These vegetarian enchiladas verdes are packed full of vegetables. Sweet potato, black bean, and kale stuffed enchiladas with a homemade verde sauce over the top. This vegetarian enchilada recipe is a great twist on a Mexican favorite.
Unlike my chicken enchiladas with red enchilada sauce, I wanted to do a green (verde) sauce with these vegetarian enchiladas. The base of the verde sauce is hatch green chile’s. Hatch chile season is typically August-September, but can be hard to find so I usually just use canned green chiles year round.
Making the green enchilada sauce
- First sauté the onions and jalapeño until they begin to soften.
- Next, add the garlic, hatch chiles, chili powered, ground cumin, and kosher salt. Mix to combine.
- To thicken our green enchilada sauce, add all purpose flour or a starch and mix to coat the ingredients.
- Slowly whisk in the vegetable broth and allow to come to a gentle boil. Lower the heat and allow the flavors to meld.
- In a heat safe blender, carefully add the cooked verde sauce.
- Add a large handful of cilantro. Since we are going to blend the sauce, make sure to use the cilantro stems too (they have great flavor).
- Blend on high until smooth, taste and adjust salt if necessary.
- Set aside.
Salsa verde vs verde enchilada sauce
A difference between verde sauce for enchiladas and salsa verde, is one is cooked (verde sauce) and one is raw (salsa verde). Salsa verde is also made using tomatillos (which you could totally roast a couple and add to this recipe). Another notable difference is the adding of broth or stock to verde sauce, versus just blending the roasted ingredients on their own for salsa verde. You can use salsa verde over enchiladas, but I enjoy the creaminess of the green enchilada sauce though.
How to dice a sweet potato
- Peel the sweet potato and cut it down the middle. Working with shorter pieces makes it easier, since sweet potatoes can be difficult to cut sometimes. Next cut the two halves again to have quarters (you should have 4 pieces).
- Grab one of the quarter pieces and place it flat side down. Cut it vertically, into ¼ inch pieces.
- You will now have wide pieces of sweet potato. Lay them on the longer flat piece facing down and cut them in half into match sticks.
- Now you can proceed to easily dice the sweet potato. Repeat with remainder of sweet potato.
- Since the sweet potato is diced small, it cooks fast. Sauté in avocado oil for 5 minutes till it begins to soften.
- Add in the garlic and roughly chopped kale. Sauté till the kale begins to soften. If the mixture becomes dry, add more oil.
- Once the kale has cooked down, add in the drained and rinsed black beans.
- Combine the mixture and allow the flavors to meld for 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
As I mentioned in my chicken enchiladas post, freshly grated cheese melts the best. Most pre-shredded cheese use anti caking agents, so they don’t melt as well. You can use pre-shredded though if you have on hand. For this vegetarian verde enchilada recipe, I used Monterey jack cheese.
Hot tip: I always set up an assembly line when making enchiladas, makes it faster and easier to have everything right in front of you. Have a rectangular baking dish, tortillas (I lightly toast mine), sweet potato black bean filling, grated cheese, and your green enchilada sauce. Spread a thin layer of verde sauce on the bottom of the baking dish.
Lay down your tortilla and spread a heaping spoon of verde sauce inside. Spoon a line of sweet potato black bean filling and sprinkle some cheese. Carefully, but tightly, wrap the tortilla and place it seam side down in the baking dish (so it doesn’t unravel itself). Repeat with remaining tortillas.
Pour the rest of the green enchilada sauce over the top of the rolled tortillas, followed by the rest of the shredded cheese. Place in the oven at 350F for 25 minutes. The last two minutes you can broil if you want your cheese more browned (keep a close eye!).
Remove from the oven and top with fresh cilantro and diced avocado! To serve, use two spatulas to help transfer the vegetarian enchiladas to a plate (this helps keep the stuffing from falling out).
You can assemble the enchiladas ahead of time and place in the refrigerator prior to baking. Ensure to fully seal the enchiladas in the baking dish to keep them fresh and add an additional 10 minutes to bake time.
To freeze the enchiladas, I recommend using a disposable pan. Do all the steps except for adding the cheese on top prior to baking, cover tightly with plastic wrap so they are fully sealed, and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in fridge overnight, then bake.
