Enchiladas extraordinaire

By Wendy Andresen | Feb 11, 2021
Photo by: Wendy Andresen

This might look like a complicated recipe, but it’s actually really easy. I’ve cut corners by using commercial enchilada sauce, but you’ll find plenty of recipes online if you’d like to make your own. This recipe makes a huge amount, and the only real cooking required is for the cheese sauce. Even that is a snap.

Here’s your chance to use up some leftover veggies if you want to add some cooked broccoli, carrots, mushrooms or other goodies to the filling. The concept is simple, so feel free to customize.


1/2 cup whole raw cashews

1 cup plain unsweetened nondairy milk

1/2 cup water

3 Tbsp. tapioca starch/flour

3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

8 8-inch flour or corn tortillas or wraps

10-ounce can prepared enchilada sauce, red or green

15-ounce can vegetarian refried beans, such as Amy’s

1 cup corn kernels (thawed if frozen)

5 ounces baby spinach

1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives or green olives

1 jalapeno, minced

Garnishes such as sliced scallions, cilantro, avocado, tomatoes


1. Boil the cashews in plenty of water for 10 minutes. They will swell as they soften. Drain them and add them to a high-speed blender with the milk, water, tapioca flour, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, chili powder, paprika and onion and garlic powder. Blend on high speed for 2 full minutes.

2. Make the cheese sauce: Transfer the blender mixture to a saucepan and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes or so, stirring constantly and reducing the heat if needed to keep the cheese sauce from burning or sticking. It should be thick, smooth and lump free. Remove it from the heat and set aside.

3. Lay the tortillas out flat on your work surface. If they need to be softened, put 4 of them at a time on a plate, cover them with a damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

4. Divide the refried beans equally among the tortillas and spread them out on the lower half of the tortillas.

5. Top the beans with the corn kernels, divided eight ways.

6. Put the spinach in a covered bowl and microwave it for a minute or two, just until wilted. Distribute it over the corn kernels.

7. Distribute the olives over the spinach.

8. Distribute half of the cheese sauce on top of the olives. If it has thickened, just put on a dollop and don’t bother to try to spread it around too much. Save the other half of the sauce to pour on top (step 12).

9. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

10. Spray a 9 x 13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. Put a couple spoonfuls of enchilada sauce in the bottom of the dish and tilt the pan around until the bottom is evenly coated.

11. Roll the tortillas up from bottom to top and place them in the pan with the seam side up. Spoon the remainder of the enchilada sauce evenly over them.

12. Whisk a little water into the remaining cheese sauce to make it easily pourable and pour it evenly over the enchiladas.

13. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, until hot and bubbly.

14. Top with the suggested garnishes.

Wendy Andresen lives in Camden with her husband, Ray; her Sheltie, Sunshine; and her bunny, Rustle. She welcomes responses to her column at wendyandrayzer@yahoo.com.

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