Black Bean and Spinach Enchiladas

Black bean and spinach enchiladas are filled with a seasoned black bean spread, and are easily made dairy-free!

Black Bean and Spinach Enchiladas // Savvy Eats

I haven’t quite figured out our grocery routine here yet. I was a bit spoiled in Ithaca – we got our meat and seasonal produce at the farmers’ market every Saturday, and could pick up everything else in a single trip to Wegman’s or the co-op. Now that we’re in Minnesota, however, I have so many options – and nothing that works as a one-shop-stop like Wegman’s did.

I also haven’t found the most affordable source for local, sustainably-raised meat yet. So while we continue our search, I’ve been working more and more vegetarian dinners into our weekly meal plans. Beans and lentils are incredibly affordable, and filled with fiber, minerals and protein.

These enchiladas come out of a mix of recipes from The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison and the Bluephies cookbook. We love the spinach enchiladas from Bluephies, but they contain cream cheese, and I was looking for a recipe I could easily make dairy-free (to make them dairy-free, just leave the cheese off the tops!). So instead, I made a black bean spread to take the place of the cream cheese. Thanks to all the seasoning, was a definite win without being too spicy.  For the sauce on top, you can use a storebought red sauce or make your own using a recipe like this enchilada sauce from Gimme Some Oven.

Black Bean and Spinach Enchiladas

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 18 enchiladas

Black Bean and Spinach Enchiladas

Black bean and spinach enchiladas are filled with a seasoned black bean spread, and are easily made dairy-free!


  • 1 1/4 cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 10 ounces spinach (if using frozen, it should be thawed and drained)
  • 18 6” flour tortillas
  • Red enchilada sauce (canned or homemade)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9” x 13” baking pan.
  2. Puree the beans with the vegetable stock, cumin, paprika, chili powder and salt.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the peppers and onion and sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown.
  4. Add the garlic, oregano and spinach. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is wilted and warmed through. This should take just 1-2 minutes for spinach that was thawed from frozen. Fresh spinach will take more like 2-3 minutes.
  5. Stir in the black bean puree and heat until warmed through, 1-2 minutes. Remove the filling from the heat.
  6. Fill each tortilla with 2-3 tablespoons of filling, creating a line of filling towards one end of the tortilla. Beginning at the end with the filling, tightly roll up the enchilada and place, seam-side down, in the baking pan. Repeat with the rest of the filling and tortillas. You will either need to do this in two batches, or use a second baking pan to fit them all.
  7. Spoon enchilada sauce over the tops of the enchiladas. If you don’t need these to be dairy-free, top with shredded cheddar cheese to taste.
  8. Bake at 350°F for 13-16 minutes. Serve warm.

Here’s how to freeze enchiladas for later!


Looking for more freezer meals to make now and freeze later? Try one of these 40 freezer-friendly recipes.

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How to Freeze Enchiladas

How to Freeze Enchiladas for Easy Weeknight Dinners //

When I started brainstorming my list of dishes to freeze before the baby comes, enchiladas were one of the first new things I added. I’ve frozen lasagna and taquitos before, so those were naturally at the top of my entrees list. Enchiladas came immediately after. We love our tacos, and they are in a regular rotation on our menu, but enchiladas often have very similar flavor profiles to tacos. And while I could easily freeze some taco filling, it is going to be easier to reheat frozen enchiladas than it will be to assemble tacos when we’re taking care of a newborn (and probably less messy to eat one-handed, as well!). So I got to experimenting.

I couldn’t decide whether or not I needed to leave off the enchilada sauce before freezing. I was a little worried that the acidity of the tomato-based sauce would eat away at the aluminum foil, or that the sauce would pick up a “tinny” flavor in the freezer. So I tested two freezing methods, and froze half the enchiladas with sauce, and half without. Before I reheated the dish, I added enchilada sauce to the other half, and topped both sides with cheese.

(I definitely recommend freezing the enchiladas without any of the cheese that goes on top if you can. Cheese has a tendency to separate during freezing, so you could end up with a watery mess when you reheat them later. It only takes a few minutes to add shredded cheese before you cook up the enchiladas, and as a bonus, the cheese will brown more nicely if it wasn’t frozen first. )

Enchiladas frozen with and without sauce to see which works best //

I did notice that the sauce separated a bit in the freezer, and developed some ice crystals that I didn’t see on the enchiladas that were frozen without sauce. It wasn’t a huge deal, and it wasn’t particularly noticeable after baking. However, I could see it becoming more of a problem as more ice develops if you freeze the enchiladas for a longer period of time. Plus, there was a faint metallic taste to the sauce that had been frozen, which likely has to do with the interaction between the aluminum foil and acidic enchilada sauce. In the end, I think I’d prefer to freeze any future enchiladas without sauce, and then just add it right before baking.

Which enchiladas fared better- those frozen with or without the sauce? //

You have a few options for storage materials here. I’ve outlined each below.

1. Disposable aluminum pans.

These can be nice because they hold their shape well and are easy to use. However, if you are freezing a lot of meals, the cost can add up.

2. Glass, ceramic or metal baking pans.

These are great because they involve no garbage – no foil or disposable pans to get rid of after you’ve baked up your frozen dish. However, if you freeze enchiladas in your regular reusable baking pans, it means that those pans aren’t available for cooking other dishes for as long as your enchiladas are in the freezer.

3. Line a glass or ceramic baking pan with aluminum foil.

This is the method I typically use. It is far cheaper than buying a bunch of disposable pans, and keeps my glass baking dishes free for cooking other recipes. To freeze enchiladas this way, line your pan with aluminum foil before you fill it with your rolled enchiladas.

How to Freeze Enchiladas

Regardless of which storage materials you use to freeze your enchiladas, here’s how to do it:

1. Roll up your enchiladas.

Prepare the filling and assemble the enchiladas as directed, but don’t top with any cheese just yet – it will separate when it freezes, and won’t brown as well when you reheat your enchiladas. If you plan to freeze these for more than a few weeks and are using aluminum pans or foil, you may want to leave off the enchilada sauce as well, or it could take on a metallic taste over time.

Bake at 350°F for 7-10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

2. Freeze your enchiladas.

When the enchiladas are completely cooled, cover your enchiladas, pressing out as much air as possible. Be sure to label the dishes with what they are, when they were made and how to reheat them.

If you are using disposable aluminum pans or your regular baking pans without foil: Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the enchiladas, then cover with a lid or piece of foil. Freeze.

If you are lining a pan with aluminum foil: Cover the enchiladas with another piece of foil and pinch the edges of the top piece together with the edges of the bottom piece to create a packet, squeezing out the air as you go. Slide the entire pan in the freezer. When the enchiladas are frozen solid, lift the foil packet out of the pan and leave just the packet in the freezer. Now your pan is free to use again!


Preheat your oven to whatever temperature your recipe calls for. While the oven heats up, remove the foil and plastic wrap from the top of the enchiladas, and top with enchilada sauce and cheese as directed.

Bake as directed in your recipe, but add 5 minutes to the baking time.

NOTE: If you are using glass or ceramic pans, stick them in the cold oven before you turn on the heat. That way, the pans can gradually heat up and won’t crack from the shock of a big temperature change! Just add a few additional minutes to your baking time to adjust for the slow warm-up.

Looking for some great enchilada recipes? Try one of these: