Enfrijoladas are a Mexican breakfast staple made by dipping corn tortillas in a creamy black bean sauce, stuffing them with your favorite fillings, and adding classic Mexican garnishes.
You won't believe how easy, hearty, and flavorful this recipe is!
This hearty dish is quickly going to become your new favorite meal! Not only are enfrijoladas a popular breakfast, but they're often consumed for lunch and dinner too.
What is it?
Enfrijoladas translates to "in beans," which is similar to another meal you've probably heard of — enchiladas (meaning "in chiles").
As the name suggests, it's not the filling but the sauce that makes enfrijoladas unique from dishes like enmoladas or enchiladas.
It all starts off with a velvety smooth black bean sauce paired with fresh corn tortillas. You can stop there or serve them with your favorite fillings (we chose sweet potatoes & collard greens).
You'll sometimes find the corn tortillas folded in quarters with fillings on the side. Whatever way they come, enfrijoladas are absolutely delicious.
There have been many influences on Mexican cuisine over the years, but the main flavors stem from Mayan, Aztec, and Spanish cultures.
As hunter-gathers, the Mayans relied on a few staples — corn, beans, and fruit. Since finding a sufficient amount of wild game was a challenge, they often ate beans as a side with corn tortillas.
Even though the exact origin of enfrijoladas is unknown (due to a lack of written records dating that far back), it's safe to say Mayans were eating some version of this dish a long time ago.
The more formal concept of using corn tortillas to wrap foods with (like enchiladas or enfrijoladas) can be traced back to the Aztecs.
Enfrijoladas are best consumed right after cooking them with classic Mexican toppings. Some of the most common garnishes include:
Is it vegan?
There are many different variations of enfrijoladas recipes depending on the region of Mexico you visit. Some include cheese, crema, meat, eggs, or other non-vegan options. But, you'll be happy to know this recipe is vegan and gluten-free!
🍲 Key ingredients
For a complete ingredient list and step-by-step guide, scroll down to our recipe card.
Taste: to make the best enfrijoladas, it's essential to cook your beans from scratch. We use black beans since they create the richest and most velvety smooth sauce. Black beans also offer a fairly mild flavor, which allows them to take on other flavors of this dish.
Health: when it comes to health, black beans are a nutritional powerhouse! In just one cup, there is 15g of fiber and 15 grams of protein (talk about impressive). Eating beans is also beneficial to your bones since they contain phosphorous, magnesium, and calcium.
Taste: using freshly made corn tortillas or buying them at a local tortillería is how you'll make this dish go from good to great. Corn tortillas provide an authentic taste you just can't achieve with wheat flour tortillas.
Health: although flour tortillas can be used, we always opt for corn tortillas because their naturally gluten-free and contain fewer calories compared to wheat tortillas.
Taste: we use chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to provide a unique smokiness with subtle spice and acidity. This enfrijoladas recipe can also be made with other chiles like guajillo, pasilla, árbol, or a combination.
Health: most of the health benefits of chile peppers come from the powerful compound found in them, capsaicin. Not only is this nutrient responsible for their spiciness, but it has also been shown to reduce hunger, work as an anti-inflammatory, and even speed up metabolism.
We love this recipe because it's so easy to adjust based on your taste preferences (it's also great for using up leftovers). We used sweet potatoes and collard greens today, but here are some of our other favorite fillings:
If you have questions about this enfrijoladas recipe, don't forget to check out our FAQ section at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: make your own fresh corn tortillas, or use store-bought tortillas if you're short on time. Wash and cube the sweet potato into small cubes (this will help reduce cook time). Quickly steam, then sauté them in a little olive oil.
Step 2: once the potatoes are cooked through, mix in your roughly chopped collard greens and let them wilt down. Lightly season the mixture with a pinch of salt to taste.
Step 3: add the cooked black beans, a bit of bean water, garlic, onion, chipotle peppers, and salt to a blender. Mix everything until you have a smooth consistency. You might have to add a little more liquid to thin the sauce out.
Step 4: heat a little olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low. Pour in the bean mixture and simmer it for a few minutes to melt the flavors together and thicken things up.
Step 5: lightly fry each tortilla for a few seconds per side, then drain the excess oil on a paper towel-lined plate. Note: the tortillas shouldn't be too crispy since you still want to be able to fold them.
Step 6: dip the fried tortillas in bean sauce and stuff each one with a scoop of filling before folding them in half. Serve your enfrijoladas with more sauce on top, fresh white onion, cotija cheese, avocado, Mexican crema, and cilantro. Happy eating!
We love cooking this meal because it makes for great leftovers. Here are the best ways to keep enfrijoladas fresh:
You can keep this recipe in your fridge in an airtight container for up to 3-5 days. Make sure to store your bean sauce separately from the fillings and tortillas unless you want to be left with a soggy mess!
