Vegan Enchiladas with Black Beans & Squash


Are you ready for a trip down memory lane? Because this post goes back to the beginning of 2018, right after one of the busiest years of my life:

It’s true: 2017 was a challenging year for me. We got engaged AND planned a wedding in less than 9 months. I also helped to launch my other business Healthy Glow Co, hired Abra, expanded AK with more recipes, got into more video and was overall very overworked. It was a year of growth, personal challenges and change. Just because things get bigger, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s glorious and wonderful 100% of the time.

But the more you go through the more you grow, and I’m happy to still be here, chugging along and sharing my wellness journey + recipes with you. Most of all, I’m committed to getting back to staying true to me and what AK represents: a place to inspire you in and out of the kitchen.

I then kicked the year off with these glorious vegan enchiladas — ones that I still make to this day because they’re SO delicious. I packed these babies with black beans, tender butternut squash, and a spicy jalapeño cashew crema. YES PLEASE.

You know I consider myself the queen of the enchies. Or the enchiladas. Whatever you like to call them is fine with me. The important thing to know is that they are the BEST vegan enchiladas you’ll ever have. (they should go in my best of series!)

vegan enchiladas in a pan drizzled with jalapeño cashew crema

Everything you’ll need to make the best vegan enchiladas

These super flavorful vegan black bean enchiladas are packed with protein and filled with cozy butternut squash. Don’t forget the homemade enchilada sauce and crema topping! Here’s what you’ll need to make them:

  • Enchilada sauce: you’ll use my FAVORITE homemade enchilada sauce because it’s SO easy to make. I made a variation of it for this recipe that’s so flavorful.
  • Corn tortillas: I like to use gluten free corn tortillas, but feel free to use any tortillas you’d like. See below for a tip on rolling them!
  • The veggie filling: I love the butternut squash and black bean filling mixed with the enchilada sauce. You’ll also be adding garlic and red onion.
  • Spices: you’ll need delicious spices like chili powder, cumin, dried oregano and cayenne pepper for the filling and sauce.
  • Cashew crema: I know this jalapeno cashew crema sounds crazy and all, but IT IS MAGICAL, fresh and so so flavorful. It tastes like creamy jalapeño nacho cheese and is made with raw cashews, garlic, fresh jalapeño and cilantro, water, and salt. Best vegan cheese ever.

Basically, you need to make them ASAP because you’re going to loveeeee them. They’re perfect for dinner parties, date night, or meal prep.

vegan black bean enchiladas in a pan drizzled with jalapeño cashew crema

Make these black bean enchiladas your own

There are tons of easy ways to customize these vegan enchiladas to your taste preferences! Here’s what I can recommend:

  • Pick your veggies. Instead of butternut squash feel free to use regular potatoes or sweet potatoes. You could also add veggies like spinach or bell pepper!
  • Choose your sauce. If you don’t have the ingredients to make the homemade enchilada sauce, feel free to use a 28-ounce can of your favorite store-bought enchilada sauce.
  • Add protein. Although they are vegan enchiladas, you can also add cooked, shredded chicken if you’d like (and don’t need to be vegan!)
  • Go nut free. Try using my Jalapeño Green Tahini Sauce or my Avocado Lime Sauce as a nut free alternative to the cashew crema.

Notes on choosing & rolling tortillas

As I mentioned, I like to use corn tortillas in this vegan butternut squash enchiladas recipe for the flavor and easy rolling capability. If you want to use a different type of tortilla, keep these notes in mind:

  • For flour tortillas: you may need to use 8-10 instead of 12 and will need to slightly increase the filling, cheese & sauce in each tortilla.
  • For grain free tortillas: be careful with these as they may be harder to roll depending on the brand and what they are made of.

If your tortillas are hard to roll for you, try wrapping them in wet paper towels and microwaving them for 20-30 seconds to soften so that they are perfect for rolling.

vegan enchiladas in a pan drizzled with jalapeño cashew crema

Tips for assembling perfect vegan enchiladas

Making homemade vegan enchiladas can seem a bit intimidating at first, but with a few simple tips you’ll have perfect enchiladas every time:

  • Warm your tortillas. You can do this in the microwave for about 20 seconds so they are easier to roll. You can splash a little water on them before microwaving to make them more pliable.
  • Don’t overfill. Fill them with just about 1/4 cup of the black bean & butternut squash mixture so that they stay together and don’t burst at the seams.
  • Lay them correctly. Remember to place them seam-side down so that the filling stays inside, and arrange them tightly next to each other in your pan to help them stay together.

Can I make them ahead of time?

