Of all the worldly cuisines, I think dining at a Mexican restaurant is one of the easiest as a vegan. Sure, meat and cheese take the starring role in traditional dishes, but most of the texture and flavor in Mexican cuisine comes from plant-based foods. Think about it – you’ve got warm rice, creamy guacamole, spicy pico de gallo, crisp lettuce, a crunchy tortilla, and a smooth smear of refried beans – just look at all of those layers
If you’re up for making your own Mexican food at home, the possibilities are pretty much endless. That’s what led me to create these vegan enchiladas with jackfruit and black beans. When pulled apart and sautéed with cumin, paprika, and chili powder, jackfruit mimics the look and feel of chicken – but definitely not in a creepy way.
Unfortunately, jackfruit is lacking in the protein department. So, I did what I always do when a dish needs some hunger-fighting protein power – I added beans. Along with the jackfruit, black beans provide enough dietary fiber to keep you full and satisfied for hours. In other words, this meal is proven to prevent post-dinner snacking. If your grazing habits are anything like mine, this is a huge bonus.
If you’ve never cooked with jackfruit before, there’s absolutely no need to be intimidated. Just watch the video below for a quick tutorial on how to prepare it for saucing and tossing with Mexican spices and green chilies.
These enchiladas are delicious without vegan cheese; don’t feel like you need to add it for the full effect. That being said – if you’ve found a vegan cheese you love and that melts well, just sprinkle it on top before popping your enchiladas in the oven. And please, fill me in on your favorite brand! I’ve yet to find a shredded vegan cheese that doesn’t taste like plastic.
Vegan Enchiladas with Jackfruit and Black Beans
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 35 mins
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: Vegan
When you're craving Mexican food, these vegan enchiladas will satisfy all of your desires for warm and spicy stuffed tortillas topped with creamy avocado.
- 1 20-oz. can jackfruit in water or brine, drained
- 1 15.5-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup salsa
- 1 tsp. cumin, divided
- ¾ tsp. paprika, divided
- ¾ tsp. chili powder, divided
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 4-oz. can diced green chilies, drained
- 2 handfuls of baby spinach
- 1 10-oz. can red enchilada sauce
- 8 whole-wheat tortillas (I used taco sized)
- 1 cup vegan cheese, optional
- Sliced avocado and fresh cilantro, for serving
- Drain the jackfruit and rinse with cold water. Transfer the jackfruit pieces to a cutting board and slice off the tough core and remove the seeds. Add the fleshy, stringy part of the jackfruit to a mixing bowl and pull apart by hand (watch the video above for a visual demonstration). Blot with a few layers of paper towel to remove excess moisture and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine the black beans, salsa, ½ teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon paprika, and ½ teaspoon chili powder; season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Use a fork to lightly mash the black beans and give the mixture a good stir.
- Preheat oven to 375F. Drizzle the olive oil in a non-stick skillet and place over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes. Add the jackfruit and the remaining ½ teaspoon of cumin, ¼ teaspoon of chili powder, and ¼ teaspoon of paprika; continue to cook for 5 minutes, or until most of the moisture from the jackfruit has evaporated. Add the diced green chilies and cook for another 2 minutes. Finally, stir in the spinach and cook until just wilted, about a minute more. Remove from heat.
- Pour ½ cup of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 glass baking dish. If necessary, heat your tortillas in the microwave for 15-20 seconds, until soft and pliable. Add a spoonful of the black bean mixture to the center of each tortilla, followed by a scoop of the jackfruit mixture. Roll the tortillas up and place them seam-sided down in the prepared baking dish. Pour the remainder of the enchilada sauce on top to completely cover the enchiladas, followed by the vegan cheese, if using. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the edges of the tortillas are slightly crisped and the sauce is bubbly.
- Serve enchiladas warm with sliced avocado and fresh cilantro.
Liane @ Foodie Digital
This recipe was first time cooking with jackfruit, and these enchiladas did not disappoint. Total weeknight dinner win.
Holy crap these were good!!!! I’ve had a few cans of jackfruit in the pantry for several months but I’ve been too intimidated to try cooking with it yet. I decided today was the day and this was the recipe I was gonna make. I am sooo glad I did! Hubs and I almost made ourselves sick gobbling these enchiladas up. Hubs is only vegan bc that is what I cook and he said he liked these better than any enchiladas he’s had at Mexican restaurants. I topped ours with Daiya pepper jack. Also used reg flour tortillas bc that what I had on hand. Seriously delicious and easy recipe! I will be making this many, many more times.
