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Creamy Eggplant Lentil Enchiladas (Vegan!)


  • Author: Allison
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 enchiladas, 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

These vegan eggplant and lentil enchiladas feature lentils and eggplant tossed in creamy, cheesy cashew sauce and a spicy red enchilada sauce on top.


Scale

Ingredients

Vegetables and Lentils

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes
  • 6 cups diced eggplant (from 1 medium eggplant, 1/2-inch dice)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 3 cups cooked black (beluga) lentils (from 1 cup dry lentils)
  • 3 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/3 cup pitted green olives, finely chopped (optional)

Cheesy Cashew Cream Sauce

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked and drained
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt

Enchilada Sauce

  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder (the mild kind)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes (see note)

For Assembling

  • 12 small (4-6-inch) corn or flour tortillas

Magic Green Sauce (for serving)

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • Big spoonful of tahini
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Big handful each fresh cilantro and fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

  1. Warm the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Sauté until lightly browned, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the remaining salt, freshly ground black pepper, chili flakes, and eggplant. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the red bell pepper and cook for five more minutes. Stir in the lentils, basil, cilantro, and olives and remove from the heat.
  2. Make the cheesy cashew cream: Add the cashews, lemon juice, water, salt garlic, and nutritional yeast to a blender. Blend until smooth and transfer to a container or jar. If need be, add up to 3 tbsp more water to help it along. The cream should be thick but still pourable.
  3. Make the enchilada sauce: In a skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and a tiny pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat for 8 minutes, until nicely browned. Add salt, pepper, cumin chili powder, and oregano. Cook a couple more minutes to brown the spices before adding the crushed tomatoes. Bring to a low simmer and cook until it thickens slightly. Remove from the heat.
  4. Pour the cheesy cashew cream over the lentil vegetable mixture and stir to incorporate.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly oil two 9×13-inch baking dishes.
  6. Assemble the enchiladas: Place a heaping 1/3 cup of the filling down the middle of a tortilla, roll up, and place in a lightly greased baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. (You will need 2 9×13-inch baking dishes to fit all of the enchiladas.)
  7. Pour the enchilada sauce over top.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
  9. Make the magic green sauce: Place the lime juice, avocado, tahini, garlic, salt, pepper, cilantro, basil, and water in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  10. Serve the magic green sauce alongside the enchiladas, and top the enchiladas with quick pickled jalapeños, if desired.

Notes

Cashews need to be soaked in boiling water for at least 45 minutes before making the cashew cream. This softens them, making them easier to blend, and also enhances their digestibility!

If you are unable to find black lentils, you may use brown, green, or French green lentils instead.

The brand of crushed tomatoes that I use is Eden Organic, which comes in a glass jar. If you are unable to find crushed tomatoes, you can probably use tomato sauce instead.

If you happen to have any leftover lentil eggplant filling, store it in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoy at lunch the next day.

You will need 2 9×13-inch baking pans for this recipe. However, I only have one, so I used one 9×13-inch pan and 2 8×8-inch pans, which you can do in a pinch, too!

The inspiration for this recipe came from the Eggplant Almond Enchiladas in the Moosewood Cookbook: 40th Anniversary Edition by Mollie Katzen, and the enchilada sauce is lightly adapted from that recipe.

  • Category: Supper, Lunch
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: vegan eggplant enchiladas, eggplant lentil enchiladas, creamy vegan enchiladas