Make-Ahead Black Bean & Spinach Enchilada Casserole

Make-Ahead Enchilada Casserole |

There has been a conspicuous radio silence around here the last few weeks. I blame the spring—which has given us a reason to do something other than sit inside and eat! Between working my day job, taking care of two little ‘uns, and trying to get outside as much as possible to enjoy the fresh spring air (finally), I’ve been relegating cooking to a sort-of last minute whatever’s-in-the-pantry type of thing. And hey there’s nothing wrong with that, right? In fact, I’ve rediscovered the beauty of canned beans and curry powder (blasphemy, if you ask my Indian husband), pasta with bolognese, and the more-than-occasional breakfast for dinner routine (which, not surprisingly, the kids adore). And after shelving this Pantry Pasta with Kale, Chick Peas and Sun Dried Tomatoes for a couple of years, I recently added it back to the rotation, shocked that I had managed to go so long without it.

Make-Ahead Enchilada Casserole |

We also made a bit of a snap decision to do a fairly significant house renovation starting—um…—now? So I’ve been putting in some quality time with the crap in my basement, clearing it out piece by painful piece, and scouring Houzz for kitchen and bathroom inspiration. Which is fun stuff, granted, until that (inevitable) moment when Kiwi and I get into a heated fists-a-flailing argument about whether the cupboards should be “transitional” or “modern”. If you’ve got any tips for surviving the renovation of a hundred year old house, or great sites or blogs for house inspiration, I’d love it if you shared. Please help. S.O.S.!

Make-Ahead Enchilada Casserole |

This Make-Ahead Enchilada Casserole is the kind of food that everybody needs for busy spring evenings and kitchens-under-renovation. A super simple recipe that uses pantry staples to produce a cheesy crowd-pleasing wonder.

You don’t have to make it ahead, but honestly there is nothing quite as satisfying as popping a homemade ready-to-bake casserole in the oven at the end of a hectic day. I like to assemble it a night or two before—after everyone except me and my glass of wine has gone off to bed. But I’ve thrown it together first thing in the morning too, with a cappuccino close at hand, and quietly so I don’t wake my sleeping brood.

Make-Ahead Enchilada Casserole |

4.9 from 9 reviews
Make-Ahead Black Bean & Spinach Enchilada Casserole
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Make this simple, crowd-pleasing casserole up to two days before you plan to eat it, then just pop it into the oven until it's warm and bubbly. It is a complete meal all on its own, but I like to serve it with chopped avocado, cherry tomatoes, a green salad and a dollop of sour cream.
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil (I like to use avocado oil)
  • 1 small clamshell container baby spinach (about 5 ounces / 142 grams)
  • 12 small corn tortillas
  • 1 450 mL / 16 ounce jar tomatillo salsa
  • 1 398 mL / 14 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1½ teaspoons Mexican chili powder
  • 1 113 gram / 4 ounce package goat cheese
  • 1½ cups shredded old cheddar cheese
  1. Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the spinach and cook until it is wilted, then set it aside.
  2. Spread one third of the salsa into a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish, and then lay down 6 corn tortillas. Top with another third of the salsa, spreading it evenly over the tortillas.
  3. Layer on the cooked spinach, followed by the black beans, and then sprinkle the chili powder evenly over top.
  4. Crumble the goat cheese on top of the beans, then top with the remaining tortillas, the last third of the salsa and the shredded cheese.
  5. If you are making the casserole in advance, stop at this point, cover tightly with foil and pop it into the fridge.
  6. When you are ready to bake, heat the oven to 400 degrees and bake the casserole (covered with foil) for about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes or until the casserole is hot throughout and the cheese is bubbly and browning. If you like a very browned and bubbly top, you might need to turn the oven to broil for the last few minutes of cooking.



46 Responses to Make-Ahead Black Bean & Spinach Enchilada Casserole

  1. sharonpaula08 April 26, 2019 at 2:13 am #

    Thanks so much for this delicious recipe

  2. sharonpaula08 March 25, 2019 at 2:50 am #

    This is really a very good blog and thanks for sharing

  3. Samantha February 20, 2019 at 7:02 am #

    Hey lovely casserole..thanks for your wonderful recipe!

  4. Sara July 25, 2018 at 7:13 pm #

    What are the directions for baking out of the freezer?

