Stacked Enchiladas with Corn and Black Beans
Stacked Enchiladas with Corn and Black Beans

Think of these as a deconstructed enchilada: warm corn tortillas with corn, black beans, cheese, and spicy salsa. They’re quicker and easier than regular enchiladas, and they’re great for a weeknight dinner!

In my early days as a chef, I had a friend from California who introduced me to what she called Texas enchiladas. Instead of the usual stuffed and rolled enchiladas, the tortillas were fried, dipped in sauce, topped with filling, and then stacked in layers.

Conclusion: delicious!

Ingredients for traditional enchiladas

In Mexico, there are as many ways to make enchiladas as there are cooks, and every family has a favorite recipe. In general, traditional enchiladas consist of four components: tortillas, sauce, filling, and topping.

  • Fried tortillas: In Mexico, the tortillas are either dipped in sauce and fried briefly in oil, or fried just until they begin to crisp then dipped in the sauce. Corn tortillas are preferred for enchiladas because they have a lot of flavor and don’t fall apart when dipped in the sauce, while flour tortillas are more likely to fall apart. The first method of dipping and then frying sounds counterintuitive, but the sauce is often undercooked; It literally frys in oil after dipping the tortilla in it. Still, I prefer the second method because it forms a barrier and prevents the tortillas from getting soggy and falling apart when dipped in the sauce.
  • Pureed Chili Sauce: The sauce itself can be made from any number of types of chili. Many chilies, like poblanos and anchos, are commonly dried for long-term storage and then reconstituted in hot water. The rehydrated chillies are mashed with garlic and onions until smooth in a sauce. It’s not a thick sauce, but rather resembles the consistency of cream. After pureeing, the sauce is often boiled again in a little oil to blend the flavors.
  • Lots of filling options: A wide range of fillings — shredded meat, cheese, vegetables, and beans — make enchiladas a versatile dish that fits its likely original purpose: to use up leftovers, including leftover tortillas.
  • Fresh toppings to put on: Finally, side dishes like cheese, radishes, cilantro, crema (which resembles thin sour cream), chopped onions, and fried eggs are just a few of the options available to the chef.

Simplified ingredients for streamlined “stacked” enchiladas

In my quest to replicate my friend’s recipe, I thought of ways I could streamline the enchilada process to make it faster and easier. Each component takes 8 to 12 minutes and most can be prepared ahead of time.

  • Baked (not fried) tortillas: I love the slightly chewy texture of fried tortillas in the sauce but hate the frying part. Instead, I brushed them with oil and baked them, which gave them just enough crispiness to hold together when dipped in the sauce.
  • Quick Canned Tomato Sauce: This is a quick hack of a sauce – no dried chiles, just ancho chili powder mashed with canned tomatoes, cooked in a large, deep pan to mix and meld the flavors. The sauce is already in the pan, ready to dip the tortillas.
  • Easy Vegetarian Filling: A quick-made filling of canned beans and frozen corn with a little onion that’s heated in the microwave is a breeze in terms of time and effort. Cooking the onion with the corn softens the onion’s heat. Add the beans to heat the filling until hot. (If you want to prepare your beans from scratch, here’s how to do it on the stovetop or in a pressure cooker.)
  • Choose a few simple toppings: I picked just a few of the usual suspects: avocado for creaminess, radish and cilantro for freshness, and crumbled queso fresco for a salty, cheesy component. If you can’t find it, substitute feta cheese, shredded cheddar, or Monterey Jack.

How to serve stacked enchiladas

Each stack must be assembled individually and takes about 2 minutes.

You could serve each batch as-is, if you don’t mind if people start eating at different times.

Alternatively, arrange the stacks on a baking sheet and heat them at 350oF for 5 minutes or until hot. Add the side dishes just before serving.

If you like, place the side dishes in small bowls on the table for guests to pass around.

Make Ahead Enchilada Stacks

You can prepare the sauce, bake the tortillas, and the filling several hours or up to a day in advance.

Place the “fried” tortillas in a plastic bag and pack the sauce and filling in separate containers. Keep this all in the fridge until ready to use.

Heat the sauce in a deep skillet, heat the tortillas in a 350oF oven for 5 minutes and reheat the filling in the microwave. Prepare the side dishes at the last minute.

More enchilada recipes

  • Easy enchiladas
  • Red Chili Chicken Enchiladas
  • Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas
  • Black bean enchiladas from Turkey
  • Mexican lasagna

Stacked corn and black bean enchiladas

preparation time
25 minutes

cooking time
10 mins

total time
35 minutes

up to 6 servings


For the sauce :

  • 2 garlic clovescut

  • 1/2 yellow Onionroughly chopped

  • 1 (28ounce) can be whole, peeled tomatoes

  • 2 tablespoon all purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoon so chilli powderor to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher Salt

  • 1/2 Cup water

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the tortillas:

  • 12 Corn tortillas (6 to 7 inch Size)

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil

For the filling:

  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped red or yellow Onion

  • 1 Cup frozen corn

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher Salt

  • prize black pepper

  • 1 can black beansrinsed and drained

For the garnish:

  • 4 ounces Quarkcrumbled (or feta or Monterey Jack)

  • 1 ripe avocadoslice

  • 4 to 6 radishthinly sliced

  • leaves of 1/4 bunch coriander


  1. Preheat the oven:

    Preheat oven to 350ºF.

  2. Make the sauce:

    In a blender, blend the garlic, onion, tomatoes, flour, chilli powder, oregano, salt and water until smooth.

    Heat the oil in a deep pan over medium heat. Add the sauce and cook, stirring frequently, until simmering.

    Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce at a steady simmer for 10 minutes. It can splatter like crazy so either stir often or cover with a splatter guard. The sauce should have the consistency of cream. Add more water to dilute if needed.

    Simple tip!

    You can have a little more sauce than you need. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days and used for leftovers.

  3. Bake the tortillas:

    Using a pastry brush, brush both sides of a tortilla with oil and place on a plate. Place a second tortilla on top and brush the top with oil. Continue brushing and stacking the tortillas in the same manner.

    When finished, gently press the stack down so both sides of each tortilla are lightly coated with oil. This way all sides will be coated in oil as you build the stack.

    Spread them out on two baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes or until edges are slightly crispy.

    Simple tip!

    You can make the tortillas up to a day in advance. Allow to cool completely, then transfer to a ziplock plastic bag and store at room temperature.

  4. Preparation of the filling:

    In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the onion, corn, salt, and pepper. Microwave for 2 minutes. Add the beans and microwave for another minute, or until the filling is hot all the way through. Cover up and keep warm.

    Simple tip!

    The filling can be made up to a day in advance and refrigerated.

  5. Assemble the enchiladas:

    Place 4 plates near the stove.

    Dip a tortilla in the sauce and place it on one of the plates. Spread 2 tablespoons of the filling on the tortilla. Dip a second tortilla in the sauce and place on top. Spread with 2 more tablespoons of the filling. Dip a third tortilla in the sauce and place on top of the stack. Put some more sauce on top.

    Top the stack with 1/4 of the cheese, 1/4 of the avocado slices, 1/4 of the radishes, and sprinkle with 1/4 of the coriander leaves.

    Repeat with the remaining tortillas, sauce, and sides.

    If desired, place each stack on a baking sheet in a 350°F oven to keep warm while you finish assembling the rest. Serve all stacks at once.

nutritional information (per serving)
461 calories
23g Fat
55g carbohydrates
14g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!