Last week fellow Budget Byter Becky sent me a link to this awesome recipe for Enfrijoladas from MexicanPlease.com. I was immediately intrigued by this dish, which seemed to me to be just like enchiladas but with a quick black bean sauce in stead of an enchilada sauce. I knew I had to make them!
I did a little recipe research and found that, like many recipes, there are a 101 ways to interpret Enfrijoladas. Some enfrijoladas are as simple as a tortilla dipped in sauce, folded, and garnished, while others are filled, rolled, baked, and topped with a variety of ingredients. I kept my Enfrijoladas pretty simple, with just a little cheese and a sweet onion and cilantro relish. If you want to amp it up, try other filling and topping ingredients like chorizo, avocado, radishes, diced tomatoes, or maybe even a little cooling lime crema to balance the smoky spicy black bean sauce.
The black bean sauce I made uses chipotle peppers in adobo sauce as one of the main ingredients, so it is spicy. Unfortunately I don’t have an easy substitute for this ingredient since it is one of the base ingredients for the sauce. Making a non-spicy version would require reworking the sauce entirely. If you have a non-spicy version of Enfrijoladas that you like to make at home, feel free to share it in the comments for others! :)
Enfrijoladas – Tortillas in Black Bean Sauce
Enfrijoladas - Tortillas in Black Bean Sauce
Enfrijoladas are an easy, flavorful, and customizable recipe based on corn tortillas drenched in a spicy black bean sauce.
- 2 15 oz cans black beans, drained $1.98
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (1 Tbsp sauce) $0.95
- 1 small sweet onion, divided $0.50
- 1/2 tsp cumin $0.05
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth* $0.26
- 12 corn tortillas $0.60
- 1/4 bunch cilantro $0.25
- 4 oz cheese** $1.79
To make the black bean sauce, combine the drained black beans, chipotle peppers plus about 1 Tbsp of the adobo sauce, 1/4 of the sweet onion (diced), cumin, and garlic in a blender or food processor. Starting with one cup, add the broth as you blend until a smooth, thick sauce forms. Taste and adjust the salt as needed (this will depend on the salt content of the broth you use).
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Heat the tortillas by either microwaving the stack for 30 seconds, toasting them in a skillet, or directly on a gas burner until lightly browned. Cover the stacked warmed tortillas with foil to retain the heat and steam.
Finely dice the rest of the sweet onion. Roughly chop the cilantro leaves, add them to the diced onion along with a pinch of salt, and stir to combine. Set the onion and cilantro mixture aside to marinate.
Pour a small amount of the black bean sauce into a casserole dish and spread it around to cover the bottom. Pour more sauce into a wide shallow bowl or dish for dipping the tortillas.
One by one, dip the tortillas in the black bean sauce until both sides are coated in the thick sauce. Sprinkle a little cheese and a little of the onion cilantro mixture over half of the tortilla, fold it closed, then fold in half once more to make a triangle. Place the dipped, filled, and folded tortillas in the prepared casserole dish. Be careful to only place a very small amount of filling in the tortillas to make them easier to fold. More filling will be placed on top after baking.
Once all the tortillas are dipped, filled, folded, and placed in the casserole dish, pour any remaining black bean sauce over top. Bake the tortillas in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or just until heated through. Top with the remaining cheese and onion cilantro mixture after baking, then serve.
*I use Better Than Bouillon to mix up broth when I need it and in the amount that I need.
**You can use your favorite cheese for this. Cojita, queso fresco, and Monterey Jack are all nice. If you can't find a crumbly Mexican cheese like cojita or queso fresco, feta actually makes a decent substitute.
Chipotle pepers in adobo sauce are like tomato paste in that despite the fact that they come in a super small can, I never seem to use the whole can. Luckily, just like tomato paste, you can freeze the leftovers for your next recipe! If you have an extra ice cube tray you can spoon one pepper and a little of the sauce into each well and freeze until solid, then transfer to a freezer bag. If not, you can freeze them in quart-sized freezer bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible, then use your hands to move each pepper apart from one another within the bag, and freeze flat.
Step by Step Photos
If you’re unfamiliar with chipotle peppers in adobo, they are usually sold in these small cans that can fit in your hand and you’ll most likely find them in the International aisle of your grocery store (or, check for a Hispanic market in your area). These are spicy smoked peppers that are VERY flavorful, so I only used two peppers and about 1 Tbsp of the sauce. The rest can be frozen for your next recipe.
To make the sauce for the Enfrijoladas, add 2 drained cans of black beans to a blender or food processor along with the two chipotle peppers and 1 Tbsp of adobo sauce, 1/4 of a sweet onion (like vidalia), 1/2 tsp cumin, and 1/4 tsp garlic powder.
Add 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth and blend, adding more broth as needed, until a thick smooth sauce forms. Taste the sauce and add salt if needed (this will depend highly on the salt content of the broth you use).
Begin preheating the oven to 350ºF. Finely dice the rest of the sweet onion, and roughly chop about 1/4 bunch cilantro. Combine the onion and cilantro, along with a pinch of salt, and set the mixture aside.
Warm the tortillas by microwaving the stack for 30 seconds, toasting in a skillet, or directly on a gas flame. Cover the stack of warm tortillas with foil to hold in the heat and steam, and keep them pliable.
Pour some of the black bean sauce into a casserole dish and spread it around to coat the bottom. Pour more of the sauce in a shallow bowl or dish to dip the tortillas. Dip each tortilla in the sauce until each side is coated, then sprinkle a little cheese and onion cilantro mixture over half. Fold the tortilla closed, then in half one more time, and place it in the prepared casserole dish. After the first tortilla pictured above, I found it better to use MUCH less onion mixture inside than what you see in the photo, otherwise it’s just too onion-y. More cheese never hurts, though. ;)
Once all the dipped, filled, and folded tortillas are in the prepared casserole dish, pour any remaining black bean sauce over top. Bake the enfrijoladas in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or just until heated through.
After baking, top with a little more fresh onion cilantro mixture and more cheese, then serve!
Seriously so good!