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Veg Out: Make-Ahead Mushroom Enchiladas

Stuck between seasons? These saucy enchiladas strike the perfect balance between cozy and fresh.
By Tieghan Gerard
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Like most of you, summer’s arrival means cravings for fresh fruit and all things grilled, fall calls for pumpkin spice everything and winter is all about cozy soups and cheesy casseroles. But come spring? Well, by the time spring finally rolls around, I am beyond ready for fresher, lighter and less meat-y meals. Only thing is, they still have to be somewhat cozy because in the mountains where I live, spring is basically still winter (think: lots of snow). 

Where am I going with all this? These Mushroom-Kale-Quinoa Enchiladas, that’s where. They contain everything I look for in comforting spring fare from the delicious veggie filling to the cozy enchilada presentation. Best part is, you can make them well ahead of time and stick in your freezer to bake during a busy week. (More on that below!) 

To start, gather your ingredients (you’ll find a complete list in the recipe below). The filling is made up of loads of crunchy kale, mushrooms, whole-grain quinoa, Old El Paso refried beans, green chiles and enchilada sauce. Sounds pretty good, right? It so is!

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The first order of business is cooking the quinoa according to package directions. (You could also use leftover quinoa, if you have some stashed in your fridge or freezer.) Also, if you’re planning to make these enchiladas now and not freeze them, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

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While the quinoa cooks, prep and then sauté the mushrooms and kale. Once the mushrooms are tender and the kale has wilted, stir in the refried beans and green chiles and cook five minutes. By then, the quinoa should be ready. Add the cooked quinoa and stir to combine with the bean and veggie mixture.

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Add a handful of cheese and stir again until the cheese has melted into the quinoa mixture. Then remove the skillet from the heat.

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In a greased 13 x 9-inch pan, spread a little less than half the can of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the dish.

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Grab your Old El Paso burrito-sized tortillas and start stuffing them with the quinoa filling. Roll up tightly and place the enchiladas in the baking dish. When the dish is full, smother it all with the remaining enchilada sauce and a scattering of cheese.

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To freeze enchiladas, wrap pan tightly with foil at this point. Wrap again in plastic wrap. Label and freeze up to four months. To bake from frozen, remove plastic wrap and bake (with foil on) in preheated 350 degree oven about 1 hour; remove foil, and bake another 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

If you’re proceeding to make these now, pop in a 350 degree oven and bake until cheese is melted and enchiladas are bubbly, about 25 to 30 minutes.

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Remove and serve with fresh chopped cilantro, lime wedges and a drizzle of Mexican crema, if you can find it (sour cream if you can’t). This is spring comfort food at it’s finest!

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