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- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 7oz can chopped Hatch green chiles
- 2 jalapeños, de-seeded and roughly chopped (2 tbsp) [see note]
- 1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped (1 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 ⅓ cup vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour or arrowroot (GF)
- 1 ½ cup fresh cilantro (large handful) stems included
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dark chili powder
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced (2 cups) see in post for how-to dice sweet potato
- 5 oz roughly chopped kale (about 3 cups)
- 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8oz Monterey jack cheese, freshly grated (see note) (divided)
- 12 pack of flour or corn tortillas (lightly toasted)
- 2 tbsp avocado oil + 1 tbsp
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Fresh Cilantro
- 1 Avocado, diced
- In a large skillet over medium/high heat, add 2 tbsp avocado oil, diced yellow onion, and jalapeño. Sauté for 4-5 minutes until onion begins to soften. Add in the hatch chiles, garlic, cumin, chili powder, salt, and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle the 2 tbsp flour over the top and mix to coat all of the ingredients, this will help thicken the sauce. Slowly pour in the vegetable broth while stirring to combine.
- Allow the sauce to come to a soft boil, then remove from heat.
- Carefully add the sauce to a heat proof blender, add the cilantro, and blend on high until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Set aside.
- Give the skillet a quick wipe and place back on stovetop over medium/high heat. Add 2 tbsp avocado oil, diced sweet potatoes, and salt/pepper, then sauté for 5 minutes. Add in the kale, minced garlic, and 1 tbsp avocado oil. Sauté together till the kale begins to wilt (about 2-3 min). Add in the black beans and sauté another 2 minutes to heat beans through. Taste for seasoning and remove from heat.
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
- Spread a thin layer (about ⅓ cup) of verde sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Using an assembly line with all the ingredients, spread a heaping spoon (about a tbsp) of verde sauce on the tortilla and spread around. Next add 2 spoons of the sweet potato black bean mixture and then sprinkle some jack cheese over the top. Carefully roll the tortilla tightly to keep filling in and place tortilla flap side down into baking dish. Repeat until all enchiladas are made.
- Pour the green enchilada sauce over the rolled enchiladas. After pouring the sauce, sprinkle the remainder of the cheese all over the top of the enchiladas.
- Place in the oven for 25 minutes and broil for 1-2 minutes until the cheese is browned and bubbling (keep a close eye).
- Remove from oven and garnish with fresh cilantro and diced avocado. Enjoy!
Hatch Green Chiles
- Hatch chile season is typically August-September, but can be hard to find so I usually just use canned green chiles year round.
- If using fresh hatch green chiles, they will need more time to soften, so add them in the beginning with the onions.
- If you do not like spicy, use only 1 jalapeño and remove the seeds. The spiciness of the sauce will mellow once combined with all the other ingredients.
- I always prefer grating fresh cheese when I am going to be melting a lot of it. Pre-shredded cheese has anti-caking agents which don't allow it to melt as well, but still can be used if that is what you have on hand.
- I grated 8oz of Monterey jack and divided in two. Half to be used inside and half on top of the enchiladas.
- If you do not have a heat proof blender, you can use an immersion blender to puree the verde sauce
- Ensure your sweet potatoes are diced uniformly to ensure they cook evenly.
- See in-post for how to dice sweet potatoes
- If you do not have bagged pre-chopped washed kale, make sure to massage your kale while washing it prior to chopping and remove the large thick parts of the stems.
Making ahead and freezing
- You can assemble the enchiladas ahead of time and place in the refrigerator prior to baking. Ensure to fully seal the enchiladas in the baking dish to keep them fresh and add an additional 10 minutes to bake time.
- To freeze the enchiladas, I recommend using a disposable pan. Do all the steps except for adding the cheese on top prior to baking, cover tightly with plastic wrap so they are fully sealed, and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in fridge overnight, then bake.
*See in-post for detailed steps with pictures*
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 688Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 975mgCarbohydrates: 85gFiber: 18gSugar: 8gProtein: 32g
*Note: Nutrition information is an estimate. Values vary based on different brands and ingredients*