Eat for Eight Bucks: Vegetable Enchiladas

I've never managed to take an attractive picture of enchiladas, so instead here are some of the raw ingredients. [Photograph: Robin Bellinger]

Shopping List

1 pound squash (pro-rated): $1.00
1 bunch chard, stems only (pro-rated): $0.50
3/4 cup dried black beans (pro-rated): $0.50
Cilantro (pro-rated): $0.60
Small can chopped green chiles: $1.89
6 ounces Monterey Jack cheese: $1.50
1 package corn tortillas: $1.79

Pantry items: Salt, pepper, rice to serve on the side; for chili gravy, canola oil, flour, salt, pepper, ground cumin, dried oregano, chili powder, powdered garlic.

Total cost (for 3 to 4 portions): $7.78

I'm pretty sure Diana Kennedy would not bless this recipe for vegetable enchiladas, but it does make for a fast and versatile dinner. You can use pretty much any leftover cooked vegetables (or meat, for that matter); I used diced roasted squash and sautéed chard stems. If you don't like the idea of beans in your enchiladas, just use another cup of vegetables. The most important thing is to make your chili gravy delicious; taste it carefully before you sauce everything up. I love the Robb Walsh recipe posted by Homesick Texan.

To bring this in under $8, I had to cook my own squash and beans. If you substituted canned beans and squash (both of which work perfectly well), $10.37 would satisfy three ravenous or four regular appetites. I see now that the real big-ticket item here is the can of chopped chiles; maybe next time I'll try roasting a couple of poblano peppers at home instead.

Vegetable Enchiladas

About the author: Robin Bellinger is a freelance editor and shameless cookie addict. She lives in San Francisco and blogs about what she feeds her husband and her daughter at home*economics.

Eat for Eight Bucks: Vegetable Enchiladas

About This Recipe


  • About 2 cups mixed cooked vegetables
  • About 2 cups beans (rather less than more)
  • Generous handful chopped cilantro
  • Small can chopped green chiles
  • 2 cups grated cheese, preferably Monterey Jack
  • 1 recipe chili gravy
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 12 corn tortillas


  1. 1

    Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the vegetables and beans with the cilantro, canned chiles, half the cheese, and 1/2 cup chili gravy. Taste the mixture and add salt and pepper if necessary.

  2. 2

    Warm the tortillas individually in a skillet or in a stack in the microwave (or skip this step, if you don't mind disintegrating tortillas...I don't). Pour half of the remaining chili gravy in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish and spread it around. Then fill each tortilla with vegetable mixture, roll up, and place it in the dish in a neat row.

  3. 3

    Pour the remaining chili gravy all over the top of the enchiladas. Use a spoon to spread it around so that the exposed tortilla surfaces are all at least lightly sauced. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and cover with foil. Bake for about 25 minutes, until heated through and bubbly. Serve with rice.


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