new variations for classic Mexican dishes. Thanks for sharing!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Washington

      Thanks, Ashlea B for the read - and hope you give it a try!

    • profile image

      Ashlea B 6 years ago

      we try to eat vegetarian most of the time. and we love mexican. i'll have to try this out.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Washington

      Pamela - You have found me out~! Cooking is probably 3rd on the list of my "jobs" but I truly find a lot of satisfaction and peace in creating good food and trying to tweak old favorites to be healthier~

      Jaye - That sounds like a fantastic substitute for dairy cheese!! I will have to try that one myself.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 6 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Thanks for the terrific recipe, Audrey! I don't eat dairy cheese, but found some marvelous shredded soy "faux cheese" that melts (and tastes) like the real thing. It comes in a variety of flavors, so I use it frequently. The pepper jack variety should fit this recipe just fine. Can't wait to try it! Great hub...JAYE

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      Audry, You must cook much of the time as you are always coming up with the most delicious looking recipes and this one is not exception. My bookmarked hubs of yours is growing!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Washington

      Sounds good - thanks for sharing that idea!

    • thesailor profile image

      thesailor 6 years ago from Seven Seas

      Enchiladas here in the Philippines means fresh salad (usually tomatoes, cucumber, onion, diced) but when in Mexico, you better think of another dish.

      Thanks for sharing!!!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Washington

      Fiddleman - Thanks for reading - and I try and do at least 1 meal per week that has no meat so this fits the bill! I also think it is a good choice for vegetarians!

    • profile image

      Fiddleman 6 years ago

      I also am not a vegetarian but I do like my veggies and some are put to good use in your recipe's. Sound so appetizing. Thanks for sharing.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Washington

      Gordon - Glad you liked - and even if you want to add chicken or beef to it....still good for you and will be delish~ Thanks so much for the read.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile image

      Gordon Hamilton 6 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      This looks and sounds delicious, even though I'm far from being a vegetarian. My mother was (is) vegetarian so I was used to the concept even as a child - but I don't remember her eating dishes like this!


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