All the warm, comforting flavors of enchiladas, layered up with jalapeño queso, topped with vegan cheese and baked until golden and bubbling. We’re talking tangy, spicy, smoky, cheesy, not super authentic but ultra delicious! This casserole takes a little time and involves a few steps—but it’s all super easy—such as turning on the oven, pressing a button on the blender and assembling your tasty, lasagna-esque layers like a boss. You can even make the queso, the enchilada sauce and the filling up to three days in advance. Then put it all together at a later date or assemble the whole thing, cover tightly and pop it in the fridge or freezer for another day.   Reprinted with permission from Vegan Comfort Cooking by Melanie McDonald, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019. Photo credit: Melanie McDonald

The Whole Enchilada Casserole [Vegan]

Serves

6

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Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Mind-Blowing Jalapeño Queso (page 117), made as described but without heating it after blending
  • 28 oz (793 g) fire-roasted or regular diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, halved, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons (16 g) chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil of choice
  • 2 bell peppers (different colors), seeded and diced
  • 1 (15-oz [425-g]) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-oz [425-g]) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (4.5-oz [127-g]) can chopped green chiles, undrained
  • 2 cups (328 g) frozen corn kernels
  • 12 (7" to 8" [18- to 20.5-cm]) corn tortillas, cut in half
  • 1 cup (112 g) shredded vegan cheese
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Preparation

  1. Pour the jalapeño queso into a bowl and set aside. You can do this up to 3 to 4 days ahead of time and keep refrigerated until needed.
  2. Make the enchilada sauce. In a blender, combine the fire-roasted tomatoes, half of the onion, garlic, salt, chili powder, cumin, oregano and maple syrup. Blend until smooth. This, too, can be done up to 3 to 4 days ahead.
  3. Chop the remaining onion half. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the onion for about 5 minutes until transparent. Add the bell peppers and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the enchilada sauce to the pan along with the drained beans, green chiles (including any liquid) and frozen corn. Once the mixture is just starting to bubble and the corn kernels have defrosted, remove from the heat.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and have ready a 9 x 13–inch (23 x 33–cm) casserole.
  6. Pour about 1 cup (240 ml) of the queso into the bottom of the casserole and spread it out evenly. Top with 4 halved tortillas and cover them with about one-third of the bean mixture. Spread about one-third of the remaining queso over the beans, and then top with another 4 halved tortillas. Repeat with more beans, half of the remaining queso, another layer of tortillas, the remaining beans and remaining queso.
  7. Sprinkle with the shredded vegan cheese and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
  8. Leftovers will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge and reheat really well.
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