Black Bean and Corn Enchiladas
Quick, easy, and oh so flavorful, these Black Bean and Corn Enchiladas will be a new family favorite! They’re so delicious and filling, no one will ever miss the meat. Top with sauce, cheese, avocado, and cilantro for a meatless Mexican recipe everyone will enjoy! Easy to make ahead, too.
Enchiladas are one of my favorite meatless meals, because they’re so easy to stuff with healthy and hearty vegetarian fillings, and the sauce and cheese adds so much flavor and texture that even committed carnivores rarely complain about the “missing” meat.
This particular recipe for black bean enchiladas with corn is super filling and flavorful, plus it’s easy to make ahead of time and takes less than 30 minutes to cook in the oven. This is the perfect addition to your weekly meal plan!
You’ll Love These
- Easy to make. Mix up the filling, roll it into tortillas, top with sauce and cheese, and bake. Easy peasy.
- Healthy yet filling. Black beans and corn both have good amounts of protein, so these enchiladas will reliably keep your stomach satisfied.
- Great for tossing in extra veggies. Have some extra bell pepper? Zucchini? Butternut squash? Toss it into the filling, and celebrate your cleaner fridge and even more tasty and healthy dinner. Vegetarian enchiladas win the day!
Craving enchiladas without the extra step of filling and rolling tortillas? This beef enchilada casserole recipe is always a hit!
Ingredients & Common Substitutions
Here are a few notes and shopping tips about the ingredients you’ll need to make these black bean and corn enchiladas, as well as possible substitutions.
- Olive oil: Use a quality, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor. Regular vegetable or avocado oil is a good substitute.
- Red onions: Red onions provide a mild sweetness to the overall flavor of the enchiladas compared to white or yellow onions. White or yellow certainly work, however.
- Black beans: This recipe uses canned black beans but you can use dried black beans by boiling them first and then draining the water off before using.
- Corn kernels: I usually use frozen corn for convenience–no need to defrost it first–but canned or freshly-cooked corn on the cob work perfectly, too.
- Veggie broth: Homemade or store-bought. If keeping this vegetarian is not crucial, you can substitute chicken broth.
- Oregano: Mexican oregano is well worth keeping on hand if you like to cook Mexican and Tex-Mex recipes at home! I highly recommend it here, but don’t hesitate to use regular (Greek) oregano in its place if needed.
- Other spices: garlic powder, cumin, paprika (either smoked or sweet is fine), and kosher salt.
- Tortillas, enchilada sauce, cheese, and toppings. Our favorite toppings are diced avocado, cilantro, and lime wedges. Sour cream and extra pico de gallo or blender salsa are always a hit, too.
What are the best tortillas to use for enchiladas?
Corn tortillas are generally considered the traditional and superior choice for enchiladas. They have a distinct flavor, unlike flour tortillas, which are more of a blank slate.
That said, 100% corn tortillas can be difficult to work with unless you toast them briefly prior to filling and rolling. For the sake of convenience, I often rely on tortillas that are a corn-wheat blend when making enchiladas. Traditional? Maybe not. But the way I see it, you can get the best of both worlds!
What is the best enchilada sauce?
Homemade enchilada sauce is the best! Sometimes store-bought is just as good, but candidly, once you go the from-scratch route here, you’ll never go back. The richer flavor and thicker consistency is far superior to any store-bought version. Make a big batch of this homemade red enchilada sauce as much as five days before you plan to eat these enchiladas, and store in the fridge until ready to use.
How To Make Black Bean Enchiladas
Begin by making the filling, which is a simple mix of chopped onion, black beans, and corn, sautéed together with seasoning. Adding a bit of broth tenderizes the beans and helps them absorb the seasonings.
Meanwhile, shred your cheese and prepare a rectangular baking dish by coating lightly with cooking spray.
Set up a small assembly line of tortillas, black bean filling, and cheese. You want to add just about 2-3 tablespoons of filling to each tortilla. Overstuffed tortillas do not make the best enchiladas! They don’t bake as evenly and are more prone to falling apart, both while being assembled and while being served.
Add a bit of cheese to the inside of each enchilada.
Roll the tortillas carefully and tuck them in close together to fill the baking pan.
You can cover all of the tortillas with a layer of sauce, as shown here, or leave the edges uncovered to make them slightly crispy. This simply comes down to personal preference.
Sprinkle with more cheese, obviously!
Bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees F, and dinner is served!
Tips and Tricks
- You can use corn tortillas, which are the most traditional choice for enchiladas, but enchiladas made with flour tortillas are still very delicious. Or get the best of both worlds with a wheat-corn blend!
