Spicy Garlic and Lime Black Bean Enchiladas

by Andie Mitchell on July 24, 2011

Vegetarian Black Bean Enchiladas

Everyone loves an enchilada or two.

Or three.

Sometimes four.

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Everyone doubly loves a plate of enchiladas with loud, boisterous flavor and straightforward ‘structions.

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These spicy enchiladas are both: simple to make and wild with cumin and cilantro, garlic and tart lime. I kept them vegetarian because any meat might have muted the sweet and spicy tomato sauce or tampered with that lovely bean meets rice texture. Vegetarian Black Bean Enchiladas

I recommend buying a block of pepper jack cheese and grating it by hand. The pre-shredded bags of white and orange and yellow work. But those conveniences have anti-caking agents added so that the shreds don’t melt easily and begin to clump. In theory, this makes sense, only those cheese strands won’t ever melt as silky smooth and creamy as the kind that’s fresh frayed. Vegetarian Black Bean Enchiladas

Make a pan of garlic and lime black bean enchiladas and freeze any leftovers for a lazy Wednesday. Then, while the rest sit warm and gooey, dollop them with sour cream, a few glugs of hot sauce, and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro. Vegetarian Black Bean Enchiladas

Spicy Garlic and Lime Black Bean Enchiladas


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter 
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, more or less depending on spice preference
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 10 small flour tortillas
  • 1 15 oz can red enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup freshly grated pepper jack cheese


  1. Heat olive oil and butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until melted, add onion and pepper and saute for 4 minutes, until beginning to soften.
  2. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  3. Stir in the fire roasted tomatoes, lime, sugar, cumin, cayenne, and cilantro. Let simmer for 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
  4. Stir in black beans and rice. Remove from heat.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread half of the enchilada sauce across the bottom of a 13×9” greased baking dish.
  6. On a clean work surface, lay your tortillas in a single layer. Divide the vegetable and bean mixture among the tortillas, roll each into a long cylinder and place seam-side-down in the prepared baking dish. Fit each rolled enchilada snugly beside one another.
  7. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce across the rolled enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese. Tent the pan loosely with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and let the cheese bubble and brown for 5 additional minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.

{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

Manda July 25, 2011 at 12:20 am

This looks really fantastic! I’m always looking for new enchilada recipes (I’m from Arizona and we love our enchiladas here) and also for new vegetarian options.


Halley July 25, 2011 at 1:37 am

Yes! Fantastic. I love rice and beans… and sour cream. Trio made in heaven!

Have a great day!


Johnny July 25, 2011 at 2:15 am

The enchiladas look amazing! Thanks for the tip on the bagged cheese, never knew that.
Have a blessed day everyone!! :)


Claire July 25, 2011 at 4:10 am

Ooooh, my goodness. Mouth. Watering. Will be making this next week for my family. They’re still slightly suspicious of my vegetarianism, but we all share an enthusiasm for Mexican. This will blow their socks off.


Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger) July 25, 2011 at 4:45 am

I make quesadillas all the time but never think to make enchiladas. Lovely recipe. Bookmarking this to try soon.


Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy and Healthy July 25, 2011 at 5:27 am

you had me at enchilada.


KaraHadley July 25, 2011 at 7:23 am

These look so wonderfully flavored and hearty. There really are few things better than homemade (and thus healthier) Mexican food.


The Chocolate Covered Kitchen July 25, 2011 at 7:56 am

Thanks for explaining the anti-caking coating. I don’t usually buy pre-shredded, but now I won’t at all. Looks like just the recipe I need for my teenage vegetarian!


Laura @ Meet Virginia July 25, 2011 at 8:04 am

I think I will make these for dinner one night this week! I don’t know if I have mentioned this in a comment yet or not, but your photography is really wonderful!


Rachel @ the Avid Appetite July 25, 2011 at 9:00 am

I adore enchiladas and have actually been trying to come up with a way to change it up a bit. These look fantastic!


Lisa July 25, 2011 at 9:07 am

These look delicious! I’m glad you mentioned “small tortillas”. I bought the big ones and tried to make enchiladas. I don’t know how big I thought my pan was. Duh.


Alexa @ Simple Eats July 25, 2011 at 10:13 am

You had me at garlic and lime. I wish I had the patience to cook fresh beans. I stick with canned :(


Lisa @ The Cooking Bride July 25, 2011 at 10:37 am

Oh, I wish my husband liked enchiladas! I may have to file this one under “Make When The Husband is Out of Town.”


Parita July 25, 2011 at 11:29 am

HOLY YUM! How did you know enciladas were my favorite? :) These look amazing…I’m looking forward to making them for myself!


stephanie July 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Ciaaao Andie!! Having a little cathing up on your blog! gorgeous!! makes me crave some mexican :) you’re on a roll!!!!
brava brava!!


SallyBR July 25, 2011 at 1:42 pm

My beloved husband thinks that enchiladas without meat would be like dancing with his sister – but your recipe has a ton of good stuff in it, I bet even he would fall for them!

Nice photos…


Amy July 25, 2011 at 3:09 pm

I (the token vegetarian in the household) might even be able to get my adorable omnivore’s to eat this one! They look delicious Andy :)


Tina @ My Life as a Mrs July 25, 2011 at 4:41 pm

mmm these look delicious… great meatless idea (i don’t think i’d even miss the meat in these bad boys!)


Lu July 25, 2011 at 8:39 pm

I was content with the stuffed shrimp. In heaven with the lasagna cups. On cloud nine with the vanilla cupcakes. But you’ve officially won me over with these enchiladas. As if I needed to stalk your blog any more. Love your haircut by the way. In a totally not creepy stalky way. Promise.


Riss July 26, 2011 at 3:16 am

I just have to tell you how much I adore your pictures for this post… Especially fourth one of all the tortillas beautifully lined up across your counter–just as if they magically appeared!


