This recipe might look long and arduous, but each step is quick and easy so don’t let the length of it put you off. Mexican food is one of my absolute favourites and enchiladas are up there with the best aren’t they? Comforting, melt-in-the-mouth deliciousness and a great dish to present to a table of hungry friends or family. The great thing about creating your own recipe is you can add in all your favourite elements that you know will work well together. When I think Mexican, I think of smoky sweet potato, black beans and sweetcorn… some of my favourite ingredients. I actually made a sweetcorn salsa on the side of this, which can be as simple as adding a little olive oil and lime juice to a bowl of cooked sweetcorn, finely chopped tomatoes and sliced spring onions. The sweet potatoes and black beans went into the enchilada filling and what a winning combination they are.
The Enchilada sauce
There are a few different ways you can make an enchilada sauce and of course if you are really short on time you could buy the sauce from the shops but I found a way that is quick and easy and has a great flavour to it. It seems a bit odd as you start but it becomes clear once whisked together, a little like making a roux. Chilli powders tend to have different spice levels and of course everyone has different spice preferences, so when adding in the chilli, start with less and then you can always taste it and add in more if needed. If you’re using cayenne pepper you’ll probably want less than if you’re using chilli powder as it is spicier in taste.
We were inspired to create this recipe after finding a very special tin of “Biona Organic sweet ‘n’ smoky jackfruit” and we thought it would work perfectly for enchiladas. We were right, it was a flavour sensation, but this particular kind isn’t always easy to find. You should find it in health food shops, along with “Upton’s” brand which would work too. In fact I’m sure I saw some pre-smoked jackfruit in Tesco’s recently… But failing that, and for a much cheaper alternative you could just buy plain “young green jackfruit” in water, which is now becoming readily available in all the supermarkets. Then all you’d need to do is drain the water out and marinade the pieces in a good sprinkling of smoked paprika and season with salt and pepper before shredding them up a little and adding them to the pan.
Options and potential leave outs
If you absolutely can’t find any jackfruit, don’t fear, this recipe will still be great without it and you can add some extra potatoes or swap it out for some vegan “chicken” chunks or something similar. The enchiladas do turn out quite chunky so don’t worry about there not being enough filling, the jackfruit just makes them that extra bit special. This recipe will serve 4 people happily but could easily serve 6-8 with lots of sides and dips.
Goes well with…
As I said, they are chunky, but if you’re extra hungry or just want to make this an absolute feast (we did) you could serve this up with some spicy potato wedges/spicy rice, with a crispy side salad and a sweetcorn salsa. Don’t forget the smashed avocado (or make it a full on guacamole with some tomatoes and chilli) and the silky cashew cream drizzled over the top.
Smoky jackfruit, sweet potato and black bean enchiladas. A feast for your friends or family!
Quick Enchilada Sauce
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Tbsp plain flour
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper (or 1 Tbsp chilli powder) add more or less to your taste
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp garlic granules
- 600 ml veg stock
- 2 Tbsp tomato puree
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- enchilada sauce
- 1 tin smoked jackfruit if you cant find smoked, use plain young green jackfruit and add 1 Tbsp of smoked paprika and 1 tsp of agave nectar.
- 1 Tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tin black beans
- 150 g kale
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 500 g sweet potatoes
- 1-2 Tbsp smoked paprika
- salt and pepper for seasoning
- 8 tortilla wraps
- 100 g vegan jalapeño cheddar (or v. cheese of choice) we use Tesco's brand
- 2 avocados
- 1/2 lemon
- 3 spring onions optional (to decorate)
- 125 g plain cashew nuts
- 100 ml oat milk
- 1 clove garlic or 1/2 tsp garlic granules
- 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 pinch salt
Pre-heat the oven to 180°c and grease a large oven-proof casserole dish then set it to one side. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into bite-size cubes, place on a baking tray, with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of smoked paprika, salt and pepper. When the oven is hot, cook in the oven for 20 minutes. Set a timer if necessary.
Soak the cashew nuts in boiling water and set to one side.
If you don't have pre-smoked jackfruit, drain the tin of jackfruit and leave it marinading in a bowl with a good sprinkling of smoked paprika, 1 tsp of agave and a good seasoning of salt and pepper, mix well and leave to one side.
Make sure you have the ingredients ready to go as it all happens pretty quick. Start by heating the oil in a deep saucepan, then on a low heat add the flour and stir continuously as if making a roux. When the two have combined throw in the cayenne pepper (or chilli powder), cumin and garlic granules and mix well. Swiftly add the tomato puree and give it a big stir before slowly adding in the veg stock a bit at a time, whisking as you go and getting rid of any lumps. When the mixture has thickened and any lumps have disappeared, season with some salt, check the spice level and add more chilli powder if you desire. Turn off the heat and set it to one side.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan on a medium heat, once hot add the onions and fry for about 4 minutes until they start to soften, then add in the garlic and oregano and fry for a further minute. Add the tomato puree to the pan and stir well. Next add in about 1/2 of the enchilada sauce you made earlier, (making sure to leave enough for the topping later) then add in the smoked jackfruit and bring to a simmer.
Add the black beans and kale to the pan, along with the cumin and sugar and a good seasoning of salt and pepper. Stir well and cook for 5 minutes.
Once the sweet potatoes are cooked though take them out of the oven and add them into the pan with the rest of the mixture.
Build the enchiladas
Spread a small amount of enchilada sauce (you prepared earlier) onto the large oven proof dish so that nothing sticks to the bottom. Take a tortilla wrap and fill the centre of it with a good amount of the filling (1/8th) if you want to get technical... then wrap the sides over and roll up to seal. Then place it into the oven dish and repeat this process until all 8 wraps are filled and lying side by side. It's ok to squish them up a bit, if you're running out of room.
Then pour over the rest of the enchilada sauce to cover the middle of the wraps, then grate over the vegan jalapeño cheese. Place in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes until warmed through.
Cashew cream and smashed avocado
While the enchiladas are in the oven, drain the water from the soaked cashews and tip them into a blender with the garlic, nutritional yeast, oat milk, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Blend until super smooth and creamy.
Scoop the avocado flesh into a bowl and smash up with the back of a spoon, add the juice of half a lemon and season with a little salt.
Serve the enchiladas up with a good drizzling of cashew cream, sliced spring onions on top and a good helping of smashed avocado on the side. You could serve them up with a crispy side salad, a sweetcorn salsa or some potato wedges. But they are also filling and delicious as they are! Enjoy the feast.