Black Bean and Rice Enchiladas Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Rice and Bean Enchiladas

Total Time
Prep: 40 min. Bake: 30 min.
You won’t miss the meat with this rice and bean enchiladas recipe. These enchiladas are hearty and filling, and you can make them spicy or mild depending on your preferences. Stash them in the freezer for a quick-and-easy meal in the coming weeks.

Updated: Jan. 02, 2024

I’ve had some great enchiladas over the years. Enchiladas made with chicken or beef and rice are on regular rotation at my house, and I love using leftover turkey during the holidays. As I try to incorporate more plants into my family’s diet, I’ve turned my attention to rice and bean enchiladas. I’m pleasantly surprised that no one at the table misses the meat when I make these vegetarian enchiladas. Protein-packed black beans are meaty and filling, and brown rice is nutty with a hearty texture. Add some melty cheese and salsa, and there’s really nothing to miss.

Using salsa instead of homemade enchilada sauce makes it much easier to make enchiladas on a busy weeknight. Those sauces can simmer for hours! We love salsa’s chunky texture, but you can swap in a thinner picante sauce or store-bought enchilada sauce if you prefer.

Ingredients for Rice and Bean Enchiladas

  • Black beans: Black beans have a rich, earthy flavor, and they hold their shape well when cooked. Drain and rinse the black beans before using them to remove excess sodium.
  • Brown rice: We love brown rice recipes. This whole grain has more tooth, texture and flavor than white rice, but it takes longer to cook. This recipe uses cooked brown rice, so plan ahead. You can cook the rice up to four days ahead of time, but make sure to cool it properly. Learn more about how to reheat rice safely.
  • Seasonings: We add depth to the filling with typical taco seasonings: chili powder, ground cumin and crushed red pepper flakes. Feel free to adjust the chili powder and red pepper flakes to your spice preference.
  • Diced tomatoes and green chiles: This flavorful canned ingredient makes up the bulk of the filling’s sauce. Use mild diced tomatoes and green chiles to keep the heat low, or pick up a hotter version to add spice.
  • Salsa: We use salsa as the enchilada sauce. Pick up your favorite salsa brand, or use a homemade salsa recipe.
  • Flour tortillas: Corn tortillas might be traditional, but flour tortillas are softer and more flexible. They’re so easy to roll up! To make gluten-free rice and bean enchiladas, feel free to swap in corn tortillas.
  • Cheddar cheese: This sharp cheese melts beautifully, covering the rice and black bean enchiladas with a gorgeous orange hue. We prefer to grate our own cheese because it melts better.

Directions

Step 1: Prepare the rice mixture

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the green pepper, onion and garlic. Saute until tender. Add the beans, diced tomatoes with green chiles, picante sauce, chili powder, ground cumin and crushed red pepper flakes. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered, until heated through. Add the cooked brown rice. Cook for an additional five minutes.

Editor’s Tip: Here’s how to cook brown rice. If you’re running short on time, reach for quick or instant brown rice.

Step 2: Fill the tortillas

Spoon a rounded 1/2 cup of the rice mixture down the center of each tortilla. Fold the sides over the filling, and roll up. Place the filled tortillas, seam side down, in a 13×9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon the remaining rice mixture along the sides of the dish. Top the tortillas with salsa.

Step 3: Bake the rice and bean enchiladas

Bake, covered, for 25 minutes. Uncover, and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted, two to three minutes longer. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with desired toppings.

Editor’s Tip: You can serve these rice and bean enchiladas with any toppings you’d use for homemade tacos. Try sliced or pickled red onion, jalapeno, thinly sliced radishes, sliced avocado or guacamole, lime wedges, sour cream or strained yogurt, hot sauce and/or additional salsa.

