Vegan Jackfruit Enchiladas
These vegan jackfruit enchiladas with black beans and mushrooms are a favourite in our house at the moment! They’re so easy and flavourful, and freeze perfectly, making them great for weeknight dinners.
Why I love these jackfruit enchiladas
Long story short, I love Mexican food. It’s great comfort food, but is just as delicious enjoyed in the sunshine with a margarita. It’s the perfect cuisine for all seasons!
There are so many ingredients used in Mexican food which are already vegan- such as avocados, beans, tortillas, rice, fresh produce (especially tomatoes and corn), limes and herbs.
That said, Mexican food can also use a lot of meat and cheese! The great thing is that it can easily be made vegan at home.
Vegan enchiladas are really up there with my favourite Mexican dishes. A hearty filling, wrapped in soft tortillas and baked in the oven with a spicy enchilada sauce- what’s not to love!? They’re so easy to make. Once the prep work is done they just cook away, so you don’t have to be nursing them on the stove.
Cooking with jackfruit
Jackfruit is a tree fruit grown in parts of Asia. The fruit itself is huge, being the largest fruit that can be found on a tree. It is split open, and inside there are bulbs of fruit. When it’s ripe, these bulbs are sweet and tropical; but when it is young and green, they take on a more neutral, savoury taste.
In times gone by, I haven’t been the biggest fan of jackfruit. It’s often served smothered in overly sweet sauce, to hide the fact that jackfruit itself tastes of very little. Unlike tofu, it doesn’t absorb a lot of flavour, so these sauces just seem to sit on the outside of the jackfruit.
I started to enjoy jackfruit when I made this vegan pot pie, and realised that it doesn’t have to be covered in BBQ sauce to be delicious! If you’re sceptical about jackfruit, I encourage you to give these jackfruit enchiladas or pot pie a go.
Jackfruit is often used to mimic pulled meat but I wanted to create more of a vegan ground meat enchilada. The combination of jackfruit, mushrooms and black beans works really well at creating a hearty ground filling.
What else is in these jackfruit enchiladas?
Beans- Black beans add bulk and protein to the enchilada filling. They have a mild flavour which takes on the spices really well.
Mushrooms- Mushrooms are a vegan superfood! They do a great job of resembling meat in vegan and vegetarian dishes thanks to their slightly sweet and umami flavour. They’re a rich source of fibre and protein, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Onion and garlic- Both aromatics are fried off to form the base of the filling.
Spinach- Spinach adds a pop of colour and a hit of vitamins and minerals including iron.
Lime juice and agave– These two ingredients add a contrast of sour and sweet which bring the flavours in the filling to life.
Tortillas- I’ve used wholewheat flour tortillas in this vegan enchilada recipe because they are a slightly healthier option. You can use your favourite, just make sure the tortillas you are using are vegan. Corn tortillas can be smaller, so you may need to use a couple more of these to get through the filling.
The vegan enchilada sauce-
Good vegan enchiladas need a good enchilada sauce; I like to make this from scratch when I can. I’ve given instructions here to make your own red enchilada sauce using garlic, strained tomatoes (passata), chipotle chilli flakes, smoked paprika and water. This may not be the most traditional in terms of ingredients, but is really easy and tasty, and only takes minutes to make.
Best equipment to make plant based enchiladas
The only special equipment needed to make this recipe is a food processor. To make the filling super easy, I recommend placing everything in a food processor and pulsing until coarsely chopped and everything is combined. As I always say, I love my Ninja 3-in-1, and used the food processor attachment for this recipe.
If you want to make this recipe and don’t have a food processor, you could go down the route of mincing all of the filling ingredients using a knife, then combining it all in a large bowl before adding to the frying pan.
You will also need a 9×13 inch casserole dish to cook the jackfruit and black bean enchiladas.
How to make jackfruit enchiladas
To make the enchiladas, start with the homemade enchilada sauce. If you are using a store bought sauce, you can skip this part of the recipe and move on to the filling.
Heat a half tablespoon of oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, then fry for 2 minutes until it’s nice and fragrant. Add the strained tomatoes (passata), chipotle chilli flakes, smoked paprika and water. Stir everything well, bring to the boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer. Leave the sauce to simmer whilst you make the filling for the jackfruit enchiladas.
