Pantry Enchilada Bake
June 5, 2020
By Elizabeth Palmer Califano

This quick and easy one-pot-wonder will be your new social distancing favorite! Protein-packed quinoa takes the place of tortillas in this lightened-up recipe, filled with all the punchy flavors you’d expect from your favorite enchiladas. Simple to make with basic pantry ingredients, and easily adapted based on the items you have available, this healthy, comforting, and filling dish is a recipe you’ll feel good about serving your family.  

Serves 4-6 people

Active Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes 


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (substitute garlic powder if you don’t have fresh garlic)
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1- 15 oz can black beans, drained
  • 1 – 4 oz can fire-roasted diced green chilies (optional)
  • 1 cup frozen or canned corn kernels 
  • 1 cup enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup Mexican shredded cheese blend, plus more for topping (substitute shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese if needed)
  • Salt, pepper, and chili flakes to taste
  • Diced avocado and tomatoes, sour cream, chopped cilantro, hot sauce, and lime wedges, to serve (all optional!)

Enchilada bake


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt and sauté for 5-6 minutes until softened and slightly golden. 
  3. Off the heat, add the quinoa, black beans, chilies, corn, enchilada sauce, and shredded cheese and stir well to combine. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and chili flakes to taste. 
  4. Transfer the mix to a casserole dish and smooth the top. Sprinkle over some more shredded cheese, and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Broil for a minute or two to make it extra crispy if you like.
  5. Top with your desired toppings, and enjoy!


Note: You can add any extra veggies you have in with the onions to sauté. Try chopped zucchini, diced roasted sweet potatoes, frozen or fresh spinach. You can also add shredded cooked chicken or cooked ground meat to the mix before baking. 


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About the Author

Elizabeth Palmer Califano
Elizabeth is a graduate of Hamilton College and The French Culinary Institute, as well as an avid world traveler and dinner party hostess. For more information, visit her website: