These vegetarian enchiladas are stuffed with black beans, butternut squash, bell pepper, and green chiles, and then topped with red enchilada sauce, cheddar, and pepper jack cheese. It's a budget-friendly meal that uses a lot of pantry staples and is great for cleaning out your fridge as you can use a wide variety of veggies. This Mexican-style dinner can be easily made ahead, is freezer-friendly, and is great for meal prep!
Black bean butternut squash enchiladas are easy to make, meatless, and extremely satisfying. You won't miss meat with this healthier kind of comfort food. This Mexican-style recipe is packed with veggies (butternut squash, onions, and bell peppers), protein, and fiber (black beans). I used gluten-free almond tortillas (also packed with fiber). You can use any kind of your favorite tortillas (gluten-free corn tortillas or flour tortillas). Cheese is a comfort food component of this otherwise healthy dinner, and you can make these as cheesy as you like or reduce the amount of cheese if desired. All the flavors blend so well together - these are really the best vegetarian enchiladas I've ever made! A perfect choice for a simple weeknight meal. For more Meatless Monday dinner inspiration, check out this Southwestern-style Black Bean and Butternut Squash Casserole or this delicious sweet potato hash.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Easy and budget-friendly. Baked black bean and butternut squash enchiladas are really quick and convenient to assemble. This crowd-pleasing recipe uses basic ingredients, many of which you might already have available in your pantry. That includes canned beans, enchilada sauce, and canned diced chiles. Try this recipe and it might become a new family favorite weeknight meal!
- Flexible recipe for cleaning out your fridge and pantry. Use whatever veggies you have sitting in your fridge - this is a great recipe to include them and not let them go wasted. You can also use up whatever canned beans or veggies you have in your pantry.
- Great for making ahead, meal prep, and freezing. These are the best vegetarian enchiladas to share with your family and friends. You can make them up to 3 days in advance (see the tips for making this ahead below) and bake them only when ready. This way you spend more time socializing with your family instead of cooking in the kitchen!
- Butternut squash is a great ingredient for meatless recipes. It's rich in dietary fiber, and an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, manganese, and potassium. This wonderful vegetable has a subtly sweet and nutty flavor that blends well with savory ingredients.
- Black beans are packed with fiber and are also a good source of plant-based protein. They always work great in vegetarian enchiladas. I used budget-friendly canned cooked black beans. Make sure to rinse them with running cold water and drain them really well!
- Bell pepper. I used 1 chopped green bell pepper that I sauteed together with chopped onions.
- Onion. I used 1 small chopped onion cooked together with bell pepper.
- Canned diced mild green chiles are another budget-friendly ingredient for this Meatless Monday recipe. I used mild variety, but you can use canned hot green chiles to add more kick to these vegetarian enchiladas.
- Tortillas. Choose tortillas that are about 7 or 8 inches in size - these work best for most pans. You can use corn tortillas, grain-free almond flour tortillas, or regular flour tortillas.
- Red enchilada sauce. I feel like there is never really a need to make your enchilada sauce as grocery stores always offer delicious and budget-friendly options. I used a store-bought one.
- Cheddar cheese is added on top and melted into cheesy goodness.
- Pepper jack cheese adds some heat and a comfort food touch to these black bean and butternut squash enchiladas.
How to make vegetarian enchiladas
- First, roast the cubed butternut squash in the oven.
- At the same time, sauté the onion and bell pepper in a large, oven-proof, high-sided skillet.
- Add black beans, and roasted butternut squash to the skillet with onions and bell peppers and stir to combine. Remove everything to a large bowl.
- Add enchilada sauce and salsa to the bottom of the same large skillet.
- Fill each tortilla with the butternut squash and black bean mixture, carefully roll them, and then place seam-side down in the oven-proof skillet. Top with the remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.
- Bake vegetarian enchiladas in the preheated oven at 350 F for 20 or 30 minutes.
Cooking tips and recipe notes
- Save prep time using pantry staples, such as canned cooked black beans, enchilada sauce, and canned diced green chiles.
- Use store-bought pre-cut butternut squash if you can find it which will make this recipe literally a breeze! While peeling and cutting the butternut squash is totally worth the effort for these vegetarian enchiladas, buying pre-cut squash will drastically reduce the prep time!
- Roast butternut squash in advance. It takes about 30 minutes to roast cubed squash in the oven, so if you make this step ahead, the whole recipe will take you just a few minutes to put together.
- Rinse the beans. Always rinse the beans really well under running water. And then drain them equally thoroughly.
- Add spice. Vegetarian enchiladas, in my opinion, taste the best when spicy! Add extra chili powder or chipotle powder to the veggies. Be careful with chipotle, though, it can be quite spicy. Use it in very small amounts and always taste before adding more.
The best vegetarian enchilada toppings
- Veggies. I like to top these butternut squash and black bean enchiladas with chopped green onions, chopped cilantro, and sliced avocado.
- For the creamy topping, I prefer plain Greek yogurt even though you can definitely use sour cream.
- Cheese. I also like to top baked enchiladas with crumbled Cotija cheese or simply more shredded Cheddar, Pepper Jack, or Mexican cheese blend.
You can make these vegetarian enchiladas ahead and store them unbaked either in the fridge or in the freezer. Here are some tips:
- Assemble the enchiladas without adding any enchilada sauce, salsa, or cheese.
- Store them refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months in an airtight container.
- Add the enchilada sauce, salsa, and cheese only right before baking. This will prevent the enchiladas from getting mushy and soggy.
