Enfrijoladas are a Mexican staple made by dipping corn tortillas in creamy black bean sauce, stuffing them with your favorite fillings, and adding flavorful garnishes. Enjoy them for a quick, easy, and healthy breakfast!
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📖 What are enfrijoladas?
Enfrijoladas translates to "in beans," which is similar to another meal you've probably heard of — enchiladas (meaning "in chiles").
To make enfrijoladas, all you need to do is prepare a smooth bean sauce, dip your corn tortilla in it and fold it over.
Although it's not necessary, most of the time you'll find enfrijoladas stuffed with hearty fillings. We chose sweet potatoes and collard greens, but there are many options for fillings and garnishes (more down below).
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, it's believed they often ate beans as a side with corn tortillas.
Even though the exact origins 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 wrapping corn tortillas around foods (like enchiladas or enfrijoladas) can be traced to the Aztecs.
🌱 Are enfrijoladas vegan?
There are many variations of enfrijoladas depending on the region of Mexico you visit. But at their basic level, just beans and corn tortillas are required.
Here are a few things we watch out for to ensure they're vegan-friendly:
- Tortillas — Look for tortillas that don't contain lard.
- Beans — Double-check the label to see if lard is listed as an ingredient.
- Cheese — With so many vegan cheese options, it's easy to substitute Mexican cheese with a plant-based queso fresco or cotija.
🛒 Ingredients & substitutions
Beans — These make up the base of the sauce, so make sure to cook your beans from scratch. This recipe calls for black beans, but you can also use other bean varieties like Bayo or pinto.
Corn tortillas — Freshly made corn tortillas offer the best flavor and texture, but store-bought corn tortillas work in a pinch.
Sweet potato — For the filling. We use orange sweet potatoes, but you can replace them with regular potatoes, white sweet potatoes, or purple sweet potatoes.
Collard greens — Also for the filling. Collard greens are one of our favorite vegetables to cook with for their high vitamin K content, texture, and flavor.
Onion, garlic — Added to the sauce for zesty, umami, and savory flavors. Feel free to add more or less depending on your taste preferences.
Oil — For frying the corn tortillas and seasoning the bean sauce. Use a neutral oil like canola, avocado, or sunflower.
Salt — To enhance all other flavors.
Step 1 — Make your own 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 meld 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!
If you have questions about this vegan enfrijoladas recipe, check out our FAQs or leave a comment down below!
🧀 Toppings & fillings
Some of our favorite fillings include:
The most popular choices for garnishes are:
- Cotija cheese or queso fresco
- Mexican crema
- White onions
- Sauces like salsa roja, salsa taquera, or salsa verde
No fillings — If you want to make this meal quicker, skip the fillings or use whatever you have on hand.
Other beans — Try making the sauce with pinto beans or Bayo beans for a lighter flavor and even creamier texture.
Oil-free — For a healthier version, skip frying the tortillas completely. They may turn out a little soggier but delicious nonetheless.
🍽️ How to eat enfrijoladas
Enfrijoladas are meant to be eaten right away since the bean sauce will dry out the longer it sits. It's easiest to use a fork and knife to eat them, but don't worry about getting messy!
Just fill and fold (or roll) the tortillas, add more bean sauce and garnishes, then enjoy!
🌡️ Storage & reheating
Enrijoladas work well for meal prep because they can be made quickly, packed for lunch, or frozen for a later date.
Fridge — 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!
Freezer — We recommend storing each component of this recipe separately in your freezer. Let the bean sauce cool, then 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. And refer to our corn tortilla post for specific storage instructions.
Reheat — To reheat your enfrijoladas, place them in a casserole dish covered with aluminum foil. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees F.
🧑🍳 Top tips
Fry the tortillas — Lightly frying the corn tortillas helps to enhance the flavor and texture of this meal.
Adjust the consistency — You're looking for the consistency of a thick soup. Keep adding more bean water or vegetable 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.
🍴 Similar recipes
If you enjoyed these vegan enfrijoladas, be sure to check out some other tasty recipes to use corn tortillas in:
- Enchiladas verdes: Corn tortillas stuffed with beans and cheese and covered in green chile sauce.
- Quesabirria tacos: Saucy corn tortillas stuffed with oyster mushrooms and melty cheese.
- Sweet potato quesadillas: Sweet potato and black bean quesadillas served in corn tortillas.
- Empanadas: A corn-based antojito stuffed with plant-based carnitas and cheese.
- Chilaquiles verdes: Crispy corn tortilla chips bathed in spicy green salsa and served with fresh garnishes.
Typically, 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.
Enfrijoladas are a balanced meal with high amounts of plant-based protein and fiber. This recipe contains oil, but it can be omitted for an even healthier version.
While it's best to use beans cooked from dry, you can absolutely use canned beans to make enfrijoladas.
Easy Enfrijoladas Recipe
- Chef knife & cutting board
- 6 corn tortillas ($0.12)
- 2-4 tablespoons neutral oil for frying ($0.06)
- 1 teaspoon 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 teaspoon salt ($0.01)
- ½ tablespoon 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. 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 thick soup.
- Heat ½ - 1 tablespoon 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 tablespoons 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 or roll it. Continue this process with 3 tortillas per plate.
- Fry the tortillas — Lightly frying the corn tortillas helps to enhance the flavor and texture of this meal.
- Adjust the consistency — You're looking for the consistency of a thick soup. Keep adding more bean water or vegetable 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.
- If you don't have collard greens, try 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.
Note: We've updated this post to include new information and helpful tips about the recipe.