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Refried bean and cheese enchiladas with Tex Mex-style red sauce make super-satisfying vegetarian comfort food. Here’s how to make them.

refried bean and cheese enchiladas with red tex mex enchilada sauce
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Why we love this recipe

Whether you feel like hosting the coziest-ever dinner party (just add a round or two of perfect margs), need an easy make-ahead family meal, or even want a tried and true one-pan meal to bring to friends in need, these enchiladas fit the bill.

They’re:

  • Comforting and indulgent, but also packed with plant-based protein and fiber
  • Equally adored by kids and grownups
  • Flexible — see suggested variations below for details
  • Make-ahead and freezer-friendly

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe.

ingredients in bowls
  • For the refried beans, use two cans of a brand you like, or one recipe of homemade.
  • I like to use an equal mix of extra-sharp cheddar and pepper jack cheeses. They melt well and have a flavorful but not overwhelming vibe. Shred them yourself on the large holes of a box grater to avoid the additives in pre-shredded blends. This recipe has a lot of cheese. No apologies, but you can reduce it if you’d like and sprinkle less on top.
  • Try to use good-quality 8-inch flour tortillas if possible. Supermarket brands are fine but can be a little doughy, especially when coated with sauce. I don’t call for pre-warming the tortillas, but you can do so one at a time on a dry skillet before assembling if you like, to enhance the flavor and increase pliability. Although the math doesn’t really make sense, I always find that 8-inch tortillas fit well in a standard 9x13x2-inch baking pan, with eight across and two lengthwise underneath.
  • One batch of our homemade Tex Mex enchilada sauce is perfect for this recipe. Or you can buy it. You’ll need about three cups.

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a cozy pan of refried bean and cheese enchiladas. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. First you’ll mix together the ingredients for the filling.
  2. Spread some of the sauce on the bottom of the pan.
  3. Fill and roll the tortillas.
  4. Top with more sauce and cheese and bake until hot and melty. Garnish and serve. That’s it!

Suggested variations

  • You can substitute corn tortillas. In this case, definitely warm each one on both sides on a dry skillet before assembling, to enhance both flavor and pliability.
  • Try adding two links of Spanish-style chorizo, diced and browned, to the filling.
  • Or halve the beans and add a pound of cooked, shredded chicken to the filling.
  • Enchiladas make great gifts for new parents or folks going through a tough moment. Use disposable foil baking pans, and let recipients know they can bake them right away or freeze for later.

Expert tips and FAQs

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

Absolutely. You can prep the entire dish in advance and bake it just before serving. Tightly cover the baking pan with foil and store in the fridge for up to a week, or with plastic wrap followed by foil in the freezer for up to a year. You can defrost first or bake straight from frozen, adding 20 minutes to the baking time and keeping the pan covered with foil for the first 20 minutes. (Be sure to remove plastic wrap before baking.)

More favorite Mexican-inspired vegetarian meals

refried bean and cheese enchiladas with red tex mex enchilada sauce

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refried bean and cheese enchiladas with red tex mex enchilada sauce
4.49 from 27 votes

Refried Bean and Cheese Enchiladas

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
These enchiladas make super-satisfying vegetarian comfort food. Here's how to make them.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • 3 ½ cups refried beans, see note 1
  • 8 ounces (227 grams) extra-sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 8 ounces (227 grams) pepper jack, shredded
  • 1 recipe Tex Mex enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup (75 grams) sliced scallions
  • 10 8- inch flour tortillas
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 375°F with a rack in the center.
  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together the refried beans, half the cheddar, half the pepper jack, and the scallions.
  • Spread one cup of the enchilada sauce evenly over the surface of the baking pan.
  • Divide the filling evenly among the tortillas, making a strip of filling down the center of each tortilla and rolling the tortilla fairly tightly around it.
  • Line up tortillas seam-side down in the pan, packing them in snugly. They should fit with eight across and two lengthwise across the bottom, per the photos and video above.
  • Top evenly with remaining sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheddar and pepper jack.
  • Bake, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, until melted, hot, and bubbly.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve. 

Notes

  1. The 3 1/2 cups refried beans in this recipe equals two 15.4-ounce (437-gram) cans or one recipe homemade refried beans.
  2. Try to use good-quality flour tortillas if possible. Supermarket brands are fine but can be a little doughy, especially when coated with sauce. I don't call for pre-warming the tortillas, but you can do so one at a time on a dry skillet before assembling if you like, to enhance the flavor and increase pliability.
  3. You can prep the entire dish in advance and bake it just before serving. Tightly cover the baking pan with foil and store in the fridge for up to a week, or with plastic wrap followed by foil in the freezer for up to a year. You can defrost first or bake straight from frozen, adding 20 minutes to the baking time and keeping the pan covered with foil for the first 20 minutes. (Be sure to remove plastic wrap before baking.)
  4. Enchiladas make great gifts for new parents or folks going through a tough moment. Use disposable foil baking pans, and let recipients know they can bake them right away or freeze for later.

Suggested variations

  • You can substitute corn tortillas. In this case, definitely warm each one on both sides on a dry skillet before assembling, to enhance both flavor and pliability.
  • Try adding two links of Spanish-style chorizo, diced and browned, to the filling.
  • Or halve the beans and add a pound of cooked, shredded chicken to the filling.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 331kcal, Carbohydrates: 40g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 22mg, Sodium: 744mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Mexican-Inspired
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

Hungry for more?

Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

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About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

4.49 from 27 votes (27 ratings without comment)

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