Enfrijoladas de Espinaca – Tortillas with Spinach in Black Bean Sauce – Recipe

Enfrijoladas de Espinaca - Tortillas with Spinach in Black Bean Sauce
Enfrijoladas de Espinaca – Tortillas with Spinach in Black Bean Sauce

This is my entry for the second Everyday Chef Challenge. Pacific Natural Foods invited me and four other bloggers to participate, and this time we were to use one of their creamy soups, and spinach.

After you check out this post, please jump over to their site and vote! It takes just a few seconds; you don’t have to register or anything, and you can vote every 24 hours if you like. I’m in the middle of the top row. I would dearly love to win the two-day bootcamp at the Culinary Institute of America, so your vote means a lot to me!

Enfrijoladas are a simple, homey Mexican dish that you rarely see in the Unites States. Corn tortillas are dipped in a smooth bean sauce spiked with a few chiles. In the simplest form, they are simply served up with more of the sauce and some cheese or crema.

For a slightly more elaborate version, enfrijoladas can be filled. A quick mixture of seasoned spinach and onions works great. Think of them like spinach enchiladas with beans instead of tomatos or tomatillos as the backbone of the sauce.

Pacific Natural’s Spicy Black Bean Soup is already the perfect consistency and flavor to use for enfrijoladas. This makes the whole thing so simple you can throw it together in fifteen minutes.

I hope you like the dish, and please go vote at the Everyday Chef Challenge!

Full disclosure: Pacific Natural Foods is an advertiser on my site, and provided products for me and the other bloggers participating in this contest.

Enfrijoladas de Espinaca – Tortillas with Spinach in Black Bean Sauce
Vegetarian and gluten-free; vegan if you omit the cheese
Serves 4
15 minutes

  • 1 pound frozen spinach
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small white onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano (Mexican oregano if possible)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 quart Pacific Natural Foods Spicy Black Bean Soup
  • 12 corn tortillas (double check ingredients for gluten-free)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese (or grated Monterey Jack) (omit or replace for vegan)
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • a few cilantro leaves
  1. Defrost the frozen spinach and squeeze some of the water out of it. Heat the oil in a skillet over a medium high flame. Saute the onion and garlic for 2 minutes. Add the spinach, cumin, oregano, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  2. Heat the soup in a small saucepan.
  3. Carefully dip a tortilla in the soup (using tongs so you don’t burn yourself!). Hold it there for about 5-10 seconds, until it has softened but isn’t falling apart. Remove to a bowl, fill with about 3 tablespoons of the spinach, and loosely roll up. Repeat for all of the tortillas, putting 3 in each bowl.
  4. Top each bowl with 1/4 of the remaining sauce, a sprinkling of the cotija cheese, a few slices of avocado, and some roughly torn cilantro and serve immediately.
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Posted by Michael Natkin on Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 in Gluten-Free or modifiable, Kid Friendly, Main Courses, Recipes, Vegan or Modifiable.

20 Responses to “Enfrijoladas de Espinaca – Tortillas with Spinach in Black Bean Sauce – Recipe”

  1. Reply
    September 29, 2010 at 6:47 am #

    This looks hearty and delicious! Other than the soup and cilantro, I have all the ingredients at home to make this. I will definitely have to try it, thanks.

  2. Reply
    September 29, 2010 at 7:14 am #

    Mm this looks so delicious. I love black beans (though sadly my boyfriend doesn’t). But that just means more for myself. Going over to vote, and good luck on winning the trip!

  3. Reply
    September 29, 2010 at 8:15 am #

    This will make a great meal from my garden: spinach, onion, garlic, cilantro…

  4. Reply
    September 29, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    Sounds wonderful, Michael. I will have to give the recipe a try on one of those crazy “no-time to create a good meal soccer practice nights.”

  5. Reply
    September 29, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

    That looks yummy….never heard of this dish before but now I want to try it! Mexican is one of my fav cuisines cos I think it’s so great for vegetarians!

