Saturday, May 14, 2011

Weekend Cooking: Chicken & Black Bean Enchiladas

What a nice weekend!  My house is all clean, and I mean CLEAN, from the floors and laundry to the junk drawers, windows, and sweeping.  I'm telling you, I really had a burst of energy and tackled the inside and outside, cleaning and clearing away cobwebs.  I'm completely exhausted at this point, but it's a nice exhaustion that has nothing to do with hours of grading or paperwork, so it feels pretty satisfying for a change!  Besides, now I know the cobwebs are all gone and I don't have to freak out about nasty spiders.  *shudder*

I ran to the store today and decided to make Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas, which is a recipe I found online several years ago, but adapted in a million different little ways.  I love it, and any guest I've ever had over  has loved it as well.  The ingredients cost about $12-15 for the finished pan of about 8 enchiladas, so I'd say that's one cost efficient meal!  I've never joined in on Weekend Cooking that is hosted by Beth Fish Reads, so I thought today would be a great day to start!

Chicken & Black Bean Enchiladas

2 chicken breasts
1 medium onion
1 can black beans
1 package of soft taco shells
1 can of green chili enchilada sauce (Las Palmas is my absolute favorite, if you can find it!)
1 1/2 c. shredded cheese (I like a blend that has Monterrey Jack and cheddar.)
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. cumin powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
dash or two of red pepper flakes  (optional)

Chop the onion into a nice dice and the chicken breasts into small cubes.  Heat a frying pan and coat with enough olive oil to fry  up the chicken and onions, about 2-3 tbsp.  Cook the chicken, just until cooked through (but not browned, as that makes it too tough) and then add the onion and cook to tender.  Turn the heat to low and add in one can of black beans, rinsed and drained.  Salt and pepper the mixture, adding in the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and chili flakes.  Stir the ingredients together and then remove from heat.

Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.  Pour 2/3 of the can of green chili sauce on the bottom of the pan, then begin filling the soft taco shells with the chicken and black bean mixture, rolling them up enchilada style after each one and sliding them in close to one another  (I usually fill and roll all in the baking dish, which is messy, but coats each one in sauce.)  The pan should hold 7-8 enchiladas. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, uncovered.  Remove from the oven, cover in the shredded cheese and return to the oven for another five minutes or until the cheese has melted and has begun to bubble.  Remove from the oven and serve with sour cream, salsa, black olives, or other toppings of your choice.

My suggestion & advice:  I like to make a batch of these enchiladas and portion them out for lunch during the week.  I'll admit that it can get soggy if you leave it in the fridge for too long, so I like to portion it out and freeze it in small, individual containers.  That seems to stop some of the liquid from completely soaking the shells.  I'm really not a big leftover fan, but I love these! 


  1. Yay for spring cleaning! It is nice to feel productive on a front other than grading and lesson planning! (I'm an English teacher, too... first year at that!). I'm putting off grading my 11th graders' research papers ;)

    Those enchiladas look tasty! I love making enchiladas as well, though boyfriend doesn't like cheese (he's crazy, I'm aware!) so I don't make them often.

  2. JP--Yay for another English teacher! I have a small stack of response papers to grade for my 11th graders as well, but I left them at work. :) I have a couple of free periods this next week, so I decided to allow myself a free weekend for once!

    Yes, the enchiladas are good. Maybe you could leave the cheese off the top? That's the only place the cheese makes an appearance, so might still be happy?

  3. You had be at green chili sauce! I love green sauce. These look so good and so easy. I love that they can be frozen. I hope you join in Weekend Cooking more often.

    Now, if only I could get my house scrubbed down....

  4. This would be a winner with my family. I'm going to try it this week...can just about guarantee no leftovers :-)

  5. Mmm... that recipe sounds delicious! I may have to try it!

  6. Sure wish I would experience one of those bursts of energy - my house could sure use it :)

    I love any kind of enchilada and this one sounds superb! I think I will get through this week of finals and graduation and then (hopefully) next week I can start the cleaning and experiment with this new recipe idea!

  7. this sounds very tasty and easy to make. Thanks for the suggestion.

  8. Thanks guys! I hope you can try these out. They are SO yummy. :)