Meatless Monday: Spicy Lentil Enchiladas

There are very few recipes I make that are things I will make again. This isn’t necessarily because they aren’t good, though that is sometimes the case. Mainly, as other bloggers are aware, the problem is that I am too busy trying new recipes, both for content to write about here and because there are just so many recipes out there to try, to have enough time to repeat recipes. Something has to be extraordinarily good for me to commit to making it a second time. Ideally it will be easy, at least fairly healthy, and taste great. This recipe just happens to fall in the category of being worthy of repeat. It is one of the best recipes I’ve made recently, and I will definitely be making it again and again.

Did I mention this was my first time cooking (and possibly eating) lentils? I’ve had a bag for quite some time now but been afraid to try them. Don’t ask why. It was a big mistake because I love them! I can see them being an integral part of my meatless recipes in the future. They have a great texture – a bit like a bean but with more of a bite. Honestly, I think I enjoyed the texture of them in these enchiladas over any meat enchilada I’ve ever had. Yeah, they were that good.

Now that we’ve covered how good they tasted, let’s talk about how easy they were to make. Lentils do not need to be soaked prior to cooking, so I just added them to a pot with water and HOT salsa. You could use mild or medium, but I quite enjoyed the spice factor on these. Halfway through the cooking, I was concerned I may have made them too spicy because I forgot how hot the salsa I used (a jar from a local farm) was, but once combined with the remaining ingredients, it ended up being the perfect heat for me. After letting this mixture simmer a while, you mix in a few more ingredients, roll the enchiladas, top with cheese and sauce, and bake. While it’s not the quickest weeknight meal (because there are a few steps), it is certainly easy, and these could be made ahead of time and just popped in the oven at the end of a busy day. I topped most of mine with canned enchilada sauce and cheese, but there were a couple that wouldn’t fit in my baking dish that I cooked separately with only salsa; both ways were delicious, though I always prefer cheese to no cheese. :)

Spicy Lentil Enchiladas

1 cup dry lentils
1 cup salsa, heat level of your choice
1 1/2 cups water
1 can (15 ounces) fat free refried beans
1 can (4 ounces) diced green chiles
10 whole wheat tortillas
1 can (10 ounces) enchilada sauce or 1 cup salsa
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Bring lentils, salsa, and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until all water has been absorbed and lentils are tender.

Add the refried beans and chiles; stir until well combined.

Divide filling mixture between ten tortillas. Roll and place seam-side down in a lightly greased 9×13-inch baking dish.

Top with enchilada sauce and cheddar cheese.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is starting to brown.

10 servings
Adapted from Vegan Enchiladas found on Sound Eats


January 31, 2011. recipes.


  1. Heide Mueller-Hatton replied:

    Yum, I need to try these!

  2. Leslie replied:

    These look absolutely delicious! I have a pound of lentils in the pantry and this sounds like the perfect way to use them.

  3. Lindsey replied:

    I’ve had these on my “to make” list, but the husband is skeptical. He’s out of town next week, so you’ve completely motivated me to try them ASAP! Thanks for posting-I’m looking forward to Monday’s dinner already!

  4. Bri replied:

    Oh, wow, do these look good! I just had a wonderfully satisfying dinner, but your picture is totally making me drool! Love it!

  5. Chaya replied:

    Hi, This has me drooling.

    I have a meatless Monday linky on guess what day? If you remember, on Mondays, would you link your recipe there. We get some really good dishes and you most likely will find something that you like. I always do.

  6. Sabine replied:

    These look delicious, I’ve been trying
    out a number of different southern foods lately ( jamaican beef pockets for example) so I’ll definitely try these out maybe even add some faux
    ground beef.

  7. Beth replied:

    This was so good! Thank you for sharing!

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