These vegan enchiladas are seriously the best! They’re stuffed with plant meat and cheese, smothered with red enchilada sauce and baked for 20 minutes.
If you love enchiladas as much as I do, make sure to check out my Vegan Sour Cream Enchiladas, Vegan Enchilada Casserole and Skillet Enchiladas.
Enchiladas make the best Mexican-inspired dinner, and this vegan version is truly incredible. With over 100 5-star ratings, you know they’re going to be good!
It’s true if you make everything from scratch they are a little time intensive. But you can make the recipe easier with a few shortcuts, or prepare the enchilada sauce, cheese and/or plant meat on the weekend for an easier weeknight meal.
Whether you make them exactly as written, or use a few store bought shortcuts, they are sure to be totally delicious!
The best vegan enchilada recipe
These are the best ever vegan enchiladas for a couple of reasons:
- Instead of just substituting vegan beef or chicken, we are making easy homemade cauliflower walnut mushroom “meat”. It’s delicious and made with whole plants, just like my Cauliflower Tacos recipe!
- The vegan cheese sauce is to die for. I prefer my Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce for the enchiladas. Often vegan enchiladas just don’t have cheese at all, but mine are super cheesy and rich.
- The easy vegan enchilada sauce takes the flavor over the top. You can also use a quality store bought enchilada sauce, but homemade tastes so good.
Ingredients needed (with substitutions)
For the enchilada sauce:
- Olive oil – Or water for oil free
- Flour – Or gluten free flour
- Chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt
- Tomato paste
- Vegetable broth
- Apple cider vinegar
Plant based “meat”:
- Vegetable broth or olive oil
- Cumin, smoked paprika, onion and garlic powder
- Soy sauce – Tamari for gluten free
- Black beans – May use pinto beans or lentils instead.
- Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce – You only need 1/2 of the recipe. May also use store bought vegan cheddar cheese shreds.
- Corn tortillas – You could use flour tortillas if preferred.
- Cilantro, optional
How to make vegan enchiladas
Find the complete printable recipe with measurements below in the recipe card.
If you make the sauce, cheese and filling from scratch then it does take a little while to prepare the enchiladas. The end result is worth it for an exceptional meal, but there are some shortcuts you can take to make it easier. I’ll walk you through it here with photos.
First, make the enchilada sauce
Or purchase pre-made enchilada sauce – When I first posted this recipe in 2019, I had a hard time finding vegan enchilada sauce. Now it’s much easier for me to find, so I don’t usually make it at home. I like Trader Joe’s enchilada sauce, Frontera and other store brands.
If you want to make the homemade sauce, it’s quite simple. You’ll warm a little oil (or water for oil free) in a small pan, whisk in the spices and flour, then the tomato paste and vegetable broth. Whisk and simmer for about 5 minutes, until it thickens somewhat. Remove from heat and set aside.
Make the cauliflower mushroom meat filling
Using a food processor, pulse the cauliflower several times until it’s in small pieces, like rice. Then pulse the mushrooms and walnuts a few times until they are a similar consistency as the cauliflower. You could chop them all very small with a knife if you don’t have a food processor.
Add the vegetables and walnuts to a large pan, heat to medium-high heat. Pour in the oil or vegetable broth, spices and soy sauce. Stir well to combine everything. Continue to cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add salt to taste, then stir in the black beans.
Make the vegan cheese
I went with my Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce, which is made super creamy from raw cashews, and is so easy to make. You only need 1/2 of a recipe, so just cut everything in half. I highly recommend it, BUT you could also use my Nut Free Vegan Cheese Sauce or Easy Vegan Cheese Sauce.
Or use store bought vegan cheese shreds. Vegan cheese has come a long way in the last decade. While I still prefer using homemade vegan cheese sauce for the enchiladas, sometimes I use vegan cheese shreds, like Violife cheddar or another brand.
Assemble the enchiladas
All that’s left to do with assemble and bake!
Warm about 5 corn tortillas at a time in the microwave. I wrap them in a paper towel and moisten with a little water, then microwave for 30 seconds or so until soft.
