[Recipe Makeover] Enchilada Casserole to Help You Lose Weight

beans popular recipe

Let’s face it. Enchiladas are amazing. Cheesy, gooey bits of goodness that hit your soul and taste buds just right.

But when you’re trying to lose weight, enchiladas are not your friend. You find yourself sneaking small bites so you don’t sabotage all your hard work.

It’s hard to enjoy enchiladas as a tiny treat. With each bite you feel like you’re racing against the clock as more of your favorite food vanishes from sight. It’s more stressful than it is enjoyable. Your diet has done the unthinkable -- it’s ruined the magic of enchiladas!

But what if there were enchiladas so full of fiber foods that you could fill a plate with them and enjoy every bite? What if an enchilada meal could actually help you lose, not gain, weight?

Full Plate is all about using high fiber foods to transform otherwise unhealthy dishes into slimming meals. Here’s our latest creation - Enchilada Casserole.

How to Make Your Own - from beginning to end

We’ve done all the hard work of perfecting this healthier Enchilada Casserole. All you have to do is follow the step by step directions below. And most importantly, have fun!

Step 1: Buy these ingredients on your next shopping trip

These are the ingredients used in the Enchilada Casserole.

Before you start cooking your casserole, you need to be sure you have all your ingredients on hand.

Go ahead and take a picture of this list with your cell phone, so you can buy what you need next time you’re grocery shopping.

Shopping List

    Produce Section:
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 avocado
    Dry Aisles:
  • 1 bag quinoa - on the same aisle as rice
  • 1 - 10oz can enchilada sauce
  • 1 - 4.5 ounce can diced green chilies
  • 1 - 15oz can black beans, low sodium
  • 1 - 15oz can corn, no sodium added
    Seasoning Aisle:
  • ground cumin
  • chili powder
    Dairy Section:
  • 1 bag shredded colby jack cheese - low or reduced fat

Step 2: Preheat your oven to 350

The first thing you need to do is preheat your oven.

Turn on your oven and adjust the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Move your racks around so the casserole dish can be placed in the middle of the oven. This is much easier to do before the oven is hot.

Step 3: Start by cooking the quinoa

You have the option of using either rice or quinoa for this recipe. We chose quinoa because it’s actually more weight loss friendly than rice. Why? It packs more fiber and protein per serving.

It’s also lower on the glycemic index which makes it more diabetic friendly in addition to weight loss friendly. If you have diabetes, it’s clearly the better choice.

Quinoa has a fantastic nutty flavor and is a moist little grain. Because of its smaller size, it cooks much faster than brown rice.

Pour 2 cups of water and 1 cup of quinoa in a large pan. Stir the mixture.

Turn the heat on to high.

Once quinoa comes to a boil, cover the pot and turn the heat on low to simmer.

Cook for 15 minutes or until the grains of quinoa are translucent and the germ has spiraled out from the grain.

While the quinoa is cooking, move to Step 4.

If you want to use rice instead of quinoa, cook 1 cup of brown rice according to package directions.

Step 4: Prep your cilantro, beans and corn

While the quinoa is cooking, chop your cilantro.

Open your cans of black beans, corn, diced chilies and enchilada sauce.

Rinse and drain the can of black beans in a colander.

Rinse and drain the can of corn in a colander.

Step 5: Mix all the casserole ingredients together

Once the quinoa is finished cooking, dump the rest of the ingredients into your pan. Be sure to save ½ cup of cheese for the top of the casserole.

Mix all of the ingredients well.

Step 6: Add your enchilada mixture to the baking dish

Spray a large baking casserole dish with cooking spray.

Pour the enchilada mixture in your dish and spread it out evenly.

Top the mixture with the ½ cup of cheese. It’s ready for the oven!

Step 7: Bake your enchilada casserole

Put your casserole dish in the preheated oven.

Bake the casserole at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.

While the casserole is baking, move on to Step 8 and get your toppings ready.

Step 8: Dice the tomato and avocado

Dice up your tomato and avocado when the casserole has about 5-10 minutes left to cook.

You’ll want to dice up your toppings when your casserole is close to being done baking, so the avocado doesn’t turn brown before you eat it.

If you’re unfamiliar with avocados, learn how to pick the perfectly ripe avocado here. If you’re not sure how to cut an avocado the right way, watch this video.

Step 9: Add the toppings to the casserole and serve

Once your casserole timer has buzzed, pull out the casserole.

Let the casserole cool off for a few minutes so the avocado and tomato don’t wilt when added to the hot surface.

Top casserole with the diced avocado and tomato. You’re ready to eat!

Enchilada Casserole Recipe

This recipe makes 4 - 2 cup servings.

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 - 10oz can enchilada sauce
  • 1 - 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 - 15oz can corn, no sodium added, drained and rinsed
  • 1 - 4.5 ounce can diced green chilies
  • ¼ cup cilantro, fresh and chopped
  • ½ t ground cumin
  • ½ t chili powder
  • 1 cup colby jack cheese - low or reduced fat
  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large pan bring the water and quinoa to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer over low heat. Cook for 15 minutes or until the grains look translucent and the germ has spiraled out from the grains.
  3. Once the quinoa is done, fold in the remaining ingredients except for tomatoes, avocado, and ½ cup of cheese.
  4. Lightly grease a large baking dish with cooking spray. Spread the mixture in the baking dish evenly and sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of cheese on top.
  5. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Top casserole with diced avocado and tomatoes.
Nutritional Analysis

Yields 4 - 2 cup servings

1 - 2 cup serving = 490 calories | 16g fat | 15mg cholesterol | 850mg sodium | 67g carbohydrate | 15g fiber | 9g sugar | 21g protein


Full Plate Living is a small-step approach with big health outcomes. It's provided as a free service of Ardmore Institute of Health.

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