Black Lentil Enchiladas with Zucchini | Naturally Ella

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In wrapping up my three-series post highlighting black lentils with, I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes. It’s fairly obvious that I love making enchiladas but I just find something magical in a delicious filling nestled in a fresh corn tortilla and topped with flavorful sauce.

The combinations are endless but over the years, using black lentils has become a go-to. While it’s not traditional, I don’t always have cooked black beans on hand and my craving for enchiladas usually strikes an hour before dinner. Using black lentils makes a bit quicker work of the filling since the lentils cook along side the filling. Best of all, you can make/assemble these enchiladas ahead of time and freeze until ready to bake.

Black Lentil Enchiladas with Zucchini | Naturally Ella

Black Lentil Enchiladas with Zucchini

  • Author: Erin Alderson
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Cuisine: dinner


Flavorful summer enchiladas made with zucchini and black lentils along with an easy year-round homemade enchilada sauce.



  • 1/2 cup uncooked black lentils
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (see note)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small white onion, diced
  • 1 small red pepper, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 small zucchini (about 1 1/2 cups diced)
  • 8 to 10 small corn tortillas
  • 4 ounces Monterrey Jack cheese

Chipotle Sauce:

  • 1, 15 oz can whole tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4 small white onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 chipotle in adobo sauce (see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro


  • Rinse the black lentils and place in a medium pot. Add the water followed by the cumin and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until lentils are tender and water is absorbed, 25 minutes or so.
  • While the lentils are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil followed by the diced onion, pepper, and salt. Saute for 4 to 5 minutes, then add the zucchini. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is tender and browning. Stir in the cooked black lentils, taste, and adjust salt if needed.
  • While the filling ingredients are cooking, combine the ingredients for the sauce in a blender. Puree until smooth.
  • Preheat oven to 375˚F. In a 9”x13” roasting pan or 8”x8” roasting pan, pour ⅓ of the sauce into the bottom. Assemble the enchiladas by spreading a spoonful of black lentil mixture in the center of the tortilla. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of cheese. Roll and place seam-side down. Continue with remaining black bean mixture and tortillas.</li
  • Pour the remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese has melted and browned.


Tips & Tricks: I prefer to use toasted, whole spices that I grind right before using. If you go this route, use the same amount of whole spices before grinding.

As for the chipotle- the sauce has a bit of a kick. Start with just a bit, taste, and adjust to your liking. You can also use chipotle powder in place of the chipotle in adobo. Start with 1/4 teaspoon and work your way up.

Stock up: get the pantry ingredients you will need: zucchini, tortillas, black lentils

Nutrition:  see the information.


  • Calories: 359
  • Sugar: 3.7
  • Sodium: 728
  • Fat: 14.1
  • Saturated Fat: 6.2
  • Carbohydrates: 44.3
  • Fiber: 7.4
  • Protein: 17
  • Cholesterol: 25.2

Black Lentil Enchiladas


As I mentioned above, these enchiladas are super flexible. Add more vegetables, leave out the cheese, or change the sauce- it’s up to you to use what you might already have on hand.

Sauce: I usually alternate between three sauces: this chipotle version, a non-chipotle fresh tomato based version, and this tomatillo sauce. Any of these sauces work well with these black lentil enchiladas- use what you have on hand!

Vegetables: During the summer months, I usually add sweet corn to the mix. During the cooler months, these enchiladas work well with roasted sweet potato and/or butternut squash.

Vegan: Leave off the cheese, bake, and then top with fresh avocado to give the enchiladas a bit of pop.

Black Lentil Enchiladas with Zucchini and Homemade Enchilada Sauce | Naturally Ella
Disclosure: This recipe was created in partnership with All thoughts and opinions are my own. It’s content like this that helps me keep this site running to provide the vegetarian recipes you see every week. |