Zucchini Enchiladas

I mean, where do I even start? If I could cook one meal for the rest of my life and share with others, it would be THESE Zucchini Enchiladas. I recognize I just made a bold statement, and I’m not taking it back! I’ve been tweaking this recipe since November, making sure it hits all the right spots- Savory, fresh, hearty, and satisfying are a few words that do this dish justice. These enchiladas may look daunting to make but the beauty is they will taste delicious whether you roll up each enchilada perfectly or not. Oh, and you drizzle (ok, douse) the whole dish in the most luscious cashew cheese topping, so don’t stress one bit! This recipe is delicious with or without the chicken so adjust as needed to your dietary preferences. If you’re needing to unwind & unplug, invite some friends over and get cooking to make these Zucchini Enchiladas, because time well spent is eating good food with even better company.

Zucchini Enchiladas

(5-6 servings, dairy free, gluten-free, paleo, vegan/vegetarian option)

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs zucchini (about 3 large)

The Filling:

  • 1.5 pounds chicken thighs, about 5 thighs (Just omit if vegan/vegetarian)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup tomato salsa
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cashew Cheese Topping:

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1.5 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp arrowroot starch (can leave out or sub cornstarch)
  • Pinch of pepper

Directions:

Cashew Cheese Topping: Soak cashews in hot water while prepping the enchiladas (at least 30 min). Drain and rinse the cashews, then add to a high-speed blender with the remaining cashew cheese ingredients (note: you still add the 1 cup water into the blender, this is separate from the water you soaked the cashews!).

The Filling (if adding meat): In a large skillet add 1 tbsp olive oil and heat on medium-high heat, add the chicken thighs and let brown on both sides, cover as needed to cook the chicken. Then, transfer to a plate and shred using two forks (use the forks to tear away the chicken pieces into shred-like pieces, doesn’t need to be perfect!).

The Filling: In a large skillet (can be the same you used above) add 1 Tbsp olive oil and heat on medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Next, add the sweet potato, black beans, chili powder, oregano, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir while cooking for 2-3 minutes, then add the salsa and shredded chicken (if using) and mix well.

Assembly: Wash the zucchinis and hold each zucchini vertically while using a peeler to peel thin slices – Start at the top of the zucchini and peel all the way down (see picture above). Once you peel to the core, it is helpful to turn the zucchini over and peel on the opposite side. Once you peel to the core on both sides, move onto the next zucchini (these leftover zucchini cores are great to chop up & freeze to use for smoothies).

Preheat the oven to 350F. To put the enchiladas together, lay out 6-7 zucchini slices that slightly overlap (see picture above). Top with a spoonful of filling, roll up, and transfer to a baking dish (I used a 12×8). Repeat until all zucchini slices are used up. Place any leftover filling in between the enchiladas. Bake at 350F for 15 min, then drizzle the cashew cheese topping all over the enchiladas and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the cheese is bright yellow in color and has thickened up a bit. Serve warm with salsa, avocado, and/or tortilla chips!