As with the fridge, we recommend storing each part of this recipe separately in your freezer. Allow the bean sauce to cool completely and keep it in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag for up to 12 months.
The sweet potato mixture will keep in your freezer for up to 6 months in an airtight container. You can refer to our corn tortilla post for specific storage instructions on those.
If you want to reheat your enfrijoladas, place them in a casserole dish covered with aluminum foil. Bake them for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees F.
If you're like us, we also enjoy this meal cold the next morning. Just rebuild them and dig in!
💭 Pro tips
Time to share the tips and tricks we learned while perfecting this enfrijoladas recipe for you:
- Make them extra spicy. If you can take the heat, add more chiles to the sauce like habanero, árbol, or jalapeño.
- Keep it simple. If you want to make this meal quicker, skip the filling (or just use whatever is on-hand).
- Fry the tortillas. To enhance the flavor and texture of this meal, lightly frying the tortillas really helps (although not 100% necessary).
- Adjust the consistency. You're looking for the consistency of a thick soup. Keep adding more bean water or veggie broth until you achieve it.
- Don't forget to season it. Cooking down the blended sauce helps to deepen the flavors. Don't skip it!
- Use garnishes. Mexican foods are almost always served with a healthy portion of garnishes. Try to use at least one or two from the ingredient list!
🍴 Tasting notes
We love enfrijoladas no matter what time of day, and we know you will too. They're:
If you try this recipe, please rate it and leave us a comment below! Want to stay up-to-date with new recipes? Subscribe to our newsletter or connect with Broke Bank Vegan on social media. Happy eating!
- Chef knife & cutting board
- 6 corn tortillas ($0.12)
- 2-4 tbsp neutral oil for frying ($0.06)
- 1 tsp olive oil ($0.04)
- 1 small sweet potato ($0.94)
- 1 cup collard greens, chopped ($0.20)
- Salt to taste ($0.01)
- 1 cup cooked black beans ($0.19)
- 1-2 cups bean cooking water ($0.01)
- 1 clove garlic ($0.04)
- ⅛ small white onion ($0.03)
- 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo ($0.08)
- ¼ tsp salt ($0.01)
- ½ tbsp olive oil ($0.06)
- Make your own fresh corn tortillas, or use store-bought tortillas. Set aside for later.
- Scrub and cube the sweet potatoes into ½” cubes. Steam them for 7-8 minutes, or until just tender. Then, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium and transfer the sweet potatoes in. Cook for another 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently (add a little water in if the pan seems dry).
- Once the potatoes are cooked through, mix in the roughly chopped collard greens and let them wilt down. Lightly season with a pinch of salt.
- In the meantime, add cooked black beans, 1 cup of the cooking water, garlic, onion, chipotle peppers, and salt to a blender. Mix on high until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings and add more liquid until the consistency is like a sauce.
- Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low. Pour in the bean mixture and cook down for ~10 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
- Heat 3-4 tbsp of neutral oil in a pan over medium. Once hot, fry each tortilla for about 10-15 seconds per side. Note: the tortillas shouldn't be too crispy since you still want to be able to fold them.
- Transfer the fried tortillas to a paper towel-lined plate to get rid of the excess oil. Then, dip each tortilla in the bean sauce and transfer it to a plate for serving. Add a scoop of filling to the center and fold the tortilla in half. Continue this process with 3 tortillas per plate.
- If you prefer more spice, add more chipotle peppers in adobo (we used 2).
- If you don't have collard greens, try using kale, chard, spinach, etc.
- Optional ingredients are not reflected in the price or calories of our recipes.
- We calculate nutritional information for our recipes with Cronometer.
- Recipe cost calculations are based on ingredients local to us and may vary from recipe-to-recipe.
- All prices are in USD.
♻️ Similar recipes
For more tasty recipes to use corn tortillas in, check out our:
- Enchiladas verdes for a similar dish made with a green chile sauce and more delicious fillings.
- Quesabirria tacos if you want to hop on this trend and try saucy corn tortillas stuffed with oyster mushrooms and melty cheese.
- Sweet potato quesadillas for an easy-to-make weekday meal that is loaded with nutrients.
- Empanadas to try a crispy Mexican antojito stuffed with plant-based chorizo and cheese!
Yes, you can use other beans in this enfrijoladas recipe. A common variation is to use pinto beans in place of black beans.
Traditionally, enfrijoladas are gluten-free and so is this recipe. But, always make sure to check your ingredients closely before assuming they don't contain gluten.
Yes, you can make this enfrijoladas recipe oil-free. Simply omit it from the cooking process and don't fry the tortillas in oil before dipping them in the sauce.
Enfrijoladas are traditionally just corn tortillas in sauce, so feel free to eat them with or without filling. This recipe is very customizable.