Black Bean Enchilada Bake


Yes, I know that enchiladas are really rolled up and yes, spaghetti sauce sounds suspiciously much more like Italian than Mexican food.

So here I come with a dish I call an “Enchilada Bake,” based on flat tortillas and a spaghetti sauce base, but the addition of cumin, cilantro and green chiles brings it pretty darn close to Mexican food, especially when you are in a hurry and are working with just what you have in the cupboard. (And my suggestion is that you always have some basic spaghetti sauce on hand!)

Black Bean and Cheese Enchilada Bake
28 oz spaghetti sauce
15 oz tomatoes and green chiles
1 c diced onion, sautéed
1 t cumin
1 t dried cilantro
1 t garlic powder
15 oz black beans, drained—reserve liquid
1/3 to 1/2 c sliced processed cheese (Velveeta)
8 to10 corn tortillas
6 to 8 oz grated part-skim Mozzarella cheese
Combine the spaghetti sauce, tomatoes and chiles, sautéed onion, cumin, cilantro, and garlic powder. Add in the liquid drained from the black beans and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the mixture is slightly thickened.
Spread about a third of the sauce mixture on the bottom of a 9 X 13 microwave-safe pan. Tear tortillas to cover the bottom evenly. Spread with half the black beans and arrange the processed cheese over them. Layer with another third of the sauce, more tortillas, then the remainder of the black beans. Sprinkle generously with Mozzarella. Finish with another layer of tortillas, the rest of the sauce, and then more Mozzarella.

To cook:

With little time:
Loosely cover and microwave for about 7 to 8 minutes until mixture is bubbly in the center as well as around the edges.
With a little more time:
Loosely cover and microwave for about 5 to 6 minutes until the mixture is bubbly. Finish in a 375 degree oven to brown the top.
Or, if you are really organized, you can make this ahead, cover tightly, and refrigerate overnight (or even a couple of days ahead–make it on the weekend and have it ready for a busy weekday).
Serve with yogurt (or fat free sour cream), shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, black olives, guacamole, salsa, hot sauce–whatever dress ups you like with “real” enchiladas. Enjoy!

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