This recipe for chicken enchiladas as well as black bean enchiladas is as ideal as it gets for simple weeknight dinners as well as budget-minded entertaining for crowds with some omnivores and some vegetarians. At least everyone will be able to agree on just how spectacular the green chile sauce turns out.–David Leite

A glass baking dish with four chicken enchiladas topped with cheese, sliced scallions, and cilantro leaves.

Chicken Enchiladas | Black Bean Enchiladas

5 / 5 votes
These chicken and black bean enchiladas offer dinner solutions to carnivores and vegetarians alike. Choose between chicken or black bean fillings, load up with a green chile sauce, and smother with cheese.
David Leite
CuisineTex Mex
Servings10 to 12 servings
Calories560 kcal
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time2 hours


For the chicken enchilada filling

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

For the black bean enchilada filling

  • Olive oil
  • 1 red onion, sort of finely chopped
  • 1 pound (about 2 medium) zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch (6-mm) slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • One can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the green chile sauce

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeños, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • One can vegetable or chicken stock, or 2 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 16 ounces (2 cups) sour cream
  • One can fire-roasted mild green chiles
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste

For rolling and saucing the enchiladas

  • Sixteen (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 1/2 pounds Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
  • Thinly sliced scallions
  • 2 limes, cut into 6 wedges


Prepare the oven and pan

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Line a baking dish with aluminum foil.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the mustard (if using), oil, chile powder, and salt. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Place the chicken in the baking dish and bake until just cooked through, about 30 minutes.
  • Let the chicken cool slightly and then shred the breasts using 2 forks or your fingers. Set the meat aside along with the juices from the baking dish.

Make the black bean filling

  • Add just enough olive oil to a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet to coat the surface and place it over medium heat. Sauté the onion until softened, 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Add the zucchini and continue to sauté, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is tender and browned, another 6 minutes or so.
  • Add the garlic, beans, chile powder, cumin, and salt, and cook until the beans are tender and the garlic is fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Make the green chile sauce

  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and jalapeños and cook until softened but not yet beginning to brown, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Still stirring constantly, add the stock in a slow, steady stream. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid has reduced and the sauce has become opaque, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly.
  • Transfer the sauce to a blender or food processor, add the sour cream, chiles, cumin, chile powder, salt, and cayenne, and purée until smooth. (If you don’t have a food processor, mince the chiles by hand and then whisk all the ingredients into the skillet).

Assemble the enchiladas

  • Coat the bottoms of two 9-by-13-inch baking dishes with some of the green chile sauce.
  • Place the tortillas on your work surface. Top 8 tortillas with the chicken mixture and 8 with the black bean and zucchini mixture, spooning the mixture along the center of each tortilla. Sprinkle each with some cheese and cilantro.
  • Roll the tortillas over the filling and place the filled tortillas, seam side down, in the baking dishes. (You can assemble the enchiladas–all of ’em–ahead of time and stash them in the fridge prior to warming them. Cover and refrigerate the green chile sauce separately.)
  • Pour the remaining green chile sauce evenly over the enchiladas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake the enchiladas for 30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is beginning to brown.
  • Garnish with the extra cilantro and scallions and serve with the lime wedges. (A word to the wise: You can stash the leftovers in the fridge and sneak them out of the house in the morning to take to work with you for lunch. You’re welcome.)


What You Need To Know About Making This Recipe More Quickly On A Weeknight

You could easily swap leftover grilled, roasted, or rotisserie chicken for the baked breasts.
In the Small Kitchen

Adapted From

In the Small Kitchen

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Serving: 1 servingCalories: 560 kcalCarbohydrates: 29 gProtein: 41 gFat: 31 gSaturated Fat: 17 gMonounsaturated Fat: 9 gTrans Fat: 0.1 gCholesterol: 127 mgSodium: 1866 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 4 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2011 Cara Eisenpress | Phoebe Lapine. Photo © 2011 Josh Shaub. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This enchiladas recipe is the epitome of budget-friendly entertaining. Lots of food for little coin. The good news is that almost every component can be made in advance for quicker assembly when entertaining.

My family really enjoyed this recipe. My husband isn’t a huge zucchini fan, but even he liked it in this recipe.

I did the chicken and veggie filling, and the recipe made very full enchiladas. I used light sour cream and the sauce turned out just fine. It was very flavorful, and I skipped the step of puréeing it in the food processor to save time.

I might try it with corn tortillas next time to make it a little healthier, but this recipe produces great results as-is.

I have only had a tomato-based sauce with my enchiladas, hence the green chile (sour cream) sauce looked very appetizing to me. I wasn’t disappointed.

I prepared a couple of enchiladas without cheese, as the sauce was rich enough, and they tasted good, too.

The seasoning needs to be adjusted depending on the heat of the jalapeños and the chile powder; otherwise, they tend to overpower the taste of cumin, garlic, and the fire-roasted mild green chiles. Though I found the sauce very tasty, I still missed the taste of tomatoes. Maybe I will sprinkle some on top next time I make it.

Though this dish is a bit time-consuming to prepare, it was worth it—especially that green chile sauce. I used the Dijon mustard on the chicken and I think it added a layer of great flavor to the dish.

I halved the recipe, as I was only serving 2 people, and it was the perfect size—I even had leftovers. In the future, I would combine the chicken and black beans in each enchilada (minus the zucchini, because I didn’t think it added much to the dish).

This was an easy recipe to make and tasted delicious. My whole family raved about it and it made plenty for leftovers! The chicken was really tender.

I ended up using chicken tenders, because I had them, and it was still really moist. I also ended up making some plain chicken enchiladas and the rest with the veggies and chicken. The sour cream sauce was so good, I would make this dish again using whatever I have for meat and veggies.

This recipe produces a very nice enchilada. The flavor is smooth and creamy with just a touch of heat. Everyone really enjoyed them. The texture is soft, but the filling provides a satisfying bite.

The prep looks a little overwhelming but really doesn’t take that long. Working with flour tortillas cuts down a bit on the usual frustration of enchilada rolling.

I would recommend using a whisk to stir the flour with broth while making the sauce. Next time, I might mix the chicken with black bean and zucchini fillings with one another. The enchiladas really do benefit from a squeeze of fresh lime.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I have to give this recipe 5 stars for flavor, family appeal and also versatility because you can easily make it your own. I was drawn in by the green chili sauce which is our house favorite and this version did not disappoint. I skipped the zucchini, mixed the chicken filling with the black beans and added 1 cup of grilled corn. I filled corn tortillas and divided the enchiladas into 2 casserole pans – one for the freezer and one to bake and eat now. We enjoyed the results. Another keeper!

    1. Wonderful, Deb Lynch! When the answer to the question “Does this freeze well?” is “yes,” the recipe is on its way to being a winner. And this one clearly is!

  2. This enchilada sauce is out of this world. I have a lactose issue so substituted half the amount of Greek yogurt for the sour cream. It was still very creamy. Instead of the cow’s milk cheese called for in the filling and on top of the enchiladas, I used Chèvre. For a little sweetness and crunch I added some frozen corn to the sauté at the very end. I never considered myself a big fan of enchiladas. I am now! Thank you!