Storage and reheating tips
- Fridge. Store butternut squash and black bean enchiladas refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- Freezer. Store the leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe container for up to 2 months.
- How to reheat (bake) in the oven. Reheat the refrigerated baked enchiladas in the preheated oven at 350 F for about 20 or 30 minutes. You can also reheat them this way directly from frozen (without thawing) for a longer time (maybe 10 or 20 extra minutes - just be sure to check them for doneness).
- How to reheat in the microwave. Reheat the refrigerated (not frozen) leftovers in the microwave in 30 seconds increments so as to not overcook them (this prevents them from getting mushy).
The best tortillas for enchiladas
The most important criterion for choosing the right tortillas is their size. Choose tortillas that are 6-inch, 7-inch, or 8-inch in diameter. These sizes will fit in most pans and are not too small.
- Corn tortillas are the traditional choice for baked enchiladas. Either yellow or white corn tortillas will work. Corn tortillas are also gluten-free. Always check the labels.
- Flour tortillas are easily available and will work great for vegetarian enchiladas.
- Grain-free tortillas. Use gluten-free almond-flour tortillas, cassava-flour tortillas, or chickpea tortillas. Siete Foods is a brand I love to use for grain-free, gluten-free tortillas. In this recipe, I used gluten-free almond flour tortillas by Siete Foods.
How to make it gluten-free
- Use corn tortillas - they are the traditional choice for baked enchiladas. Either yellow or white corn tortillas will work. They are usually gluten-free, but make sure to check the labels.
- Use grain-free tortillas. Use gluten-free almond-flour tortillas, cassava-flour tortillas, or chickpea tortillas. Siete Foods is a brand I love to use for grain-free, gluten-free tortillas. In this recipe, I used gluten-free almond flour tortillas by Siete Foods.
How to make it vegan and dairy-free
- Use dairy-free “mozzarella-cheese” style shreds instead of cheese.
- Use vegan tortillas. Corn tortillas are usually vegan. I also like to use grain-free tortillas made by Siete Foods - they are vegan, as well. My favorite kind is Siete's almond-flour tortillas. This company also makes cassava flour and chickpea tortillas. All are gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan.
Variations, substitutions, and add-ins
- Beans. I like to use canned cooked black beans, pinto beans, cannellini beans, or chickpeas (garbanzo beans) in enchilada recipes. Make sure to rinse them really well under running water and drain them.
- Squash can be replaced with sweet potatoes.
- Veggies. This is an excellent recipe for cleaning out the fridge! My favorite veggies to add to vegetarian enchiladas are chopped broccoli, bell peppers, mushrooms, asparagus, spinach, kale, and arugula.
- Add canned veggies, such as corn, green beans, peas, carrots, etc. If you want to clean out your pantry, this is the recipe to do it!
- Add plant-based sausage to the enchilada filling, such as Hot Italian Beyond Meat Sausage.
Other vegetarian main dishes you might like
If you're looking for more meatless dinners packed with veggies, don't miss these easy weeknight meals:
- Black Bean and Butternut Squash Casserole
- Italian Ravioli (store-bought or homemade) with Spinach, Artichokes, Capers, Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- Butternut Squash and Spinach 3-Cheese Lasagna
- Linguine with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce
- Creamy Spinach Mushroom Tortellini with Caramelized Onions
- Butternut Squash Ravioli (store-bought or homemade) with Brown Butter Sauce and Pecans
- 12 oz butternut squash peeled and cubed into ½ inch or ¾ inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 bell pepper diced
- 15 oz black beans canned, cooked, rinsed and drained
- 4 oz diced mild green chiles canned
- ⅓ cup salsa
- 10 oz red enchilada sauce
- 6 tortillas (7 or 8 inch in diameter)
- ½ cup cheddar cheese shredded
- ½ cup pepper jack cheese shredded
- 4 green onions chopped
Roast butternut squash
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Toss cubed butternut squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Spread butternut squash in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until softened.
- Proceed with the rest of the recipe while the butternut squash is in the oven.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large, oven-safe, high-sided skillet on medium heat. Add chopped onion and chopped bell pepper, season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes.
Make the filling
- Add roasted butternut squash and black beans (rinsed under cold water and drained really well) to the same skillet with onions and bell peppers. Reserve ⅓ cup of black beans for later use.Optional: You can reserve a very small amount of roasted butternut squash to use later for presentation purposes, if you like, to add on top of the enchiladas at the very end (see my photos for clarity).
- Add half of the mild green chiles, reserving the other half. Mix everything well. Remove this stuffing mixture into a large bowl.
- To the same, now empty, skillet add salsa. Add half of the reserved black beans (saving the other half for later, for presentation purposes). Add the remaining reserved mild green chiles, and half of the red enchilada sauce. Stir to combine.
- Stuff tortillas with the butternut squash and black bean filling from the bowl. Do not overstuff them. It's OK if you have some stuffing left.
- Add filled tortillas seam side down to the skillet.
- Top stuffed tortillas with the remaining half of enchilada sauce.
- If you have stuffing left - add it around and on top of the enchiladas.
- Top with shredded cheddar and pepper jack cheese.
Bake in the oven
- Bake uncovered in the preheated oven at 400 F for about 10 or 20 minutes until the cheese melts.
- Remove from oven. Top with chopped green onions. Optional: if you reserved a small amount of butternut squash and black beans, scatter them on top of the enchiladas.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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