40 minutes
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Enchiladas can be a bit of a project, but here, the process has been streamlined, making them a truly possible weeknight endeavor. Begin by sautéing peppers, onions and garlic until charred in spots, then blend half of the vegetables with canned tomatoes and chili powder for the sauce and combine the rest with black beans, shredded cheese and cumin for the filling. If you’re short on time, you could use store-bought enchilada sauce (you'll need three cups), but quality varies, so taste it and add whatever you think is missing: chipotle in adobo or chili powder for smokiness, hot sauce for heat, dried oregano or fresh cilantro for complexity and salt for overall flavor.


Yield:4 servings

  • 2tablespoons olive oil
  • 2medium yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 1red bell pepper or poblano chile, stemmed, seeded and cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 4garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1(15-ounce) can fire-roasted tomatoes, preferably crushed (see Tip)
  • 2teaspoons chili powder
  • ½teaspoon hot sauce or 1 chipotle chile in adobo, chopped (optional)
  • ¼cup sour cream, plus more for serving (optional)
  • 2(15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed
  • 5ounces mild Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, grated (about 1¼ cups)
  • 10 to 12(6-inch) soft corn or flour tortillas
  • Fresh cilantro leaves and stems, for serving


  1. Step 1

    Heat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the onions, bell pepper and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and charred in spots, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the cumin and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

  2. Step 2

    Transfer half the vegetable mixture to a blender; add the tomatoes, chili powder and hot sauce. Blend until very smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (If your blender isn’t particularly strong and the sauce looks more like a chunky purée, add ¼ cup sour cream and blend again until smooth.)

  3. Step 3

    Add the black beans and ½ cup cheese to the remaining vegetables in the skillet and stir to combine. Some canned beans are already salted, so taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

  4. Step 4

    Spread out the tortillas directly on the oven rack and heat until warmed and pliable, 1 to 2 minutes, then wrap in a kitchen towel to keep warm. Pour half the enchilada sauce (about 1½ cups) into a medium casserole dish or a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and spread it to cover the bottom of the dish.

  5. Step 5

    Line up the filling, tortillas and baking dish in a row. Place a little more than ¼ cup of the bean mixture in the center of one tortilla. Roll up the tortilla and place in the casserole dish, seam-side down. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

  6. Step 6

    Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas, then sprinkle with the remaining ¾ cup cheese. Bake until the cheese has melted, about 10 minutes. Top with sour cream and cilantro and serve immediately.


  • The sauce and the black bean mixture, minus the cheese, can be made, covered in an airtight container and refrigerated up to 5 days in advance.
  • Avoid diced canned tomatoes. They are mixed with calcium chloride to help them retain their cube shape, so they won’t break down as well in the blender. The sauce will taste fine, but it will be noticeably chunkier.

Vegetarian Bean and Cheese Enchiladas

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4 out of 5

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Cooking Notes

Made stacked enchiladas—easier than rolling and just as good. I spread some of the sauce in pan, placed six corn tortillas on top, added all the beans and veggies, blobs of goat cheese (that's what I had), and some sauce. Added next six tortillas, poured remaining sauce on top and added more goat cheese. Also, I used 3 t Chimayo medium chili powder. I’ll up to 4 next time. Sprinkled crushed Aleppo chilis on top. Cut down the cumin a little as I’m not a big fan. Used a poblano. Yum!

Except for adding some black olives to the beans + vegetable mixture, I made this exactly as written and it's fantastic. Used the poblano pepper. This recipe will go into heavy rotation.

Liked this recipe and the tomato sauce was good - made with poblano pepper. Will make again, but add lime juice. The dish needed acid.

This was really easy and absolutely delicious! Followed the recipe except for adding some roasted zucchini to the veg mix. Lots of room for improvisation next time I make it!

THE best enchilada sauce I’ve ever made (added more cumin and used poblanos in adobe sauce) I cooked red beans from Rancho Gordo and used frozen Hatch green chilies - I took the path of least resistance and stacked the tortillas- sauce-6 tortillas-veg mix- 6 tortillas- remaining sauce and cheese. Delicious! I am a huge fan of Rancho Gordo beans which have amazing natural flavor but this sauce was delicious on its own.

Made exactly as written except I stacked instead of rolling them. The whole family loved it! We added avocado on top. 40 minutes is an accurate time estimate.

Enchiladas are my ultimate comfort food and this recipe didn't disappoint. I'll be riffing on it next time, starting with adding more heat. We used pinto beans instead of black beans just because we had them.

I love this recipe but have taken to using one can of black beans and 8 ounces of mushrooms. It adds flavor and makes the dish a little less dense.

I think the enchilada sauce is delicious made with a poblano pepper and a chipotle pepper in adobo sauce. I think the filling would better with one can of black beans and one can of refried beans to bind the beans together a bit and to add more flavor. Otherwise, I am a fan.

Diced tomatoes are perfectly fine and DO break down in the blender. Other than that, I followed this recipe and it was terrific!

Flour tortillas? If you use them instead of corn you’ll end up with a Gummy mess.

I made this with torn enchiladas casserole style, just as good as chicken enchilada casserole! I'll definetly make this again.

I spread about 1/2 cup of red or green sauce in the baking dish and then a layer of cheese over that (not tons of cheese, just enough so the tortillas are not in direct contact with the sauce, which will make them soggy/break). Using a small spatula to take servings from the casserole dish also helps. (I also individually fry my corn tortillas in oil and then coat them in the sauce before filling them, which I think helps keep them together)

Very tasty! I cut everything in half for 2 (6 enchiladas). Next time I will make all the sauce and use more than half the cheese for 2 and maybe leave the dish in the oven a couple minutes longer to be sure it’s all heated through evenly. Whole wheat tortillas worked well. A poblano in lieu of a bell pepper was perfect!

I bake them in individual gratin dishes-two for each of us.