Fill each tortilla with a scoop of the meat filling and cheese sauce (or shreds). Roll up as tightly as possible and place in the prepared baking dish.
Pour the enchilada sauce over the enchiladas in the dish. Make sure they are all coated in the sauce.
Now pour the rest of the cheese sauce on top of the red sauce (or sprinkle with cheese). Bake for 20-25 minutes, uncovered, at 375 degrees F.
Frequently asked questions
Often it is accidentally vegan, but not always. Make sure to check the ingredients list for any dairy.
The possibilities are endless! Use a package of Beyond or other vegan meat substitute (vegan beef or chicken) and cook it with a packet of taco seasoning. Or a mixture of roasted sweet potatoes or squash, other vegetables, black beans, cooked quinoa, spinach and/or corn. Soy curls seasoned with taco seasoning or other spices would also be good.
Yes, you can. The benefit to using flour tortillas is they are easier to fill and roll up.
To make the enchiladas nut free, leave out the walnuts (or use sunflower seeds instead) from the “meat”. Use my Nut Free Vegan Cheese Sauce instead of the cashew based cheese, or nut free vegan cheese shreds.
What to serve with vegan enchiladas
Often I serve these easy vegan enchiladas with Vegan Sour Cream, shredded lettuce and perhaps a side of Mexican rice. Here are some other ideas:
- Easy Salsa
- Black Bean Salad with Avocado
- Vegan Queso Dip with tortillas chips
- Refried Beans
- Cabbage Steaks
- Roasted Zucchini and Squash
- Vegan Coleslaw
And consider having this delicious Vegan Tres Leches for dessert!
Want more vegan Mexican-inspired dinners?
The Best Vegan Enchiladas
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or water for oil free
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups riced cauliflower 1/2 medium head cauliflower
- 4 ounces mushrooms
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable broth for oil free
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 Recipe Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce
- 12-15 corn tortillas
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- Vegan Sour Cream for serving
- Make a 1/2 recipe of Nacho Cheese Sauce. Set aside.
Make the Enchilada Sauce (or use store bought)
- Measure and add all the dry ingredients to a small bowl (flour, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin and salt). Have the tomato paste and vegetable broth ready and nearby.
- In a medium pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil (or water.) Once warm, pour in the flour/spice mixture and whisk constantly for about a minute. Whisk in the tomato paste, then slowly pour in the broth, whisking constantly.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes, whisking often to remove lumps. It should thicken a bit. Remove from heat, and whisk in the vinegar. Taste and add more salt as needed. Set aside.
Make the Plant Meat
- If using whole cauliflower, wash, chop off the florets and place them in a food processor. Pulse, creating rice. Add 2 cups of cauliflower rice to a large pan on the stove.
- Add the mushrooms and walnuts to the food processor, and pulse until they are a similar consistency as the cauliflower. Don’t over process. Add to the pan with the cauliflower.
- Turn the heat to medium-high, and pour in the oil or broth, spices and soy sauce. Stir to combine. Continue to cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add salt to taste, and remove from heat. Stir in the black beans.
Assemble the Enchiladas
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spread 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch casserole dish.
- Wrap 5 tortillas at a time in a damp paper towel, and microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute to soften. This will make them much easier to roll.
- Fill each tortilla with a scoop of “meat” and a spoonful of cheese sauce. Roll and place into the prepared pan. Repeat until all the tortillas are used. Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce on top, then pour the rest of the cheese on top of the red sauce.
- Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, until bubbly. Top with chopped cilantro and serve hot.
- Gluten free – For gluten free, use gluten free flour in the enchilada sauce, tamari instead of soy sauce and 100% corn tortillas.
- Enchilada sauce – You can purchase your own enchilada sauce instead of making it from scratch. Check the ingredients to ensure it’s vegan friendly. You will need about 3 cups.
- Plant meat alternative – Instead of the plant meat, you could use Beyond or another vegan beef or chicken substitute. I would cook 12-16 ounces with a packet of taco seasoning, then use for the filling. Soy curls work as well, or even mixed roasted vegetables. The possibilities are endless.
