A family-approved favorite that’s worth trying, these veggie-filled enchiladas boast a healthy serving of zucchini, cauliflower, sweet potatoes and carrots.
Dinnertime can be a real struggle, especially when trying to get your family (picky eaters in particular) to eat and enjoy vegetables. This simple enchilada dish comes together quickly and gives a comfort food favorite a veggiefied upgrade. They’re the perfect way to sneak more veggies into your family’s day.
We LOVE Mexican dishes. So much so, that we celebrate Taco Tuesday by making a Mexican-themed dinner weekly. What we love even more is a tasty meal that’s secretly loaded with vegetables so we don’t have to beg or bribe our families to eat it. These enchiladas are it!
Healthy Veggie Enchilada Variations
Add meat: You can add any type of cooked ground or shredded meat to your enchiladas, such as lean beef, chicken or pork (we typically add 1 to 1 & 1/2 cups).
Change up the hidden vegetable: Replace the cauliflower and/or zucchini with shredded or diced carrots, butternut squash or broccoli rice. You can also exchange the sweet potato, pumpkin or carrot puree in the enchilada sauce with roasted red peppers (simply blend a jar of roasted red peppers and swap 1:1).
Use queso fresco cheese to top your enchilada, rather than Mexican cheese: Queso fresco is a light, mild Mexican cheese that provides contrast to a heavier comfort dish, like enchiladas. It has a creamy, yet slightly salty kick and can be used in place of Mexican cheese when topping your partially baked enchiladas. We decided not to add queso fresco to this recipe because it requires purchasing a second type of cheese. But when making this dish at home, we often opt for it as the cheesy topping, rather than a heavier shredded Mexican cheese.
Add hot sauce into your bean and cheese mixture: If you and your family are fans of a little heat, add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce into your bean and cheese mixture before spooning the mixture into your tortillas.
Your favorite enchilada fixings
- Shredded lettuce
- Diced tomatoes
- Sliced avocado
- Finely chopped jalapeños
- Greek yogurt (a wonderful substitute for sour cream)
- Hot sauce (we LOVE to add flavor with an array of hot sauces)
Top tips for prepping ahead (on your food prep day or the night before)
Pre-chopping, cutting or cooking ingredients really helps to reduce stress and simplify dinner on busy weeknights. We know, we know, we’re always talking about meal prep, but it truly is the holy grail to healthy eating!
- Chop your onion, zucchini and garlic (if you’re using fresh)
- Prepare your puree (if making your own)
- Wash and pick cilantro leaves from the stem
Pureeing your own veggies
Pureeing is MUCH more simple than it sounds. If you decide to puree your own veggies rather than purchasing them canned or in a jar, follow these simple steps. Basically, all you need is a stovetop or microwave to soften your veggies, a food processor or high-speed blender and a little water.
Boiling on the stovetop:
- Buy a bag of pre-chopped fresh or frozen veggies.
- Fill a medium pot halfway with water and bring to a boil.
- Add your veggies and reduce heat to a simmer.
- Loosely cover the pot with a lid and steam until veggies are tender when pierced with a fork (time varies depending on the vegetable).
- Let the veggies cool, then put them into a food processor or high-powered blender and puree until smooth and creamy. Add a few tablespoons of liquid (water or cooking juices from boiling/steaming) to help the pureeing process, if necessary.
If you’ve followed our journey, you know how much we absolutely LOVE (and live by) big batch cooking our main meals. The leftovers simplify future meals and save SO MUCH TIME! We take a similar approach when pureeing vegetables. While everything is out we make extra to freeze for future meals.
If you made these Sneaky Hidden Veggie Enchiladas, please leave a comment below sharing what you served it with and how your picky eater responded to it. We love hearing from you and your ideas inspire us all!Print
- 3 (15 oz.) cans kidney or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 cups coarsely chopped zucchini or squash (about 3/4 pound)
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion
- 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 cup cauliflower rice (frozen or fresh)
- 8 ounces Mexican cheese blend, divided
- 8 large whole-grain tortillas
- 1 (15 oz.) can red enchilada sauce
- 3 (3.25 oz) jars sweet potato, pumpkin and/or carrots baby food (or 1 & 1/4 cups of homemade puree)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Add beans, chopped zucchini, onion, salt and water to high-powered blender or food processor (you can also use an immersion blender, but you will need to finely chop the zucchini first). Blend until mixture become a paste.
- In a large bowl, stir together bean puree, garlic, cauliflower rice and half of Mexican cheese (1 cup), until well combined. If you decide to add meat to your enchiladas, fold it in the mixture until well combined.
- In a medium bowl, mix enchilada sauce with pureed carrots, pumpkin or sweet potatoes. Spread 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce onto the bottom of a non-stick 9×13 baking pan. Spread about 1 teaspoon of enchilada sauce onto the middle of each tortillas.
- Spoon bean mixture into tortillas and tightly wrap, burrito-style. Place each one seam side down in baking dish.
- Spread sauce over top of enchiladas. Top with cilantro leaves. Cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove casserole from oven, top with remaining cheese and bake for 10 minutes, until cheese is bubbly. Remove casserole from oven. Garnish with diced green onions and desired toppings. Serve and enjoy!
Keywords: Freezer-Friendly, Gluten-Free, Kid-Friendly & Fun, Main Dish