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Walnut and Mushroom Vegetarian Enchiladas

Thank you to the California Walnuts Commission for sponsoring this post!

Whether you are vegetarian or not, you’ll love today’s new recipe: Walnut and Mushroom Vegetarian Enchiladas. Surprisingly “meaty”, and satisfying thanks to all the veggies, this will be your new favorite weeknight meal. It makes plenty of leftovers for packed lunches and is officially approved by my taste tester and meat-loving husband, too! :)

Vegan? Simply leave off the cheese on top – they’ll be just as delicious without it. And if you’re gluten free, this recipe is, too – just be sure to use gluten free certified corn tortillas and enchilada sauce.

walnut enchiladas

Have you guys ever tried using walnuts to make a vegetarian “meat”? I hadn’t, and it worked surprisingly well, especially when mixed with some mushrooms and cauliflower! The texture ended up really similar to ground beef. It even looked like it!

MY OTHER RECIPES


walnut enchiladas 10

In addition to being versatile and tasty, walnuts are also great in recipes because they are nutritional superstars! Walnuts provide a convenient source of protein (4 grams per serving) and fiber (2 grams per serving), and are a good source of important minerals magnesium and phosphorous. Also, did you know that walnuts are the only nut (and one of the few foods) that are significantly high in the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)? In one ounce of walnuts you’ll find 2.5 grams of ALA – that’s more than five times the amount found in the next highest nut!

In fact, a new study on omega-3s found that consuming omega-3s from plant-based sources, like walnuts, may reduce risk of all-cause mortality, whereas marine-derived omega-3s (EPA and DHA, found in fish), may reduce the risk of heart-related fatalities. The greatest protective benefits from total mortality were actually observed in diets that included both plant-based and marine-derived omega-3s, though, as they appear to act synergistically. The study also found that ALA provided additional health benefits even in a population already consuming high amounts of omega-3s from seafood; as such, ALA may actually contribute health benefits of its own, aside from just its conversion to EPA and DHA. Interesting!

So – now that you know why walnuts are awesome, let’s get back to eating them, shall we? :)

walnut enchiladas 6

First step: assemble your army. Veggies galore!

walnut enchiladas ingredients

And then, make your “meat”! This recipe is nice because your food processor will do most of the chopping for you. In a food processor, you’ll simply combine the walnuts with some mushrooms, onion, and cauliflower and process briefly until the texture resembles that of ground meat. It’s crazy how similar it looked, actually!

how to make vegetarian walnut meat

Then, toss the “meat” mixture into a pan with some spices, enchilada sauce, and canned diced green chiles. After the liquid boils off, add in some spinach and stir until it wilts down.

walnut meat vegetarian enchiladas

Then you’re ready to assemble your enchiladas! Spread a thin layer of enchiladas sauce in a deep baking pan (6×11 or 6×13), grab your tortillas, and one by one place a large spoonful of the mixture inside a tortilla, roll it up, and place it seam-side down in the pan.

walnut enchiladas step 8

Once all the filled tortillas are in the pan, pour the rest of your enchilada sauce on top!

vegan enchiladas recipe

Cheese is an optional but tasty addition here – throw some on top before popping the enchiladas in the oven if you want to!

walnut enchiladas step 12

Twenty minutes later and you are ready to eat.

walnut enchiladas 2

Enjoy as is or top with additional chopped veggies, cilantro, or hot sauce.

walnut enchiladas 11

The full recipe is below. I hope you enjoy them as much as Matt and I did!

Walnut Mushroom Vegetarian Enchiladas

by fANNEtastic food

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (4 to 6 servings)

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 and 1/2 cups cauliflower florets (about half a medium head)
  • 1 cup crimini mushrooms
  • 1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 4oz can diced green chiles
  • 2 10oz cans enchilada sauce (red or green)
  • 10 oz baby spinach
  • 8-10 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese (optional)
  • Chopped veggies and cilantro, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine cauliflower, mushrooms, onion, and walnuts in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped, resembling the texture of ground meat.
  • Add this mixture to a large sauté pan with the smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, green chiles, and 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce. Cook over medium-high heat for up to 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and any liquid in the pan has evaporated.
  • Stir in the spinach and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until wilted.
  • Spread a thin layer of enchilada sauce evenly into the bottom of a baking dish (6×11 or 6×13).
  • Scoop about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of filling into each tortilla, roll up, and place seam side down in the pan. Pour remaining enchilada sauce evenly over the top.
  • Top with cheese, if desired, then cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, until heated through and the edges are slightly crispy.
  • Serve hot; garnish with chopped veggies and cilantro, if desired.
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Interested in more walnut information and walnut-inspired recipes? Check out this post I wrote last year: Why You Should Start Eating More Walnuts. And here are some of my favorite walnut recipes here on the blog:

baked apple cinnamon oat bars

Are you a walnut fan? What’s your favorite way to eat them? I often toss a handful on my Perfect Microwave Banana Oatmeal or Flour Free Breakfast Pancake in the morning!

