Need a quick meal for rushed weeknights?
These Black Bean and Rice Enchiladas want to apply for the job! They are easy to make, super satisfying, and more than willing to accommodate what you’ve got on hand in the kitchen.
Sound too good to be true?
How To Make Black Bean Enchiladas
There’s only one part of the recipe that I consider non-negotiable….
The homemade enchilada sauce! It has way more oomph than enchilada sauce from a can, so please give it a go if you’re new to it.
I used Anchos and Guajillos for this batch, but there is plenty of leeway on the dried chile combo.
The Anchos are a natural fit for red enchilada sauces, so try to use them when possible. The Guajillos act as a nice complement to the Anchos, but don’t sweat it if you can’t find Guajillos in your neighborhood. More info on Ancho chiles.
You’ll get a bump in flavor if you roast the chiles first, so we’ll start with that.
After de-stemming and de-seeding, roast the chile pieces in the oven (400F) for 1-2 minutes.
There are other ways to roast chiles, but if I’m using the oven for other parts of the recipe I will usually default to that.
And regarding the 1-2 minute roasting time…just take a peek after a minute or so, if they’re warm and fragrant then they’re probably good to go. Small, narrow pieces can crisp up quickly and turn bitter, so I usually just keep an eye on them and take ’em out before they turn crispy.
Once the chiles are roasted you’ll want to reconstitute them — cover them with the hottest tap water you’ve got, and let them re-hydrate for 20-30 minutes or until you need them.
And don’t forget to take a taste of the chiles’ soaking liquid. Half the world will like the earthy, rustic flavor. If that’s you then you are welcome to use that liquid in place of stock in this recipe.
But the other half, including me, thinks the soaking liquid tastes bitter. In that case it’s best to use stock to liquefy your enchilada sauce (and soups, mole sauce, pozole etc.)
Once you pull the chiles out of the oven you can plop a couple tomatoes in there — they’ll need about 20-30 minutes to roast (400F), but you can just grab them when you need them.
Meanwhile, roughly chop a single onion and get it cooking in a glug of oil over medium heat.
We’ll also add 3 garlic cloves — you can just peel the garlic cloves and leave them whole as all of this will be blended together eventually.
Once the onion is starting to brown you can add the onion-garlic mixture to a blender along with:
the roasted tomatoes
the drained, reconstituted chiles
2 cups of stock (or the chiles’ soaking liquid)
Give it a whirl, combining well. Note that you can always thin it out a bit more by adding more liquid.
Add the mixture to the same pan you used to cook the onion, along with:
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano What is Mexican oregano?
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly cracked black pepper
Bring it up to a simmer and then take a final taste for seasoning.
The Mexican oregano and cumin really enhance this enchilada sauce so feel free to add more! The exact amount will depend on which chiles and stock you’re using, but keep in mind that these two aromatics can really impact the final flavor so no skipping this final seasoning step!
I added another generous pinch of Mexican oregano to this batch, along with another pinch of salt.
Note: if using store-bought stock you may not need as much salt as me. I used this homemade veggie stock that doesn’t have any sodium so I’m starting from zero.
Once you’re happy with the enchilada sauce, turn the heat down to low just to keep it warm.
For the bean-rice mixture you’ll need:
2 cups cooked beans (or a single 15 oz. can)
2 cups cooked rice
I also added some raw onion and jalapeno to this mixture, just a few tablespoons of each, something like this:
Combine it all in a mixing bowl. I used 1:1 beans to rice, but you can always adjust that ratio to your liking.
And if you want a milder batch you can omit the jalapeno.
Okay, time to roll ’em up!
You’ll want to warm up the tortillas first — lately I just cover them in a damp paper towel and nuke ’em for 60 seconds or so. You can also put them in the oven for a bit, or give them a quick flash fry. More tortilla warming info here.
Each tortilla gets a few tablespoons of the bean-rice mixture along with plenty of shredded cheese. I used Jack for this batch, but feel free to use a melting cheese of your choice.
Add some of the enchilada sauce to a baking dish to prevent sticking, and keep on rolling until the mixture is gone (or save some for leftovers).
You’ll get around 10 enchiladas from this batch, depending on how much you put in each one. I rolled 8 and had a bit of the bean-rice mixture leftover for tomorrow 🙂
And you should have plenty of enchilada sauce so feel free to goop it all over them once they are rolled.
You can optionally add more cheese on top, but I didn’t for this batch.
