Guest Recipe: Unprocessed Enchilada Casserole - 100 Days of Real Food (2024)

72 Comments / By Andrew / October 15, 2012 / Recipes

5 Reviews / 4.4 Average

This recipe is a guest post by Andrew, our "Tech Guy" who also has a real food blog of his own called Eating Rules…to learn more about Andrew check out ourteam page!

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This recipe is a guest post by Andrew, our “Tech Guy” who also has a real food blog of his own called Eating Rules…to learn more about Andrew check out ourteam page!

Guest Recipe: Unprocessed Enchilada Casserole - 100 Days of Real Food (1)

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Thank you Lisa for inviting me to share another guest post with your readers! We’re currently in the middle of theOctober Unprocessed challenge, and this is a perfect “unprocessed” recipe to make for your family – or for yourself, with plenty of leftovers!

Try these Gluten Free Enchiladas too!

I may not yet have kids of my own (I added that “yet” in there to give my mom hope), but I sure do know how to feed a crowd. Every year I throw a big New Year’s party in which we do a lot of cooking and eating together… oftentimes we’re making dinner for about 30 people.

So we’ve learned how to feed a hungry group quickly and efficiently. A few years back, my friend Dan made “Enchilada Casserole” for the crew, and it immediately became a part of our holiday dinner rotation. It’s easy to prepare, and barely any extra work to double or triple the recipe. You can also prepare the casserole in advance and just throw it in the oven an hour before dinnertime.

It’s easily adaptable to special diets, too.Already vegetarian (adding meat issonot necessary — it’s hearty enough!), we usually make one “regular” version and one vegan version (just skip the cheese), and most people have trouble deciding which they like more. If you use corn tortillas, it can be gluten-free, too. A couple of years ago, I started using 100% whole wheat tortillas instead of white flour tortillas, and people didn’t even notice.

It helps to think of this dish as sort of a “Mexican Lasagna.” You’re basically layering the bean mixture, tortillas, veggies, and cheese the same way you’d build a lasagna. As you layer things together, tear the tortillas in halves or quarters as necessary to create a single layer. I usually start with one whole tortilla in the middle, and then tear another in half to create flat edges, which go on the outside of the pan. I may tear a third one in quarters and use that to fill in the gaps. It’s good if they overlap a little. Like so:

Guest Recipe: Unprocessed Enchilada Casserole - 100 Days of Real Food (2)

Guest Recipe: Unprocessed Enchilada Casserole - 100 Days of Real Food (3)

Unprocessed Enchilada Casserole

This recipe is a guest post by Andrew, our "Tech Guy" who also has a real food blog of his own called Eating Rules…to learn more about Andrew check out ourteam page!

5 Reviews / 4.4 Average

Prep Time: 30 minutes mins

Cook Time: 50 minutes mins

Total Time: 1 hour hr 20 minutes mins

Course: Dinner

Cuisine: Mexican

Method: Freezer Friendly

Diet: Egg Free, Gluten Free, Peanut/Tree Nut-Free, Vegetarian

Print Recipe

Servings: 10 people

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Sauce Base & Tortillas

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 2 cups enchilada sauce (or one large can)
  • 1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 2 cups refried beans (low-sodium if canned, or see note for Lisa's recipe)
  • 10 corn tortillas (or wheat)

Extra Goodies

  • 1 can green chiles (diced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 jalapeño (diced (check for spiciness; jalapeños vary considerably))
  • 1 cup mushrooms (quartered)
  • 1 bunch spinach ((frozen or canned works too))
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 cup potatoes (sliced into 1/4″ rounds and then parboiled for 3-5 minutes)
  • 1 cup cheese (shredded)
  • 1 avocado (sliced)


  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute the diced onion for 3-4 minutes until it starts to soften.

  • Reduce heat to medium-low and add the enchilada sauce, black beans, and refried beans to the saucepan. Stir slowly until mixed thoroughly.

  • Add any “extra goodies” to the sauce (except cheese or avocado) and continue heating and stirring until it starts to simmer. Be sure to stir continuously, else it may start to splatter as it comes to a boil.

  • Once everything is mixed well, turn off the heat and begin layering the casserole in a lightly greased 9×13 baking pan. Start by adding a thin layer of the sauce to the bottom (if you start with tortillas first, they may burn). Next add a layer of tortillas (see diagram above). Then alternate sauce and tortillas until there’s about 1/4″ of space left (or you run out of sauce or tortillas!), ending with a layer of sauce on top. Be sure all the tortillas are covered by sauce; any tortilla that’s not covered will dry out.

  • Sprinkle the cheese on top and cover with aluminum foil. "Tent” the foil so it’s not resting on the cheese (this makes it easier to remove later).

  • Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes. (If doubling the recipe or using a deeper pan, you may want to bake a little longer.) Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes, until cheese begins to brown. Allow to cool for at least ten minutes then serve with a few slices of avocado on top.


