Black Bean Enchiladas

Updated: Apr 6, 2020

Fast and flavorful enchiladas with a roasted vegetable sauce!

Enchiladas always seemed like so much work to me. Cooking the filling and then filling the tortillas and finally baking them. I never felt like I could do it all in one night. However, these enchiladas break that mold! Minimal ingredients which are quickly cooked and come together very fast. The filling consists of black beans simmered in a lot of seasoning and the sauce is a quickly made from roasted tomatoes and onions.

Speaking of black beans, they’re delicious..and really good for you! They contain phenolic acids and have been proven to help the effects of colitis. In the paper, “Phenolic Acids Content of Fifteen Dry Edible Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) Varieties”, researchers Devanand L. Luthria and Marcial A. Pastor-Corrales looked at the phenolic content of commonly consumed beans. They hypothesized that the, “potential health benefits of beans have been attributed to the presence of secondary metabolites such as phenolic compounds that possess antioxidant properties (Luthria and Pastor-Corrales 205). And their research showed that black beans contained some of the highest levels of phenolic acids, “The total phenolic acid content among all 15 samples varied between 19.1 and 48.3mg/100g of bean samples. The highest amounts of total phenolic acids were identified in Vista bean and two varieties of Black beans (Luthria and Pastor-Corrales 208). They also tested phenolic levels when the beans were cooked and most of the phenolic acids were retained in the beans, “over 83% of the total phenolic acids were retained in the cooked beans, and only minor amounts (<2%) were identified in the soaked water fraction for Black bean sample (Luthria and Pastor-Corrales 209).

In terms of colitis, researchers Claire Zhang et al in their paper, “Cooked Navy and Black Bean Diets Improve Biomarkers of Colon Health and Reduce Inflammation During Colitis” found that in in vivo trials a black bean diet helped the effects of colitis, “dietary incorporation of whole cooked beans improved the DSS-induced colitis phenotype by reducing inflammatory mediator expression both locally within the inflamed colon and systemically, an effect attributable to the bean bioactive components, namely fermentation-derived SCFA and/or phenolic compounds” (1559). So, eat those black beans! And try these delicious enchiladas.

Serves: 3


Enchilada Sauce

3 Roma tomatoes

½ large onion

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp thyme

Salt and pepper


White corn tortillas

1.5 cans black beans or 2 cups cooked

½ cup bean broth (or water)

1 Tbsp olive oil

½ cup scallions

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

½ cup chopped cilantro

1 Tbsp chipotle chiles in adobo

Juice of 2 limes


Queso fresco

Cilantro Mint Salsa

Bunch of cilantro

1/2 cup mint

1 jalapeno

2 cloves garlic

Juice of 1 lime

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup water

1/2 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp cumin

Salt to taste


1. Prepare sauce. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise and the onion into strips. Place on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with thyme and salt and pepper. Mix until incorporated and bake 45 minutes. Allow to cool and process until smooth.

2. If making the cilantro mint salsa, prepare by adding all the ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth or roughly chop all the herbs and jalapeno and garlic. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until incorporated.

3. Heat the oil over medium heat and add the beans and bean water. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes and add the scallions, chipotle chiles, spices and salt.

4. Using a potato masher or fork mash the beans until they are slightly pureed with still some whole beans present (for texture). Allow to cook until most of the liquid is cooked off and stir in cilantro and lime juice.

5. Heat tortillas in a skillet so they’re more pliable. Fill with two heaping tablespoons of black bean filling. Crumble some queso fresco inside and roll. Place in an 8 by 8 inch pan. Repeat with the rest of the filling.

6. Pour the sauce over the tortillas and add more cheese. Place in your 375 degree oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Works Cited

Luthria, Devanand L., and Marcial A. Pastor-Corrales. “Phenolic Acids Content of Fifteen Dry Edible Bean (Phaseolus Vulgaris L.) Varieties.” Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, vol. 19, no. 2-3, 2006, pp. 205–211.

Zhang, Claire, et al. “Cooked Navy and Black Bean Diets Improve Biomarkers of Colon Health and Reduce Inflammation during Colitis.” British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 111, no. 9, 2014, pp. 1549–1563.