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Enfrijoladas are similar to enchiladas made with corn tortillas and dipped in a creamy black bean sauce. They’re savory, filling, and incredibly delicious! It will become your new favorite Mexican dish!
If you’ve never heard of enfrijoladas don’t worry. I had no idea what they were until we were contemplating moving to Mexico. In the US, most Mexican restaurants I’ve found lean more towards TexMex than actual Mexican cuisine so I had never heard of enfrijoladas until we visited Mexico.
They’re a great meal for Meatless Mondays or busy weeknights since they come together quickly. They’re also a super affordable and cheap dinner that can be made often!
What are enfrijoladas?
Enfrijoladas are a traditional Mexican dish that originated in the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico and are made with corn tortillas dipped in a rich, creamy black bean sauce. The word “enfrijolada” itself comes from the Spanish words “en”(in) and “frijol” (bean), indicating the primary ingredient of the dish.
To make enfrijoladas, cooked black beans are blended into a smooth sauce with added flavorings such as garlic, onion, and sometimes chili peppers. The tortillas are briefly heated, either on a griddle or in a skillet, then dipped in the bean sauce until fully coated. They are then folded are rolled and arranged in a serving dish.
Enfrijoladas are often garnished with a variety of toppings, including crumbled cheese (such as queso fresco or cotija), chopped onion, cilantro, sliced avocado, and a dollop of sour cream. Additional toppings may include shredded chicken, beef, or scrambled eggs. To make these vegan black bean enfrijoladas, skip the meat and top with tofu ground beef and vegan cheese instead.
This enfrijoladas recipe requires only basic ingredients that you most likely already have on hand except for maybe one or two. Here’s what you need:
- Black Beans: You’ll need a couple cans of black beans, along with their liquid. Using the liquid helps create a smoother consistency for the bean sauce. Enfrijoladas can also be made with pinto beans or even refried beans. Feel free to change it up and use your favorite beans!
- Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth: Adding vegetable broth enhances the flavor of the bean sauce and provides a savory base. Feel free to use any broth or vegetable stock you prefer.
- Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce: For a smoky and spicy kick, consider adding 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. They bring a depth of flavor to the dish but can be omitted if you prefer a milder taste. If needed, you can also use chili powder instead.
- Garlic: Fresh cloves of garlic add tons of flavor to the black bean sauce. Adjust to your preference, but as a garlic lover, I err on the side of more.
- Mexican Oregano: Mexican oregano adds earthy and citrusy notes that complement the beans and spices. If you can’t find Mexican oregano you can use Italian oregano in a pinch.
- White corn tortillas (these are my recommendations for the best vegan tortillas)
How to make enfrijoladas
Step 1: Blend all the ingredients for the black bean sauce until smooth. Aim for a consistency similar to thick soup. If needed, adjust by adding more water or vegetable broth until you reach the desired thickness. If skipping chipotle peppers, consider adding chili powder for extra spice before blending.
Step 2: Pour the bean mixture into a pan set over medium heat. Allow it to bubble gently, stirring occasionally, for approximately 5 minutes. Once bubbling, reduce the heat to low to keep warm.
Step 3: To make the tortillas more pliable and easier to fold, warm them up. A preferred method is heating them in a dry frying pan for 30-60 seconds per side until golden spots appear. Alternatively, wrap them in a damp dish towel and microwave for 30-60 seconds.
Step 4: Using a pair of tongs, dip each tortilla one at a time into the rich black bean sauce, ensuring both sides are coated. Transfer the coated tortillas to a plate.
Step 5: Add desired fillings to each tortilla, then fold them in half like a taco. For serving, top the enfrijoladas with more bean sauce and garnishes such as avocado slices, sliced red onion, pico de gallo, and fresh cilantro, as desired. To make these vegan enfrijoladas, top with some vegan crema.
You could also roll them up like enchiladas or fold them in quarters which is more traditional to how they are prepared in Oaxaca. I just like the easy fold-in-half method but feel free to get fancy with it!
- Aim for a smooth and creamy sauce similar to a thick soup. If it’s too thick, add more water or broth to thin it out.
- I find that heating the tortillas up in a warm skillet produces the best flavor compared to microwaving. You can also make fried tortillas by dipping the tortillas in hot oil for 20-30 seconds per side until it becomes slightly crispy and golden.
- Make sure to only dip the tortilla wraps long enough to coat them in the savory bean sauce. If they soak for too long, they may fall apart.
- Red onion
- Avocado slices
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Sliced jalapeno
- Pico de gallo (fresh tomato salsa)
- Roasted chili corn salsa
- Mexican crema
- Sour cream
- Roasted sweet potatoes cubes or mashed sweet potatoes (tip: use a microwave to cook sweet potatoes quickly for mashing)
- Sautéed bell peppers and onions
- Sautéed spinach or kale with garlic and lime juice
- Sautéed mushrooms and zucchini
- Ceviche (for a vegan option try this hearts of palm ceviche)
- Chili sin carne (could use as a topping or filling as well!)
- Mexican cucumbers
- Refried beans
- Mexican Rice
How To Store
Store enfrijoladas in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Or freeze for up to 3 months.
Enfrijoladas can be enjoyed with or without fillings, depending on personal preference and regional variations. Traditionally, enfrijoladas are served simply with the creamy black bean sauce coating the corn tortillas, along with garnishes such as cheese, onion, cilantro, and sour cream. However, some variations of enfrijoladas may include fillings such as shredded chicken, beef, scrambled eggs, or sautéed vegetables. These fillings can add protein, texture, and additional flavors to the dish, making it more hearty and satisfying. Ultimately, whether or not enfrijoladas have fillings is a matter of individual taste. Feel free to experiment with different fillings to customize the dish to your liking!
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- 12 white corn tortillas
For the Black Bean Sauce:
- 2 15-oz cans black beans no salt added
- 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo optional but highly recommended
- 4 cloves garlic peeled
- ½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder optional, if not using chipotle peppers
- 2 avocados sliced
- cilantro to garnish
- red onion sliced
- Mexican crema I used vegan crema
- Add all of the ingredients for the sauce into a high-speed blender. Blend well. The consistency should be like thick soup. Add water or vegetable broth if needed to reach the right consistency. If you’re not using chipotle peppers, add in chili powder for more spice and blend.2 15-oz cans black beans, 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth, 4 cloves garlic, ½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, ¼ teaspoon chili powder, 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo
- Pour the sauce into a pan on medium heat until heated through (about 5 minutes) stirring frequently. Once bubbling, reduce heat to low.
- Warm the tortillas to make them more pliable and fold easier. I like heating them in a dry skillet for 30-60 seconds per side until golden spots appear, but you can also wrap them in a damp dish towel and microwave for 30-60 seconds.
- Using tongs, dip the tortillas one at a time in the black bean sauce to coat on each side, transfer to a plate, then add desired fillings (see notes below) and fold the tortilla in half like a taco.12 white corn tortillas
- Top with more bean sauce, a drizzle of vegan crema, and garnish with avocado slices, sliced red onion, pico de gallo, and fresh cilantro if desired. Enjoy!2 avocados, cilantro, red onion, Mexican crema
This enfrijoladas recipe was originally published October 1, 2017 and has been updated with an improved recipe, photos, and tips on February 6th, 2024.