Vegetarian Enchilada Bake

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A healthy make-ahead dish the whole family will love, this sweet potato black bean enchilada bake is layered with tortillas, cheese and a homemade enchilada sauce. Vegetarian, gluten-free and absolutely delicious! 

I know a few of you are going to think I’m crazy, but for whatever reason I’ve never been that big on Mexican food. I like it and definitely have cravings for chips and guac from time to time, but it’s not something that I’m obsessed with. That said, things have changed as of late because I’ve totally been hooked on this Mexican-inspired enchilada bake.

And it’s a good thing that I’m coming around to Mexican food because I’m headed to Mexico next month!! I’ll be in Tulum with one of my best friends doing a ton of yoga, hanging on the beach, exploring and enjoying authentic Mexican food. Just a few more weeks and we’ll be on our way. I literally can not wait.

Slice of sweet potato black bean enchilada bake layered with tortillas, sweet potatoes, black beans, cheese and a homemade enchilada sauce with slices of avocado on the side. Remaining enchilada bake in baking dish behind.

Okay so back to the sweet potato black bean enchilada bake… we’ve already made it three times because it’s SO good. The combo of creamy sweet potatoes and black beans with a spicy homemade enchilada sauce, tortillas and cheese works so well. Gah! Just writing this makes me want to make the bake again this weekend.

Black beans and sweet potato in a pan.

And it’s pretty easy too. All the layers come together quickly and it bakes up in about 20 minutes. I’ve been making it over the weekend so that we can have it for dinner one night and eat the leftovers for weeknight meals over the next couple days.

A series of the steps to make an enchilada bake.

The spiced-up enchilada sauce is made by quickly whirling together all the ingredients in a blender and this can be done while the black bean and sweet potato mixture is sautéing on the stove-top. Once both of these components are done, you simply layer everything in a casserole dish and bake.

Once cooked, the sweet potato enchilada bake is ready to be served with your favorite garnishes. We like loading ours down with cilantro, green onion, jalapeño, avocado and sour cream for the ultimate Mexican dinner.

Slice of sweet potato black bean enchilada bake layered with tortillas, sweet potatoes, black beans, cheese and a homemade enchilada sauce with slices of avocado on the side. Remaining enchilada bake in baking dish behind.

Want more healthy Mexican recipes? Try these:

If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider leaving a ⭐ star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below.

4.89 from 45 votes

Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchilada Bake

Layered with tortillas, sweet potatoes, black beans, cheese and a homemade enchilada sauce. Vegetarian, gluten-free and absolutely delicious!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients  

Enchilada Sauce

  • 28 ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Enchilada Bake

  • 1 Tablespoon avocado oil or coconut oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into small bite-size chunks
  • 2-3 Tablespoons finely chopped jalapeño
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
  • toppings: chopped green onions, chopped cilantro, sour cream, avocado

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Make sauce by combining all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth and set aside.
  • Add oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot add onion and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add jalapeño, sweet potatoes and salt. Cover and cook for 12-15 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender. The cook time will vary based on how big your sweet potato chunks are. Just be sure they are fully cooked and tender. Add black beans and baby spinach. Toss to combine and remove from heat.
  • Grab a 9X13 baking dish, lightly grease and start layering ingredients for the bake. Place four tortillas over the bottom of the dish, add 1/3 of the enchilada sauce, 1/2 of black bean and sweet potato mixture and 1/2 of the cheese. Add 4 tortillas, 1/3 of sauce and 1/2 black bean and sweet potato mixture. Add 4 tortillas, 1/3 of the enchilada sauce and top with the remaining cheese.
  • Bake uncovered at 425° for about 20 minutes or until the top layer of cheese has melted and the bake is hot throughout.
  • Serve with toppings of your choice — green onions, chopped cilantro, sour cream or Greek yogurt and avocado.

Video

Notes

  • This bake is a tad on the spicy side, if you don’t like spicy food you’ll want to cut back on the jalapeño and cayenne pepper.
  • To make this a freezer meal I recommend prepping the bake (following the recipe through step 4), then covering tightly with wrap or foil. Freeze until ready to serve (up to three months). On the day you want to serve the bake, take it out of the freezer, allow to thaw then bake according to step 5.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8 of recipe | Calories: 394kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 11g | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 8g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: enchilada bake, healthy enchilada bake, sweet potato enchilada bake
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

More about Brittany
Chicken fajita filling on a sheet pan with a wooden spoon. Tortillas are resting on the bottom of the sheet pan.
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Recipe Rating




76 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Brittany,
    You out did yourself with this recipe…my taste buds were having a party! I can’t do tomatoes/tomato sauce so I subbed for a “No”mato sauce and one would never tell. Kept everything else the same…yippee. Thanks for what you do!

