Anyone who knows me knows I have an obsession with the flavors of Tex-Mex and Mexican cuisine.
I don’t know if it’s because of where I grew up, or just the fact that I practically lived on quesadillas when I was a kid. I was a really picky eater, but the combination of cheese, tortillas, and spicy salsa was always a win in my book.
Enchiladas are a meal that I really love to make at home. They are pretty simple to prepare, and they are packed with flavor.
Not to mention, an entire baking dish of them is enough to last for a few days, providing several dinners and leftover lunches for me and my husband to enjoy.
But where I come from, enchiladas are typically filled and rolled. For this recipe, they are stacked instead.
This style, sometimes referred to as flat enchiladas or enchiladas montadas, are common to the Southwest region of the US.
New Mexico actually claims ownership of this dish, so you see it a lot there, both in restaurants and home kitchens. You’ll often find it served with a fried egg on top.
If this is an option that you want to try for yourself, go for it! My recipe below keeps things simple, to really highlight the flavor and texture of the vegetables that are layered between the corn tortillas, with plenty of shredded cheddar cheese.
This vegetarian version will satisfy all kinds of diners, and there’s no added work required to roll each tortilla perfectly before stuffing it into the pan. In fact, some cooks like to go a little wild with the flat variety, taking advantage of the opportunity to build up that stack as high as they can!
This dish is also easy to customize with seasonal vegetables, depending on what’s available to you fresh. This is a great way to pack a few more healthy nutrients into your meal, in a colorful and flavorful way.
Veggies work perfectly not just for these enchiladas, but also for other Tex-Mex recipes, like in our spicy and vibrant sweet potato quesadillas.
We all need more colorful food in our lives, don’t we?
This is the ideal recipe to serve for a crowd, plus it makes for fantastic leftovers. Cut it up into squares and wrap them in individually in aluminum foil for a grab-and-go lunch that’s easy to reheat in the toaster oven.
For some of my favorite ideas to top off your slice of stacked vegetable enchilada heaven, check out my suggestions at the end of this article.Print
Full of fresh vegetables and cheese, these stacked vegetable enchiladas are packed with all the best flavors.
- Cooking oil spray
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 medium bell pepper, diced (red, yellow, or green)
- 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- Juice of 1 lime (about 1–2 tsp)
- 1 15.5-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 10 small corn tortillas
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 375˚F. Spray a 9-by-11-inch metal baking pan or ceramic baking dish with cooking oil spray. Set aside.
- Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno if using. Cook until softened, about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and continue cooking for 30 seconds. Stir in salt.
- Add spinach, corn, tomatoes, cumin, paprika, and chili powder. Stir well to combine. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally. Stir in lime juice and pinto beans.
- While vegetable mixture is cooking, cover the bottom of the baking pan with half of the tortillas – feel free to tear them to cover the bottom completely.
- Spoon half of the vegetable mixture over the top, then sprinkle half of the cheese over that.
- Repeat with remaining tortillas, then the remaining vegetable mixture. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then cut into pieces and serve warm.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Category: Enchiladas
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Tex-Mex, Casseroles
Keywords: enchiladas, stacked enchiladas, vegetarian
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep and Measure Ingredients
If using frozen spinach, allow it to thaw before making this recipe. Let it drain in a colander.
Peel and dice one medium-sized yellow onion. Not your favorite cooking task? Check out our tips!
Remove the stem and seeds from the bell pepper, and dice it up. Dice up the jalapeno as well, and remove the seeds if you want your meal to be a little less spicy. If you are using fresh corn, cut it off the cob.
Peel and mince two cloves of garlic. I like to use my garlic press to get this done quickly.
Rinse and drain the pinto beans. Juice the lime.
Measure out all of the remaining ingredients as listed on the ingredients list.
If you’re looking for something a little different, try swapping out the pintos for black beans, use fresh greens like spinach or kale, and try zucchini or summer squash instead of the bell pepper.
Preheat your oven to 375˚F. Use cooking spray to grease a 9-by-11-inch metal baking pan or glass or ceramic baking dish. Set aside.
Step 2 – Cook Vegetables
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Tilt the pan to coat the surface.
Add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the garlic and continue to cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly, until fragrant. Stir in the salt.
Stir in the spinach, corn, tomatoes, cumin, paprika, and chili powder until combined. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir occasionally while the mixture cooks.
Stir in the lime juice and pinto beans. Continue to cook until warmed through, for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Step 3 – Assemble
While the vegetables are cooking, cover the bottom of the prepared baking dish with half of the tortillas.
You may need to tear some in half to cover the bottom completely.
Spoon half of the vegetable mixture on top of the tortillas, in an even layer.
Sprinkle half of the cheese evenly over the top.
Repeat with another layer of tortillas.
Next, add all of the remaining vegetables.
Finally, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
Step 4 – Bake
Bake for 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling. After removing from the oven, set aside to cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
Serve immediately, as is, with a fried egg on top, or with your choice of toppings.
Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. It’s easy to grab a slice and put it on a plate in the microwave for about 2 minutes, maybe 1-2 minutes more if frozen.
The More Toppings, the Merrier
I love to serve up this dish with a whole host of different toppings.
Here are my top recommendations for what to serve with these stacked vegetable enchiladas:
If you want even more enchiladas in your life, here are some stellar recipes:
- Pollo Rojo (Chicken with Red Chili Sauce)
- Potato and Pasilla Pepper
- Buffalo Chicken
- Shrimp with Green Chili Queso
- Chicken with Smoky Garlic Sauce
- Cauliflower with Poblano Cream Sauce
What’s your favorite topping for enchiladas? Tell us in the comments below. And be sure to come back to rate the recipe as well!
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on May 13, 2012. Last updated: May 20, 2021 at 17:32 pm. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.