If you follow us on Facebook, you’ll know that we like to ask everyone which recipe they prefer, to determine what our featured weeknight meal should be. (And if you don’t follow us on Facebook, you can still join in on the fun here!) One of these ‘Which would you rather have’ questions put two of our favorites against each other, because we just couldn’t decide which one we liked better – Black Bean & Chard Enchiladas or Broccoli & Sausage Orecchiette?
We shouldn’t have asked everyone to make such a difficult decision, though. . .How can you choose between bubbly, cheesy goodness, and a classic pasta dish chock full of sausage, broccoli, and Italian flavor?
In the end, it was a tie. No surprise there. But instead of having to choose one, we’re going to post both recipes! So make sure to visit us here next week for the Broccoli & Sausage Orecchiette recipe, because today, we’re going cheesy and meatless. (That’s right. This recipe may be vegetarian, but the heartiness of this dish more than makes up for the lack of meat.)
“One of my very favorite recipes! Husband, who is a self-proclaimed bean hater even went back for seconds. Will definitely make this one again!”
There’s a bit of a pro and con to casserole dishes. The pro is that once everything goes in the oven, you can let the oven do the work. All you have to do is kick back and enjoy the wonderful smells that sneak out of your oven and dance around your house. The con is that there is a bit of prep work required before it goes in the oven.
To cut back on some of the prep time for enchiladas, we rely on a very quick and easy enchilada sauce. Sure, you can buy your favorite canned enchilada sauce, but it’s also very easy to make your own. That way, you can control the heat level as well.
For a quick sauce, we add garlic, shallots, cumin, and Ancho chile to crushed tomatoes, and then puree it so that it’s smooth. For an even quicker shortcut, skip the chopping and add spices to crushed tomatoes. That way, you can skip the blending part as well (unless you want it even smoother, that is).
“This is awesome! It’s guilt free for the most part and very tasty. With meat it would be 5 star plus (if that were possible), but keeping it healthy with chard and black beans was still a 5 star dish. Loved it!”
You can consult our Spice Chart for ideas on how to flavor with spices, and then tailor it to your liking. Garlic powder and onion powder can be used instead of chopping fresh garlic and shallots. Cumin, coriander, oregano, and chili powder will give the sauce a Mexican flavor. Instead of chopping a chile, add a pinch of cayenne for a spicy kick!
The important thing is to taste. Too tangy? Add a bit of sugar or cinnamon. Want to kick it up a notch? Try adding some smoked paprika.
And just like that, you can have a flavorful enchilada sauce in less than 10 minutes. Of course, you’ll still have to wait for the enchiladas to bake and the cheese to get all melty and goozy, but. . .good things come to those who wait, right?
For More Smarts:
Enchiladas are very customizable. You already got the enchilada sauce down, so feel free to add other veggies to your filling to switch things up. Get ideas from our Guide to Repurposing Leftovers and apply it to enchiladas instead!
As you know, practice makes perfect, so get the hang of these dicing and prepping techniques, and future meals will come together quickly:
Always use the right tool for the right job to cook efficiently!
There are 3 steps to making enchiladas – 1) enchilada sauce, 2) make filling, and 3) bake – and each step calls for a tool to make it easy and efficient.
Use an immersion blender for a smooth sauce and easy clean-up.
A saute pan is used to make the filling. It’s also used for many of your cooking adventures!
Lastly, bake your enchiladas in a rectangular baking dish. It’ll keep the enchiladas, sauce, and cheese all together.
For more kitchen and equipment and tool smarts, visit our ‘Essential Kitchen Cookware and Tools’
- Enchilada Sauce
- Garlic – 3 cloves, minced
- Shallots – 1 bulbed, diced
- Ancho chile (opt) – 1/2, stemmed and seeds removed
- Crushed tomatoes – 3 cups
- Cumin – 1/2 tsp
- Cheese, Mexican – 2 cups, grated
- Black beans – 1 can, drained and rinsed
- Chard, any type – 1 bunch, leaves torn, stems chopped
- Cooking oil – 1 Tbsp
- Tortillas, corn or flour – 8
- Garlic / Shallots / Ancho – Prep as directed. For the ancho, cut off the stem with scissors and empty out the seeds. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Make enchilada sauce – Combine garlic, shallots, and ancho (if using) with crushed tomatoes and cumin in a large bowl or pot. Puree with an immersion blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Cheese – Grate. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Black beans – Drain and rinse.
- Chard – Prep as directed (similar to this video for kale) (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Heat oven to 375F degrees (or 190C).
- Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and then chard stems to the heated oil. Saute for ~3 minutes, until softened. Next add in as many chard leaves as can fit into the pan. Add more as room is made in the pan.
- Add half of the enchilada sauce and black beans. Saute for ~3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Cover the bottom of a rectangular baking dish (about 9 x 13) with half of the remaining sauce.
- Divide filling into tortillas and arrange seam-side down in the pan. If the tortillas are not pliable, follow package instructions to soften. Cover in rest of the sauce, cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes.
- Sprinkle enchiladas with cheese and bake uncovered for another 5 to 7 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Enjoy enchiladas fresh out of the oven!