Black Bean, Cauliflower and Pickled Red Onion Enchiladas

TVegetarian Enchiladas, cauliflower, black beanshere is a restaurant near where I live, Avatar’s, that specializes in Indian Mexican food. Or is it Mexican Indian food? For example: curried lamb and eggplant enchiladas. Mind blowing amazingness. As you can imagine, this restaurant has made me rethink the way one is supposed to handle ethnic cuisines.

And that is where my recipe comes in. My husband and I were on our way back from Tahoe where we were eating the exact opposite of how eat when we’re home: at a restaurant for every meal. I wanted to make something healthy, but also something that tasted rich so enchiladas seemed like the logical choice. But I took my inspiration from Avatar’s to do a less traditional enchilada and decided to use cauliflower to fill them. A little bit of goat cheese gives the enchiladas a rich tanginess, and some black beans for protein. I had made two trays intending one tray go in to the freezer for some late evening when we couldn’t cook, but the husband pillaged the other tray before they could make it that far!

Enchilada Sauce:

  • 26 oz crushed tomatoes (I actually use Pomi strained tomatoes because I love the texture but crushed tomatoes work if that’s all that is available. You might just have to let it reduce longer.)
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic diced
  • 1 tbsp Adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp dried or fresh oregano


  • 1 large head of cauliflower chopped into 1/2” pieces
  • 15 oz can of black beans
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 cup goat cheese
  • 1 cup picked red onions (recipe below)
  • 1 small bunch cilantro finely chopped

10 Corn Tortillas & Avocado for topping

Pickled Red Onion (adapted from Rick Bayless): Thinly slice 1 red onion. Bring a small pot of water to boil and blanch the onion for 1 minute. Rinse in cold water. Return the rinsed red onion to the pot, add 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar (red wine vinegar might be good too) and cover the onions with cool water. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let stand until cooled. The onions will be bright pink. Once cooled, finely chop about 1 cup of the onions and set aside the rest.

Preheat the oven to 400˚. Put the chopped cauliflower in a 9 x 13 roasting pan and coat with a few glugs of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is soft and the edges are beginning to brown.

While the cauliflower does its thing, put a couple of glugs of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the crushed (or strained) tomatoes, Adobo sauce and oregano. Bring to a simmer and allow to reduce for about 20 minutes. One reduced, season with salt and pepper and use an immersion blender to pureé (Alternatively, you could use a blender).

While the enchilada sauce reduces, bring a small sauté pan to medium heat. Toast the tortillas for about 1-2 minutes per side until starting to brown slightly. This step is totally skip-able if you don’t have time—or just plain don’t feel like it—but it definitely adds nice texture and color to the dish.

Once the cauliflower is done cooking, transfer to a large bowl, and add the can of black beans, cumin, goat cheese, chopped pickled red onion and cilantro. Combine well.

Place 1 cup of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 roasting pan. Fill each enchiladas with about 1/3 c filling, roll, and place seam side down in the pan. Cover the enchiladas with about 1 cup of sauce, and as much goat cheese as you’d like. Cook the enchiladas in the 400˚ oven for about 20 minutes.

Serve with a few pickled onions and sliced avocado on top! Yum.


5 thoughts on “Black Bean, Cauliflower and Pickled Red Onion Enchiladas

  1. Hey Laura! I guess my old comment got lost in the blog transition so I’m going to leave you a new one. I love the look of your new blog. You’re also going to love WordPress and you’re so smart to make the move in the beginning of your blog rather than after a year like I did. I lost so much in my transition from comments to pins and so forth. It was a pain!
    As I said before, these enchiladas look amazing and so healthy! I showed them to Zoe and she really wants me to make them. I will let you know when I do! xoxo, Jackie

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