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Chicken Black Bean Enchiladas

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Chicken Black Bean Enchiladas with a chunky homemade enchilada sauce made with onions, poblano pepper, and smoky chipotle chilies is a delicious menu idea for this year’s Cinco de Mayo celebration! 

If you like more spice, adjust the heat to your liking by adding more of the chipotle chili Adobo sauce. Depending on your preference, this chicken enchilada casserole can be made with either flour or corn tortillas.

If you are prepping for a party, the sauce and filling can be made ahead of time, but you’ll want to assemble the enchiladas just before baking for the best results.

Chicken Black Bean Enchiladas on a white plate

Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

For a couple of years now Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas has been THE all-time favorite recipe at Life, Love, and Good Food. I’ve made it over and over again and it certainly is delicious, but I’m also loving the smoky flavor in the homemade sauce found in today’s enchilada recipe.

When it comes to enchiladas, our family has differing opinions. John and I prefer our enchiladas made with flour tortillas while our girls like corn tortillas. I like my enchiladas soft and creamy, but John likes them to be a little crunchy.

In my opinion, crunchy enchiladas are not enchiladas, they’re chimichangas! Either way, making enchiladas at home isn’t that difficult — a little time consuming maybe, but not difficult — and they’re a delicious and fun meal to serve!

How to make Chicken Black Bean Enchiladas

Chicken Black Bean Enchiladas with onions and poblano peppers

Make the Enchilada Sauce

First, sauté diced onion and poblano pepper in a tablespoon of olive oil for 5 minutes, or until tender. Add chili powder, cumin, and oregano and continue cooking for a couple of minutes to allow the spices to bloom, or become fragrant and start to release their flavors.

Next, add tomato sauce, chicken broth, and the diced chipotle pepper (in adobo sauce) and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for another 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens up a bit.

Chicken Black Bean Enchiladas mixture

Prepare the Chicken Filling

Add 3 cups shredded chicken to a large bowl. I purchase a rotisserie chicken from my grocery store’s deli that has already been removed from the bone and shredded and it’s a great time saver! T

o the chicken, add a can of rinsed and drained black beans and half the enchilada sauce. Stir it up with a cup of shredded cheese.

Chicken Black Bean Enchiladas - rolling enchiladas

Assemble the Enchiladas

 Lightly coat a casserole dish with cooking spray. Place about one-quarter cup of the chicken filling down the middle of a flour or corn tortilla and roll up tightly. Place each enchilada in the casserole dish with the seam side down. Note: You may need to use two casserole dishes to fit them all in!

Chicken Black Bean Enchiladas prepped for the oven

Add More Sauce and Cheese

Pour the remaining sauce all over the top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with more cheese. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted and the enchiladas are bubbly. You’re going to love the aroma when you open the oven door!

Chicken Black Bean Enchiladas hot from the oven in casserole dish

What’s the best kind of cheese to use in enchiladas?

When making enchiladas, you want to use a cheese that melts easily and will be creamy. In this Chicken Black Bean Enchiladas recipe I use a Cheddar Jack Cheese, which is a mix of cheddar and Monterey Jack. You could also use a mix of mozzarella and cheddar cheeses or even white American cheese.

Easy serving options for enchiladas.

In most Mexican restaurants, enchiladas are served with a side of Mexican rice and refried beans. We really like the Rice-a-Roni Spanish Rice which is convenient and can be prepared while the enchiladas bake.

Another tasty side dish option is this Mexican Street Corn Salad. When ready to serve, garnish the enchiladas with fresh cilantro and serve with sour cream and jarred salsa, if desired.

More Mexican casserole recipes!

Chicken Black Bean Enchiladas Recipe

If you are prepping for a party, the sauce and filling can be made ahead of time, but you’ll want to assemble the enchiladas just before baking for the best results.

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Yield: 6 servings

Chicken & Black Bean Enchiladas

A plate of enchiladas

Chicken Black Bean Enchiladas with a chunky homemade enchilada sauce made with onions, poblano pepper, and smoky chipotle chilies.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 large poblano pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 tablesspoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 16-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chili in adobo sauce, diced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 8 oz. shredded cheddar jack cheese, divided
  • 12 6-inch flour tortillas, may also use corn tortillas
  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the poblano pepper, onion, and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until the veggies are tender.
  3. Stir in the chili powder, oregano, and cumin and cook another minute to allow the spices to bloom. Add the tomato sauce, chicken broth, and diced chipotle chili and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, black beans, half the sauce, and 1 cup of cheese. 
  5. Place 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla, roll up, and place seam side down in the prepared casserole dish. 
  6. Pour remaining sauce over top and top with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, January 2016

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 775Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 1658mgCarbohydrates: 78gFiber: 11gSugar: 5gProtein: 41g

Did you make this recipe?

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ABOUT SHEILA
Sheila Thigpen, author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook, is a recipe developer, food photographer, and food writer. She spent 20+ years as a business manager in the publishing industry before she retired in 2018 to focus on her passions — cooking, photography, and writing. Living near the beautiful Smoky Mountains, Sheila and her husband have two adult daughters and two fine sons-in-law, are active in their church, love to travel, and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. Follow Sheila on YouTubePinterestInstagramFacebook, and Twitter!

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