Cook Mexican food at home in your slow cooker with this Crock Pot Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole recipe! This vegetarian casserole is loaded with layers of corn tortillas, black beans, tomatoes, and cheese for a healthy dinner that's as easy as it is tasty!
I'm fairly certain we've established my love of Mexican food here... but just in case you are new... I have a first-class Mexican food addiction. I could eat a breakfast burrito for breakfast, tacos for lunch, and a burrito for dinner without blinking an eye. I could have an IV of salsa and still want more of it. It's a problem and a total joy at the same time.
Crock Pot Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole recipe
So needless to say when I was cleaning up my diet and wanting to learn to cook healthier food at home, I started by trying to figure out how to create some of my favorite Mexican food dishes at home... or at least the flavors of those dishes. At that time I was also working the early morning shift so cooking in the slow cooker was a must so I could make dinner early in the day and have it ready when I was exhausted by late afternoon! One of the first recipes I came up with and refined my Crock Pot Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole recipe.
Isn't it a beaut???
Here's why you'll LOVE this Crock Pot Enchilada Casserole...
So no, you will not exactly see something like this at a Mexican restaurant... but it does have all the flavors and instead of making tedious enchiladas I just stacked all the ingredients to get the same effect. It's kind of like a Mexican lasagna made in the slow cooker... and YES that's as genius as it sounds.
My Crock Pot Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole recipe is basically layers of corn tortillas, a homemade black beans and tomatoes mixture, and low-fat cheese. Instead of traditional beef or chicken, you fill my version with a zesty mixture of black beans, onions, garlic and tomato. This is a much easier and healthy version of Mexican enchiladas.
Plus it's crazy how easy it cooks up in the Crock Pot. Look at those edges.... sheer cheesy perfection!
Ingredients in Slow Cooker Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole
Don't let the ingredient list on this Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole scare you. Most of these ingredients are pantry staples and the entire dish is simple to assemble. Here is what you will need.
- Bell pepper: I like using green bell pepper in this recipe, but you are welcome to use whichever variety you prefer.
- Sweet onion: Use Vidalia if you can find it. Any other white onion will also work.
- Garlic: Freshly minced garlic cloves or prepared minced garlic will work.
- Olive oil: A mild olive oil works best. You could also use avocado oil.
- Black beans: Canned black beans are obviously the fastest way to make this recipe, but if you opt for dried beans just make sure you cook them first. I like to use low sodium canned beans.
- Garlic fire-roasted diced tomatoes: Any diced canned tomatoes will work but I love added flavors in the fire-roasted kind.
- Green chilies: Canned green chilis have a lot of flavors and add some depth to the recipe.
- Mexican Spices: I list cumin, oregano, chili powder, and chipotle chili powder/ cayenne powder for the spices here but you can also substitute my perfect Mexican Spice Blend or use your favorite taco or Mexican seasoning.
- Corn tortillas: Corn tortillas have the best texture for this casserole.
- Salsa or enchilada sauce: I've made this recipe with both salsa and jarred enchilada sauce. Use your favorite or whatever you have on hand.
- Mexican cheese blend: Use Mexican cheese, cheddar cheese, Monterrey jack, whatever you like! I prefer 2% cheese to cut back on the calories in the Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole.
- Salt and pepper: Start with a ¼ teaspoon of salt and pepper in your bean mixture and adjust to your personal taste.
You will also need a crock pot to make this dish if you don't already have one! I love THIS one that has a clip-on lid and programmable settings.
How do You Make Crock Pot Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole?
Spray a large oval Crock Pot with cooking spray.
In a skillet over medium heat, sauté the pepper and onion until they are tender. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and seasonings. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the black beans, tomatoes, and green chilies. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add the rest of the seasoning and salt and pepper.
Start the enchilada stack by laying a single layer of tortillas on the bottom of the Crock Pot.
Add ⅓ of the black bean mixture to the top of the tortillas. Layer ¼ of the cheese on top of that. Repeat with two more layers.
Finish off the stack with another layer of tortilla, the salsa or enchilada sauce, and the last of the cheese.
- Cook on low for 3-4 hours.
This is one of those dishes I almost always have the stuff around to throw this together because I know it will be easy to make, taste amazing, and handle my Mexican food craving for the day. I love that's it's made with mainly pantry staples too. Since you control the ingredients it's so much better than going out.
Topping Ideas for Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole
If you are in a hurry you can serve it with salsa and some plain greek yogurt from the fridge.
Or if you're feeling FANNNCCCYYYYY you can top it like this (tomatoes, avocados, green onions, cilantro, etc.) Either way, it is totally delish. Here are my favorite toppings.
- Plain Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream
- Green Onion
Variations & Pro Tips
- Add corn to the bean mixture for my color and crunch.
- Mix extra veggies like squash or zucchini into your bean mixture for more pizzazz in the summer.
- Add extra hot sauce or red pepper flakes to your bean mixture to make it spicy.
- You can also make this Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole in the oven. Here's a very similar recipe baked in a casserole dish in the oven.
Any way you make it my Crock Pot Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole recipe reheats well for leftovers. Like many casseroles or lasagna recipes, I think it actually gets better reheated the second day. I know that from LOTS of experience.
I hope you enjoy this tasty and healthy recipe as much as I do. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Love healthy vegetarian Mexican recipes? Try these too!
- Roasted Vegetable Vegetarian Enchiladas
- Crock Pot Mexican Quinoa Casserole
- Crock Pot Vegetarian Lentil Tacos
- Sheet Pan Vegetarian Fajitas
- Crock Pot Vegetarian Black Bean Stack<--- Very similar recipe but baked in the oven!
Crock Pot Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole
- Crock pot
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 small sweet onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon olive oil
- 2 14.5 ounce cans reduced sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
- 14.5 ounce can garlic fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 4 ounce can green chilies
- ¼- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ¼- ½ teaspoon pepper, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder or cayenne pepper, optional
- 12 small corn tortillas, taco sized
- ½ cup salsa or your favorite enchilada sauce
- 2 cups reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend
- Cooking spray
- Toppings: Plain greek yogurt and salsa or sliced avocado, diced tomatoes, cilantro and green onions
- Spray a large oval Crock Pot with cooking spray.
- In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, sauté the pepper and onion in the olive oil 3-5 minutes until they are tender and the onions are turning translucent. Sprinkle with some of the salt, pepper, and seasonings. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- Add the drained black beans, can of tomatoes and green chilies. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes on medium-low heat. Add the rest of the seasoning and salt and pepper to taste.
- Start the enchilada stack by laying a single layer of tortillas on the bottom of the Crock Pot.
- Add ⅓ of the black bean mixture to the top of the tortillas. Layer ¼ of the cheese on top of that. Add two more layers of the same thing.
- Finish off the stack with another layer of tortilla, the salsa or enchilada sauce and the last of the cheese.
- Cook on low for 3-4 hours.
- Garnish and serve! Also great as leftovers.
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