To a food processor, add the jackfruit, black beans, mushrooms, smoked paprika, cumin and chilli powder. Pulse until the filling is coarsely chopped and combined, so that you can still see some shreds of jackfruit and chunks of black beans and mushrooms.
In a large frying pan, heat another half tablespoon of oil over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion and fry for 3 minutes until starting to soften, then add the garlic. Fry for a further 2 minutes, then add the mince from the food processor. Increase the heat to medium-high, then cook, stirring for 5 minutes, until it is reduced and the water is evaporating.
Wilt through the spinach and add 3 tablespoons of the enchilada sauce, the lime juice, agave, and plenty of salt and pepper to taste.
Spread a few spoonfuls of enchilada sauce in the bottom of your baking dish (enough to cover). Lay out your tortillas, and split the jackfruit and black bean mixture into 8 rough portions in the pan. One by one, add a line of filling down the centre of each tortilla, then roll them up. Place all 8 jackfruit and black bean enchiladas seam side down in the baking dish, then spread the remaining vegan enchilada sauce over the top.
Cook the plant based enchiladas in a preheated oven at 200c/390f for 18-20 minutes. The bread should be golden and the sauce bubbling.
These jackfruit enchiladas are delicious straight out of the oven, but I like to serve them with extra toppings and sides to make a real feast!
- Top them with dairy free yoghurt (or vegan sour cream), avocado or guacamole, cilantro/coriander, chopped green onion, sliced jalapenos, or even grated vegan cheese.
- I love to make an avocado salsa for the side of my plant based enchiladas, using equal proportions of chopped avocado, tomato, yellow bell pepper and corn, along with the juice of half a lime and a good grind of salt and pepper. If you’d rather a classic salsa, try this pico de gallo!
- Refried beans is a Mexican side dish made from cooked and mashed beans. You can make your own, or buy them in a store.
- If you need a slightly more filling side dish, rice works a treat. Use any kind of medium or long grain rice, and stir through plenty of cilantro/coriander and lime to serve.
- Or just make a simple salad to serve- I like to use romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and avocado.
My top tips
These jackfruit and black bean enchiladas are super easy to make, but I have a few tips to help you make this recipe right every single time!
- Firstly, make sure you buy the right kind of jackfruit for this recipe. You don’t want to buy sweet jackfruit for these vegan enchiladas, so make sure that you are buying young green jackfruit!
- I’ve been a bit lazy with this recipe and haven’t blended the sauce. The only bits that will be in the vegan enchilada sauce are the minced garlic cloves and chipotle chilli flakes. If you want to go the extra mile, let the sauce cool slightly and blend it until smooth using an immersion blender.
- When it comes to rolling the jackfruit enchiladas, tortillas can sometimes be a little stiff (especially if you are using corn tortillas). Warm tortillas in the microwave for a few seconds to soften them and to help with rolling.
- After you have warmed the tortillas, it’s time to fill and roll. Be careful that you don’t over stuff the enchiladas as this will make them difficult to roll and more likely to split.
- Make sure you place the enchiladas seam side down in the baking dish, so that they seal with cooking and don’t open back up.
Ingredient substitutes or additions
Make this enchilada recipe work for you by substituting or adding in ingredients which you have at home, or to fit your dietary needs.
- Make it gluten free– corn tortillas are a great gluten free tortilla option for vegan enchiladas. These can be tricky to roll so make sure you warm them up slightly to soften them. Alternatively, use your favourite gluten free flour tortilla.
- Add cheese– if you like vegan cheese alternatives, add some grated vegan cheddar on top of the jackfruit and black bean enchiladas before putting them into the oven for a more traditional enchilada dish.
- Use store bought enchilada sauce– as I mentioned above, you can use a large jar of pre-made enchilada sauce to make this recipe even easier.
- Different beans– when shooting this recipe, I accidentally picked up a can of adzuki beans. I stuck with it, and they worked just as well with black beans. You could use whatever beans you have to hand for this recipe, such as navy beans, kidney beans, or even chickpeas.
- Add veggies to the filling- if you have some leftovers of cooked vegetables in your fridge, you can add them to the enchiladas before rolling. Raw vegetables can be roasted or grilled until softened, then added in too. Peppers, zucchini, eggplant and carrot all work really well inside these jackfruit enchiladas.
