I grew up loving enchiladas so much. My mom grew up close to the California-Mexico border, and because of that, I grew up eating lots of Mexican food. Enchiladas have always been our Christmas Eve meal, and they are definitely one of my favorite foods. In the past year I’ve started loving casseroles. I’ve seen some delicious looking enchilada casserole recipes, and wanted to see if I could make one that was oil free. This casserole delivers! It’s flavorful, packed with protein, hearty, vegan, gluten free, and oil free (in other words, it’s basically everything I could ever want in an enchilada casserole).
The Oil Free Nacho Cheese Sauce is optional in this recipe. It tastes delicious, and adds a beautiful color contrast, but it isn’t 100% necessary. It will be delicious with or without the sauce.
If you’ve tried this recipe, please let me know what you thought in the comments below!
Healthy Enchilada Casserole (Vegan, Gluten Free, Oil Free):
- 1 cup Oil Free Nacho Cheese Sauce optional
- 1.5 Tablespoons arrowroot powder divided, cornstarch or potato starch also works
- 1 batch Easy Five Minute Enchilada Sauce
- 1.5 teaspoons chili powder blend
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic granules
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper stemmed, seeded, and chopped
- 1/2 pack extra firm tofu pressed to remove all extra water and crumbled, about 7 ounces or 200 grams
- 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 10 corn tortillas 6” size
- 2 cups cooked black or pinto beans I used a mixture of the two
- 1/4 cup sliced black olives
- 4 cherry tomatoes quartered and then halved lengthwise
- 1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro diced
- 1/2 avocado cubed
- Preheat oven to 350 F or 175 C.
- In a small bowl, mix together one cup of my Oil Free Nacho Cheese Sauce recipe with 1 Tablespoon of arrowroot powder. Be sure to sprinkle the arrowroot powder lightly across the cheese sauce so that it doesn’t clump up while mixing it. If you’re making the sauce from scratch, you can add the arrowroot powder into the blender when blending the recipe. I was using leftovers, so I mixed it in with a fork.
- Prepare the Easy Five Minute Enchilada Sauce and set aside.
- Heat a large non-stick lidded skillet over medium heat.
- Add the salt, ground cumin, onion powder, and garlic granules. Stir to combine. Add in the water, and stir to combine. Add in the onions, bell pepper, and tofu. Stir to combine and coat.
- Turn heat to low, press down on mixture using the back of a spatula, and cover. Cook covered on low for 5 minutes.
- Remove lid, stir, and cook for an additional couple of minutes to cook off any remaining water.
- Taste at this point to see if you’d like to adjust the seasoning at all.
- Sprinkle with the nutritional yeast and remaining 1/2 Tablespoon arrowroot powder. This will help dry it out during the baking process so that the casserole holds together when you cut slices of it.
- Line a 9” square pan or a medium cast iron skillet with parchment paper (I used a vintage size 8 cast iron skillet and it fit perfectly).
- Now it’s time to start layering the casserole.
- Layer 1: Start with 2 Tablespoons of Easy Five Minute Enchilada Sauce spread on top of the parchment paper, then lay down 2 1/2 tortillas (I left one tortilla whole, and then used 3 tortilla halves to fill the space correctly). Next spread 2 Tablespoons of Easy Five Minute Enchilada Sauce, then 1 cup of the tofu mixture, then 2/3 cup of beans, then 2 Tablespoons Easy Five Minute Enchilada Sauce.
- Layer 2: Lay down 2 1/2 more tortillas, then 2 Tablespoons Easy Five Minute Enchilada Sauce, then 2/3 cup beans, then 1/2 cup of the Oil Free Nacho Cheese Sauce.
- Layer 3: Lay down 2 1/2 more tortillas, then 2 Tablespoons Easy Five Minute Enchilada Sauce, then 2/3 cup of the tofu mixture, then 2/3 cup beans.
- Layer 4: For the final layer, lay down the remaining 2 1/2 tortillas, 2 Tablespoons Easy Five Minute Enchilada Sauce, drizzle the remaining cheese sauce across the top, and then top with the sliced black olives.
- Cover and bake for 20 minutes, then uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes. I used a cast iron lid that fits my skillet, but aluminum foil will also work very well.
- Let cool for 15 minutes before serving. Top with cherry tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and avocado.