Sunday, May 1, 2011

Vegan Enchilada Torte

With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner I thought it was a perfect time to post one of our all time favorite Mexican dishes. I created this dish several years ago and have changed it up nearly every time I've made it. This rendition however, is our favorite to date. But I always encourage everyone to tweak recipes and create something that is uniquely your own. Here I used Lightlife chicken strips, along with Spanish rice, and kicked-up refried beans to create some savory and memorable layers in this incredibly tasty Enchilada Torte.

You will need: 1 - 9" springform pan

  • 1 package (2 dozen corn tortillas)
  • 1 package (6 oz) Lightlife Smart Strips (chicken)
  • 1 1/2 cups Spanish rice (homemade or packaged)
  • 12 oz. vegan cheese (I used Daiya combination of Pepper Jack and Cheddar)
  • 1 cup of black olives sliced
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 6 scallions thinly sliced, white and green part
  • 1-30.5 oz can vegetarian refried beans
  • 1-28 oz. can vegan enchilada sauce
  • 1-7 oz. can diced green chiles
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper 
  • 2 tablespoons vegan margarine
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • Avocado, or pico de gallo for garnish

Prepare Spanish rice reserving 1 1/2 cups for recipe.

In food processor add your Lightlife chicken strips, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, ground cumin, salt and pepper. Pulse until spices and chicken are combined and chicken resembles chopped meat. Combine chicken mixture with rice and set aside.

In a medium saucepan combine refried beans and diced green chiles. Cook until heated through. 

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt vegan margarine. Add flour and stir until the margarine and flour are well combined. Pour in non-daily milk, stirring constantly as it thickens. Add entire can of green enchilada sauce and stir to combine and thicken. Set aside. 

Empty grated vegan cheese into bowl. Add sliced black olives, scallions, and cilantro. Toss to combine.

Lightly spray a 9" springform pan. 

Cut a stack of tortillas in half. You will be using both whole and cut tortillas.

Using tongs dredge the cut tortillas in the enchilada sauce and start lining the bottom of the pan. Finish the layer by using one tortilla in the center. Overlap to make sure you have a fairly solid layer. 

Spread tortillas with bean mixture, then rice/chicken mixture, and cover with cheese mixture. Repeat layers until the entire pan is filled. Top layer should be tortillas. Use remaining enchilada sauce to cover top layer. 

Bake in a 350 F degree oven for 1 hour. Remove and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes. Spread remaining cheese mixture on top. Garnish with pico de gallo or avocado slices. Remove side springform from pan and slice into wedges. Enjoy!


  1. This looks so amazing. I am going to have to make this soon. Donovan and I love Mexican food but have never had anything like this. Do you think this would work for brunch? God Carol I don't know where you find the time to make all this incredible food. Maybe we should come live with you? ;-)

  2. Hi Desi, of course this would work beautifully for brunch, lunch, dinner, buffet, anything really. It's super delicious, can be made the day ahead and warmed up right before serving. Hope you give it a try. xo

  3. I'm thinking of having some friends over just so I can make this. Looks so beautiful and delicious.

  4. What a great opportunity for a gathering of friends. I think this would be absolutely perfect for a little get together. Have fun! :)

  5. Made it and it was amazing. We wowed some friends that couldn't believe it was vegan. Vegan food rocks. Thanks Carol for always inspiring us.

  6. Yay! I'm so glad you made this and you thought it was amazing. One of our favorites as well. Thanks for commenting girl. Always great to hear from you.