For a meatless alternative to traditional enchiladas, whip up this easy Lentil Enchilada Casserole!
So it turns out I’m a bit of a casserole snob. When I hear the word “casserole” my mind goes to frozen vegetables, cream of something soup, and fake fried onions.
Total comfort food for lots of people… I’m just not one of them.
Casseroles are a big hit in my house, even though there’s just two of us (four including the cats). My boyfriend works for UPS so he’s always on the look-out for good leftovers to take to work. Casseroles are easy to portion, fit nicely into tupperware containers, and are easy to eat on the job.
I can only eat leftovers once (MAYBE twice) before my spoiled palate demands new flavors, which is why I keep my boyfriend around to finish the pan. He’s just so handy.
we I have been eating meat-free for over a year now, I’ve been working on coming up with an easy vegetarian casserole that doesn’t taste like it’s healthy.
Practically everything tastes better with some enchilada sauce and cheese on it, so here we are with a Lentil Enchilada Casserole.
Here’s what’s inside: lentils, red quinoa, chopped green chilies, minced mushrooms, corn tortillas, enchilada sauce, and cheese.
Here are a few of my tips to make sure you nail this easy dinner:
First, make sure that the lentils are *very* tender before you add them to the casserole. The time the casserole spends in the oven is more about warming everything up and melting the cheese, so the lentils need to already be melt-in-your-mouth consistency before they go in.
Next, you’ll likely need to tear the tortillas into weird shapes and sizes in order to achieve an even layer across the pan. Try to cover as much as possible!
Finally, do as I do and stick a few toothpicks into the casserole before you cover it in foil. The toothpicks prop the foil up so it doesn’t sink down and stick to the cheese while it bakes. That would be so tragic and I don’t want you to have to go through that.
I always hesitate to give topping recommendations for Mexican food because everyone has their favorites.
I loved cherry tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, and fresh jalapeno on this one. When we had leftovers, we topped a few pieces with avocado, sour cream, and pickled jalapeno and that was also delicious.
I’ll leave those important creative decisions up to you.
Here’s Your Recipe!
Yields 8 to 10 servings
For a vegetarian alternative to traditional enchiladas, whip up this easy meatless lentil enchilada casserole!
30 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
1 hrTotal Time
- 1 1/2 cups brown lentils
- 1 cup red quinoa
- 1 lb brown mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 (14.5 ounce) cans Old El Paso™ Mild Red Enchilada Sauce, divided
- 2 (4.5 ounce) cans Old El Paso™ Chopped Green Chiles
- 1 lb shredded Monterrey jack cheese, divided
- 18 corn tortillas
- Optional Toppings: jalapenos, cherry tomatoes, scallions, cilantro
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Place the lentils in a large pot along with 6 cups of water and a generous pinch of salt. Bring the liquid to a boil and then add the quinoa. Once the mixture returns to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are very tender and the mixture looks mostly dry (about 20 minutes).
- Meanwhile, trim the mushrooms and place them in a large food processor. Pulse until minced. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the minced mushrooms and fry undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes, until browned. Sauté until the moisture has evaporated and the mushrooms are evenly browned (about 3 to 5 minutes).
- Transfer the cooked quinoa, lentils, and mushrooms to a large mixing bowl. Stir in half of a can of enchilada sauce, both cans of chopped green chiles, and half of the shredded cheese.
- Pour half of a can of enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Use 6 of the corn tortillas, breaking them apart as necessary, to cover the bottom of the pan. Top the tortillas with half of the quinoa-lentil mixture.
- Use 6 more of the corn tortillas to cover the quinoa-lentil mixture. Pour another half-can of enchilada sauce over the tortillas. Scoop the remaining quinoa-lentil mixture into the pan, cover it with the remaining 6 enchiladas, and pour the last half-can of enchilada sauce over the top. Scatter the remaining cheese over the top of the dish, cover tightly with foil, and bake in the pre-heated oven for 25 minutes.
- After 25 minutes, remove the foil and switch the oven over to broil. Broil for 1 to 3 minutes, until the cheese has become bubbly and brown. Allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes prior to slicing. Garnish with desired toppings and serve.
Make sure you cook the lentils long enough to make them extra tender. Before covering the pan with foil, stick a few toothpicks into the casserole to keep the foil from falling and sticking to the cheese.
Today’s recipe is sponsored by the wonderful people over at Old El Paso. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Wanderlust Kitchen!