    1. Aw yay! This seriously makes me so happy to hear that you are loving this recipe and it turned out amazing for you, Tara. Thank you for sharing your review & star rating, it means so much to me!

  2. Just bought the new cookbook! =) =) and in one of the reviews, someone mentioned this recipe, so I had to check it out! Has anyone tried this with a plant-based cheese or without cheese, & if so, do you have any recommended brands or tips? This looks amazing! 🙂

    1. Hi Cynthia – I haven’t make this recipe specifically with plant based cheese, but I bet it’ll work. I really like VioLife cheese. Just keep in mind, plan based cheese don’t melt like normal cheese does, so that would be the main difference here. Let me know how this turns out for you. Thanks so much for purchasing my cookbook, I hope you love it!

  3. Could this be done without the onion? I have been wanting to try but didn’t know if it would be good without (my husband doesn’t like).

    1. Hi Kelly – You could omit the onion. Depending on whether it is a flavor or texture dislike, you could always add some onion powder. Hope you both enjoy this recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    This casserole was delicious! I used jarred 365 enchilada sauce to save time but next time I’ll try the recipe sauce.

    1. Excellent! I am glad this recipe turned out great, Deb. Thank you for your review + star rating, I really appreciate it!

    1. Awesome, Angela. I am so glad you are enjoying this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing your review + star rating, I really appreciate it!

  5. 5 stars
    YUM! This casserole was a hit! Even my meat-loving husband liked it. I only had 1 can of tomatoes, so I subbed in a jar of organic hot salsa for a work around. This was filling and delicious. Zero negatives!

    1. Ah I am so excited to hear this, Rachel. Thank you so much for you’re review + star rating, I really appreciate it!

    1. Thank you, Adrienne! I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe. Thanks for coming back to leave me a comment and review!

  6. 5 stars
    I just made this meal and it was delicious. I love spicy and this was perfect. So much flavor. Just curious if I can freeze it after I cooked it? If so what’s the best way to do that?

    1. Yay! So glad you loved this recipe, Brianne. Thanks so much for making it and for coming back to leave a review. While I haven’t tested freezing these after cooking (we always devour them) I do think it’s possible. I would let cool, cut the bake into smaller portions and wrap with plastic wrap and then foil. Place in a freezer storage bag and freezer for 1-2 months. To serve you could reheat in the microwave from frozen or thaw in the fridge and then microwave until warm throughout or try the oven for reheating once thawed. That said, I’m not sure if the bake will dry out if it goes back in the oven. Let me know if you try it!

  7. Ran across your recipe while looking for a fun meal train meal for new parents. I took out all the spicy elements for them, left some of them in for us, and both of the options are delicious! Thank you!!

  8. 5 stars
    I’ve been cooking with all of your recipes for over a month! My husband and I have loved every single recipe… I made this last night and substituted spinach with Beet Greens and butternut squash for sweet potato. It was so amazing. Keep the recipe ideas coming!

    1. Woo!! That makes me so happy to hear. So glad you loved this recipe. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!

  9. 4 stars
    My family really enjoyed this! I don’t know if I would make it again because I found that the prep took a long time (much more than 20 minutes for me!!), but we enjoyed it for the one time 🙂

    1. You can always prep the sauce and the veggies the day before to save time when making this for dinner. 🙂 I’m glad your family enjoyed this bake though!

  10. Thanks for this recipe. I’m always looking for ways to extend my garden, living in the northern climate, so finding recipes to freeze is a bonus. I had a haul of sweet potatoes this fall so this recipe was great. I was also able to use my tomatoes, peppers, and onions from the garden as well! Thanks you for posting this recipe!

    1. You’re so welcome, Alimae. I’m so glad this recipe was a hit! Thanks for trying it, I appreciate it. 🙂

  11. 5 stars
    This recipe is so delicious! The first time I made it was years ago but I keep coming back. It’s easy to pull together for company and satisfying for meat eaters and vegetarians alike!

    1. Yay!! So glad you’ve been loving this recipe, Laurel. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it. 🙂

  12. 5 stars
    I doubled the recipe, then froze both casseroles. (One is for a meal train, and the other was for my family to try before giving the other away.) We left the jalapeno out, but everything else was the same. I thought it was fantastic. Healthy, tasty, hearty, and easy to make after freezing. My 3 and 4 year old both ate it as well. A great recipe, and one I will make again.

    1. Oh yay!! So glad this recipe was a hit and good to know it froze well. Thanks for making this and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating, Reagan. I so appreciate it. 🙂

  13. 5 stars
    Super easy to make. i prepped the veggies ahead of time and it came together quickly. I will definitely make this again!
    I may do slightly less spice if I think my 5 year old will try it, and more spice if I can’t get her to try it next time!

