Cuban black beans are a beautiful improvement on plain black beans. They contain onion, bell pepper, garlic, a few spices, and some olive oil and vinegar, so they’re incredibly flavorful and perfect for tacos, enchiladas, or anything else you want. I used them along with shredded chicken and pepper jack cheese to make simple spicy enchiladas.
Pepper jack cheese contains chunks of jalapeño. That’s where most of the spiciness in the dish comes from, so use Monterey jack or mild cheddar cheese if you want less spice. The spice-averse can also omit the chili powder from the chicken and pick a mild enchilada sauce.
I used corn tortillas, which become slightly crispy when baked. However, you can use white or whole wheat flour tortillas for softer enchiladas.
The chicken is perfect for meal-prepping and works well in this recipe when cold. You can also substitute 1 lb ground beef for the chicken.
Spicy Cuban Black Bean Enchiladas
- 8 corn tortillas
- 1 15 oz can Cuban black beans
- 8 oz pepper jack cheese
- 1 15 oz can red enchilada sauce
For the Chicken
- 3 chicken thighs boneless, skinless
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- Coat the chicken thighs in the spices, using more or less according to your spice preference. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Pan-cook the chicken thighs until the spice coating is slightly blackened and the internal temperature reaches 165º F. Use two forks to shred the meat – there should be about 2 cups. Alternatively, you can use pre-cooked shredded chicken and season it how you like.
- Drain and rinse a can of Cuban black beans. Mix with the shredded chicken.
- Grate the pepper jack cheese into a bowl.
- Warm the corn tortillas in the microwave in 10 second intervals until they are warm and pliable. Spread about 5 oz, or 1/3 of a can of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. The sauce should be thick enough to cover the bottom but thin enough to see through.
- Form the enchiladas: add a few spoonfuls of the chicken and bean mix to the center of each tortilla, then top with a sprinkle of shredded cheese. Fold the sides over and line up in the baking dish seam-side down.
- Top the enchiladas with about 3/4 cup of enchilada sauce and a thick layer of shredded cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the sauce has darkened.
- Serve hot with your choice of toppings.