Monday, March 26, 2012

(Vegan.) (Or Not.) Enchilada Lasagna

(Enchi-lasagna?  Enchil-agna?)

I've been in a weird place with food and cooking lately.  As you know, I gave up sugar for Lent, and I avoid dairy and soy for hormonal reasons.  But as if that weren't enough of a challenge, I'm trying to make vegan dishes a part of our meal rotation (thanks to this documentary), and it feels like teaching myself to cook all over again.  Especially with a meat-and-potatoes eater in the house (read: Bo).  I've been experimenting with scads of new recipes every weekend, learning how to balance the huge piles of veggies I absolutely love with some kind of protein, to keep our meals balanced and nourishing.

I stumbled onto this recipe a few weeks ago, and after making it twice and doing a lot of tweaking, I'm happy to say that it's seriously delicious.  So much so that I portioned out and froze the leftovers for easy and yummy packed lunches.  And, I'm really excited to have found a recipe for homemade enchilada sauce.  Who knew it was so easy to make from scratch?

Now, while the recipes below are vegan, you can make all kinds of changes as per your tastes.  Can't bear the thought of no meat?  Brown some hamburger and add it to your layers.  Not a fan of corn tortillas?  By all means, use flour.  Can't get your hands on Daiya cheese?  Either leave the cheese out or use a traditional dairy variety.  It's very much a mix & match recipe, so you can use the following as guidelines and tweak to your heart's content!


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Enchilada Lasagna
heavily adapted from FatFree Vegan Kitchen

1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
4 oz. mushrooms, diced
1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (optional)
1/2 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced

corn tortillas, ~ 12, depending on their size
2, 15 oz. cans refried beans *
1, 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 c. salsa
1 to 1 1/2 c. Daiya shredded vegan cheese **
1/2 c. sliced olives
2 1/2 c. enchilada sauce (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and lightly spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1/4 cup water with chili powder and cumin until starting to bubble.  Add the remaining chopped veggies and cook until softened.  Set aside.

Line the bottom of prepared baking dish with tortillas, ripping some in halves as needed to completely cover the bottom.   And layer ingredients in this order:

{------   top of lasagna   ------}
1/3 enchilada sauce
1/3 Daiya cheese

1/3 enchilada sauce
1/2 black beans
1/2 veggies
1/3 Daiya cheese
1/2 refried beans

1/3 enchilada sauce
1/2 black beans
1/2 veggies
1/3 Daiya cheese
1/2 refried beans
{------   baking dish   ------}

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, or until bubbling.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

* Note 1:  If your refried beans are too stiff to spread, first stir in 2-4 Tbsp. milk into them to make them more spreadable.

** Note 2:  I adore Daiya cheese, because it actually gets melty and tastes pretty amazing for being nondairy and nonsoy.  But a couple of tips:  A little goes a long way, so use less than you would of traditional dairy cheese.  Also, it gets more melty if you layer it in or under sauce.  When I use it for pizza, I sprinkle Daiya on the marinara and then layer my other toppings over it.

Enchilada Sauce
heavily adapted from FatFree Vegan Kitchen

3 Tbsp. corn starch
1 c. water
1, 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne
salt, to taste

Whisk corn starch into water to dissolve.  Whisk corn starch slurry and all remaining ingredients in a saucepan, over medium heat.  Whisking often, heat until mixture boils and thickens, about 10 minutes.  Makes 2 1/2 cups.

Enchilada Sauce Ingredient Lineup:

Enchilada Lasagna Ingredient Lineup:

Completely line the bottom of your baking dish with corn tortillas,
then spread half the refried beans over them.
(NOTE:  For these photos, I halved the above recipes to fill an 8" square pan.)

Then, layer on cheese, veggies, black beans, and enchilada sauce.

Top all layers with olives and cover with aluminum foil to bake.

Bake until the edges are bubbly.


  1. This looks quite tasty and like a good place to hide some spinach that has almost turned funky. Maybe I"ll make some of my homemade refried beans this week and we'll have this casserole.

  2. Looks really good. I too struggle with meatless meals. I understand the principles of not eating meat but there are some recipes that don't taste good without it. Thanks for offering a good alternative.

  3. Awesome recipe! I am adding it to our meal-plan :) Our family has been vegan for 6 weeks, and that documentary is part of our reason for making the diet switch! I recently started blogging our journey, which has helped family and friends sub regular meals for veggie ones along with us!

    Would you mind if I put a link to your page in my blog when I make this? Thanks!

    Miranda J.

    1. Go right ahead and link up! I'm flattered :)


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