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.
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:
- 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.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it stand for about 5 minutes.
- Drain the chilies and reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
- In a medium pan, over Medium heat, heat the oil.
- Add the chopped onion and cook until tender.
- Stir in the minced garlic and salt and cook for another 1 minute.
- 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.)
- 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:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Grease a 13 x 9 inch baking dish and set it aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the black beans, 1 cup of the shredded cheese, and half of the green onions.
- Spread 1/2 cup of ranchero sauce in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
- In a medium pan, over Medium heat, heat 1 corn tortilla at a time for 10 seconds on each side.
- 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.)
- Roll up the corn tortilla and place it seam side down into the baking dish.
- Repeat steps 5 through 7 for the rest of the enchiladas.
- Pour the remaining ranchero sauce over the filled tortillas.
- Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
- Bake it in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is lightly browned.
- 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.
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.
The corn tortillas will soak up all this yummy ranchero sauce giving you moist and tasty enchiladas.
This recipe involves multiple steps but they are all pretty easy.
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. 😉 )
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.
These enchiladas are just as delicious as the restaurant version but for the price of theirs you can have about 400 of these.
Here are some other fun Mexican meals.