Black Bean And Rice EnchiladasTMB Studio

Recipe Variations

  • Add extra veggies: Amp up the veggie vibes by adding roasted vegetables like mushrooms, sweet potatoes, zucchini, spinach or corn.
  • Substitute another bean: This recipe would be just as good if you swapped in another type of bean, such as pinto beans or kidney beans.
  • Use plant-based ingredients: Make vegan rice and bean enchiladas by swapping in non-dairy cheese. Make sure the flour tortillas are made with oil or shortening instead of lard.
  • Make them meaty: You can modify this recipe to suit a meat-loving crowd. Cook ground beef or turkey alongside the onions, or add a precooked meat like shredded chicken when you mix in the brown rice.
  • Skip the rolling: Don’t have time to roll up all those tortillas? Make stacked enchiladas instead.

How to Store Rice and Bean Enchiladas

Store leftover rice and bean enchiladas in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three to four days. Leftover enchiladas taste great, but they can become a little soggy over time. The microwave can make them even softer, so we recommend reheating enchiladas in a 350° oven until they reach an internal temperature of 165°.

Can you freeze rice and bean enchiladas?

Yes, you can freeze rice and bean enchiladas before baking them. To freeze unbaked enchiladas, follow the assembly directions, but do not add the salsa on top. Cover the baking dish, then transfer it to the freezer.

To use, partially thaw the enchiladas in the refrigerator overnight. Remove the baking dish from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Top with salsa, and cover the baking dish with aluminum. foil. Bake in a 350° oven until the casserole is heated through. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve as directed.

Rice and Bean Enchiladas Tips

A Plate of Black Bean And Rice EnchiladasTMB Studio

Is it better to make enchiladas with corn or flour tortillas?

Either flour or corn tortillas will work for enchiladas. We use flour tortillas in this recipe because they’re easy to roll up. Corn tortillas are the traditional choice, and they offer a chewier texture. When using corn tortillas, lightly fry each tortilla before filling it. This coating creates a moisture barrier that prevents the tortilla from absorbing sauce, so it won’t get soggy and fall apart.

What is the secret to preventing soggy enchiladas?

The best way to prevent soggy enchiladas is to use less sauce. Too much sauce means the rolled tortillas will absorb extra moisture. Instead, pour just enough sauce over the enchiladas to coat the tortillas.

Do you cover rice and bean enchiladas while baking?

We baked our rice and bean enchiladas covered for 25 minutes to help them heat through. Then, we remove the cover and bake for a few additional minutes to crisp up the edges.

What do you serve with rice and bean enchiladas?

We like to serve rice and bean enchiladas with a lime wedge and a few garnishes, such as sliced red onions, jalapenos and sliced avocado. These vegetarian enchiladas are hearty and filling on their own, but you can always serve them with your favorite Mexican side dishes. Cheesy enchiladas pair particularly well with light salads, like a tomato, avocado and corn salad.

Watch how to Make Black Bean and Rice Enchiladas

Rice and Bean Enchiladas

Prep Time 40 min
Cook Time 30 min
Yield 8 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 1/4 cup picante sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 8 flour tortillas (6 inches), warmed
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Optional: Cotija cheese, sliced red onion, sliced jalapeno peppers, sliced avocado and lime wedges

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add green pepper, onion and garlic; saute until tender. Add next 6 ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until heated through. Add rice; cook 5 minutes longer.
  2. Spoon a rounded 1/2 cup of rice mixture down center of each tortilla. Fold sides over filling and roll up. Place seam side down in a 13x9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon remaining rice mixture along sides of dish. Top tortillas with salsa. Bake, covered, for 25 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, 2-3 minutes longer. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with desired toppings, lime wedges and additional salsa.

Nutrition Facts

1 enchilada: 298 calories, 8g fat (3g saturated fat), 10mg cholesterol, 899mg sodium, 44g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 5g fiber), 12g protein.

I love Mexican food, but I'm always looking for ways to make it healthier. I reworked a dish that I have enjoyed in restaurants to suit my taste and lifestyle. —Christie Ladd, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania