Salsa Verdes Black Bean Enchilada Mexican Plant-Based Casserole

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Salsa Verdes Black Bean Enchilada Mexican Plant-Based Casserole - Healthy, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Recipe from Plants-Rule
Salsa Verdes Black Bean Enchilada Mexican Plant-Based Casserole – Healthy, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Recipe from Plants-Rule
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Creating an Authentic, Plant-Based Salsa Verde Mexican Casserole

Let’s face it, tortillas crumble. Enchiladas are one of my favorite dishes to order in a Mexican restaurant. However, whenever I try to make them in advance at home, they tend to fall apart. I wanted to preserve the authentic Mexican flavors of Green Salsa Verde Enchiladas. Yet, I needed something that I could meal-prep and even freeze. Thus, I decided to transform the standard enchiladas into a hearty, plant-based “lasagna” casserole.

Salsa Verdes Black Bean Enchilada Mexican Plant-Based Casserole - Healthy, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Recipe from Plants-Rule
Salsa Verdes Black Bean Enchilada Mexican Plant-Based Casserole – Healthy, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Recipe from Plants-Rule

The Essentials of Authentic Mexican Enchiladas Verdes

Enchilada literally translates “dipped in chili”. Since they originated in Mexico, the basic components were a tortilla, stuffed with meat, beans, or cheese, and dipped in a chili sauce. They typically come in two colors: Rojas (red) and Verdes (green). The red color comes from the red chilis (usually ancho and pasilla) that create the sauce. The green color comes from tomatillos, the base for salsa verde.

I adapted this authentic Mexican Salsa Verdes recipe from Rick Bayless, a Chicago-based chef who specializes in traditional Mexican cuisine. His recipe uses it as a sauce for pork, but, like most salsas, you can use it for tacos, tostadas, or enchiladas.

Green tomatillos are related to tomatoes. They are the base to authentic Mexican Salsa Verde. They have a tart flavor that mellows after charring on the grill

The recipe starts with tomatillos as the base. These tart fruits are sometimes called husk tomatoes, due to their appearance. They are related to tomatoes and gooseberries. Like gooseberries, they have a husk that is easily removed. Because of their tart flavor, tomatillos do best when charred or grilled. This helps bring out some of their natural sweetness. Adding some spicy jalapeno pepper and fresh cilantro help round out the Salsa Verde for simple, yet satisfying, flavor.

Salsa Verdes Black Bean Enchilada Mexican Plant-Based Casserole - Healthy, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Recipe from Plants-Rule

Turning Salsa Verdes Enchiladas into a Plant-Based Casserole

In order to transform regular enchiladas into a plant-based casserole, I wanted to keep a few essentials of the original recipe:

  • Green Salsa Verde: This is the hallmark sauce for green enchiladas. It’s worth the time and energy to make your own salsa. You can always make a double batch and freeze extras for future meals.
  • Corn Tortillas: Again, this is essential to authentic Mexican enchiladas. While some parts of northern Mexico use flour tortillas, corn dominates through most of the country. Choosing a high-quality corn tortilla means fewer ingredients. All you need are corn, lime, and salt.
  • Plant-Based Filling: For the enchilada casserole filling, I wanted something hearty, satisfying, and typical of Mexican cuisine. Black beans, potatoes, and onions create the base. However, you could also use pinto beans, bell pepper, or mushrooms. I’ve even done a “Super Green” version with spinach, zucchini, and green bell peppers. All of these ingredients are common in Mexican cooking.
Salsa Verdes Black Bean Enchilada Mexican Plant-Based Casserole - Healthy, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Recipe from Plants-Rule
Salsa Verdes Black Bean Enchilada Mexican Plant-Based Casserole – Healthy, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Recipe from Plants-Rule

Easy Assembly

That’s it! Once you have the basic components, you layer it together into a hearty, satisfying casserole. This recipe is:

  • Hearty and Satisfying
  • Full of Mexican Flavor
  • Freezer-Friendly
  • Great for Batch Cooking
  • Budget-Friendly

I hope you enjoy this recipe! I think you will love how it brings the flavors of Mexico to your kitchen in a healthy, plant-based, approachable way.


Chef Katie’s Healthy Eating Tips for Salsa Verdes Black Bean Enchilada Mexican Plant-Based Casserole:

Extra Sauce:  Make a double-batch of the sauce and keep it on-hand for adding Mexican flavor to your meals.  Serve with Tostadas, Tacos, or use as a dressing on a Quinoa Fiesta Bowl.

Gluten-Free: Black beans, potatoes, and corn tortillas are naturally a gluten-free food, which makes this a hearty gluten-free vegan recipe.