Absolutely! I’ve included instructions for how to freeze chicken enchiladas below, but you can also assemble the vegan enchiladas one day ahead of time and store them covered in the refrigerator. Bake them for about 10-15 minutes longer once you’re ready to cook them, and then serve!

vegan butternut squash enchiladas in a baking dish and on a plate

Freezer-friendly vegan enchiladas

These easy vegan black bean enchiladas can be frozen two different ways for the perfect meal prep dinner! They’re the perfect meal to prepare for new parents or anyone that could use a home-cooked meal. Here’s how to freeze them:

  1. Bake first, then freeze. You can either bake them first, then cool to room temperature, divide them in freezer safe containers and then freeze them. Or you can bake them, bring them to room temp, and then freeze the entire pan. Just make sure you double wrap the pan so the enchiladas do not dry out. This is assuming you are freezing the entire pan. Once ready to reheat, thaw it out. Then bake, covered at 350 degrees F for 30-45 minutes or until heated through.
  2. Freeze before baking: To freeze before baking, simply assemble the enchiladas as written in the instructions, then double wrap with plastic wrap and foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Once ready to bake, thaw out then bake according to instructions.

See how to make vegan enchiladas

black bean enchiladas on a plate drizzled with jalapeño cashew crema

Storing tips

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Simply reheat the leftover enchiladas in the microwave.

More tacos & enchiladas you’ll love

Get all of my taco and enchilada recipes here!

I hope you love these vegan enchiladas! If you make them be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked them. Enjoy, xo!

Vegan Butternut Squash Black Bean Enchiladas with Jalapeño Cashew Crema

Prep Time 1 hour

Cook Time 25 minutes

Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes

Serves6 servings

Delicious vegan enchiladas made with savory butternut squash, black beans, and an incredible, homemade enchilada sauce. These easy vegan black bean enchiladas are packed with plant-based protein and drizzled to perfection with an addicting, vegan jalapeño cashew crema!

Ingredients

  • For the cashew crema:
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 1 cloves garlic
  • ½ jalapeno, seeds removed (reserve the other half for topping)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • cup filtered water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • For the enchilada sauce:
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup water (or broth of choice)
  • ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 ½ tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • For the enchiladas:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small red onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 cups cubed butternut squash, from 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 12 (6 inch) corn tortillas (preferably as soft as you can find)
  • To garnish:
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Avocado slices
  • Remaining ½ of jalapeno
  • Hot sauce, if desired

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9×13 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

  • Place ½ cup cashews in a large bowl, then add 2 cups boiling water and let the cashews soak in the hot water for approximately 45 minutes-1 hour while you prepare your enchiladas. Alternatively you can soak your cashews overnight in room temperature water so they are already ready to go for the cashew crema.

  • Make your enchilada sauce by adding the enchilada sauce ingredients to a large bowl: tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, apple cider vinegar, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper and salt. Mix well to combine.

  • Heat olive oil over medium heat in large skillet. Add garlic and diced onions and saute until garlic becomes fragrant (about 30 seconds). Next add in cubed butternut squash, chilli powder, cumin and salt; then stir and cover for about 8 minutes or until fork tender, stirring occasionally to ensure squash doesn’t burn. 

  • Add a few teaspoons of water to the pan if necessary to help the squash cook. Once squash is fork tender, transfer to large bowl and add in black beans and 1 cup of the prepared enchilada sauce; stir to combine.

  • To assemble enchiladas: Add about 2/3 cup enchilada sauce to bottom of the 9×13 inch pan and spread around. Warm tortillas in microwave for 20-30 seconds wrapped in a wet paper towel so that they are easier to roll up. 

  • Add about 1/3 cup of the butternut squash & black bean filling to each tortilla. Roll each tortilla up and place seam side down in baking pan. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

  • While the enchiladas are baking, you can make the cashew crema: Add drained cashews, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, water and salt to a high powered blender. Blend until a thick sauce comes together, adding a tablespoon or two more of water, if necessary. 

  • Add cashew sauce to a ziploc bag and snip off a corner, then squeeze sauce all over the enchiladas. Serves 6, 2 enchiladas each.

Recipe Notes

See the full post for tips, tricks, and ways to customize your enchiladas!

Nutrition

Serving: 2enchiladasCalories: 396calCarbohydrates: 62gProtein: 18.6gFat: 7.5gSaturated Fat: 0.8gFiber: 10.8gSugar: 7.3g

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen, photography by: Sarah Fennel // Broma Bakery

This post was originally published on January 8th, 2018, and republished on February 21st, 2024.



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