A Recipe for Black Bean Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce and a Celebration of Cilantro for The Recipe Redux

When we heard about this month’s Recipe Redux “Green with Herb Envy” cooking challenge, we had one of those LOL moments. The image of green things popping from the earth, backyard gardens, and thumbing through seed catalogs seems light-years away! The Boston suburbs are still blanketed in snow, so instead of seeing green, everything outside right now is bright white. Those poor little crocuses don’t even seem to have a chance. Yes, March came in like a lion … and it’s clearly going out like one.

We love participating in the monthly Recipe Redux blogger roundup, so we decided not to let a little 10-inch snowstorm stop us. We chose gorgeous, aromatic cilantro as our featured herb, and although we may not have used it in a nontraditional way, rather than the usual garnishing afterthought, we added a giant handful right to the bean enchilada filling.

Black Bean Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #pumpkin #beans

Herbs like cilantro really wow us. They bring big, bright flavors to recipes, help home cooks cut back on the need for lots of salt, they’re pretty to look at, and they’re packed with antioxidants. When we think of herbs—parsley, mint, cilantro, basil, rosemary, thyme—we think “vegetable.”

Black Bean Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #pumpkin #beans

Cilantro is one of those love-it-or-hate-it foods (kind of like goat cheese, which, we’re happy to say, we also love). We chose it for the Recipe Redux because we find ourselves turning to it all year long.

Boosting the good nutrition in everything we make is always a priority, and it was super easy with this recipe. In addition to the half cup chopped cilantro in the filling, we also added nutrient-rich black beans, baby spinach, corn, and low-fat cheese. For the tortillas, we turned to 100% whole wheat, and we enhanced the enchilada sauce with half a cup of canned pureed pumpkin.

Black Bean Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce

Makes 8 Servings

The idea for incorporating pumpkin into the enchilada sauce came from Stacey M., a mom and a fan from Eagle, CO. Stacey wrote: “Pumpkin has become a staple for us for all meals. I made enchiladas tonight. I use canned enchilada sauce and even the mild is a bit too spicy for the girls (they are 4 and 6), but I love spicy food. I puree the can of sauce with about 1/2 – 1/3 cup of canned pumpkin to cut the spice, add nutrition, and thicken it up. I don’t think any of them have figured it out! My girls are pretty good eaters and love sour cream so I serve it with the enchiladas. Add a cup of milk and I can have my slightly spicy dinner that everyone will eat!!” We suggest you garnish with additional cilantro, chopped tomatoes, sliced olives, diced or sliced avocado, and lime wedges.

  • 1 tablespoon expeller pressed canola oil
  • 6 green onions, chopped (white and light green parts only)
  • One 6-ounce bag baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 cups shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, divided
  • One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • One 15-ounce can enchilada sauce (mild, medium, or hot)
  • 1/2 cup canned 100% pure pumpkin
  • Eight 8-inch whole wheat flour tortillas

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly oil or coat a 9 x 13-inch baking pan or dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the green onions and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 3 minutes. Add the spinach, cumin, and chili powder and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until wilted, 3 more minutes. Transfer the cooked veggies to a large bowl and set aside to cool, about 5 minutes. When cool, stir in 1 cup of the cheese, beans, corn, and cilantro until well combined.

3. Meanwhile, place the enchilada sauce and pumpkin in a medium-size bowl and whisk until well combined. Spread 1/2 cup of the mixture evenly on the bottom of the prepared baking pan.

4. To assemble the enchiladas, place 1/2 cup of filling down the center of each flour tortilla. Roll up tightly, tucking in the ends, and place seam side down in the dish. Cover evenly with the remainder of the sauce, sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup cheese, and bake, uncovered, until bubbly, about 20 minutes.

Nutrition Information per Serving (1 enchilada): 310 calories, 11g fat, (3g saturated, 0.2g omega-3), 730mg sodium, 41g carbohydrate, 8g fiber, 16g protein, 60% vitamin A, 15 vitamin C, 25% calcium, 15% iron

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17 Responses to “A Recipe for Black Bean Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce and a Celebration of Cilantro for The Recipe Redux”

  1. Louise @AnAppleADayRD on March 21st, 2013

    Enchiladas?? Are you sure y’all are from MA? You’re a hit in TX! This recipe looks indulgent but healthy and I can’t wait to try it out on the family!! Thx for sharing.

  2. dixya@food, pleasure, and health on March 21st, 2013

    sending you guys lots to sunshine from Dallas. Cilantro is such a flavorful garnish and goes so well with everything :) It will be great to share this dish with family anyday,

  3. EA-The Spicy RD on March 21st, 2013

    Love this recipe, and what a great idea to add in some pumpkin purée! Cilantro is probably my all time favorite herb. I just don’t get how some people can be cilantro haters :-)

  4. graincrazy on March 21st, 2013

    I can not get enough of Mexican food. This looks so delish. I love all the great foods you included in them. So yummy! Thanks!

  5. Alexandra @ Delicious Knowledge on March 21st, 2013

    That picture is the top reason I moved from the East Coast to CA! Looks delicious. I made pumpkin enchilada sauce a few years ago but you have inspired me to recreate it using your recipe! The addition of cilantro sounds perfect and bright!

  6. Liz on March 21st, 2013

    OK. Go ahead and rub it in. Now it’s snowing again! And my neighborhood is filled with snowmen! This is crazy….

  7. Danielle Omar - Food Confidence RD on March 21st, 2013

    Your enchiladas are perfectly rolled! I love it. Mine always fall apart or break mid-roll. Definitely making this pumpkin sauce, I have two cans in my pantry that need to be used!

  8. Diane on March 22nd, 2013

    This recipe looks kid friendly and that’s what I am searching for today! Liz, I am interested in learning more about your cooking classes for kids. I will be working with a youth violence intervention program through the sheriff’s office. Will give nutrition education alongside some hands on cooking! Any suggestions you can offer from your experience are welcome!

  9. Jessica on March 22nd, 2013

    This recipe looks fantastic! putting it on my menu for next week! Thanks!!

  10. Deanna Segrave-Daly on March 24th, 2013

    You guys are definitely troopers, celebrating Spring through yet ANOTHER snowstorm – hopefully that’s the last of it for the East coast this year (and yes, I even mean for December :) This recipe looks amazing – but all your recipes are – pinning right now.

  11. Jessie on March 25th, 2013

    I love cilantro, and I’ll bet this fresh herb was fantastic in these enchiladas! Thanks so much for sharing, and happy Spring! :)

  12. Liz on March 25th, 2013

    Hi Diane: Happy to offer advice. Making fruit smoothies goes over well with kids. Shoot me an email (see “contact us” on our website) and we can brainstorm via emails!

  13. Regan @ The Professional Palate on March 27th, 2013

    Okay… I know you guys are eyeing me suspiciously as the culprit behind the “green” theme since I’m the only one down south, but I promise I wasn’t :)

    Thanks for indulging the theme, even with a snowstorm in play. This recipe is ideal comfort food around my house!!

  14. Rebecca Manley on April 13th, 2013

    Just discovered your blog the other day and cooked these up for my family tonight. They were a hit! Thank you – you have a happy new follower!

  15. Liz on April 14th, 2013

    We’re so glad you found us and thrilled you enjoyed our yummy and healthy recipe! Keep coming back for more!!

  16. Judy Altman on October 15th, 2014

    Can I use corn tortillas instead of the wheat tortillas? Wheat sensitivity issues ……

  17. Janice on October 15th, 2014

    Yes, Judy. You can definitely use corn tortillas instead of wheat. If the corn tortillas are smaller the recipe may make more than 8 enchiladas. :)

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