Freezer-Friendly:  This casserole is incredibly freezer-friendly.  Make a double-batch.  Assemble the casserole, then tightly wrap in foil.  When ready to serve, thaw overnight in the fridge.  Keep wrapped in foil and bake at 375F for 40 minutes, removing the foil during the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Single and Smaller Portions:  For smaller portions of this recipe, use a smaller pan.  Mini loaf pans and regular loaf pans work great if you’re feeding less people.  The mini loaf pans work best for single-serving sizes.  Use regular loaf pans for 2-3 servings.


Watch this Cooking Video to Learn More:


Salsa Verdes Black Bean Enchilada Mexican Plant-Based Casserole

Salsa Verdes Black Bean Enchilada Mexican Plant-Based Casserole - Healthy, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Recipe from Plants-Rule
Salsa Verdes Black Bean Enchilada Mexican Plant-Based Casserole – Healthy, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Recipe from Plants-Rule
  • Medium
  • Servings: 6
  • Ready in: 70 minutes
  • Yield: one 8×8 or 9×9 square casserole

If you love this, you’ll also love Vegan Tortilla Soup with Hominy, Vegan Southwest Sweet Potato Lasagna and Easy, Vegan Lentil Tacos.

Salsa Verdes Black Bean Enchilada Mexican Plant-Based Casserole

Layers of tortilla, beans, and potato are slathered in an authentic Mexican Salsa Verdes sauce for this satisfying casserole. Make extras – you’ll devour this hearty, plant-based vegan recipe!
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American, Gluten-Free, Healthy, Low-Fat, Mexican, Oil-Free, Plant-Based, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword casserole, comfort food, freezer-friendly, gluten-free, hearty, lasagna, oil-free, plant-based, spicy, tomatillo, vegan, vegetarian
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 279kcal

Equipment

  • 8×8 or 9×9-inch square baking dish

Ingredients

For the Authentic Oil-Free Mexican Salsa Verde:

  • 12 tomatillos husks removed and cut in half
  • ½ jalapeno stem removed
  • 1 medium onion cut into large ppieces
  • 4 cloves garlic skins removed
  • 1 bunch cilantro stems and leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 lime juiced
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2-1 cup water as needed

For the Salsa Verdes Black Bean Enchilada Mexican Plant-Based Casserole:

  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 Yukon potatoes diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For assembly:

  • 10 corn tortillas 4 whole and 4 cut in half and 2 cut into quarters

Instructions

  • Preheat the broiler setting on your oven.
  • To make the authentic Oil-Free Roasted Green Mexican Salsa Verde: Place the tomatillos, jalapeno, onion, and garlic in a baking dish. Bury the garlic under the onion and tomatillos. Add enough water to cover the bottom ½-inch of the pan. Place the dish in the oven and broil 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Be careful to keep the garlic covered. You don’t want it to burn or it will taste bitter. Let it roast underneath the other vegetables.
  • Remove the pan from the oven. Transfer the contents to a blender. Add the cilantro, cumin, lime, and salt. Puree until smooth. Add water, as needed to reach a smooth, pourable consistency. You may use ½ – 1 cup of water. Set aside. Turn the temperature down to 375While the Salsa Verde ingredients are broiling, you can make the Black Bean Enchilada Plant-Based Casserole Filling.
  • To make the Black Bean Mexican Enchilada Casserole Filling: In a wide sauté pan, sauté the onion over medium-high heat until starting to brown, about 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin and sauté until aromatic, 1-2 minutes. Add the potatoes and 1 cup of water. Cook until the potatoes are knife-glide tender, about 10-12 minutes. Add the canned black beans.
  • When the Salsa Verde is ready, combine 2 cups with the Mexican Enchilada Casserole filling. Taste to adjust seasoning.
  • To assemble and bake the Salsa Verdes Black Bean Enchilada Mexican Plant-Based Casserole: Line an 8×8 or 9×9 square baking dish with parchment paper or foil. You can use the same dish you used for the Roasted Salsa Verde. Just be sure to wash out the dish first.
  • Spread ¼ cup of the Green Salsa Verde Sauce onto the bottom of your pre-lined baking dish. Place one layer of the tortillas on top. Use the quartered tortillas to cover the corners of the dish. Try not to overlap the tortillas too much. Spread 1/3 of the Black Bean Casserole Filling on top of the tortillas. Repeat with another layer of tortillas, the filling, the tortillas, and the filling. Use up all of the filling. Your top layer should be tortillas. Pour on the remaining Green Salsa Verde Enchilada Sauce.
  • Place in the oven, uncovered, and bake 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro or avocado and serve!
 

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts
Servings 6.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 279
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3 g 4 %
Saturated Fat 0 g 0 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 140 mg 6 %
Potassium 920 mg 26 %
Total Carbohydrate 62 g 21 %
Dietary Fiber 9 g 34 %
Sugars 4 g  
Protein 11 g 23 %
Vitamin A 9 %
Vitamin C 59 %
Calcium 38 %
Iron 25 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Shopping and Gear List

  • Classic Provisions Spices Oregano, Mexican Whole
  • McCormick Ground Cumin, 14 oz
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