VioLife cheeze is the most decent option I have used so far! It's made of coconut and melts beautifully! Thanks for the recipe, making it tonight!
Just made these enchiladas tonight for dinner and LOVED them. My husband and I are recent converts to the vegan world, and this recipe mimics chicken wonderfully. I’ve tried jackfruit with a few BBQ recipes, and we just don’t care for the sweetness of it. This was perfect! I served them with extra enchilada sauce, homemade vegan Parmesan “cheese” and homemade vegan “sour cream.” I intentionally made them with the minimum amount of chili powder, but will kick up the spice next time around. And there WILL be a next time...this recipe is definitely going into the rotation. Thanks so much for sharing!
My hubby is always wary about new plant-based dishes that I try. I made this tonight and he said, “Delicious”!
Jackfruit to the rescue!!! I'm sure they don't stand a chance against your mom's enchiladas, but glad they were a good stand-in 🙂
These are delicious! Thank you so much for the recipe. My mom used to make the best enchiladas but as I am plant based I didn't think I could replicate (she used chicken). Well hello jackfruit! I will be making these on the regular 🙂
Thanks for such clear directions for my first foray with jackfruit! My version was an enchilada casserole, I didn't feel like rolling up the tortillas. Very tasty!
@Hannah - You're making us blush!!! So glad you LOVED them!!!!!
Thank you so much for making this recipe! I have been vegan for 6 years and before that my favorite food was my mom's homemade chicken enchiladas. Over the years I've tried to make enchiladas that were filled with veggies, but I could never get the right flavor. I'm not a fan of meat substitutes, but jackfruit doesn't even remind me of meat. These enchiladas were EXACTLY what I wanted! I almost cried.
These were excellent! My entire family devoured them.
Hey Nicole! Sorry we're a little behind with the holidays, but for your future reference I think they would be fine to make ahead. I wouldn't cook them ahead of time. Just assemble, cover and refrigerate until you're ready to bake. If they're super cold, they may need a little extra time in the oven.
If I wanted to make these for Christmas Eve and Christmas day to take to parties could I make ahead of time a full day? Would I cook then store or store and cook the day of?
Thank you so much
Thanks for the tip! We'll definitely check it out - Trader Joe's is a favorite!!!
The best vegan cheese I have had were from Trader Joe's! Yes it is mozzarella cheese and yes it seems weird to have mozzarella on Mexican BUT it melts so good!!!!!
trader joe's has a mixed cheese blend that is vegan and definitely doesn't taste like plastic or tapioca flour. Also Follow Your Heart vegan cheese has a Provolone and a Monterrey Jack cheese that are excellent. Still haven't foun d one for mozzarella; either too high in sodium or it taste like blah
Best vegan cheese shreds I've had are Daiya cheese! Melts so well and tastes great. Thanks for the recipe and video on cutting up jackfruit. Will be making these this week with friends!
These were great, and they reheated well also. Definitely going on to my 'make double and freeze the second batch' list. Maybe as an early celebration for Cinco de Mayo this year
I just saw that! So exciting. No more specialty trips to the Asian market 🙂
Trader Joe's is now selling canned jackfruit in brine! I just bought some with this recipe in mind
Wow. I bet you had the absolute best food living in Mexico City! That's a tough act to follow, but I hope you enjoy this recipe nonetheless 🙂
Thanks, John! I hope you enjoy these enchiladas as much as I do 🙂
I cannot tell you how much I hate jack fruit! I've neve had it but why would I want a fruit to taste like meat. Why as a vegetarian would I want any thing to taste like meat. Surely to try and substitute the texture and taste of meat is fundamentally wrong. I love the taste of vegetables and fruit for what they taste off naturally. Veggie bacon, duck,chicken beef etc wrong on every level.
I love enchiladas, but would never have thought to put Jackfruit in the mix. What a creative idea. Can't wait to try it!
totally. I love how vegan friendly Mexican food is. I lived in Mexico City for years (as a vegetarian, not vegan) and never wanted for a thing. These enchiladas look so amazing. Jackfruit forever <3