  5. Charlotte July 8, 2018 at 11:55 am #

    What can I substitute for tomatillos salsa?

  6. Brooke April 14, 2018 at 12:38 pm #

    Oh, and based on other commenters I doubled the spinach, and with my doubled beans it could probably even take more. With my additions I made it in a larger casserole dish (~10×14).

  7. Brooke April 14, 2018 at 12:21 pm #

    I’ve made this recipe a few times, and it’s made it to my regular rotation as most of the ingredients I always have on hand. My Mom makes a creamy green chili chicken enchilada that is delicious but very heavy, and this seems to fit that same yummy flavor profile while being lighter.
    Some revisions I’ve made are: sautéed large diced onion and garlic, and a can of diced tomatoes with juice, an additional can of drained beans, along with a teaspoon and a half of salt. I also normally use a large can of green chili enchilada sauce instead of tomatillo salsa as the tomatillo salsa I typically buy is too spicy for my three year old.

  8. Megan February 28, 2018 at 4:42 pm #

    This was fanatastic! The first time, I made the recipe as is! While it does not need to be improved, I decided to add carnitas that I made in the crock pot the second time, which was delicious as well! I liked this dish so much, that I shared with my parents and now they are asking the for the recipe. Thank you for sharing this!

  9. Megan February 6, 2018 at 11:24 am #

    What is Mexican chili powder? Is this dish spicy?

  10. net January 23, 2018 at 2:48 am #

    Your book there con net q cialis is for a generic cover, left, to return, they rely on more expensive.

  11. Tristan October 15, 2017 at 3:08 pm #

    This recipe was awesome but the description of how to cook it really need some revising it’s very convoluted and confusing make it concise and easy to read.

  12. Heather March 11, 2017 at 8:51 pm #

    OMGosh! This is amazing! It’s so easy and soooooo dang tasty! Even the S.O. who doesn’t much care for meals without meat, loved it! I think next time I’ll add more Spinach, but that’s just my personal preference as someone who has a Spinach addiction, I can never get enough of it! Thank you for the easy, delicious recipe! Definitely banking this one for future use! (My phone won’t let me pick stars for some reason, but 5 stars all the way)

  13. Anna Wright January 17, 2017 at 2:50 am #

    Awesome and thanks a ton for the mouth watering Enchilada Casserole. Gonna try this Enchilada Casserole for my home party this weekend. Hope this one pulls the crowd 🙂

  14. Ashley October 4, 2016 at 10:53 pm #

    I wonder if this would freeze well.

  15. Heather May 5, 2016 at 8:48 pm #

    My Daughter ADORES SPINACH!!!
    She is begging me to make this for her on “Meatless Monday”.
    I think I will attempt it tomorrow night!

  16. Deanna March 30, 2016 at 9:11 pm #

    I made this exactly as directed. Super simple and tastes wonderful. The only change I would think about making would be more spinach (I love spinach.) and maybe double layers for a thicker casserole.

    • Sarah March 31, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

      Great feedback. Thanks Deanna! Glad you enjoyed it.

  17. Julia March 28, 2016 at 12:32 pm #

    My husband hates spinach. Can we leave it out or sub something else for it? Any ideas? Thanks!

    • Sarah March 28, 2016 at 1:09 pm #

      How does he feel about other greens? You could use kale or swiss chard or something like that. Or just leave it out — I’m sure that will work too.

  18. Katie February 18, 2016 at 11:48 am #

    This recipe was super easy and fairly healthy, and I thought it tasted fantastic! My meat-loving husband enjoyed it too! Thank you.

    • Sarah February 18, 2016 at 2:45 pm #

      Awesome! Glad you guys enjoyed it!

  19. Cassandra February 16, 2016 at 1:02 pm #

    Does this freeze well? If so, do you have to thaw it before baking?

    • Sarah February 18, 2016 at 2:47 pm #

      I haven’t yet tried freezing it, but I’m sure it would work! You can likely bake from frozen; just cover tightly with foil and increase the baking time. If you try it let me know how it goes.

    • Ashley October 4, 2016 at 10:54 pm #

      Did you ever make this and freeze?

    • Sarah October 5, 2016 at 1:26 pm #

      Yes! Freeze before you bake! Works like a charm!

