This Crock Pot Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole recipe is the perfect healthy Mexican recipe to make at home in your slow cooker. Loaded with layers of corn tortillas, black beans, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and cheese, this Crock Pot Enchilada recipe is a healthy dinner that's as easy as it is tasty!
Want to make this in the oven instead? Try my Black Bean Enchilada Stack.
Crock Pot Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole recipe
This Crock Pot Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole is one of my all-time favorite recipes. This vegetarian version features classic Mexican flavors like canned black beans, onions, bell pepper, tomatoes, salsa, Mexican cheese, and homemade taco seasoning. The casserole then cooks together in the slow cooker and becomes a tasty and irresistible dinner.
So no, you will not precisely 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 tomato 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!
What is an enchilada casserole?
Instead of making labor-filled rolled enchiladas, an enchilada casserole stacks the delicious flavors in enchiladas and stacks them either in a baking dish or slow cooker for a dish that has all the flavors of enchiladas, but without the fuss of rolling up the enchiladas. This vegetarian version uses a slow cooker for a tasty and fuss-free Crock Pot Enchilada Casserole.
Here's why you'll LOVE this Vegetarian Crock Pot Enchilada Casserole...
- This Vegetarian Crock Pot Enchilada Casserole is made ahead crock pot recipe that is so tasty and good for you!
- It's vegetarian and gluten-free! Just make sure to choose gluten-free tortillas.
- It has all the Mexican flavors you crave in enchiladas, without the fuss.
- So many vegetarian crock pot recipes are just soup, and this is a great hearty vegetarian crockpot recipe!
- It's a veggie-packed and tasty meal that even meat-eaters will love.
- You can customize the filling to your taste. I added more vegetable-filling options below.
- The hands-on prep time to cook this is less than 20 minutes.
- This is one of those dishes I almost always have the stuff around to throw together because I know it will be easy to make, taste amazing, and handle my Mexican food craving for the day. I love that it's made with mainly pantry staples too. Since you control the ingredients it's so much better than going out.
- It's a great weekday meal for kids and adults.
Here's an overview of what you'll need to make this Vegetarian Crock Pot Enchilada Casserole recipe, but keep scrolling for the full recipe amounts.
- 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 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. To prep them rinse and drain them.
- 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: Use my Mexican Spice Blend or use your favorite taco or Mexican seasoning. You can also use a mixture of cumin, oregano, chili powder, and chipotle chili powder/ cayenne powder for the spices.
- 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 blend cheese, cheddar cheese, Monterrey jack, or 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.
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.
- Homemade Salsa
- Homemade Guacamole
- Plain Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream
- Green Onion
- Fresh Cilantro
This is an overview of the instructions to make this Vegetarian Crock Pot Enchiladas Casserole recipe, but the full detailed printable recipe is below in the recipe card.
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.
Stir in 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 pour enchilada sauce and the last of the cheese.
- Cook on low for 3-4 hours.
I love this Crock Pot Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole recipe as written, but here are some fun variations.
- Mix Up the Veggies: You can mix up the vegetables you use in this. Other options are corn, kidney beans, green chiles, black olives, cherry tomatoes, squash, or zucchini.
- Make it Spicy: Add extra hot sauce or red pepper flakes to your bean mixture to make it spicy.
- Make it Vegan: To make this dairy-free or vegan, use a dairy-free or vegan cheese substitute for the shredded cheese.
- Make it in the Oven: 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.
Storage and Leftovers
This 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. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up five days.
Make Ahead & Freezing
If you want to make ahead this dish and/or freeze it, I recommend making the version of it that bakes in the oven - Black Bean Enchilada Bake. You can make that one ahead of time, store it in the fridge and just bake it when you are ready to eat. It also makes a great freezer meal.
Are enchiladas better with corn or flour?
Corn tortillas are traditional when making enchiladas because they have a key and distinct flavor. The texture of the corn tortilla also gives the tortilla a tender structure. I prefer them in this over flour tortillas.
Vegetarian Crock Pot Enchilada Casserole - The Best Crock Pot Enchilada!
I'm going out on a limb to say this Vegetarian Crock Pot Enchilada Casserole is the best Crock Pot Enchilada. This is a tried and true family recipe I created and have made year after year. If you are looking to add more vegetarian recipes to your menu that doesn't really miss the meat, this is such a yummy option.
