Black Bean and Cheese Enchiladas

My husband and I had an impromptu dinner date on Monday night.  It’s a long story that I won’t bore you with but let’s just say that we found ourselves running a last minute errand that took quite a long time, and that during it we ended up super hungry.  We hit up a Mexican restaurant that we’d previously ordered take-out food from.  The food was so-so the first time, but you can’t really judge a restaurant solely on its take-out food (unless it’s specifically a take-out joint).  The dinner at the place was tasty but it really didn’t wow us.

It’s actually been a while since a restaurant has wowed me.  Please tell me that’s not because I’m getting older and more picky!  My husband’s theory is that my awesome cooking is superior to restaurant meals.  Yes, let’s go with that.     🙂  I’d rather have these homemade vegetarian enchiladas than the ones from the other night because they are way tastier (and cheaper).

These enchiladas are filled with black beans and cheese, smothered in a ranchero sauce and topped with more cheese.

09Black Bean and Cheese Enchiladas

Black Bean and Cheese Enchiladas Recipe
(About 6 servings)

Ingredients for the Ranchero Sauce:

  • 2 dried chilies (ancho or chipotle work well)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Ingredients for the Black Bean and Cheese Enchiladas:

  • 1 (15 ounce) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8 ounces shredded reduced fat 4 cheese Mexican blend cheese, divided per the directions (I used Sargento)
  • 3 green onions, sliced thinly, divided per the directions
  • 12 to 14 (6 inch) corn tortillas
  • 1 batch of ranchero sauce

Directions for the Ranchero Sauce:

  1. In a saucepan over high heat, combine the chilies and water.  Bring it to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.  The goal here is to soften the skins of the chilies.
  2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it stand for about 5 minutes.
  3. Drain the chilies and reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
  4. In a medium pan, over Medium heat, heat the oil.
  5. Add the chopped onion and cook until tender.
  6. Stir in the minced garlic and salt and cook for another 1 minute.
  7. Add in the vegetable broth, parsley, tomato paste and cumin.  Stir all of the ingredients together and cook until the mixture has thickened.  (About 10 minutes.)
  8. Pour the onion mixture, chilies, the 1 cup of reserved liquid, lime juice, and red pepper flakes into a food processor and blend until smooth.

Directions for the Black Bean and Cheese Enchiladas:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 13 x 9 inch baking dish and set it aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the black beans, 1 cup of the shredded cheese, and half of the green onions.
  4. Spread 1/2 cup of ranchero sauce in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
  5. In a medium pan, over Medium heat, heat 1 corn tortilla at a time for 10 seconds on each side.
  6. Place the warm corn tortilla onto your work surface and spoon about 3 tablespoons of the bean mixture into the center of it.  (Note that it’s best to work with a warm tortilla so that it does not tear when you roll it.)
  7. Roll up the corn tortilla and place it seam side down into the baking dish.
  8. Repeat steps 5 through 7 for the rest of the enchiladas.
  9. Pour the remaining ranchero sauce over the filled tortillas.
  10. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
  11. Bake it in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is lightly browned.
  12. Sprinkle the remaining green onions on top.

Adapted from: My Recipes


Have you ever cooked with dried chilies before?  This was my first time and it is pretty cool how they come back to life with just some boiling water.  Seriously, they are photographic gold, just look at that amazing texture.

01Black Bean and Cheese Enchiladas

I’ve made enchiladas before using canned sauces, which have come out superbly.  However, this time I felt like going the extra mile and making the sauce.   Ranchero sauce is a tomato based sauce with chilies, onions, and seasonings.  This ranchero sauce is slightly spicy.  If you want to kick it up a notch, simply add more chilies and/or crushed red pepper.  If you are feeling brave you can also use cayenne pepper to add heat.  Crushed red pepper is most commonly used in Italian dishes, but it’s a great way to add heat to any cuisine.  If you’re like my husband, who likes it very spicy, you can also add some Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce as another delicious way to tantalize your tongue with toasty-ness.

02Black Bean and Cheese Enchiladas

The corn tortillas will soak up all this yummy ranchero sauce giving you moist and tasty enchiladas.

03Black Bean and Cheese Enchiladas

This recipe involves multiple steps but they are all pretty easy.

04Black Bean and Cheese Enchiladas

There’s some serious cheese going on inside and out of these bad boys.  I’m loving that.  The Mexican blend cheeses are made up of a combination of Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Queso Quesadilla, and Asadero cheeses.  This combo is super tasty and perfect for any Mexican meal.  (That’s probably why it’s called a Mexican blend cheese mix.     😉 )

06Black Bean and Cheese Enchiladas

My husband loves black beans and they’re the quintessential bean in Mexican cuisine.  They are a fantastic way to make enchiladas a vegetarian delight.

10Black Bean and Cheese Enchiladas

These enchiladas are just as delicious as the restaurant version but for the price of theirs you can have about 400 of these.



3 Hats


Here are some other fun Mexican meals.

