Budget Bytes

11 April 2013

black bean & avocado enchiladas

$5.85 recipe / $1.46 serving
Okay, I have to take a little break in the Shredded Beef programming to bring you this absolutely scrumptious vegan delight!

I've been eating this for lunch all week and the fact that I only have one serving left almost makes me want to cry... I might have to make a second batch PRONTO. Yes, they're that good.

What makes these enchiladas so amazing? Not only are they filled with super fresh flavors, but they're smothered in a homemade enchilada sauce. Now, if you've made my homemade enchilada sauce before you know that it takes less than ten minutes to make and is 100 x better than the canned stuff. Well, this time I went one step further and added a little cocoa powder to the enchilada sauce. OMG. You won't believe how rich and amazing the cocoa makes the sauce! It doesn't taste like chocolate, just extra rich and good. It's the same amazing chili/chocolate combo that works magic in the Aztec Cocoa. SO. GOOD.

Black beans give these enchiladas filling power and avocado offers that creaminess that you'd usually get from cheese. If you're vegan, just make sure your tortillas are vegan (some use lard, some don't). Or, try making your own!

And yes, I know that enchiladas are supposed to be wrapped in corn tortillas, not flour. Use whichever type you like. Delicious is more important than correct, in my book.

Black Bean & Avocado Enchiladas

Black Bean & Avocado Enchiladas

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Total Recipe cost: $5.85
Servings Per Recipe: 4 (2 enchiladas each)
Cost per serving: $1.46
Prep time: 20 min. Cook time: 30 min. Total: 50 min.

2 Tbsp vegetable oil $0.10
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.02
2 Tbsp chili powder $0.30
2 cups water $0.00
3 oz. tomato paste (1/2 6 oz. can) $0.27
1/2 tsp cumin $0.03
1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.03
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder $0.03
1 tsp salt $0.05
1 (15 oz.) can black beans $1.27
1 medium avocado $1.19
1 small tomato $0.37
1-2 whole green onions $0.08
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels $0.26
handful cilantro $0.19
1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
1/2 tsp salt $0.03
8 small tortillas (fajita size) $1.59
TOTAL $5.85

STEP 1: First prepare the enchilada sauce. In a medium sauce pot combine the vegetable oil, flour, and chili powder. Heat the mixture over a medium flame until it begins to bubble. Whisk and cook the bubbling paste for 1-2 minutes. Slowly pour in the water while whisking. Add the tomato paste, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, cocoa powder, and salt. Whisk until smooth and continue to heat over a medium flame. Let the sauce come up to a gentle simmer, at which point the sauce will thicken. Once thickened, turn off the heat and set the sauce aside until you're ready to use it.

STEP 2: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Drain and rinse the can of beans, then add them to a large bowl. Cube the avocado, dice the tomato, slice the green onion, and pull a handful of cilantro leaves from their stems. Add them all to the bowl, along with the frozen corn kernels. Stir everything together. Season with a little salt and garlic powder (recommended amounts above, or use fresh minced garlic).

STEP 3: Coat an 8x8 casserole dish with non-stick spray. Warm the tortillas briefly in the microwave to make them soft and pliable. Fill each tortilla with about 1/3 cup of filling and roll tightly. Place the filled tortillas in the casserole dish, seam side down. Once all of the filled enchiladas are in the dish, pour the enchilada sauce over top.

STEP 4: Bake the enchiladas in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes, or until they're heated through and the sauce is bubbly along the edges. Then devour!

Black Bean & Avocado Enchiladas

Step By Step Photos

enchilada sauce
Start with the amazing sauce, so that it will be ready to go on the enchiladas later. Add the vegetable oil, flour, and chili powder to a medium sauce pot. Turn the heat on to medium and begin to whisk them together.

enchilada roux
The mixture will form a paste and will begin to bubble along the edges. Keep whisking and cooking this paste for 1-2 minutes.

enchilada sauce
Whisk in the water first, then add the tomato paste, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and cocoa powder. Whisk it all in until smooth, and continue to cook over medium until it comes up to a gentle simmer. Right when it starts simmering it will begin to thicken up. Once it's thickened, just turn off the heat and set it aside until you're ready to use it.

chili cococa
The magic mix! Take note, the "chili powder" used in this recipe is a mild blend of chiles and other spices. It is NOT the same as cayenne pepper. If you use 2 Tbsp of cayenne pepper, you'll burn a hole through your mouth upon tasting it.