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. This is a great complete meal by itself, but here are a few options to round out your plate, if you wish!
Serve it With:
- Mexican Chopped Salad
- Homemade Guacamole
- Homemade Salsa
- Pineapple Salsa
- Easy Black Bean Salsa
- Taco Salad
More Healthy Vegetarian Enchiladas Recipes:
- Roasted Vegetable Vegetarian Enchiladas
- Black Bean and Spinach Enchiladas
- Crock Pot Vegetarian Black Bean Stack<--- Very similar recipe but baked in the oven!
If you make this Vegetarian Crock Pot Enchilada Casserole recipe, I’d love to hear what you think! Leave a comment and a star rating ★ below. Make sure to follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook too!
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 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 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 taco 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 taco 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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Lori Hootman says
I made this last night before going to church. When we came home it was ready to eat. It was delicious--I will make it again soon. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!
Thanks for the review Lori! I'm so glad you liked it!
Oh my goodness, these look delicious! I always love trying new enchilada recipes
Deborah Brooks says
Never would have thought to make this in the crock pot! Genius idea looking forward to trying it
Have you tried freezing the leftovers? Wondering how they'd thaw out after that and if it would be worth it.
I haven't tried but I feel like it might be ok! The only thing I'm a little worried about are the corn tortilla. Let me know what happens if you try it!
Hi I am going to try this for Sunday dinner this week! I was thinking of adding spinach and or zucchini to it... Do you think it would add to much moisture and be soggy?
Hi Kathy! Without testing it I'm not sure! If you do the zucchini, I'd salt it and let the water drain off like when you do zoodles. If you want some greens I think the dish would be great with a side spinach salad with my Avocado Lime dressing. That way you'd get the greens and know the recipe would turn out. Hope you enjoy it. --Julie
I made this tonight for dinner. Instead of putting in crockpot (my husband dislikes crockpot food for some ungodly reason), I added more enchilada sauce between the layers and used a 9 x13 pan. I baked it for 20 minutes at 350 and it was delicious! Thanks for the great recipe!
This sounds so good!!! Gotta love a good crockpot meal, especially if it's Mexican!
Miz Helen says
I can't wait to try your awesome Enchilada Casserole, it looks delicious! Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday!
This looks really good!
Mary Ellen | VNutrition says
I totally need to try this method. You have such awesome crockpot ideas. I used to love Mexican food - it's a bit harder now b/c I can't eat cheese but I can sub in some dairy-free ones and be all set. 🙂 Thanks for some great inspiration!
Totally! I haven't really worked with it before... does it melt like regular cheese? I've got a vegan Black Beans and Rice coming out this week!
I want something hot to eat right now! It was nice outside earlier but now it's cooling down again. This would be the perfect comfort food!
Kristy from Southern In Law says
Yummmmm! This looks incredible! I really, really need to try this soon!
You too!! My meat loving hubby loves it.
Blane Sherer says
I bet this is one of your all time favorites.
It is! Thanks Blane!
I'm trying this one now and taking some over to some friends as the husband is recovering from surgery. Also, I bought a pair of the Juli shoes but the tag/stitching on top of the heel is a killer. I can barely walk in them because of that...does it get better?!
Hey Bethany! I hope you friends liked this dish!
I don't have that problem with the shoes, I feel awful that you do! The elastic on mine was a little tight at first, but it loosened up. I think I have a tough spot on my heel there b/c I have several shoes that fit that way. If they don't get better, I'd call the company and ask to send them back. They shouldn't jab into your foot! Let me know if they don't accommodate you.
Looking forward to trying this recipe this week! Do you think it would work well with wheat tortillas instead of corn tortillas?
This one is super yummy. I use corn because I like the consistency and how they hold up in crock pot. I'm not sure how wheat would do-- but certainly it wouldn't be bad?
crystal J says
This looks supper yummy! I think I have everything to make it, too!
This looks awesome Julie!!
Melissa @ Freeing Imperfections says
This is right up my alley! I too love Mexican food. To me, it's always appealing. I like the idea of layering the tortillas. It's like Mexican lasagna! I'll have to try this soon 🙂