- Don’t like mushrooms? I know that some people don’t enjoy mushrooms as much as I do! If you’d rather, you can swap out the mushrooms for another can of your favourite beans.
- If you don’t fancy enchiladas, you can use this filling to make jackfruit tacos, nachos or fajitas.
If you would like, you can prepare the components of this dish 3 days in advance. Both the vegan enchilada sauce and the filling can be cooked and stored in airtight containers in the fridge.
You can also assemble the vegetarian enchiladas the day before and arrange them in the dish. Don’t pour the enchilada sauce over the top as this can make them go soggy. Store them in the fridge and when you are ready to cook, pour over the enchilada sauce.
Add 5-10 minutes to the cooking time if they have been stored in the fridge, as they will take a little longer to cook from cold. Make sure they are hot through before eating.
Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3 days in the fridge. To reheat, I would recommend heating them in a moderate oven for 10 minutes. You can also give them a blast in the microwave until they are piping hot through. However this will likely make them a bit soggy.
Yes! This is a great freezer filler as you can freeze individual portions in airtight containers. Or you can freeze the whole dish before cooking. If you freeze individual portions, thaw them in the fridge overnight or on the counter for a few hours before reheating as above.
If you want to freeze the entire dish ready to bake, you must make sure that your dish is freezer and oven safe! You can cook the jackfruit enchiladas straight from frozen, but your baking dish must be thawed first. Once the dish is cool to touch, you can place it in the oven. If you need to speed up the process, you can sit the dish in an inch of warm water to quickly warm it up. Cook the plant based enchiladas for 30-35 minutes, making sure they are hot throughout.
Alternatively, thaw the entire dish on the counter or in the fridge overnight, and follow the cook for 20-25 minutes.
If you like delicious dinner recipes…
You might like these!
- Vegan coconut tofu with miso roasted pak choi
- Lebanese stuffed cabbage rolls
- Zucchini pesto (serve with pasta and more grilled zucchini)
- Vegan arancini balls
- Eggplant cannelloni with tofu ricotta
Vegan Jackfruit Enchiladas
For the homemade enchilada sauce
- ½ tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 500 g strained tomatoes 2 cups
- 1 tsp chipotle chilli flakes
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 125 ml water ½ cup
For the enchiladas
- 400 g canned jackfruit drained
- 400 g canned black beans drained
- 250 g mushrooms 8 oz
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- ½ tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 red onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 100 g spinach 3.5 oz
- ½ lime juiced
- 1 tsp agave nectar or maple syrup
- 8 wholewheat tortillas
For the enchilada sauce (if making)
- Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, then fry for 2 minutes until it’s nice and fragrant. Add the strained tomatoes (passata), chipotle chilli flakes, smoked paprika and water.
- Stir everything well, bring to the boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer. Leave the sauce to simmer whilst you make the filling for the jackfruit enchiladas.
For the enchiladas
- To a food processor, add the jackfruit, black beans, mushrooms, smoked paprika, cumin and chilli powder. Pulse until the filling is coarsely chopped and combined, so that you can still see some shreds of jackfruit and chunks of black beans and mushrooms.
- In a large frying pan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion and fry for 3 minutes until starting to soften, then add the garlic.
- Fry for a further 2 minutes, then add the mince from the food processor. Increase the heat to medium-high, then cook, stirring for 5 minutes, until it is reduced and the water is evaporating.
- Wilt through the spinach and stir in 3 tablespoons of the enchilada sauce, the lime juice, agave nectar, and plenty of salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat the oven to 200°c/390°f.
- Spread a few spoonfuls of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 10×13 inch casserole dish (enough to cover).
- Lay out the tortillas, and split the jackfruit and black bean mixture into 8 rough portions in the pan. One by one, add a line of filling down the centre of each tortilla, then roll them up.
- Place all 8 jackfruit and black bean enchiladas seam side down in the baking dish, then spread the remaining enchilada sauce over the top.
- Cook the enchiladas for 18-20 minutes, until the bread is golden and the sauce is bubbling.
Made this recipe?
I’d love to know how you got on- let me know how it turned out in the comments below!
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