Now on to the filling... Drain and rinse the beans, then add them to a bowl. Dice the avocado and tomato, slice the green onion, and add them all to the bowl. Pull a handful of cilantro leaves from the stems and add it to the bowl, along with the frozen corn kernels. Stir it up and then season with a little salt and garlic powder (or you can add a clove of minced, fresh garlic).

fill enchiladas
I had about 3 cups of filling and 8 tortillas, so I used about 1/3 cup of filling per enchilada.

leftover filling
I had a little filling left over, but NO problem getting rid of it (it went straight into my mouth).

enchiladas in dish
Roll the enchiladas tightly and then arrange them in your dish. Oh, and coat the dish with non-stick spray if you want the enchiladas to come out in one piece.

enchilada sauce
Then pour that amazing sauce over top! Bake the enchiladas in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes, or until they're heated through and the sauce is bubbling along the sides.

Black Bean & Avocado Enchiladas
It's sad because the pictures don't do them justice. They're SO GOOD.

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  • At April 11, 2013 at 7:41 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    This sounds really good... but I'm wondering why you would use flour tortillas for enchiladas? Especially if you're working on a budget. Corn tortillas are more authentic, much healthier for you, and much more pocketbook friendly.

  • At April 11, 2013 at 7:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Looks delicious, I'll be making this this weekend! More vegan recipes please. :)

  • At April 11, 2013 at 7:55 PM , Blogger Beth M said...

    Anon - I just have a "thing" for flour tortillas, especially when they're drenched in enchilada sauce. Someone asks me that *every* time I post about enchiladas, which is why I mentioned it in the intro. :)

  • At April 11, 2013 at 8:10 PM , Blogger Cali Mom said...

    Can't wait to try your sauce! I've never liked the flavor of the canned sauce. Looking forward to trying this.

  • At April 11, 2013 at 8:14 PM , Anonymous Lisa said...

    VERY much appreciate the vegan recipes! Keep 'em coming :)

  • At April 11, 2013 at 8:20 PM , Blogger Melissa George said...

    Usually Friday night is pizza and wing night at our house. But we're trying to do something a little healthier - I think this might be the perfect dinner! I can hardly wait to try it! Thanks for another great recipe!

  • At April 11, 2013 at 8:29 PM , Blogger Terry said...

    These look wonderful! The sauce looks and sounds very much like mole sauce, one of our favs. I often use flour rather than corn tortillas because we like them better. If I get the corn and don't use them all then they go to waste, that's never good.

  • At April 11, 2013 at 10:14 PM , Blogger Michelle said...

    Yum. I'm totally a sucker for flour tortillas, too. Authenticity be damned, I like what I like! I'll definitely be making my own enchilada sauce next go round. The addition of cocoa is brilliant!

  • At April 11, 2013 at 10:36 PM , Blogger Sara said...

    Thanks for posting these! I read the recipe earlier and picked up the ingredients on my way home. I just finished and they were delish. And for the record, I've only ever had enchiladas with flour tortillas. And I grew up in the middle of California - home of some of the best Mexican food! Corn tortillas are for tacos and not much else. :)

  • At April 11, 2013 at 11:03 PM , Anonymous Grace said...

    Would it be possible to freeze these?

  • At April 12, 2013 at 5:44 AM , Blogger Beth M said...

    Grace - None of mine made it that far, so I haven't actually tried it, but I suspect that they would freeze very well! :)

  • At April 12, 2013 at 6:47 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Do your avocados get brown or mushy by the end of the week? I'm surprised that you could put them right in it and that they would not go bad after a day...

  • At April 12, 2013 at 10:35 AM , Anonymous Renee said...

    Oh my, yum! And it's actually something my whole family can eat!! Well, minus the wheat stuff, so I guess I'll be using corn tortillas :P Although I've always had enchiladas with flour as well (and I grew up in Phx, AZ)... I guess a lot of it is personal preference. I prefer flour, but just can't eat them anymore and my daughter is allergic as well *sigh*

    I hope my kids are willing to try these, even though we eat a wide variety of foods they are still finicky at times.

  • At April 12, 2013 at 12:29 PM , Blogger Eileen said...

    Ooh, the cocoa powder makes these almost like mole enchiladas! Sounds so great. Besides, I could eat avocado all day... :)

  • At April 12, 2013 at 12:53 PM , Blogger Fatima Prado said...

    Tip: When microwaving store bought corn tortillas, flick some water onto a plate of 3-4 tortillas. Makes them softer.

  • At April 12, 2013 at 4:38 PM , Blogger Beth M said...

    Anonymous - The avocados do get a little dark and soft when they're baked, but it doesn't make them taste bad. When they're all mixed into the filling, they're just creamy and delicious.

  • At April 13, 2013 at 9:06 AM , Blogger Theresa said...

    Know what we are having for dinner! Thanks for sharing.

  • At April 13, 2013 at 10:21 PM , Blogger buttons said...

