This tortilla casserole is packed with sautéed veggies — onions, red pepper, corn, and zucchini — beans, herbs, and Monterey Jack cheese, all combining to make a super flavorful vegetarian dinner. Homemade enchilada sauce is optional…but: it takes 15 minutes to make, and it is so, so tasty.
This is an assembly that lends itself well to improvisation — use what you have on hand: mushrooms, Swiss chard, kale, eggplant would all work well here.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 bell peppers, diced
- 1 large zucchini, diced
- 2 ears corn, shucked, kernels stripped
- 1.5 cups cooked black beans, see notes below
- enchilada sauce
- 9 to 12 tortillas, see notes below
- 6 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
- 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated
- In a large sauté pan over high heat, add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When it shimmers, immediately add the diced onions and bell peppers. Season with a pinch of salt. Turn heat down to medium. Sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often to ensure the vegetables are not burning. When the vegetables are soft, add the zucchini, season with a pinch of salt, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, just until the zucchini loses its rawness. Finally, add the corn, season with a pinch of salt, and cook for a minute more. Turn off the heat.
- Add the black beans to the skillet and stir to combine. Taste. Season with salt to taste.
- Heat the oven to 425ºF. Coat the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with a thin layer of the enchilada sauce (roughly 3/4 cup). Arrange a single layer of tortillas over sauce, trimming edges to fit.
- Scatter a handful each of cilantro and scallions over the tortillas. Spoon a layer of the vegetable-bean mixture over top. Sprinkle a layer of cheese over top. Spoon a layer of sauce over top and use the back of a spoon to spread it out. Repeat the layering: tortillas, herbs, veg+beans, cheese, sauce, until you have three (or four if you wish) layers of tortillas.
- Spoon a thin layer of sauce over the final layer of tortillas. Scatter a final layer of herbs over top. Add a final layer of cheese.
- Bake enchiladas in the middle or top rack of oven until the cheese topping bubbles and browns in spots, 15-25 minutes. Garnish with more fresh cilantro and scallions if you wish. Let rest 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
- Black Beans: This is my favorite way to prepare black beans: Simplest Slow Cooker Black Beans (instructions for using the Instant Pot are included in the recipe.)
- Tortillas: I am partial to using flour tortillas but if you prefer using corn tortillas, go for it. When I have a stash of Caramelo tortillas on hand, that is my preference. When I don’t, I look for the tortillas made from a blend of flour and corn (Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods) or I make them from scratch (here’s a sourdough version.) If you are using store-bought tortillas, toast them on both sides in a skillet until they begin to lightly brown.
- To freeze: Assemble the casserole, stopping after you top the final layer of tortillas with sauce. Cover the dish tightly with a few layers of foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw and bake: Bake covered at 375ºF for 20 minutes. Uncover. Sprinkle over a layer of scallions, cilantro, and a final layer of cheese. Increase the heat to 425ºF and bake until the cheese is beginning to blister, about 15 minutes.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Entrée
- Method: Sauté, Oven
- Cuisine: Mexican, American
Keywords: tortilla, casserole, vegetarian, beans, vegetables, enchilada