    1. So glad this recipe was a hit, Sam!! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it. 🙂

  14. 5 stars
    Half of my family is vegetarian and half is not. I make a mean chicken enchilada casserole that was my son’s favorite before choosing to eat vegetarian. I found this recipe while looking for something that might satisfy his enchilada cravings and this was certainly it. The entire family actually loves it (a first for the meat eaters in my house). I used flour tortillas and added a bit of cumin to the recipe. I used canned red enchilada sauce for ease and it is delicious!

    1. Ahh that makes me so happy to hear, Lisa!! I’m so glad this dish was a hit with your entire family. Thanks so much for trying it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. It means the world to me. <3

  15. 5 stars
    I LOVE this recipe. Very flavorful and easy to make. I made 1.5x the sauce for one recipe – afraid it would t be enough. And it was MORE than enough!

    So good! Highly recommend.

    1. Ahh I love hearing that, Megan! I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it!

  16. 5 stars
    This may be my favorites dish of all time! Followed the recipe exactly and it is absolutely delicious and so easy! We loved the spicy flavor, it’s not overbearing at all. You must make this recipe! I’ll be making it for a dinner party soon!

    1. Woot woot!! This makes me so happy reading. I’m glad you enjoyed this dish and thank you so much for coming back to leave a comment and star rating. It means the world to me, Tammy. 🙂

  17. Hi Brittany! I’m late to the party on this recipe, but I came here after seeing that you made it for Lex from Restoring Radiance! I’m wondering, what steps did you take to do this as a “make ahead/bake later” meal? Did you bake it and just have her bake it to heat it? Thanks!

  18. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this recipe. I scoured the internet trying to find a healthier, vegetarian version of enchilada casserole and was so happy to have stumbled across your site. I added aome leftover roasted corn and used canned enchilada sauce for convenience, and it came out delicious. Will definitely make again!

  19. Really good and simple. I’ve made this with enchilada sauce out of a can to save a little time and effort – just as good. I also made it recently with diced butternut squash instead of sweet potato because I had some that needed to be used. Equally delicious. I usually leave out the jalepeno for my spicy sensitive kiddo but can include a can of mild green chilies instead.

  20. I can’t say enough about this casserole. Super easy to put together and has nothing but great flavor. Great weeknight meal for leftovers for the following day lunch/dinner. I give this recipe an A+

  21. I am so looking forward to making this tomorrow! Do you think it would be ok if I substituted kale for the baby spinach?

      1. 5 stars
        I’ve made this recipe several times now, using both kale and spinach, and both are delicious! Using kale adds a slightly heartier texture to the filling, but that’s about it. Love this recipe and will be making again for dinner tonight!

  22. My boyfriend and I loved this recipe and I am planning on making it again for a big family gathering- how long do you think I can make it in advance? Many thanks for a great blog!

    1. So glad you liked it, Tara. I would recommend prepping it no more than 1-2 days in advance. And then put it in the fridge (covered) until you’re ready to cook it. You could also fully prep and cook it ahead of time (1-2 days), store it in the fridge and then just pop it back in the oven to warm it up before serving. Let me know how it goes!

    1. I think it would great as a freezer meal, but I haven’t tried it yet. I’d probably cook it, let cool, freeze it and then reheat it in the oven.

  23. 5 stars
    Just made this recipe tonight and loved it. I only had flour tortillas on hand, but had everything otherwise to whip this up. So I guess my version wasn’t gluten free. Still delish. And I did the opposite from what Brittany does – made this during the week, and looking forward to leftovers on the weekend. I’m thinking that a Saturday morning huevos rancheros-type brunch would be amazing, with a couple of runny eggs on top. YUM!!

    1. Hi Carla. I’m so glad that the recipe turned out with the flour tortillas! And I totally agree about using the leftovers for a huevos rancheros brunch dish… that sounds AMAZING!!

        1. 5 stars
          We didn’t this morning because we’re having some for lunch tomorrow, but then this weekend it’s on our brunch menu! =D

    1. Thank you Nicole. If your daughter likes black beans she will really enjoy this bake. The sweet potato and black bean combo is delish!

  24. Mmmm! I love sweet potatoes! This is perfect for meatless Mondays….or any day for that matter!

    1. Good question! It’s totally up to you. I’ve done it both ways, but I think I prefer having them peeled.

  25. I’ve read through the directions a few times and I only see you adding 1/3 the sauce, two times. Where is the remaining 1/3? My guess is you put it on top of the last layer of tortillas before the cheese? I am going to make this today – it looks delicious!

    1. Hi Jillian. Yes! You are exactly right. Thank you for catching that. I’ll update the post. And enjoy the bake.