Vegetarian Zucchini, Black Bean and Corn Enchiladas

Mention “enchiladas” and I know that I will enjoy the dish. I found a recipe for a healthy vegetarian adaptation of traditional meat enchiladas which uses zucchini, black beans and cheese as the main ingredients. Corn tortillas add flavor, too, making this casserole quite delicious. The recipe lowers the fat content by using canned, drained black beans rather than refried beans and steamed corn tortillas rather than fried tortillas. The recipe also features zucchini and corn which add flavor, low calorie content and nutritional value. I’ve really learned to enjoy Mexican dishes as restaurants featuring Central American cuisine have become more prevalent in our region. Yum, this vegetarian recipe adaption of enchiladas is a keeper and is a good way to enjoy a “plant-based” meal.

Recipe Inspiration

I like to purchase food magazines from time to time and browse through them for ideas and inspiration. Recently, I purchased a magazine which featured vegetarian cuisine. It had beautiful photography and interesting recipes. The theme seemed to center around zucchini as at least eight of the recipes included this vegetable. And I have a garden full of zucchini. Lots of inspiration! However, although appealing, the recipes were complicated with multiple steps. I like to keep things as simple as possible. And so, I adapted the recipe for “Zucchini, Black Bean and Corn Enchiladas.”

Recipe and Ingredients

Here are most of the ingredients. The filling consists of the fresh zucchini, canned black beans, frozen corn, cheese and enchilada sauce. To simplify the recipe, I used canned, red enchilada sauce rather than making a homemade sauce. Although not quite as authentic, it tastes just fine in this recipe. Trappey’s® Fine Foods Brand has a Louisiana heritage featuring various hot sauces and canned bean products. (The hot sauces are now owned by B&G Foods, a holding company for many food labels, and the canned beans are now owned by McCall Farms, a private company out of South Carolina.) And so I used Trappey’s black beans giving the recipe a “Louisiana” touch. For convenience, I used frozen corn rather than fresh corn cut off the cob.

To make the recipe

To make the filling, first bake/roast the zucchini. Coat zucchini slices with a little oil and bake in a 350 degree oven until tender. Then chop the zucchini finely. Mix with the other filling ingredients. Make sure to drain and rinse the black beans prior to adding to the filling.

To finish the casserole dish, I steamed the corn tortillas by placing them in the microwave between dampened paper towels for about 30 seconds until tender. Then I placed some of the filling in each corn tortilla, rolled them up and placed in an oiled casserole dish. I spooned any remaining filling ingredients around the sides of the casserole dish. Last, I topped with more cheese and more red enchiladas sauce. I used the entire package of 8″ corn tortillas for this large recipe. There were 10 tortillas in the package.

Bake the casserole, covered, until bubbly about 30 minutes. If desired, serve with additional red enchiladas sauce and sour cream.

This casserole makes an entire meal in one dish. Enjoy the vegetarian recipe using fresh zucchini while it is in season! Both my husband and I loved the casserole and a taste of “Mexican cuisine.”

Zucchini, Black Bean and Corn Enchiladas

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 3 medium, raw zucchini to yield 2 cups cooked, chopped zucchini
  • 1 Tbsp oil, plus more to coat foil-lined baking sheet and casserole dish
  • 2 cups frozen cut corn, defrosted
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (10 oz) cans Ole El Paso Red Enchilada Sauce, divided
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt, optional
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 10 (8″) soft, yellow Mission Brand corn tortillas
  • green onions, garnish
  • sour cream, (if desired)

Method and Steps:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil. Coat with small amount of oil. Generously oil bottom and sides of a 9″ x 13′ casserole dish.
  2. Cut stem off zucchini. Slice zucchini in half lengthwise and then into thin slices. Place in single layer on foil-lined baking sheet. Lightly drizzle 1 Tbsp oil over zucchini slices. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until zucchini slices are tender.
  3. Remove from oven, coarsely chop zucchini. Transfer to large bowl.
  4. Add the defrosted corn, drained and rinsed black beans, 1/2 cup Enchilada sauce, 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend, cumin, salt (optional), and black pepper.  Set aside.
  5. Place 5 of the soft, yellow corn tortillas between two damp paper towels. Microwave for about 30 seconds to 1 minute until the tortillas are softened. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  6. Add about 1/2 cup filling in center of each tortilla. Roll up to enclose filling and place seam side down in casserole dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Spread any remaining filling around sides of casserole dish.
  7. Top with about 1 cup Enchilada sauce. (You will have a partial can remaining. Heat this sauce separately, pass and serve at table.)
  8. Sprinkle on remaining 1 cup Mexican cheese blend.
  9. Cover casserole dish with foil. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes until bubbly and heated through.
  10. Heat remaining enchilada sauce. Pass separately at table along with sour cream (if desired).

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