Black bean enchiladas with zucchini in spicy tomato sauce

black bean enchiladasI came up with this recipe for my father. The photo doesn’t look so appetizing, but trust me–these enchiladas are seriously amazing. Thanks for the idea, Dad!!!

A couple of days after I posted about cooking black beans in the slow cooker (, my father emailed to say he was making them and did I have any ideas about how he could make enchiladas that tasted like Amy’s brand vegetarian black bean enchiladas. I have never had this particular frozen delight. But, because everything you need to know is online, I quickly found the ingredient list and typed out a sketch for him of what I would do. Since then, I’ve kept coming back to the idea and thinking about it more. I’ve made enchiladas in the past, but it’s been a very long time, and I’ve never made them with black beans.  The more I thought about it, the more delicious it seemed. And also super affordable. Which is a priority right now, as I slowly adjust to my single life with my single, public interest attorney income. So it was decided. I would make black bean enchiladas. But I didn’t want the Amy’s version. Which meant that this morning, after I put the black beans in the slow cooker, I pulled out my favorite Mexican cookbook, Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen. I was not disappointed. He had a recipe for plain enchiladas, just tortillas dipped in tomato sauce, which wasn’t quite what I was thinking. Yet it was much closer. I decided to use that as my starting point, adding and subtracting as made sense.

Here’s what I did. And I recommend you follow suit at your earliest opportunity. Because these are incredible. Seriously. Be warned, though: they’re spicy. If that’s an issue for you or someone you’re cooking for, maybe use fewer peppers.

Sauceblack beans, zucchini and onion
1 T. olive or other neutral oil
1/2 yellow or white onion, thinly sliced
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
3 or 4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, coarsely chopped
1 c. liquid from cooked black beans or vegetable broth or chicken broth
salt to taste

1 T. oilve or other neutral oil
1/2 yellow or white onion, diced
1 med. zucchini, med diced
2 c. cooked black beans

12 corn tortillas
queso fresco, crumbled
cilantro (optional–I forgot to pick some from the garden, so didn’t have any today)

1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a dutch over or other heavy, medium sized pot. When it’s hot, add the onion and cook until brown, approximately 8 minutes. Turn the heat to medium-high. Add the tomatoes and peppers once it’s hot. Stiir for about 5 minutes, until the sauce glistens, then add the bean cooking liquid or broth. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

2. While the sauce is simmering, heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion. Cook, undisturbed, for about 3 minutes, then stir and add the zucchini. Cook for another 3 minutes or so, stir, and add the black beans. Cook for another 3-4 minutes then turn off the beans, zucchini and onion

3. Heat the tortillas, either by steaming them in a kitchen towel (Rick Bayless method) or wrapping them in a couple of paper towels and microwaving for 30 seconds (my cheater method). One at a time, dip the tortillas into the sauce so that both sides are covered. Fill with about 1/4 cup of the bean zucchini comb,, sprinkle with queso fresco, roll, and place in a baking dish. Continue to fill the tortillas until the filling is gone. Sprinkle additional cheese and, if using, cilantro, over the top, and serve. If you like this as much as I do, thank my dad.

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