I harbor a lot of love for enchiladas, but it’s not a dish I get all that often. When I do order them at a Mexican restaurant, I usually opt for cheese and onion enchiladas, and while I can convince myself of the nutritional qualities of a lot of things, even I have to say that it’s really not the healthiest choice I could make. Not by a long shot.
But this fall and winter, I’ve actually been whipping up my own enchiladas. It started when I set up a Meal Train* for some friends who’d just had their first baby and I wanted to make them a dish that would travel well, provide them with some leftovers, and give them some solid nutrition as they adjusted to their new lives. As I looked through my cupboards, I saw black beans and pumpkin, and I knew I had some peppers in adobo sauce, and I realized that a big ol’ pan of enchiladas would be perfect!
Never mind the fact that I’d really never made them. How hard could it be?
I looked through a few recipes and made notes of ingredients and instructions I liked, ignoring the ones I didn’t — this is typically my cooking process, FWIW, which is why sometimes things turn out really well and other times … not so much. Below is the pumpkin black bean enchilada recipe that I ended up going with. My hungry friends ate nearly the whole pan, believe it or not, and I’ve made them a few times in the weeks since — so this recipe is definitely a keeper!
*If you’re not familiar with Meal Train, I really recommend checking it out the next time you have a friend who’s out of commission for any reason (baby, surgery, family emergency, just a really terrible cook …). It makes it so, so easy to organize meal deliveries among a big (or small) group — it’s a thoughtful gesture that helps out the person receiving the meals as well as all the people who’d like to lend a hand. And no, this isn’t sponsored by Meal Train or anything — I just really super duper dig it.
Pumpkin Black Bean Enchiladas
- 1 can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
- 1 can black beans, mostly drained but not rinsed
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1-2 cups fresh kale, roughly chopped
- 1-2 chiles in adobo, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 jars salsa verde
- 1 package corn tortillas
- 1 cup Mexican cheese, shredded or crumbled and divided (half and half)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- For toppings (optional):
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 diced tomato
- Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- Hot sauce or salsa of choice
- Preheat oven to 375 and have a large casserole dish ready.
- Saute onions, garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil on medium heat until onions begin to become translucent.
- Add kale. Once kale begins to wilt, add in black beans, peppers in adobo, and cumin. Mix well for about two minutes.
- Pour black bean mixture, ½ cup cheese of your choice (pepper jack is great, colby is good, goat is great, queso fresco is fantastic -- or you can leave cheese out entirely if you prefer!) and pumpkin puree into a large mixing bowl and mix well. Set aside for the moment.
- Pour salsa verde into casserole dish. Bottom of dish should be fully covered.
- In groups of 3 or 4, heat corn tortillas in microwave. I cover them with a moist paper towel and nuke them on high for 20 seconds. This helps keep the tortillas from breaking when you add the filling and roll them up.
- After tortillas are heated, fill each with the pumpkin black bean mixture -- you want to use enough to make them seem full end to end, but not so much that you can't roll the tortilla around the filling. I find that a heaping spoonful is about right, but it's something you'll probably have to play with. Don't worry if the first couple are a mess -- you'll get the system down quickly.
- Continue filling tortillas until filling is all gone and/or your casserole dish is full.
- Top with salsa verde (this will help keep the tortillas moist and unbreak-y) and remaining cheese.
- Cover and bake for about 30 minutes. If cheese and salsa doesn't seem bubbly and melty, take the cover off for a few minutes.
- Top with your choice of toppings and serve. And pray for leftovers -- this is even better the next day!
This is an easy recipe to make pretty spicy, if you like -- you can definitely add more peppers (chipotle or otherwise). If you like peppers in adobo as much as I do, I'd recommend holding some of the sauce aside as a spicy topping!
You can also add more veggies to this with ease. Red peppers, zucchini, mushrooms -- I can see lots of goodies being a tasty addition here.
Do you have a meal you rely on when you’re bringing dinner to a friend? I’ve done a few different pasta dishes with salad, but this is definitely my new fave. —Kristen