Vegan Enchilada Lasagna
The flavors of Enchiladas and the layers of a Lasagna: Meet the Enchilada Lasagna! I know, I know I’m so creative! But I really love this meal for a few reasons. For one it’s REALLY easy. Honestly it takes very little time to prepare and all it takes is a little bit of chopping and throwing things into a blender. I remember making a version of this before I gave up meat and dairy and along with the Enchilada sauce, the meal was layered with shredded cheese. I knew I needed to replace that layer with something cheesy for my vegan version but I didn’t want to use faux cheese shreds. I really don’t like the flavor of most vegan shredded cheese alternatives so I knew that wasn’t an option. Instead, I decided to go with one of my all time favorite things: Easy Vegan Cashew Queso! My version of this deliciousness is heavily adapted from Pinch of Yum’s 3 ingredient version! I have a pretty sure-fire ratio of cashews:water that I don’t like to fuss with and I like to add some extra spice by way of jalapeno peppers so those are my only modifications to Lindsay’s recipe. It adds a creamy, richness to the dish that is really similar to a traditional Italian Lasagna-just with different flavors! I would not recommend skipping the queso with this dish…or any dish for that matter. HAHA. Queso is life, y’all.
After you’ve got your ingredients prepped and ready to go, it takes about 10 minutes to saute your veggies and blend up your queso and then it’s all about the layering! An alternative to sauteed veggies is using something like my Lentil and Walnut Meat. A simple 1:1 ratio of cooked lentils and raw walnuts gets processed with a couple tablespoons of your favorite taco seasoning and you are good to go! The mixture should be crumbly and resemble ground beef. If it is too dry you can add a splash or two of water. If it is too wet (this will depend on the cook of the lentils), you can sautee for a few minutes to get some of the extra moisture out. I’ve made both versions, with veggies and with the lentil and walnut meat, and both versions are really good and really filling!
You can also use whatever pan you want or have on hand! I’ve made this in a square cake pan, in a casserole dish (9x13) and in these cute little 6 inch round cake pans. As you can see from the picture above, I used some gluten free flour tortillas as the bottom layer because I wanted to use them up and I thought they might hold things together a little better but it ended up not being necessary. And my corn tortillas ended up being the perfect size for these pans so the Type A gal in me was happy happy happy!
To make things easier on me (since most…er…ALL of my cooking is down with two little ones at my feet) I used store-bought enchilada sauce! I use about 1 1/2 bottles which is about 18 oz and I use Trader Joes brand. I love this kind because it is very mild so it is perfect to feed a crowd and for kids who might be more sensitive to spicy meals. But it’s also nice because it allows you to add the amount of heat that you like. If my kids weren’t eating this then I’d probably add quite a bit of hot sauce to the sauce. It works just as nicely to top with sliced jalapeno’s and/or your favorite hot sauce before serving. BUT, if you want to be EXTRA make yourself some homemade enchilada sauce!
Look at that swirl of queso and Enchilada sauce?! I meeeaaaan! It is perfection, I’m telling you! I hope you’ll try this recipe and love it as much as we do! I’ve cooked it for several friends and neighbors of mine and it’s gotten rave reviews each time!
This recipe is:
Oil Free option (saute veggies in water)
Great to meal prep or make for a crowd!
Alix | July 2019
- prep time: 15 Minutes
- cook time: 20-25 Minutes
- total time: 40 Minutes
For the Cashew Questo
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 1 cup of water
- 2 small cans of green chilis
- 1 jalapeno pepper (opt), seeds and ribs removed if you're not a fan of too much spice!
- 2 tsp. taco seasoning
For the Veggie Filling
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed if preferred
- 1 cup frozen corn
- salt and pepper to taste (season well!)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add enough of your enchilada sauce to the bottom of your pan(s) and set aside.
- Make your cashew queso by blending all ingredients in a high powered blender until smooth and creamy. Adjust the water and spice level as necessary. It should be thick but easily pourable. This recipe is adapted from Pinch of Yum's 3 ingredient Cashew Queso.
- Layer in this order: Enchilada Sauce, corn tortilla, veggies, then queso. Repeat until all of your ingredients are used up and ending with your queso!
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until your queso has browned and the enchilada sauce is bubbling.
*If you are using a meat substitute like my Lentil & Walnut Meat then you'll need to prepare ahead of time as well. For this mixture simply take 1 cup of cooked lentils and 1 cup of raw almonds plus 2 TBS of taco seasoning and pulse in a food processor until crumbles form and resemble ground beef. Layer in place of the veggies or get crazy and use both!