- Tortillas – I prefer corn, but you can use flour tortillas as well. If you use larger ones, they are much easier to fill as well!
- Cheese – May substitute vegan cheese shreds instead of making the cheese. I like Violife, but you can use whatever you like. You will need about 3 cups, depending on how much cheese you want to use.
- Nut free – To make nut-free, omit the walnuts from the “meat” and use my Nut Free Cheese Sauce instead of the cashew based sauce.
Delicious recipe, once again! It’s a bit time-consuming on the first run, but as I’ll be adding it to the rotation, I expect it’ll move more quickly henceforth. 😉 Excellent flavor and texture. I put my blender on the ‘soup’ setting to omit Step 3 on the nacho cheese recipe. It thickened perfectly. Thanks, Nora!!
This was outstanding! Thank you for sharing this. I’m gonna kick in some onion and Serrano pepper next time just ‘cuz some like me like it hot. The cheese sauce is spot on. I had the day off work, so taking it slow and getting everything measured out and ready to throw in as your recipe went along was great!
Hi Doug. You are welcome! Thank you for taking time to share your feedback and ideas!
I’m often wary of any recipe title with “The Best” in the title, but I always try them because someone that they were the best. Nora, this recipe did not disappoint in ANY WAY. It is somewhat labor intensive, but the outcome is SO worth it. The enchilada sauce (something I have never made myself), the “meat” (so glad it wasn’t tofu because I already have a decent tofu “taco meat” recipe and it’s a good one, but I prefer something with no soy), and the vegan cheese were all so flavorful and tasty. But, the big shout out is the cheese sauce, which I will make again and again. I have not found a decent vegan cheese… until now!
Hi Lori. I’m so thrilled that you loved the enchiladas! Thank you for sharing your detailed and positive feedback! Cheese sauce is amazing on so many things! So glad you found one you love! Happy cooking!
I just made this for the second time and it just does not disappoint! It is the best plant-based recipe I have found yet. I love that you don’t incorporate oils – I used potatoes and carrots with only 1/2 cup cashews for the vegan cheese sauce and I do not feel cheated at all. Thanks for such a great recipe!
You are welcome! I’m glad you are content and loving the enchiladas! Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback! Wishing you lots of happy cooking!
These were delicious! My husband who loathes mushrooms had no idea a whole pack of shiitakes were inside 😀 We squeezed lots of lime on top & it was a hit for our 6, 4 & 2 year olds. Nora, your recipes are always a hit in our home! Thank you!
Hi Sarah. I appreciate your kind and wonderful feedback! I am so glad you are enjoying my recipes! Thank you for using them! Wishing you lots of happy cooking!
Made this for the first time tonight to enjoy my day off with a hearty vegan meal. This recipe was perfect. My
Grocer was out of riced cauliflower, so I subbed with crumbled firm tofu for some added protein. It turned out great with some extra of each spice for the taco meat. My boyfriend—avid hater of mushrooms—was totally unaware of his enemy’s presence. Thank you for the recipe!!
Hi Julianna. You are welcome! I love that you had fun with this meal on your day off, and am thrilled you, and your boyfriend, loved it! Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback and ideas!
Yummy and filling! Perfect recipe to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Thanks for the recipe!
Can I make this ahead and freeze it?
Hi Kathleen. Yes, you can freeze them either before or after baking. Either way, thaw in the fridge overnight, then pop in the oven until hot. It is best to leave the cheese topping off if freezing. The cheese sauce texture will be very thick once frozen. Hope this helps!
We had enough leftover ‘meat’, sauce & ‘cheese’ that we baked it all in 2 parboiled green pepper halves. Beginning with a salad and enjoying fresh mango for dessert, Nora gave us a very good, quick weekday supper.
thank you for the 2nd time.
Thank you for using my recipes! I love your idea of baking the leftover ‘meat and cheese sauce’ in green pepper halves! I appreciate you for sharing your wonderful feedback and ideas!
very tasty indeed.