    This looks delicious, and I am always looking for new vegan recipes to cook for my friend, who recently had to give up dairy and was already a vegetarian. I like your note about chili powder. The first time I ever made chili, I didn't know that there was a difference between chili powder and cayenne pepper, and I had cayenne on hand. Holy moly that was some spicy chili! I couldn't even eat it! I do think my husband the spice fiend is secretly a little disappointed I figured out the difference though.

  • At April 13, 2013 at 10:48 PM , Blogger The Former Carnivore said...

    Made these tonight and the came out awesome! They were out of unsweetened cocoa powder at the store, so I used a piece of a unsweetened, 100% cocoa chocolate bar and microplaned it down. I'm loving your Vegan recipes so far.

  • At April 14, 2013 at 12:42 PM , Blogger NJ said...

    Ooh can't wait to try this - looks and sounds so awesome!

  • At April 14, 2013 at 10:49 PM , Blogger Arielle said...

    I just made these tonight--they are awesome! The cocoa powder really gives them that very authentic, molé-ish flavor. Love it.

  • At April 15, 2013 at 8:40 AM , Anonymous Rachelle said...

    I don't like avocados. I will not touch guacamole, and I will pick avocado out of my sushi so I don't have to eat it.

    I made these last night and could not stop eating them. They're SO. GOOD. My three-year-old devoured one and a half enchiladas by himself. I'm pretty sure this is going in the regular dinner rotation.

  • At April 15, 2013 at 11:24 AM , Blogger Keri Burleson said...

    Oh. My. Gosh. This looks AMAZING!!!! DEFINITELY cooking it this weekend!

  • At April 15, 2013 at 1:47 PM , Anonymous Rachelle said...

    I feel the need to point out that if you cook your black beans in the crock pot beforehand (Beth's instructions are here: http://budgetbytes.blogspot.com/2010/12/how-to-kick-can-of-beans.html ), this recipe costs even less.

  • At April 16, 2013 at 12:11 PM , Blogger Shannon Patterson said...

    Well that comment above is the weirdest thing ever. How much cilantro did you put in the filling? I noticed it wasn't in the ingredients list, unless I'm crazy. Just bought the necessary items on lunch break; hoping to make this tonight. Thanks Beth!

  • At April 16, 2013 at 2:55 PM , Blogger Beth M said...

    Shannon - Yeah, I've been getting a lot of spam lately and it's hard to keep up with it :P I used about a handful or so of cilantro. I guess I forgot to type that into the table! I'll fix it now. Thanks for catching that!

  • At April 16, 2013 at 4:38 PM , Blogger jblack said...

    Made a double serving of this over the weekend and froze half for later in the week. Only change I did was with around 5 minutes left in the oven, I spread about 2 handfuls of shredded cheese over it so it would melt in. Really kicked it over the top, but ruins the whole vegan approach. Delicious without the cheese though. Looking forward to doing jerk chicken next weekend.

  • At April 16, 2013 at 8:11 PM , Anonymous Anna M said...

    I made these for dinner and they were great! I added in some sauteed swiss chard because we had it on hand - pretty sure you can add any veggies within reason to this mix and it will be fabulous!

  • At April 21, 2013 at 12:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Made these last night and immediately plan to make the filling again as a cold salad for hot summer days! Delicious.

  • At April 23, 2013 at 5:08 PM , Blogger Heather said...

    Yum, these are delicious! Not usually a tortilla fan, but the sauce does make them delicious! Went a little easy on the cayenne and it's plenty hot for me. I was out of cilantro which I love so I can't wait to make these again with the cilantro. As someone else commented, the filling would make a great summer salad too!

  • At April 25, 2013 at 12:06 PM , Blogger Casey Ocasio said...

    so delicious, so easy, so healthy and inexpensive too! This is officially my second favorite dinner recipe of all time, with your Sausage Kale Soup still holding strong at #1. I am always so impressed with all of your recipes, consistent home runs. Thank you!

  • At April 25, 2013 at 2:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Could i use canned enchilada sauce here and just add the cocoa powder or should i just skip it?

  • At April 25, 2013 at 3:01 PM , Blogger Beth M said...

    Anonymous - I've never tried adding cocoa to the canned stuff. If you're unsure, you can just use the canned sauce straight, but it's not nearly as good as the homemade sauce ;)

  • At April 26, 2013 at 1:35 AM , Blogger kaitlin said...

    Just had these tonight and they were great! The only thing was that they were spicy! I'm generally a lover of spicy food though, so maybe I just measured the chili powder and cayenne wrong? Wouldn't be the first time, baaah. Regardless, the next time I make these (because this recipe's a keeper!) I'll be sure to start lightly with the spices and taste/add along the way :) Thanks for the recipe!