  6. Reply
    September 30, 2010 at 8:43 am #

    Going to vote!!! Thanks – looks delish.

  7. Reply
    September 30, 2010 at 11:49 am #


  8. Reply
    September 30, 2010 at 7:29 pm #

    This looks like a home run! Ole’!

  9. Reply
    October 1, 2010 at 11:52 am #

    This bean sauce sounds amazing – and a good way to sneak in beans for kids, too. Thanks!

  10. Reply
    October 2, 2010 at 9:03 pm #

    This recipe is crying out for me to make it. At first glance it seemed intimidating to me, but I know if I hunker down and take my time, I will be successful. Thanks for the great recipe.

  11. Reply
    October 3, 2010 at 3:45 pm #

    I wonder if I could sub Swiss chard for the spinach? This sounds like a good recipe, thanks and good luck with the contest!

  12. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    October 3, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    Absolutely; Swiss chard will be great in there, just cook it down thoroughly.

  13. Reply
    October 4, 2010 at 6:17 am #

    Made this last night, to generally strong reviews. I was serving it on plates rather than in bowls, and thus just spread about 1.5T of soup across the tops of the enfrijoladas. That meant that I had a bunch of soup (perhaps half?) left over. The filling was delicious, but I’d have liked a bit more — I might multiply by 1.5 next time.

    I also had a little trouble with “remove most of the liquid” — it was clear that I removed rather too much, because the spinach was hard to break up and mix with the aromatics. So I added a little water, and it was fine.

    The entire recipe was dead simple, and delicious, and got great reviews from the family. I used a bit more cilantro than you show (because I had it!), and a bit less cheese, because some of us don’t like cheese all that much (sigh), but it’s clear that this is a recipe where exact quantities aren’t the critical element. The only thing where “exactness” seems to matter is “how long you dip the tortillas in the soup” — I found that anything over about 12 secs made them start to fall apart when I lifted them out. I ended up going with about 5-7 secs of soaking in near-boiling soup, and it worked great.

  14. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    October 4, 2010 at 7:38 am #

    Thanks, Spike! I'll adjust the recipe to say "squeeze some of the water out".

  15. Reply
    October 5, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    Voted. Looks delicious. I’m going to give it a try tonight to see if I can sneak spinach past the kid, disguised as it is in his favorite medium: cheese and beans.

  16. Reply
    October 7, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    Hey there. I made this recipe the other night for my family. Everyone loved it. I did sub Wolfgang Puck’s black bean soup for the other because my grocery store carried the other brand, but not that particular soup! I simmered the soup with a halved spicy banana pepper to jazz it up. The spinach was AWESOME and I’ll do that combo of spices again even if I don’t make the tortillas. I think I may also sometime make the tortillas the old-fashioned way, frying them in oil, then wrap up the enchiladas and put them all in a 9×13 pan with the soup and cheese on top.

  17. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    October 7, 2010 at 10:17 am #

    Thanks Karen, I'm glad it was a hit and that you made it your own! And yes, just as you intuited, enfrijoladas are sometimes made by running the tortillas through oil before the bean sauce, much like enchiladas.

  18. Reply
    December 15, 2010 at 6:39 am #

    Quite tasty, and very easy. Only thing I would change was to warm the tortillas a bit before dipping into the soup (we used Trader Joe’s Latin Black Bean Soup, btw – vegan and kosher/pareve) – I took the tortillas straight out of the fridge before dipping, so they were still a little hard even after dipping into the soup.

  19. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    December 15, 2010 at 10:29 am #

    Good tip!

  20. Reply
    March 28, 2012 at 8:14 am #

    Made this last night to rave reviews! I added mushrooms to the spinach mixture, along with hot pepper flakes. I also really packed in the filling, so it didn’t quite make it to 12 tortillas, but was delicious none the less! I think next time I might try to thicken the soup a bit or make my own, and add some spices to really condense the flavor–I had a lot of soup leftover. Thanks for the delicious recipe!

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