We used much less chili powder, only 1 t, but milder suits us. And since we didn’t have a can of black beans, one of great northern.
many thanks – we will be making this again.
I’m so glad you enjoyed the enchiladas! Thank you for sharing your great feedback! Happy cooking!
Yum! This recipe definitely took longer than the 20 minutes prep time that was stated but it was worth it. This was my first time making enchiladas, much less vegan ones, and they did not disappoint!
Thanks for your feedback! I’m glad you loved the enchiladas!
My husband and I made this recipe together. We are fairly new to a vegan diet, so were a little skeptical that cauliflower and mushrooms could taste like “meat” and pecans could taste like “cheese”. But the results exceeded our expectations! We did forget to add the black beans, but the enchiladas were still delicious! We will definitely be making these often.
Hi Susan. Thank you for trying my recipes, and welcome to my site! I’m glad you and your husband loved the enchiladas! I hope you’ll enjoy your journey through my recipes! Please reach out with any questions. Wishing you lots of happy cooking!
Just finished eating this! Very good. Followed the recipe exactly and only thing I needed was more heat. Next time I may add a bit of cayenne pepper to the sauce. And I probably over processed the mushroom/walnuts!!! (I will just slice the mushrooms next time…)I have made many vegan cheese sauces and this is my favorite — loved the nacho cheese!!!! Thanks for another winner!
Hi Karen. Thank you for your wonderful feedback! Yes, you can turn up the heat as desired! The cheese sauces are a favorite in my house!
Loved the dish and so did my non-vegan friends. Question: Struggled with the filling size, how big is a “scoop”?
That will depend on the size of your tortillas. Not too much that you can’t roll them up!
Amazing recipe! My husband said they were excellent! I think they taste so much better than regular enchiladas, YUM!
Hi Trish. I’m happy to hear you guys are loving the enchiladas! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review and feedback!
Do you think these would freeze okay?
Yes, you can freeze them either before or after baking. Either way, thaw in the fridge overnight, then pop in the oven until hot. It is best to leave the cheese topping off if freezing. You could use vegan cheese shreds instead when baking. The cheese sauce texture will be very thick once frozen. Hope this helps!
Excellent recipe. Hearty and satisfying. I would definitely make it again.
Hi Kristin! I’m glad you love the enchiladas! Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback!
I loved these! I used flour tortillas instead of corn, and a premade vegan queso from whole foods. The one tip I’d suggest is that I found the enchilada sauce was reeeaaaallly spicy (and I have a high spice tolerance) so I only used 1/2 the sauce. (It may be that my chili powder is spicier than normal). Put vegan sour cream on the side and it was perfect for a cold winter night. Thank you!
Amazing absolutely amazing!! Everyone loves them even meat lovers
These truly are the best of the best❤️
I’m so thrilled these are a hit with everyone! Thank you for sharing your wonderful comments! Happy cooking!
I really enjoyed the nacho cheese and the enchilada sauce. Will definitely use those recipes again. Tbh the walnuts really threw me off with the filling and I was not a fan. I like the idea of the cauliflower rice and mushrooms though.
Wow amazing recipe! This recipe really is very delicious!
Really excellent. I was nervous about the mushrooms having an overpowering flavor but I followed the recipe and it is soo good. I will make the filling again for crunchy tacos
Hi Bridget! I’m glad you found the enchiladas excellent! Thank you for sharing your fantastic review and comments!
I made different insides because of what I had on hand. However, I used the recipe for the cheese sauce as well as the enchilada sauce and both were delicious. My boyfriend really likes meat and dairy but he thought these were great too.
Thank you sharing your great review and wonderful comments! I’m glad the enchiladas turned out great for you, and that your boyfriend like them also!
These were so delicious!! I cannot wait to make them again!!!
Hi Lacey! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review! I’m glad you love the enchiladas! Happy cooking!
Is there a good substitute for the walnuts, we have an allergy in the family
Hi Kris. It is totally fine to replace the “walnut meat” with a bean/onion filling. I have even used a mixture of black beans and beyond beef substitute before, and it turned out great. Hope this helps!