Zucchini Verde Vegan Enchiladas: A dreamy, creamy dinner... with no cheese in sight

For when you’re craving comfort food in the summertime with allll the fresh fixings.

For when you’re craving comfort food in the summertime with allll the fresh fixings

(Photography by Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews)

We’ll be honest, a vegan enchilada certainly caught our attention when flipping through the pages of Jeanine Donofrio’s new cookbook, Love and Lemons Every Day. Cheese-free? Meat-free? But how? It turns out the secret to this baked beauty lies in its substantial filling of black beans and tofu, and creamy cashew sour cream topping with rich avocado. It all comes together in one dreamy dish for a hearty, yet lively main.

Note: Jeanine says you can use store-bought tomatillo salsa for this recipe, but her from-scratch version is included below too!

Zucchini Verde Vegan Enchiladas

By Jeanine Donofrio

I love enchiladas. I’m tempted to order them at restaurants, but they’re often a big cheese bomb on a plate, so I prefer to make them at home. These have no cheese and are packed with a triple threat of green things: zucchini, poblano, and tomatillos. There’s tofu in the filling, but it’s undetectable once baked in. Instead of cheese on top, a lime cashew cream gets drizzled on along with the other fresh fixings.


Tomatillo Salsa:

  • 6 medium tomatillos
  • ¼ medium yellow onion, cut into large chunks
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed
  • 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled, wrapped in foil
  • ½ tsp lime zest
  • 1½ tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ to ¾ tsp sea salt

Cashew Lime Sour Cream:

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • Heaping ¼ tsp sea salt


  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 small yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 poblano pepper, stemmed and seeded, sliced into thin strips
  • ½ tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise, then cut into thin half-moons
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed (see below)
  • 6 oz firm tofu, patted dry and crumbled
  • 1½ cups Tomatillo Salsa (see recipe below), or store-bought
  • 8 corn tortillas, warmed (Warm the tortillas for 20 seconds in the microwave, wrapped in damp paper towels, or heat for 10 minutes in the oven, wrapped in aluminum foil.)


  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • 2 radishes, sliced paper-thin
  • ½ avocado, diced
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ jalapeño or serrano pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
  • Lime slices, for serving


Tomatillo Salsa: 

Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Remove the husks and rinse the tomatillos under cool water to remove the stickiness. Place the tomatillos, onion, and jalapeño on the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and a generous pinch of salt, and toss. Add the wrapped garlic to the baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tomatillos are soft and well browned.

Unwrap the garlic from the foil, peel it, and transfer to the bowl of a food processor. Add the roasted vegetables, lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, cilantro, and salt and pulse until finely chopped. Season to taste.


Preheat the oven to 400°F. 

Make the cashew lime sour cream: In a high-speed blender, place the cashews, water, garlic, lime juice, and salt and blend until smooth. Chill until ready to use. 

Make the enchilada filling: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, poblano, and a pinch of salt and cook until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini, coriander, and cumin and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes more. 

Stir in the garlic, salt, and black pepper. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the black beans and tofu. 

Brush a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with olive oil, then spread a heaping ½ cup of the tomatillo salsa on the bottom of the dish. Fill each tortilla with about ½ cup of the enchilada filling. Roll the tortillas and place them seam-side down in the baking dish. Pour the remaining 1 cup salsa over the enchiladas, down the middle, leaving a bit of the edges dry. I do this so that the edges of the tortillas become a little crunchy. Bake, covered, for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes more. 

Let the enchiladas cool slightly, then drizzle with half of the cashew lime sour cream. Top with the diced red onion, radishes, avocado, cilantro, and jalapeño, if using. Serve with the lime slices and remaining cashew cream on the side. 

Yield: Makes 4 servings

Excerpted from Love and Lemons Every Day: More than 100 Bright, Plant-Forward Recipes for Every Meal by Jeanine Donofrio. Copyright © 2019 Jeanine Donofrio. Photographs © 2019 by Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews. Published by Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.


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