Chicken Enchiladas ~ Black Bean Enchiladas

These chicken or black bean enchiladas offer a choice of meat or bean filling, before being smothered in a green chile sauce and plenty of mozzarella. There’s something to satisfy carnivores and vegetarians alike.

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.Renee Schettler Rossi

Chicken Enchiladas | Black Bean Enchiladas

A glass baking dish with four chicken enchiladas topped with cheese, sliced scallions, and cilantro leaves.
These chicken or black bean enchiladas offer a choice of meat or bean filling, before being smothered in a green chile sauce and plenty of mozzarella. There’s something to satisfy carnivores and vegetarians alike.
Cara Eisenpress and Phoebe Lapine

Prep 1 hr
Cook 1 hr
Total 2 hrs
Tex Mex
10 to 12 servings
5 / 4 votes
Print RecipeBuy the In the Small Kitchen cookbook

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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.)
Print RecipeBuy the In the Small Kitchen cookbook

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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.

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.

Originally published September 14, 2019


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  1. The absolute bulk of this recipe makes it a perfect choice when you have many mouths to feed. Although I am fairly deft in the kitchen, the preparation time for me was closer to two hours, but it was fun to work through the steps in preparing this dish as the progression of the directions is logical and well presented.

    Some personal notes: I cooked the chicken longer than recommended. To the chicken and beans, I added a 1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano. I omitted the zucchini entirely from the bean filling and coarsely mashed the beans. After both the beans and chicken were shredded and mashed, I squeezed lime juice over them. And, to that luscious sauce, I reduced the chili powder to 1/2 teaspoon and added 1/4 teaspoon each of guajillo and ancho chili pepper powders plus 1/4 teaspoon of hot smoked spanish paprika. All that tweaking added more complex layers of heat. My hubby did the shopping and came home with Colby/Monterey Jack cheese, but in the end I think the Colby added more richness to this already rich dish. Oh, and I just mixed the chicken and the mashed beans together instead of assembling two different kinds of enchilada using yellow corn tortillas.

    Yummy! This is going in my “keeper” box of recipes.

  2. 5 stars
    I’m always game for new enchilada recipes, though ’til now I hadn’t found one that beat my mom’s old standby. I loved this one (and so did my 4 and 5 1/2 yr olds)! I happily mixed the chicken with the black bean filling and smothered everything in that sinful sauce. What most surprised me was the yield. This is a party recipe, an excellent make ahead dish for when you need to feel lots for dinner. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hey, Ashley, splendid! We never put a recipe on the site that doesn’t receive an enthusiastic response from our testers, although it’s always reassuring to have such a gung-ho response from our dear readers! Many, many thanks for letting us know…

  3. I laughed when I read “Mexification” & thought that’s a great word! Then I GOOGLED it & found several definitions including “The turning of the United States into a third world country like Mexico.” Now that I don’t like. I hope the recipe is more pleasant than the titled turned out to be. I’m anxious to try it. I’ll be in Austin, TX this weekend and hope to sample authentic Mexican cuisine. Ole’

    1. Martha, good lord, why is it some people are always politicizing things, right? Like you, I got a chuckle out of the headline–a way of sassing up, Mexifying (hope that’s not another poly-term), giving dinner a south of the border zip. That’s what I meant when I came up with it (unbeknownst to me that anyone else even used the term!) and I hope it’s your experience when you make the enchiladas. As always, Dorothy, let me know!

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