This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
A sumptuous, savory dish overflowing with bold Mexican flavor, enfrijoladas are easy to make and fulfill any Mexican food craving. Featuring fried corn tortillas stuffed with queso fresco and smothered in a creamy black bean sauce made with smokey chipotle peppers. They are sure to please any crowd.
I’m a huge fan of authentic Mexican food, and there are an endless number of dishes to try. Most of the signature dishes from this region feature inexpensive, simple ingredients and yet, each one is positively overflowing with mouthwatering, robust flavors.
Enfrijoladas are one of those impressive recipes that call for very simple ingredients. For this enfrijoladas recipe, you’ll smother corn tortillas stuffed with creamy queso fresco in a rich black bean sauce and enjoy them topped with more cheese and fresh herbs. They are similar to enchiladas rojas or my beef and potato enchiladas, but I love this recipe because it is completely meat-free. It’s a hearty, wholesome meal whether you like to eat meat or not!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Black Beans – The most important ingredient! You can cook your own black beans and use the cooking liquid for the recipe, or you may use canned beans.
- Garlic – To add a tasty, savory flavor.
- Chipotle Peppers – Use a can or jar of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for the robust, zesty signature Mexican flavor. These are fairly spicy but also smokey and sweet.
- Onion – Adds flavor to the bean purée.
- Mexican Oregano – This will pair wonderfully with the spice and cumin. It’s different from regular oregano, so a good substitute would be marjoram.
- Cumin – For bold, warm spicy flavor.
- Corn Tortillas – Corn tortillas will soak up the bean mixture well and add a savory corn flavor. I wouldn’t recommend using flour tortillas for this recipe.
- Vegetable Oil – Good for frying. Substitute with canola oil if needed.
- Queso Fresco – A crumbly, tangy, salty cheese similar to feta. You can also use Monterey Jack or Oaxaca cheese, which melts very well.
- Toppings – I like to top these rich, savory bites off with fresh cilantro, tangy pickled red onion, or classic Mexican crema.
HOW TO MAKE ENFRIJOLADAS
1. Purée Ingredients. Add black beans (plus cooking liquid or liquid from one of the cans), garlic, chipotle peppers, onion, Mexican oregano, and cumin to a large blender. Purée until smooth.
2. Fry Beans. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Fry your black bean mixture, stirring frequently, until the mixture is bubbly. It should be about the consistency of enchilada sauce, so add some water if it’s too thick. Season with salt and set aside to cool.
3. Fry Tortillas. Heat half a cup of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Quickly fry each corn tortilla until warm, soft and pliable.
4. Assemble. Coat each fried tortilla in the black bean mixture, making sure to dip on each side. Transfer to a plate and fill each tortilla with cheese, folding it over to make it like a taco, or rolling to make it like an enchilada.
5. Add Toppings & Serve! Serve while hot, and don’t forget to add cheese, crema, cilantro, and pickled onion on top!
What’s the Difference Between Enfrijoladas and Enchiladas?
Both dishes look similar, and they both involve fried tortillas that are stuffed and smothered in sauce. However, these enfrijoladas are meatless, while most enchiladas contain meat. Also, they are smothered in a bean sauce, while enchiladas usually feature a chile sauce.
Are Enfrijoladas Vegan?
This enfrijoladas recipe calls for beans and cheese. There is no meat, but the cheese makes it a non-vegan recipe. Simply using vegan cheese would make this a vegan-friendly recipe!
What is the Difference Between Black Beans and Pinto Beans?
Black beans are often used to make refried beans and the bean sauce in this recipe. They make a good purée without becoming overly mushy. Pinto beans are a bit nuttier, earthier, and stronger in flavor and can become creamier. Both are very similar, but black beans are a bit lower in calories and a bit higher in protein.
- 2 cups cooked black beans (See Note 1)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
- 1/2 white onion quartered
- 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 12 corn tortillas
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil for frying
- 10 ounces queso fresco Oaxaca cheese or Monterey Jack cheese (crumbled or shredded)
- In a large blender, add the black beans (with 1/2 cup cooking liquid OR 1 of the 2 cans undrained), garlic, chipotle pepper, onion, oregano and cumin. Puree until the black bean sauce is smooth.
- Heat the tablespoon of oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Carefully pour in the black bean mixture and fry. Stir frequently, until the mixture is hot and bubbly (See Note 2). Set aside to cool and season to taste with salt.
- In a skillet over medium-high heat add the 1/2 cup oil and heat up. Gently and quickly fry the corn tortillas until warm and pliable, about 15 seconds a side. Transfer to a plate.
- Assemble the enfrijoladas by dipping each fried tortilla into the black bean mixture, coating both sides. Transfer to a plate and fill with cheese. Fold it over like a taco or roll it up like an enchilada. Place 2-3 per plate.
- Serve immediately with more cheese crumbled on top, a drizzle of Mexican crema, cilantro and pickled red onion.
- Either cook your own black beans and cool, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid or use 2 15 ounce cans of black beans. Drain one can and leave liquid in other. If cooking black beans from dried beans that you soaked overnight, try adding an avocado leaf or two to the beans while cooking. Avocado leaves are like a Mexican bay leaf, they add so much flavor (licorice, anise notes) and I feel is essential in any black bean dish if making from scratch. I highly recommend you use them if you can. I find them at any Mexican market or the Mexican food aisle next to bags of dried chilies and seasonings in my market. Once they’ve cooked with the beans, discard them like a traditional bay leaf in cooking, don’t eat them.
- If this gets too thick, simply add some water and stir through. We want this the consistency of enchilada sauce.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.