Seriously the BEST Vegan Enchiladas! Made with all whole food ingredients, including easy plant “meat”, black beans, and vegan cheese sauce. 

vegan enchiladas being lifted out of casserole dish

Enchiladas are the perfect food if you ask me. I know tacos are all the rage these days (for good reason), but don’t forget about enchiladas! Corn tortillas are stuffed, rolled and drenched in red sauce and cheese. Total yum.

These really are the best vegan enchiladas, ever. They will remind you of beef enchiladas, except they are meat free, dairy free and even good for you! There are 3 important parts to making these delicious whole food plant based enchiladas: easy enchilada sauce, taco “meat”, and vegan cheese sauce.

2 vegan enchiladas on a plateThere is no oil involved here, or store bought vegan meat or cheese. I’ve also kept the recipe as simple as possible so you can have dinner on the table ASAP!

It’s easy to make vegan enchiladas gluten free, or nut free if you need to. I’ll show you how, so read on!

looking down on a dish of vegan enchiladas with cilantro

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Can I buy pre-made enchilada sauce?

You can, but the flavor is much better if you can take 5 minutes and make your own! If you buy enchilada sauce at the store, make sure to check the ingredient list, as there is often milk added. Here is one brand that is definitely vegan: Simply Organic Enchilada Sauce.

How do you make vegan enchilada sauce?

Making enchilada sauce is really fast and easy. Gather all the ingredients, because it will go quickly. Measure all the dry ingredients (flour + spices) and place them in a small bowl. Heat a few tablespoons of water in a medium pot, then pour the flour/spices mixture on top and whisk constantly for a minute. Now whisk in the tomato paste, then slowly pour in the vegetable broth, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 5 minutes, whisking frequently to remove any lumps. Remove from heat, stir in the apple cider vinegar and add salt to taste.

SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR FULL AMOUNTS AND INSTRUCTIONS.

making vegan enchilada sauce collage

How to make the filling for vegan enchiladas:

Using a food processor, pulse your cauliflower to make cauliflower 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 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.

collage of making vegan plant meat for vegan enchiladas

Choices for vegan cheese:

I went with my Easy 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.

The other option is to use dairy free vegan cheese shreds, such as Daiya or another brand. You would probably need 2 bags for this recipe, and I would only recommend this if you already know of a brand you like, as some people really dislike the vegan cheeses you can buy at the store. If you can, use one of my homemade cheese sauces, they are easy to make and so much better tasting!

vegan enchiladas covered in sauce, then cheese sauce

Can I use flour tortillas for vegan enchiladas?

Yes, you can, though traditional enchiladas are made with corn tortillas. Sometimes I like to switch things up and use flour though. You will probably need 6-8 large flour tortillas if you want to try this.

How to make gluten free:

Easy! For the enchilada sauce, use brown rice flour or a gluten free mix in place of the all purpose flour. Then, make sure to use gluten free tamari instead of soy sauce. And of course, use corn tortillas, not a corn/wheat mixture or flour tortillas.

Or nut free:

Omit the walnuts from the “meat”, and use more mushrooms or cauliflower. Use my Nut Free Vegan Cheese Sauce.

whole pan of vegan enchiladas with cilantro on top

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vegan enchiladas, showing plant meat inside

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vegan enchiladas being lifted out of casserole dish
4.96 stars (93 ratings)

The Best Vegan Enchiladas

Seriously the BEST Vegan Enchiladas! Made with all whole food ingredients, including easy plant "meat", black beans, and vegan cheese sauce. 
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 
 

Enchilada sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour | gluten-free if needed
  • 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

Taco "meat":

  • 2 cups riced cauliflower | 1/2 medium head cauliflower
  • 4 ounces mushrooms | 1/2 package, or 4-5 mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable broth, more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce | tamari for gluten free
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste

The rest:

  • 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

Instructions 

Make the Enchilada Sauce:

  • 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 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 Taco "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 vegetable broth (2 tablespoons), 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 9x13 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.

Video

Notes

  1. For gluten free, use gluten free flour in the enchilada sauce, tamari instead of soy sauce and 100% corn tortillas.
  2. To make this recipe easier, you could buy pre-made vegan enchilada sauce. Check ingredient list as some brands have milk in them. You could also use vegan ground "beef" instead of the plant meat, or top the enchiladas with shredded vegan cheddar in place of the nacho cheese sauce. But they taste the best as written.
  3. Try subbing flour tortillas for the corn if desired.
  4. To make nut-free, omit the walnuts from the "meat" and use my Nut Free Cheese Sauce instead of the cashew based sauce.
  5. Calorie calculation does not include Nacho Cheese Sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1333mg | Potassium: 722mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1264IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 4mg
Course: Entree, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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Comments

  1. 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!! 

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

    1. 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!

  4. 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!

    1. 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!

  5. 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!

    1. 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!

  6. 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!!

    1. 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!

    1. 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!

  7. 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.

    1. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

    1. 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!

  11. 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!

    1. 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!

  12. Loved the dish and so did my non-vegan friends. Question: Struggled with the filling size, how big is a “scoop”?

  13. Amazing recipe! My husband said they were excellent! I think they taste so much better than regular enchiladas, YUM!

    1. Hi Trish. I’m happy to hear you guys are loving the enchiladas! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review and feedback!

    1. 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!

  14. 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!

  15. 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. 

  16. 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

    1. Hi Bridget! I’m glad you found the enchiladas excellent! Thank you for sharing your fantastic review and comments!

  17. 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. 

    1. 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!

    1. 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!

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