- If using corn tortillas, do yourself a favor and toast them lightly with a brush of oil in a hot skillet before adding the filling and attempting to roll. This makes the delicate corn tortillas much less likely to break apart. At a minimum, warm corn tortillas in the microwave first.
- Grate your own cheese if possible, using the fine side of a box grater. Pre-shredded cheese definitely works when needed, but it does not melt quite so well as fresh-grated.
- Don’t overstuff the enchiladas. Just 2-3 tablespoons of filling works best. See above for a visual.
What To Serve With Enchiladas
Serve these black bean and corn enchiladas with a side of Mexican rice, pinto or refried beans, or a big salad.
For an easy Mexican-inspired salad, throw together mixed greens, tomato, cucumber, carrots, a few pumpkin seeds or crushed up tortilla chips, and a simple vinaigrette — following the golden vinaigrette ratio of 3 parts olive oil, 1 part red wine vinegar, a pinch each of kosher salt and black pepper, and a big pinch of Mexican oregano for flavor.
A dollop of guacamole or a spoonful of homemade pico de gallo is always a good fit, as well!
Can you make enchiladas ahead of time?
Yes, you can easily prepare enchiladas one or two days before you plan to eat them. For these black bean and corn enchiladas, prepare the filling and assemble the enchiladas fully, including coating with sauce and sprinkling with cheese. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and store in the fridge for up to 36 hours. Remove from the fridge and bake as directed, planning to add about 5 minutes to the baking time.
Storing and Reheating
Leftovers? No problem!
- To store enchiladas, place them in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- To freeze cooked enchiladas, let them cool completely, then transfer to a freezer-safe container or zip-top freezer bag, remove as much excess air as possible, and freeze. Enchiladas can also be wrapped tightly and completely in aluminum foil and frozen that way. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
- Reheat enchiladas either in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes on full power or in a 350ºF oven for 10-15 minutes, until warmed through. If you have extra shredded cheese, sprinkle it on top so you can get another crack at enjoying the fresh melted effect.
More Mexican Favorites
If you enjoy Tex-Mex and Mexican-inspired main dishes, don’t miss these easy black bean tacos, our favorite chipotle black bean tortilla soup, and the most simple yet amazing crockpot shredded chicken tacos.
Need to keep it extra fast and easy? Add sheet pan shrimp or chicken fajitas to your meal plan!
If you try these Black Bean Enchiladas, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I love hearing how recipes turn out in your kitchen, and it helps other readers, too.
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Black Bean and Corn Enchiladas
- 2 teaspoons avocado or olive oil
- 1/2 red onion chopped
- 1 15 ounce can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 and 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
- 1/4 cup veggie broth
- 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano can substitute regular oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 8 medium tortillas corn or flour
- 1 and 1/2 cups shredded Colby jack cheese
- 1 cup enchilada sauce
- sliced avocado, lime wedges, and chopped fresh cilantro to serve
- Warm oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for 1-2 minutes, just until the pieces begin to soften. Add black beans, corn, broth, oregano, garlic powder, cumin, salt, and paprika. Stir well and simmer for 3-4 minutes, just until the liquid is mostly absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom of an 8”x10” or 9”x13” baking pan lightly with cooking spray, and set up a small assembly line of tortillas, the black bean mixture, and shredded cheese.
- To assemble enchiladas, take one tortilla at a time and spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the black bean mixture down the middle. Add a small sprinkle of cheese along one side, then tightly roll up the tortilla and place in the baking pan, seam side down. Fill remaining tortillas, tucking them snugly next to each other in the pan.
- Pour enchilada sauce evenly over the enchiladas, spreading into a thin layer. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
- Garnish with sliced avocado, lime wedges, and a sprinkling of chopped cilantro. Serve hot!
- Cheese: You can substitute cheddar, Monterey Jack, or any other mix that you like.
- Tortillas: If using corn tortillas, it helps immensely to lightly toast them prior to filling and rolling. You can do this either directly on the burner of a gas range, or in a cast iron skillet. It even helps just to microwave them for 20-30 seconds. This helps avoid cracking.
2 Comments on “Black Bean and Corn Enchiladas”
I make these enchiladas a lot! The first time I ignored the warning about overfilling them, but haven’t done that since. They freeze well, so I make a batch on the weekend and freeze them in individual servings so I can just grab and go for lunches at work. I serve them with some combination of sour cream, guacamole, cilantro, jalapeños, and tomatoes.
What a fantastic idea, Stacy – I’m so glad they work well for lunches! Thank you for this review! I really hope you are doing well!