Lightened Up Beef and Black Bean Enchiladas

So, I realized the other day that I hadn’t posted a Mexican food related dish in nearly a month. Seriously, guys, that had to be remedied like yesterday.

Now, that’s not to say we haven’t eaten Mexican food in that long; we eat some variation of tacos, burritos, enchiladas, or fajitas nearly once a week.  No joke.  It’s my jam, so to speak.

But I wanted to try something a little bit outside of our normal routine, and when I spotted this recipe in my Cooking Light magazine, I knew I had to try it.  Mexican food and lower calories?  Sign me up.

Don’t let the length of this recipe dissuade you from trying it.  These are really very easy to assemble, albeit a little bit time consuming.  And I promise, the end result is well worth it.  These were definitely just as good as any restaurant style enchiladas I’ve eaten–and my husband, who typically turns his nose up at corn tortillas, inhaled three of these in less than five minutes.

It was at this point Doodle said to me, “Mom, you really like to cook.”  I agreed, and asked him what food he liked best that I made.  His answer?  Hot dogs.

Ahhhh, life with a 4-year old.

Lightened Up Beef and Black Bean Enchiladas
lightly adapted from Cooking Light, May 2012
For the Sauce:
  • 3 chipotle chilis in adobo, diced
  • 3 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (6-inch) corn tortilla, torn into small pieces
  • ⅓ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 green onions, coarsely chopped
For the Enchiladas:
  • 8 ounces ground sirloin
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon no-salt-added tomato paste
  • ⅔ cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup fat-free, lower sodium-chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 4 cups water
  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • ⅔ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 3 green onions, thinkly sliced and divided
  • Mexican crema, for serving
For the Sauce:
  1. Place chilis in a medium saucepan; add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour mixture into a blender; let stand for 10 minutes. Add cilantro, garlic, and green onions and process until smooth.
  2. Return mixture to pan. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced to 2 cups (7 to 10 minutes), stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
For the Enchiladas:
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Add beef to a medium skillet over medium-high heat and saute 5 minutes or until browned.
  3. Drain beef and wipe out skillet with a paper towel. Add oil and onion; cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin and salt. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in tomato paste and cook for another minute. Add in cooked beef, rinsed beans and ½ cup broth. Bring to a boil and scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits. Cook for another minute, then remove from heat and add in lime juice.
  5. Place 4 cups water in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. One tortilla at a time, dip in simmering water for just a few seconds, until tortilla is softened.
  6. Spread ½ cup sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 pan.
  7. Place on tortilla on a flat work surface; spoon in 3 tablespoons beef mixture and roll up. Repeat, placing tortillas seam-side down in your prepared dish. Top with cheeses.
  8. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, or until browned and bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes. Serve with additional green onion, cilantro, and crema.


I’m linked up at these great parties this week: Crazy Sweet Tuesdays, Trick or Treat Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Cast Party Wednesday, Whip it Up Wednesdays, Watcha’ Whipped Up Wednesdays, Eat, Pray {Read}, Love, Sweet Treats Thursday, Mrs. Fox’s Sweets, Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons, Itsy Bitsy Paper, Crumbs and Chaos, I’m Lovin’ It Fridays, and Weekend Potluck!



  1. amy @ fearless homemaker

    These sound mighty tasty + i love that they’re lightened up – that never hurts, especially around swimsuit season. =) will definitely have to try these!
    amy @ fearless homemaker recently posted..chocolate chip cookie cakeMy Profile

  2. Mindie

    Looks really good. I use all the low sodium products too, love em.

  3. Hayley

    Eeeek! Doodle is so cute. “Hot dogs.” Hey–you must make a mean hot dog then! 🙂 seriously, these rock. I love enchiladas but admittedly get SO BORED between switching it up with chicken or beef. Sometimes, I can’t even think outside the box and my food feels so uninventive. However, I never think to use black beans or a homemade chipotle sauce which sounds out-of-this-world AWESOME. I’m loooving the fact that chipotles + cilantro are in the sauce… can I bathe in the sauce leftovers? OMG.
    Hayley recently posted..Snickers CupcakesMy Profile

  4. Terry

    I can remember when my son’s fav was hot dogs – he ate so many I thought he was going to turn into one!

    The enchiladas sound super yummy! Pinning.
    Terry recently posted..Steak FingersMy Profile



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Hello There!

Interestingly enough, I didn’t grow up with an interest in cooking.  In fact, I informed my mother on multiple occasions that I was not getting an advanced education so I could spend my evenings preparing meals.

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