  • At April 28, 2013 at 7:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I've never made enchilada sauce before and this turned out really well! I didn't have cayenne on hand, but I used an Indian chili powder and it turned out plenty spicy for me (and I can usually handle a bit of spice). The filling was delicious as well, and I'll definitely be making these again when avocados go on sale (they are $3 each here in Australia, eek!).
    So yum! Thanks for the recipe.

  • At April 30, 2013 at 9:52 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Wondering if this sauce can be frozen. Thoughts?

  • At April 30, 2013 at 2:52 PM , Blogger Beth M said...

    Anonymous - Although I haven't tried freezing the sauce yet, I think it will work.

  • At April 30, 2013 at 8:35 PM , Blogger Candace said...

    I only had already made guacamole so I used it. Made it really creamy and good! My husband LOVED the enchilada sauce, which says something cause he is REALLY pick when it comes to his sauces. I'll never buy canned enchilada sauce again!

  • At April 30, 2013 at 11:25 PM , Anonymous Jacqui said...

    Yum! Made these tonight and even my 8 year old liked them! Thank you!

  • At May 6, 2013 at 8:59 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I usually adore all of your recipes so I was really looking forward to trying these. The filling was really tasty! I think I would have liked the sauce if I had trusted my instincts and backed off on the chili powder but I followed the recipe. I do like spice, but it completely overwhelmed the rest of the flavors. Reading through the comments above it looks like Kaitlin had the same experience. I'm looking forward to trying it again with about half the chili powder and cayenne.

  • At May 6, 2013 at 9:22 AM , Blogger Samantha Kim said...

    Oh Beth, these were wonderful! In fact, I'm dreaming about them right now...I made them last week when I was assigned dinner duty, and my little sister prefers to eat vegan when she can so this was perfect. She doesn't like tomatoes though, so I made a separate filling mix for her. The rest of my fam isn't really in to meat-free meals, so I browned some ground beef with a bit of taco seasoning and added that to theirs. I accidentally bought kidney beans at the store instead of black beans, but they worked fine as well. And the sauce, oh the sauce! It really made the meal. Nice and spicy with such a depth of flavour. Even my picky sometimes-vegan sister loved it. I'll be making these often!

  • At May 6, 2013 at 1:36 PM , Blogger Johara Tucker said...

    I made these last night and they are soooooo good! Thanks!

  • At May 6, 2013 at 2:52 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Do you think you could prepare the night before and bake the following day after work?

  • At May 6, 2013 at 4:18 PM , Blogger Beth M said...

    Yes, I think it would work just fine to prepare it the night before and then bake it the next day.

  • At May 6, 2013 at 6:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    great, I'm going to try that this week!! Thanks for the recipe :)

  • At May 7, 2013 at 8:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Wow! Made this for Cinco de Mayo and it was so easy and good, but for some reason, leftovers tasted even better the next day. Thank you! This recipe is a keeper.

  • At May 8, 2013 at 7:55 PM , Blogger Me said...

    Oh my! These were SO good! We doubled the recipe and used burrito size tortillas in a 9x13 pan- Next time I will use a bit less salt in the bean mixture, but besides that, SO delicious! I am loving your site after just barely finding it through a commenter on Mr. Money Mustache. Thanks for your awesome work! I will visit again and again and send others your way:)

  • At May 11, 2013 at 7:48 PM , Blogger Meg said...

    I've only ever made enchiladas with flour tortillas. My mother-in-law taught me how to cook and she's fresh out of Southern Mexico. Enchiladas are just tortilla, drenched in sauce, wrapped around any filling you want, and topped with veggies/sauce. The thing I love the most about Mexican cooking is there is no "authentic" way to do it, because if you have the basic ingredients, flavors, and shape, you can change whatever you want and it's still "authentic"!!

  • At May 18, 2013 at 12:44 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I just made this tonight and words can't describe how AMAZING they were! The hubby loved it and so did I. I can't wait till our little boy grows up to eat solids and I make him delicious meals like this, thanks to Beth ;)

    I kinda made it my own tho by using normal onions instead of green just because I didn't have those. I sauteed the onions in a little bit of butter and dash of brown sugar (butter makes everything better ;) added the frozen corn and beans at the end to soften up a little bit before transferring to a bowl and then proceeded with the rest of the steps by adding the tomatoes, avocado and cilantro and mixing it all up together. And also instead of warming up the tortillas in the microwave, I heat them up in a skillet with some butter, it adds a little more taste to the tortillas. Those were the only few changes I made and it turned out great nevertheless :)

    Thank you so much for an amazing recipe, love love loved it!


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