Mexican cooking is one of my favorite cuisines and when I think of Mexican dishes, the first thing that comes to mind are freshly baked enchiladas with beans and brown rice. The “secret sauce” of this recipe really is the sauce – the flavor-packed homemade enchilada sauce.

Many times, the enchilada sauces found in cans or served in Mexican restaurants can be super acidic and bland. I have been on a mission to find the perfect vegan enchilada sauce that doesn’t sacrifice flavor.  The sauce in this recipe came to fruition after I traveled to New Mexico last year to attend a cousin’s wedding.  The fresh enchilada sauces I encountered there were packed with flavor and gave me great ideas on creating my own sauce.

After some tinkering, I developed this sauce recipe and paired it with bean and vegan cheese enchiladas.  To really add a southwestern kick to this recipe, serve it topped off with zesty watercress salsa. Our family enjoys eating these enchiladas every week with brown rice, guacamole and salsa.  Hope you enjoy it as well!  Buen Apetito!!


Prep time:

Servings: 6-8


Enchilada Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 guajillo chiles
  • 3 tbsp avocado oil or extra virgin oil
  • 3/4 cup onion chopped finely
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 3 medium tomatoes pureed
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chile powder
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped finely
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp salt

Filling Ingredients:

  • Soft corn tortillas
  • Vegan cheese (Daiya brand)
  • Jalapeño thinly sliced
  • 1 cup pinto beans soaked overnight
  • 1/4 cup onion chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 3-4 tbsp organic taco seasoning
  • salt


Enchilada Directions

Enchilada Sauce:

  1. Soak the guajillo chile in hot water for 10 min. Drain and chop it.
  2. Heat 3 tbsp avocado oil in a pan. Add onions and sauté for 2 min until slightly soft.
  3. Add the minced garlic and give it a quick sauté.
  4. Add the freshly pureed tomatoes, tomato paste,vegetable stock, cumin, paprika, chipotle chili powder, salt, cilantro, chopped guajilo chile. Cook them for about 8-10 min on low to medium heat and stir from time to time. Let it cool down. 
  5. Pour everything in the blender and process until smooth.
  6. Check again for salt and spice level.


  1. Drain the water from soaked beans. Add 2 cups of fresh water.
  2. Pressure cook the beans with onions, taco seasoning, cumin powder, and salt.
  3. After the first whistle, lower the heat and cook for another 20 minutes.
  4. Turn off the stove and let the pressure drop by itself.
  5. Mash the beans with the back of the serving spoon until the beans become thicker.
  6. Keep it aside.

If you do not have a pressure cooker:

  1. Cook the beans with enough water on the stove for an hour or two until tender.
  2. Add onions, taco seasoning, cumin and salt.
  3. Cook until well combined, mashing some of the beans with a spoon on the side of the pan.

Enchilada Assembly:

  1. Take a baking dish and pour a layer of enchilada sauce on it.
  2. Dip the corn tortilla in the prepared sauce and fill it with beans and vegan cheese.
  3. Roll them up tightly and place them folded-side down in the baking dish.
  4. Layer the rest of the enchilada sauce on top of the enchilada rolls.
  5. Finally, sprinkle it with vegan cheese and thin slices of jalapeno peppers.
  6. Drizzle some olive oil on top and bake the dish at 350 degree for about 20 to 25 min until the cheese melts and the sauce is bubbling.

Watercress Salsa Directions

Adapted from Bobby Flay

I am huge fan of Bobby Flay and I enjoy watching all of his shows. I once saw him make a similar avocado and radish salsa to top off his Chimichanga dish. I wanted to try it, while adding my own twist, and found that it goes exceptionally well with these enchiladas. You will find it to be a zesty, fresh and delicious salsa!!

Filling Ingredients:

  • Small bunch of watercress
  • 2 avocados cut into cubes
  • 5-6 radishes thinly sliced
  • 1 serrano pepper finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp cilantro finely chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Sea salt to taste


  1. Mix watercress, avocado, radish, serrano pepper slices in a bowl.  Toss them with fresh lemon juice, cilantro and salt.
  2. Serve it on top of the freshly baked enchilada’s or burritos!!