Lisa's refried beans recipe - Easy Slow Cooker Refried Beans

We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts

Unprocessed Enchilada Casserole

Amount Per Serving

Calories 288Calories from Fat 81

% Daily Value*

Fat 9g14%

Saturated Fat 3g19%

Cholesterol 12mg4%

Sodium 1069mg46%

Potassium 648mg19%

Carbohydrates 41g14%

Fiber 12g50%

Sugar 7g8%

Protein 13g26%

Vitamin A 3745IU75%

Vitamin C 23.4mg28%

Calcium 180mg18%

Iron 3.8mg21%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Want weekly REAL FOOD meal plans made for you? Check It Out

Guest Recipe: Unprocessed Enchilada Casserole - 100 Days of Real Food (4)Andrew Wilder is a self-proclaimed “Healthy Foodie,” and he writes about the confluence of healthy and delicious on his blog, Eating Rules. He also leads the October Unprocessed challenge each year, trying to get as many people as possible to eat no processed food whatsoever for the entire month. 6,000 people have taken the pledge so far, and it’s not too late for you to join in, too! You can also find Andrew on Facebook,Twitter, and Pinterest.

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but 100 Days of Real Food will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us spread our message!

Guest Recipe: Unprocessed Enchilada Casserole - 100 Days of Real Food (2024)


How many days are homemade enchiladas good for? ›

Store the enchiladas: To keep the enchiladas up to 2 days in the refrigerator, tightly cover the pan with foil before storing. To freeze the enchiladas for up to 3 months, tightly wrap the entire pan with foil, crimping to seal around the edges to prevent freezer burn.

Why is my enchilada casserole soggy? ›

Most people drown their enchiladas in sauce before putting them in the oven, but that's the number one cause of soggy enchiladas. Because you've already coated your tortillas in the sauce, they won't need that much more.

Can you prep enchiladas the night before? ›

If you're planning on preparing these the night before you plan on serving them, simply assemble everything, cover and place in the refrigerator. If you are preparing the enchiladas more than a day in advance, simply cover and place in the freezer until you're ready to heat and serve.

How do you keep corn tortillas from getting soggy in a casserole? ›

Lightly fry your yellow corn tortillas in some oil until they are flexible enough to roll up. This gives them a sort of “raincoat” that helps them make it through the baking process. It is important to spoon sauce over the ends of any tortillas that poke up through the surface.

How do you soften corn tortillas for enchiladas without oil? ›

Wrap a stack of tortillas in damp paper towels or a damp kitchen towel, then wrap in plastic wrap or place in a microwave-safe resealable plastic bag (keep the bag open to vent). Microwave until warm and flexible, about 1 minute.

Do enchiladas taste better with corn or flour tortillas? ›

Corn tortillas go well with Mexican dishes like tacos, enchiladas, and tamales. They are also perfect for use in tostadas, sopes, and quesadillas. Flour tortillas are often used in burritos, fajitas, and chimichangas. They are also great for making quesadillas, sweet dishes like dessert tacos, and breakfast burritos.

Do you cover enchiladas when you bake them? ›

Roll up tortillas; place seam sides down and widthwise in ungreased 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish. Spread with salsa; sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered 15 to 20 minutes or until hot.

Can you freeze homemade enchiladas before baking? ›

*TO FREEZE: Cover enchiladas tightly with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. Freeze up to 3 months. To bake, remove plastic wrap, cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover; continue to bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until completely cooked through.

How to keep flour tortillas from getting soggy in enchiladas casserole? ›

Tips for keeping your flour tortillas from getting soggy in enchiladas
  1. Preheat your pan. Try preheating your enchilada pan in the oven before you start cooking. ...
  2. Pre-fry your tortillas. ...
  3. Put the sauce on top, not on the bottom. ...
  4. Bake the enchiladas before adding sauce. ...
  5. Put your enchiladas under the broiler.
Jun 25, 2021

Are yellow or white corn tortillas better for enchiladas? ›

Yellow corn tortillas have a stronger corn flavor, whereas white tortillas have an almost oaky, nutty flavor when toasted. I personally like white tortillas for tacos and enchiladas, and use yellow ones for fried tortillas and corn chips when I want that corn taste to really come through.

How do you moisten a casserole? ›

How do you moisten a dry casserole? Add a little water or milk to the top of the it before reheating. Allow the liquid to seep in between the casserole and the baking dish, without overflowing. Cover the top with aluminum foil.

Do you put sauce on enchiladas before or after baking? ›

Step 1: Make 10 minute homemade red enchilada sauce using fridge and pantry staples. Step 2: Sprinkle shredded Mexican blend cheese into the centers of corn tortillas then roll and place inside a casserole dish. Step 3: Cover with red sauce then bake.

Do you put oil or sauce on enchiladas first? ›

In a large saucepan over medium heat, add oil and flour and whisk together to make a paste, cooking for one minute. Pour in the red sauce, chicken broth, cilantro, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30-45 minutes.

Do you put enchilada sauce on before or after? ›

After you fry the tortillas, dip both sides in your delicious sauce and cover the entire surface. Then stuff and roll.

How do you make enchiladas not soggy with flour tortillas? ›

Adding your tortillas intoan already-warm pan instead of a cold one will help them start cooking and getting crispy right away, rather than risking sogginess. Make sure that you lightly grease your dish, which will help keep the tortillas from sticking to the pan.

Is it better to cook enchiladas covered or uncovered? ›

Assemble the remaining enchiladas. Then spread any remaining sauce evenly over the top of the enchiladas, followed by any extra cheese. Bake. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, until the enchiladas are cooked through and the tortillas are slightly crispy on the outside.

How do you keep corn tortillas soft for enchiladas? ›

To use the oven to soften your tortillas, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Once heated, wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil and place them in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until they are warm and pliable enough to roll.


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