If you’re not familiar with enfrijoladas the simplest (and most accurate) description is to think of an enchilada but replace the (red or green) chile sauce with a creamy blended bean sauce.
Just like enchiladas, to make enfrijoladas a corn tortilla is lightly fried in oil both to soften and to help the sauce adhere to the tortilla better. The tortillas is then dipped into the chile or bean sauce and stuffed with a wide variety of ingredients. Usually topped with cheese, crema, avocado slices, onions, jalapeños, cilantro…and well anything you’d like, really.
The most traditional enfrijoladas, and also the way I grew up eating them, are with a cheese and chopped onion stuffing. Very simple and best of all, no meat! Of course it’s also common for some people to add animal proteins like shredded chicken or chorizo, but even before going meatless I always much preferred enfrijoladas and enchiladas without meat.
As you can see my recipe is untraditional. For my enfrijoladas I love using potatoes paired with a green leafy vegetable like spinach or kale or in this case, collard greens. Of course neither are what’s typically used, but I happen to love this international modern twist on my enfrijoladas and I think you will too — plus adding the greens gives them an extra nutritional boost, which is always a great bonus.
Another way in which my enfrijoladas are untraditional is in the way that I fold them. Many people like to dip, stuff and roll up the tortillas just like with enchiladas. Another method that’s used is that half moon where after dipping and stuffing the tortilla is simply folded in half.
Now, a lesser known method and one I only discovered a few years back, is the quarter folding method. In this last one the tortillas are dipped, folded in quarters and topped with more beans sauce and a fried egg. The sources where I discovered this say that this is the way enfrijoladas are prepared in Oaxaca. I should also point out that these are traditionally made with black beans instead of the pintos like I’ve used here in my recipe. Another thing I learned is that in Oaxaca when they serve them with the egg it’s for breakfast and when eaten for lunch or dinner they’ll replace the egg with a meat.
I love using both the half moon and quarter folding method. To me both of these are easier and quicker than the rolling method. I personally also think these add a different appeal to the plate. But you are of course 100% to use any folding method you’d like, because at the end of the day it’s the bean sauce and stuffing that give the dish all of it’s glorious flavours.
My enfrijoladas recipe is vegan until the point where you top them with cotija cheese, which you can of course swap for a vegan alternative or leave off entirely. If you decide not to add the cheese you can drizzle with some vegan crema fresca and some avocado slices if you’d like.
Ok amigos, make sure you watch the video to see a visual guide of the folding methods.
(If you don’t see the video right below this text, view it on our YouTube channel by clicking here.)
How To Make Vegetarian and Vegan Enfrijoladas
Bean Sauce Ingredients
- 3 cups of boiled beans
- boiled bean broth or water or vegetable broth alternatively you can use leftover refried beans and water or vegetable broth
- 1 to 2 canned chipotle en adobo
- 3 whole garlic cloves
- half small white onion
- half teaspoon salt adjust to taste (specially if previously seasoned beans or are using canned)
- 1.5 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup or small white onion
- 2 medium or about 3 cups peeled & finely chopped potato
- fine sea salt large pinch
- 2 large garlic cloves minced
- 2 cups frozen collard greens
- salt to taste
- 12 corn tortillas
- half cup vegetable oil
- cotija cheese
- avocado slices
- Mexican crema
- chopped or sliced white onion
- Saute the onion until soft then add potato and cook until the it's soft and cooked through.
- While you wait for the potatoes to cook prepare the bean sauce. Simply place all of the bean sauce ingredients, except the oil, into a blender and blend until you have a smooth sauce. If needed add more broth or water to the blender. Once done set the bean sauce aside.
- Back to the potatoes, check to see if they've cooked through and once they have add the minced garlic and saute for a couple of minutes before adding the frozen collard greens. Stir until well combined, add a pinch of sea salt and cook until the collard greens are defrosted, warm and evenly distributed throughout the potatoes. Taste and if needed add a bit more salt. Turn the heat to low while you wait for the collards to defrost and in the meantime continue to the next step.
- While you wait for the collards, in a sauce pan add the 1.5 Tablespoons of oil and once warm carefully pour in the bean sauce. Simmer for 15 minutes or until you can no longer taste the raw onion and the sauce has thickened up a bit.
- Once the filling and beans sauce are done heat half cup of oil in a frying pan. Once hot carefully fry all 12 of the tortillas just for a minute or two, all we want is for them to soften and stay bendable -- don't over fry as they'll get crispy and you won't be able to bend them. Drain the fried tortillas on a paper towel lined plate.
- To assemble the enfrijoladas. Take one of the fried tortillas and dip into the bean sauce until well coated. Place on a plate then add the filling and fold in half or half moon shape. Serve 3 to 4 enfrijoladas per person. Drizzle plenty of bean sauce over the plated enfrijoladas then top with cotija cheese and avocado slices or anything you'd like. For the quarter folded enfrijoladas, dip into beans sauce, place on plate then fold in half then again in half to form triangle shaped quarters. Drizzle with bean sauce and serve the stuffing on the side and top with any of the suggested toppings.
Thanks for stopping by amigos, I really do hope you make these enfrijoladas very soon. Have a beautiful day!!