Matt Moore’s Enchiladas

One day, Engine 2 firefighter Matt Moore started talking about how he’d just had an intense dream about a raging house fire. Since Matt seldom says such things, it made us all think we were about to face a real burner.

We went on several calls that day, but none of them were fires. Then, at 6:30 that evening, as Matt was putting his enchiladas into the oven, the tone sounded for a church fire on the East Side.

It turned out to be a tough call. After being on air, and doing salvage and overhaul work for nearly thirty minutes in 100 degree heat, all of us were sent to rehab. Scottie didn't look good–he was red in the face and his eyes were bloodshot. EMS examined him and decided he was suffering from dehydration with a bit of heat exhaustion–nothing that a liter of fluid couldn't remedy.

We had to endure snide comments from various firefighters about how we needed to feed him more meat: “Give that boy a steak,” or, “Put some chicken broth in that I.V.” At the debriefing, even the incident commander said, “Well, nobody got hurt except Scottie Walters, and all he needs is a little more protein.”

When we made it back to the station, after agreeing that sarcasm and ignorance get a lot of people pretty far in this world, we finally got around to eating. But before any of us took a bite, we all offered a toast to Matt and his tasty meat-free enchiladas, as well as his dreams.

Incidentally, this was originally my recipe, which Matt stole, perfected, and made into his signature dish. He’s not a fan of onions: When it’s his turn to cook, he avoids them like the plague. When I cook? Everything starts with an onion.

  • Prep Time 20 minutes
  • Cook Time 30 minutes
  • Total Time 50 minutes
  • Serves 6-8

Matt Moore’s Enchiladas

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.


16 ounces mushrooms, sliced

32 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained

30 ounces fat-free, frozen hash-brown potatoes

2 teaspoons cumin

2 tablespoons chili powder

8 ounces canned diced green chilies

18 corn tortillas

3 16-ounce jars fat-free enchilada sauce (Whole Foods’  Religious Experience is excellent)

12 sprigs cilantro, rinsed



Sauté mushrooms and spinach on medium heat in large non-stick skillet for 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft. Drain liquid, and remove to large bowl.

Cook potatoes on high heat in sprayed skillet for 10 minutes until lightly browned on both sides. Sprinkle potatoes with cumin and chili powder.

Gently combine potatoes, green chilies, mushrooms, and spinach.

Line the bottom of  non stick 9 X 13 casserole with 6 tortillas. You can use a very thin layer of tomato puree or enchilada sauce if you don’t have a non stick dish.

Place half of the vegetable mixture over tortillas and cover with one jar of sauce.

Repeat the process: tortillas, vegetables, sauce.

Top with the remaining six tortillas and jar of sauce.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with cilantro sprigs

  • Ajj
    Posted at 21:22h, 25 January

    This was REALLY yummy! We invited some guest over and I made it for the first time, kind of risky. But they gobbled it right up. I made a lovely salad to go with it and you couldn’t ask for a better plant based dinner. Definitely will make again. Beware that this recipe makes a LOT.

  • jbeazley
    Posted at 11:45h, 05 April

    My wife and I made Matt’s Enchiladas this past week and it was a definitely a “Wow,” and will become part of our vegan set of foundational dishes going forward. The recipe filled two 9″ x 13″ pyrex casserole dishes, which we froze one of the dishes for later in the week. We agree with Rip, however, that this recipe is better with an onion. So, we diced up a large sweet yellow onion at the outset and sauteed it with the spinach and mushrooms. After baking for 30 minutes, we did a taste test. The taste was fantastic except that the enchiladas did not have enough “texture” to them (because of the heavy use of potatoes) like any great enchilada dish should. So, with the oven still hot . . . I first quickly opened up a can of black beans and washed them in a collander and spread them over the top to the enchiladas. Then, I sliced a large red onion and sauteed it in a non-stick skillet and spread the onion slices over the top the black beans and baked the dishes for another 15 minutes. These additions completed the recipe to our taste buds’ liking, making the recipe truly a “keeper.” (PS The picture above doesn’t do justice to this colorful dish, especially if you use our tweaks of green enchilada sauce, black beans and a red onion.)

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