Leanne (Bride to Mrs.) July 26, 2011 at 7:27 am

Anything with garlic is fine by me :) hehe!


Mary @ Fervent Foodie July 26, 2011 at 7:57 am

This looks fabulous! I made something similar last night, but grilled it up as a quesadilla. I think I’ll try making enchiladas with the leftovers!


Rachel @healthy_chicks July 26, 2011 at 8:07 am

Mmm, these look great! I love spicy food, and adding different spices to shake up a normal meal. I especially LOVE the flavor of cumin & cayenne pepper – delish.


Carissa July 26, 2011 at 12:20 pm

These look like everything I could ever want and then some. All the right flavors and textures with that kick of lime!


Megan (Braise The Roof) July 26, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Ditto on the pre-shredded cheese. I feel the same way about pre-shredded carrots (and even baby carrots for that matter). It’s just not as good! PS, love your new hair-do!


Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen July 26, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Mmmm…Mexican food is my favorite. I actually prefer vegetarian versions of enchiladas – beans are far superior to ground beef in my opinion!


Kate (What Kate is Cooking) July 26, 2011 at 3:22 pm

I love multiple enchiladas! I can never stop at 2… I’ve eaten the whole pan before :)


Leah @ Why Deprive? July 26, 2011 at 3:41 pm

These look so good! I love enchiladas. I love them so much I always have tortillas on hand just in case I get a craving.


Misty July 26, 2011 at 5:32 pm

thanks for the recipe! I made it for dinner… I had green enchilada sauce on hand, along with everything else, so i tried it… yum!


The Texas Peach July 26, 2011 at 5:32 pm

I LOVE enchiladas! I make black bean and rice burritos occasionally, so I know that we would love this recipe. I will have to give it a try soon!


The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh July 26, 2011 at 5:53 pm

I just stumbled across your blog and might I say, your photography is amazing! Can’t wait to read/see more!


Sarah July 26, 2011 at 6:13 pm

This dish looks absolutely yummy. My kids love enchiladas especially with black beans. I agree with grating your own cheese. It works so much better.


Mrs. Fish July 26, 2011 at 7:01 pm

I love, love, love enchiladas, yum!


Amy @ Vitamin Amy July 27, 2011 at 6:55 am

Love enchiladas! I will definitely be making these :-)


Beth July 30, 2011 at 11:19 am

What is the best way to freeze Enchiladas? Anyone have any ideas??


Irene L. August 16, 2011 at 4:57 pm

About a month ago I decided that my husband and I would be eating ONE vegetarian meal per week. My hubbie agreed, this is nothing short of amazing, considering his rule use to be “no meat = not a real meal”. Spicy Garlic and Lime Black Bean Enchiladas was our veggie meal for the week, and let me tell you Andie, it was DELISH! I am hoping to slowly add more meatless meals to our weekly dinners and its meals like this that convinces my hubby that he can be satisfied without meat. Your the best!


Kyle November 14, 2011 at 11:22 am

I just recently came across your blog via Pinterest. I found you weight loss journey to be fascinating, but what I really loved was your honesty about AFTER the weight loss. People don’t often talk about that. ANYWAYS, I made your enchiladas on Friday night and they were a HUGE hit! I will definitely have to cut back on the cayenne next time because I’m a spice wimp, but the recipe has been saved in my special folder.

Thanks for inspiring me! :)


Bonnie Norman January 18, 2012 at 8:54 pm

I made this tonight and OMG it was amazing! I cut the cayenne in half and used white rice instead of brown, but otherwise followed it exactly. Thanks for this recipe, I will be adding it to my regular rotation. :D


Rachel July 31, 2012 at 10:33 pm

I made these tonight! Altered the recipe slightly as my brother hates tomatoes but loves meat so it was half vegetarian (for his wife) and half meat for us carnivores. They LOVED it.


A Mexican October 2, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Ugh I hate seeing recipes that call for enchiladas to be baked. This is not a Mexican dish. Enchiladas should be made one tortilla at a time being fried on the stove top. And they should be corn not flower tortillas. And you should probably make Mexican rice instead of brown rice for a more authentic flavor.


Wen Kauffman November 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm

I love these!!! I have made them on several occasions and everyone loves them. I use a a large tsp of pureed chipotle, as well as the cayenne. I strive to be vegan so I top the enchiladas with the layer of enchilada sauce or salsa, and instead of cheese I make the Post Punk Kitchen cashew queso and pour that on top. So good!


Meredith January 20, 2013 at 7:26 pm

These were a hit with he vegetarian daughter AND her carnivorous twin brother!


Patricia February 3, 2013 at 3:46 pm

yum! the enchiladas are so good


Patricia February 3, 2013 at 3:48 pm

for the super bowl we’re having enchiladas


Patricia February 3, 2013 at 3:50 pm

for the super bowl we’re having enchiladas!yummy!


Lawanda February 11, 2013 at 11:12 pm

I can’t believe something so delicious came out of my oven! 5 stars! I love this recipe. Thank you! :)


Mark February 23, 2013 at 12:14 pm

My wife and I gave up meat for lent, so I’ve been looking for vegetarian bean recipes that she and I would both like, being meat-at-every-meal type people. I just wanted to let you know that we loved this recipe and I’m looming forward to eating leftovers for lunch today. Disclaimer: I didn’t have enough cumin, so I substituted 1 tablespoon of chili powder with 1 tablespoon of cumin. Was still delicious!
By the way Mr./Ms. “A Mexican”, neither the words “authentic” nor ” mexican” appears anywhere in the description.



Ana August 11, 2014 at 6:09 pm

I am not one to get excited over vegetarian dishes. However, I have to say that this one was excellent. I know I will make it again for sure.


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