Give your enchis 10 minutes in the oven (400F) and then serve immediately. I topped with Cotija and some freshly chopped cilantro. What is Cotija cheese?
And now dig in!
If all went according to plan you’ve got some real deal Black Bean and Rice Enchiladas in the house.
Feel free to adjust that inner mixture to your liking, but no more enchilada sauce from a can!
Making your own sauce is the key, so please get in touch if you have any questions about that process. It’s super easy and you’ll get a lifetime of epic enchis in return 🙂
Black Bean and Rice Enchiladas
- 2 cups cooked black beans (or a single 15 oz. can)
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 4 Ancho dried chiles
- 3 Guajillo dried chiles
- 1 small onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2-3 cups stock (or chiles' soaking liquid)
- 2 plum tomatoes
- 1-2 cups shredded cheese (I used Jack)
- 2-3 tablespoons finely chopped onion (for the filling, optional)
- 2-3 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno (for the filling, optional)
- 8-10 corn tortillas
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
- freshly cracked black pepper
- freshly chopped cilantro (optional)
- Wipe off any dusty crevasses on the Ancho/Guajillo chiles, then de-stem and de-seed them. Roast the chile pieces in the oven at 400F for 1-2 minutes. Once roasted you can add the chile pieces to a bowl, cover them with hot tap water, and let them reconstitute for 20-30 minutes. If they float to the surface you can always put a small plate or bowl on top to keep them submerged.
- Rinse and de-stem the tomatoes. Roast them in the oven (400F) for 20-30 minutes or until you need them.
- Note: I had leftover cooked rice in the fridge for this batch, but if you need to cook the rice then now is the perfect time to start it! Add a glug of oil to a saucepan over medium heat along with 1 cup uncooked rice. Stir regularly until the rice is starting to turn light brown. Add 2 cups of water (or stock) along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring up to a boil then turn down heat to medium-low, cover, and let cook until all of the water is absorbed. Once cooked you can set it aside on the stove, covered, until you need it.
- Roughly chop an onion and add it to a skillet along with a glug of oil. Add 3 whole, peeled garlic cloves and cook over medium heat until the onion is starting to brown, stirring regularly.
- Note: before draining the dried chiles you can take a taste of their soaking liquid. If you like the flavor you are welcome to use it in place of stock for the sauce. If, like me, you think it tastes bitter then it's best to use stock for your enchilada sauces.
- Drain the dried chiles. Add the drained chiles, the roasted tomatoes, the onion-garlic mixture, and 2 cups of stock to a blender. Blend until smooth. You can optionally strain the blender sauce through a fine mesh sieve and discard the leftover seeds and skin, but lately I skip this step. If you like your enchilada sauce thinner, simply add another cup of liquid to the blender before combining.
- Add the enchilada sauce back to the same pan that cooked the onion-garlic mixture. Add 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and some freshly cracked black pepper. Cook over medium heat, bringing it up to a simmer.
- And now the most important part: a final taste for seasoning! The cumin and Mexican oregano can really impact the final flavor of the sauce so feel free to add more. I added another generous pinch of Mexican oregano and salt to this batch. Once you like the flavor turn the heat down to low to keep the sauce warm.
- Warm up the corn tortillas in the oven for 1-2 minutes, or cover them with a damp paper towel and nuke them in the microwave for 60 seconds.
- Shred a couple cups worth of melting cheese (I used Jack).
- Combine 2 cups cooked beans (or 1 can) and 2 cups cooked rice in a mixing bowl. When using a can of beans I usually drain and rinse first. I also finely chopped 2-3 tablespoons of both onion and jalapeno for this inner mixture, but that is optional.
- Add a thin layer of the enchilada sauce to your baking dish to prevent sticking. Add a few tablespoons of the bean-rice mixture to each tortilla, along with plenty of shredded cheese. Roll tight and set them seam side down on the baking dish. If it feels like they won't stay rolled you can usually prop them up against each other to keep 'em snug.
- You should have plenty of enchilada sauce so feel free to goop it all over the top of your rolled enchiladas. You can optionally add another layer of cheese on top. Bake at 400F for 8-10 minutes.
- Once cooked, top with your choice of garnish and serve immediately -- I topped with Cotija cheese and freshly chopped cilantro.
- If you have leftover bean-rice mixture and enchilada sauce, both will keep in the fridge for a few days, allowing for a future quick meal!
Want to see the latest recipe? It’s these Improvised Pot Beans.