Pumpkin Black Bean Enchiladas

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

Pumpkin Black Bean Enchiladas

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 4

These vegetarian enchiladas are healthful, delicious, and surprisingly easy to make.
Ingredients
  • 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
  • Cilantro
  • Hot sauce or salsa of choice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 and have a large casserole dish ready.
  2. Saute onions, garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil on medium heat until onions begin to become translucent.
  3. Add kale. Once kale begins to wilt, add in black beans, peppers in adobo, and cumin. Mix well for about two minutes.
  4. 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.
  5. Pour salsa verde into casserole dish. Bottom of dish should be fully covered.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Continue filling tortillas until filling is all gone and/or your casserole dish is full.
  9. Top with salsa verde (this will help keep the tortillas moist and unbreak-y) and remaining cheese.
  10. 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.
  11. Top with your choice of toppings and serve. And pray for leftovers -- this is even better the next day!
Notes
If you don't love salsa verde, you could use pretty much any salsa or sauce you like. I just think the mild flavor does the job while pairing well with some of the other flavors in there.

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

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