Chicken Enchiladas

04Chicken Enchiladas

Turkey and Spinach Taquitos

11 2 Turkey and Spinach Taquitos

Quinoa and Black Beans

03Quinoa & Black Beans


  1. Oh I adore those dried chillies… or jalapeños. They are the best, I found a site that would ship the smoked variety to Australia, but they went broke so I have struggled to source a new company. Anyways, big fan of enchiladas, especially the meat variety, I just can’t get into black beans. 🙁 Great that you can make around 400 at home v the price of 1 in the restaurant, guessing you won’t bother going back?!

    1. Tina says:

      Boo, no dried chilies or black beans?! You can definitely use chicken or beef instead.

  2. Omg stoppppp it’s 11:30 in the morning and I want to gobble down that entire tray… right now! I have such a weakness for Mexican food, and enchiladas in particular. I’ve never tried to make them before but I trust your husband’s judgement… yours are probably far superior (and wallet-friendly) than any restaurant’s 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Hehe…that’s awesome! Mexican food rules! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  3. Leanne says:

    Such as pretty dish. Look like a great comfort food, and I can’t wait to make them.Do you think it would be ok to add a little chicken to the bean mixture?

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much! Absolutely, chicken would be a great addition. 🙂

  4. I could literally live on this dish, love it!

    1. Tina says:

      Awesome sauce! Thanks. 🙂

  5. These look amazing. I have been wanting Mexican food for days and now after seeing these pictures my tummy is grumbling for them. Pinning!

    1. Tina says:

      My husband and I almost always want Mexican food so we can relate! Thanks for pinning. 🙂

  6. Victoria Cooke says:

    Delicious! I’m going to pin this to make at a later date.

    1. Tina says:

      Awesome! Thanks for pinning! 🙂

  7. I love when a restaurant wows me, so few and far between!! Us food bloggers have high standards. These enchiladas sound great, love blacked beans!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much! 🙂

  8. Umm, yes. I want at LEAST 400 of these awesome-looking enchiladas! I love a good cheesy bean enchilada and these are definitely calling out to me! This is so going to be dinner next week! 😉

    1. Tina says:

      Awesome! I hope you love them as much as we do. 🙂

  9. Joanne says:

    I’ve made these before and they are great!! Way better than 99% of restaurant enchiladas, that’s for sure!

    1. Tina says:


  10. Ashley says:

    I could eat enchiladas all day every day! haha I love em! These look amazing – all that cheese and I love that they are vegetarian too!

    1. Tina says:

      My husband is the same! That and tacos are his favorite of all time. 🙂

  11. I’m the same way. I have to be really wowed by a restaurant these days and very few actually do. I like to eat out at places where I know I couldn’t cook the food just as well at home. That usually means sushi or some fancy french food or something hehe

    1. Tina says:

      I never thought of it that way…I wonder if that’s why I love sushi and French restaurants the best?! Hmmm, need to ponder on that. 😉

  12. I also find myself being unimpressed by certain restaurants food-wise – since I moved to Belgium I have been unable to find a single good Mexican joint! Meaning there has been a lot more Mexican cooking at home 😉 !

    I am so impressed by this simple yet delicious looking recipe as well as the dried chilis (need to keep my eye open for some!). I can’t wait to try your spin on Enchiladas (yummy!!)! Pinned for later!

    1. Tina says:

      There is one Mexican restaurant that my husband and I love but it’s 1 and 1/2 hours away. Dang…Mexican cooking it is for us too! I hope you love this as much as we do. 🙂

  13. What a great enchilada dish! I’ve never seen dried chilis before…very interesting! Love the rachero sauce, too!

    1. Tina says:


  14. We love enchiladas. I usually make them using canned sauce but I want to definitely try your version. Pinned!

    1. Tina says:

      Awesome! 🙂

  15. I have my sights on your recipe for ranchero sauce. My boys go through so much hot and spicy food that it would be a good idea to make my own sauce. I know that your cooking is great and that is why restaurants no longer wow you. Living here in HK we have many many restaurants and many don’t wow me unless it is the local food. I think the problem is when restaurants try to start up and it is not food of their local cuisine it can never be authentic. However, the Cantonese food here is of course the best you will ever have…Have a super weekend. BAM

    1. Tina says:

      Thank you for the lovely compliment! 🙂 I think you’re right about restaurants serving food ouside their local cuisine…I’ve never been to a Cantonese restaurant…sound amazing though! Have a lovely weekend Bam. 🙂

  16. Naah I’m only 17 and super picky with restaurant food too. Let’s go with the idea that we are both such awesome chefs ok? 😉
    Anyway, these enchiladas look mighty deliciosas, amiga. That cheese is calling my name <3

    1. Tina says:

      I like the way you think! 🙂

  17. Kelly says:

    My husband is obsessed with enchiladas and would eat them all the time if he could. These look amazing – love that they are vegetarian 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      My husband is obsessed with tacos and enchiladas…they’d get along perfectly!

Leave a Reply to Medha @ Whisk & Shout Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *