When I set foot in a Mexican restaurant, it doesn’t matter what else is on the menu – I am highly likely to end up with a plate of enchiladas in front of me. They’re a classic comfort food that’s full of flavor: corn tortillas melding together with delicious filling, smothered and baked in cheese and sauce. Many enchilada recipes are labor-intensive, due to their slow-cooked fillings, but a simple bean-and-cheese combo is timeless, and easy enough to make for a weeknight meal.
Here, I am sharing a Hungry Cyclists favorite – bean and cheese enchiladas – and I’ve paired it with a healthier, speedier alternative to yellow rice that uses quinoa. Jameson adores Mexican food, and I love how these enchiladas require very little prep compared to a lot of other recipes. Often, you’ll have to pre-cook filling, but this bean and cheese filling couldn’t be any easier. The secret to fluffy refried beans? Mixing in some greek yogurt!
I have also shared a recipe for chipotle enchilada sauce. You can the time to make this sauce, or you can grab your favorite kind from the store. Either way, you’ll love this take on a classic Mexican dish.
Recipe: Bean and Cheese Enchiladas
With yellow rice-style quinoa
Makes 10 enchiladas; serves 5
Prep/3, Leftovers/5, Guilt Factor/4, Overall/5
For the enchilada sauce (optional; can replace with 2 c store-bought sauce):
2 Tbs olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
2 chipotle peppers, diced
1-2 Tbs adobo sauce from the chipotle pepper can
1 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp Mexican oregano (regular is fine, too)
1 tsp tomato paste
1 c cold water
1 tsp all-purpose flour or cornstarch
For the enchiladas:
1 15-oz can refried beans (I used a black bean variety here!)
¾ c plain Greek-style yogurt
10 small corn tortillas
4 c shredded cheese (I like Pepper and Monterey Jack, but any Mexican blend will do)
For the yellow rice-style quinoa:
1 10-oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies
½ c water
¼ tsp ground turmeric
1 c uncooked quinoa
To make the enchilada sauce:
Make the enchilada sauce in a small saucepan with a lid on the stovetop. Sautee the onions in the olive oil until translucent. Add chipotle peppers, adobo, chili powder, and oregano. Cook for several minutes to reduce and concentrate the adobo sauce. Mix the flour or cornstarch in the cold water until dissolved, then pour into the saucepan while stirring constantly. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer while you assemble the enchiladas.
To make the enchiladas:
Preheat the oven to 375F. Mix the can of refried beans with the Greek yogurt in a small bowl until well blended. To assemble the enchiladas, take a small spoon or silicone pastry brush and coat each corn tortilla in a bit of the enchilada sauce. Take approximately ¼ c of the refried bean mixture and spread in a line down the middle of the first tortilla. Sprinkle 1-2 Tbs of the shredded cheese on top of the beans, then fold over each side of the tortilla to roll gently around the filling. Place the rolled enchilada seam-side down in a 9×13-inch baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Do not be afraid to overlap enchiladas in the baking dish if needed.
Remove the enchilada sauce from the heat and pour evenly over the enchiladas in the baking dish. Top with remaining shredded cheese and place in oven for 25 minutes, until cheese is bubbling and tortillas around edges start to crisp. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
To make the quinoa:
While the enchiladas are baking, add the can of diced tomatoes with green chilies to the same small saucepan. Add the ½ c water and the ground turmeric and bring to a boil. Stir in the uncooked quinoa, cover, and simmer for 12 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand an additional 3-5 minutes before serving.
-The Hungry Cyclists