References and More Information:

Comments

  1. 1

    Yum! This looks awesome. I’m not a vegetarian/vegan, but I try to eat as many meatless, veggie-filled meals as I can. I imagine this might be good with nutritional yeast sprinkled on top instead of cheese, too. Can’t wait to give this a try. I might even try to use Gina/Fitnessista’s enchilada sauce recipe since it’s amazing.

  2. 3

    These sound delicious! I’ve made walnut tacos before and loved them, so I’m sure these would be equally as good. I was surprised as how meaty the texture was, and how filling!

  3. 5

    This sounds delicious and very good for lunch leftovers. How do you think some shredded cabbage as part of the filling would be? My thinking is either add it to the food processor or added right before you roll the tortilla for a little crunch, similar to tortilla chips/chinese noodles.

    • 6

      That’s a great idea! I would do the second option — add it right before you roll the tortillas. The crunch would be really good!

  4. 7

    Great idea to use walnuts for a meat alternative. This recipe would please veggies and meat eaters alike.

  5. 9

    This is so creative! I love walnuts and I’m not sure I’ve ever used them in a really savory way, but this looks excellent.

  6. 11
    Kate | HappyForks.com says:

    Do you think raw cauliflower is essential for meaty filling texture? I don’t like the flavor of raw or water boiled cauliflower, but since I’ve tried it roasted I always prepare it this way. Roasting changes the taste completely! I know that you bake the whole thing at the end but I would rather prefer to use roasted cauliflower if it will not ruin the general idea of the dish.

  7. 14

    This sounds interesting. Except for the mushrooms which I don’t care for. I’ve come to not mind them when they get blitzed in the food processor along with other vegetables for, say, a bolognese type sauce. My question is….can you taste them here or do the spices cover the mushroom taste up? :-)

  8. 16
    Roadrunner says:

    Look very tasty!

  9. 17

    Just made this tonight and my husband really liked it too (and he’s more of a meat eater). I was surprised by how meat-like it was. So, so tasty, can’t wait for leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  10. 19

    Hi Anne, we made this recipe last night and it was awesome!! One thing that was challenging was the corn tortillas…they completely fell apart once they went into the pan. Any suggestions to keep this from happening? Any brand suggestions? Thanks so much for this recipe – it will definitely be in our regular rotation!

    • 20

      Try Trader Joe’s brand corn tortillas – they are thicker! Another tip: microwave a stack of tortillas wrapped in a paper towel for 30 seconds — it will make them more flexible/less likely to break!

  11. 21

    This is a great recipe! Everyone loved it. I added some chopped mango and avocado to the top to serve and it was soooo good! Looking forward to making it again soon. :)

  12. 23

    Just came across this recipes and oh man, do these sound delicious! Do you think flour tortillas would work well for the enchiladas? That’s all I have on hand at the moment.

  13. 25
    Rosie Lucchesini-Jack says:

    Hi Anne…just wanted to give feedback on your amazing recipe above. I pinned the recipe when you first posted it because it sounded and looked so good and finally prepared it for our family’s meatless Monday dinner last night. My hubby, 8yr old daughter and I all LOVED it. We didn’t change a thing with your recipe and prepared it as is but instead of using canned enchilada sauce I make my own using the recipe on Simply Recipes (so, so easy). It’s also a great meal to prepare in advance as I assembled it on Sunday afternoon and then it was baked last night. Even my usually reluctant of meatless-nights, meat loving husband, thought the filling was amazing. Thank you again-this was a winner.

  14. 27

    Hi Anne. This recipe sounds amazing . Can you substitute another type of nut in this recipe? I am allergic to walnuts.

Trackbacks

  1. […] You can also try my Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms (these make a tasty and easy vegetarian dinner), Walnut and Mushroom Vegetarian Enchiladas (a surprisingly “meaty” and delicious vegetarian meal!), or “Cheesy” Vegan […]

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