  20. Jen December 18, 2015 at 8:00 pm #

    I made this tonight and my husband and I loved, loved, loved it (sadly, the kids not so much…but it was the salsa and beans, not the recipe). I used Food for Life sprouted corn tortillas and PC Black Menu tomatillo salsa, for what that’s worth.

    Sarah, I love this website more and more with every recipe I make. Thanks so much for so many easy, healthy, and delicious recipes!

    • Sarah December 23, 2015 at 9:49 am #

      Oh wow, thanks for the wonderful feedback!!!! One of my kids won’t touch this enchilada casserole—something about everything being all mixed up—but I make it anyway and she just pokes at it with her fork :-).

  21. Lisa @ Food Well Said October 27, 2015 at 1:59 am #

    Hey there! So I head over to Pinterest tonight and search make ahead vegetarian recipes in search of a meal to give a friend of mine and this beautiful casserole shows up and it is yours!! I am so happy because I know it will be awesome! Way to be a Pinterest rockstar!! Hope you had an awesome time at the conference – missed being there but next year for sure!

    • Sarah October 28, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

      Hilarious! I WISH I was a Pinterest rockstar. Ha! Yes I definitely missed you at the conference. Sigh. So glad to hear you will be there next year!!

  22. Julia (@Imagelicious) June 8, 2015 at 11:08 am #

    This looks delicious! Now I just need to find corn tortillas in my suburbs and I’m all set1

  23. Teresa June 5, 2015 at 3:23 pm #

    There is nothing wrong with cooking with whatever you’ve got in the pantry. I think more elaborate cooking is something that ebbs and flows with the seasons, what you’ve got going on in your life, and other interests.

  24. Megan @ Straight From The Jar June 5, 2015 at 12:33 pm #

    Yum! This sounds like a perfect week night dinner. Love the make-ahead option!
    Also – renos are hard work but SO worth it. Good luck with them 🙂

  25. Robyn June 4, 2015 at 4:23 pm #

    I made this last night for dinner and LOVED IT! So good with a squeeze of lime and hot sauce. Having leftovers when I get home tonight and can’t wait 🙂

    • Sarah June 5, 2015 at 8:22 am #

      oh YUM!!! Glad you loved it and I hope you enjoy the leftovers just as much 🙂

  26. Audrey @ Unconventional Baker June 4, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

    Oh, this casserole looks lovely! What a great quick meal to have on hand.

  27. Anu-My Ginger Garlic Kitchen June 4, 2015 at 2:22 am #

    Oh YUM! This salad looks incredibly delish! I need to make it ASAP! 🙂

  28. Rachel Edington June 2, 2015 at 2:56 pm #

    This will be a winner at my house! Right now I have been sick, so I am going to replace the goat cheese with Monterey Jack. I am going to ask a friend to make it tonight! Thanks!!!!!

    • Sarah June 5, 2015 at 8:23 am #

      Sounds like a good substitution. Be well, Rachel. Hope you are on the mend 🙂

  29. Celeste June 2, 2015 at 1:47 pm #

    With 4 young kids dinner time is more of a circus than anything else, so I’m all about the make ahead meals! I’ll be picking up the ingredients today so I can add this to our menu.

    • Sarah June 5, 2015 at 8:24 am #

      4 kids?! That does sound like a circus! Yay for make ahead meals 🙂

  30. jules June 2, 2015 at 11:31 am #

    You had me at “make ahead”! One of my favorite casseroles is my GF Overnight French Toast Casserole – served next to this one, would be a great savory counterpoint for brunch, too! Thanks for sharing!

    • Sarah June 5, 2015 at 8:25 am #

      Mmmmm…French Toast Casserole. Sounds like a great brunch spread!

  31. Johnna | In Johnna's Kitchen June 2, 2015 at 11:18 am #

    I love enchiladas and am always on the lookout for a good make-ahead recipe. This one works for me. Excited to try it!

  32. Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine June 2, 2015 at 8:49 am #

    I’m going to the grocery today to pick up ingredients for a vegan/gf enchilada dish I’ve been working on!

  33. Raquel @ My California Roots June 1, 2015 at 6:33 pm #

    I NEED to make this! It looks so easy and delicious. Also, I can’t believe you live in a 100-year-old house. That sounds like a lot to deal with. Good luck with the renovation!

    • Sarah June 5, 2015 at 8:26 am #

      Yes, you never know what you are going to find in a 100-year old house! Thanks for stopping by Raquel 🙂

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