Black Bean Chilaquiles

Cooking for a Crowd, Recipes, Worknight Dinners

black bean chilaquiles

Sometimes I have grand plans to try a recipe but when I get home, tired or preoccupied, late or famished, the plans go straight out the window and hummus and crackers ensues.

You would think I’d have this down pat by now. I mean, I write about quick, weeknight dinners but sometimes, even I can’t manage to come up with something creative.

Now, we all have our days where we just don’t feel like cooking. I’m sure even Rachael Ray eats out.

Yet, one of the more common excuses I hear among people my age who like to cook but often don’t is that it’s too much of a hassle just to cook for themselves.

Why bother dirtying seven dishes just for yourself?

Well, first of all, eating out and skipping meals have both been linked to an increased risk of obesity and certain types cancer.

Secondly, and almost as importantly, why not treat yourself to a home cooked meal?

Growing up, my family ate dinner together most nights and even though we were by no means perfect, dinner was still a production that I look back fondly on (well, admittedly less fondly when I was a teenager, but fondly as a child).

Someone set the tables, someone poured everyone a drink (a chore that my brother and I loathed) and my mom cooked; most of the time dad did dishes.

Now that I live alone, I certainly don’t set the table and make a production out of dinner, but I see no reason to eat differently than I would want to if I was feeding friends, roommates, my parents or my non-existent husband and child.

In honor of making it easier for you to cook a delicious meal for yourself or whoever else, today’s post is a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure (similar to the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure I wrote about over on Chicago Now today).

Today only, you get to pick whether you want to be creative and try something new, something that only takes about ten minutes but does require a food processor; or you can take the easy way out and cheat, also known as taking a major shortcut and using bottled salsa to get dinner on the table faster.

fresh tomatillos

Translation: you can make your own tomatillo sauce (even make it ahead and store in the fridge for up to 3 days) OR you can buy it pre-made from the Mexican food section in your local grocery store.

I made my own. I don’t regret it. Neither will you.

black bean chilaquiles

Chilaquiles are a traditional Mexican brunch dish, typically made with leftover tortillas and salsas, often made with eggs or chicken.

I adapted a recipe from Food & Wine and can only say that this is like a healthier, grown-up version of nachos.

Bring it to a potluck or make it just for yourself, because you’ll gladly eat it all week.

Black Bean Chilaquiles
Recipe type: Worknight Dinners, Cooking for a Crowd
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
  • 1½ pounds fresh tomatillos, husked, rinsed and halved
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 large jalapeño halved lengthwise, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 /2 teaspoon coriander
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans (3 heaping cups)
  • 1½ cups grated pepper Jack cheese (6 ounces)
  • ½ cup grated cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • One 6-ounce bag tortilla chips (8 cups)
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°. To make tomatillo sauce: In a blender or food processor, puree the tomatillos, garlic and jalapeño until smooth. In a large saucepan, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the cumin and coriander and cook over high heat until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the tomatillo puree, bring to a boil and cook until the sauce loses its bright green color, 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. If using store-bought sauce, omit this step and use 2 cups store-bought tomatillo salsa.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss the black beans with ¾ cup of the pepper Jack, the cheddar cheese, scallion and half of the tomatillo sauce; season with salt and pepper. In another bowl, toss the tortilla chips with the remaining sauce.
  3. Spread half of the chips in an 8-by-11-inch baking dish; top with the black beans and cover with the remaining tortilla chips. Don't pack the chips down. Dollop the sour cream over the chips and sprinkle with the remaining ¾ cup of pepper Jack. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is browned. Serve at once.

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  • Reply
    June 6, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    i LOVE this, maris. a week? heck no. i’d eat it all in a matter of two days. 🙂

  • Reply
    June 4, 2010 at 11:29 am

    That looks and sounds delicious. Thankfully, now that I’m married I really get to exercise my cooking skills more. Like you said, we feel better cooking for more than one person. I get to try out all kinds of recipes on my hubby. Hopefully I’ll get to try this one too! Besides, his Mexican half should really appreciate it, and we both looove cheese.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog! Just so you know, the link you left me for your blog had a typo (.met instead of .net)

  • Reply
    June 3, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    THat is some way above average mexican food!

  • Reply
    June 3, 2010 at 11:16 am

    This makes me want Mexican food now. I love one dish recipes

  • Reply
    June 3, 2010 at 10:58 am

    being that I am a huge fan of mexican dishes, I can’t believe that I’ve never heard of chilaquiles! sounds delicious and would love to try this out.

  • Reply
    Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)
    June 2, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Now that looks comforting! Maybe a good date night dinner, too?

  • Reply
    June 2, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Yum. I loved to order chilaquiles from a favorite mexican restaurant in Boston and have been meaning to recreate it. (Their version was vegetarian with lots of veggies and cheese and the most heavenly sweet corn sauce.) Yum!

  • Reply
    Katie @ goodLife {eats}
    June 2, 2010 at 11:47 am

    I have never made this but it looks like delicious Mexican comfort food! YUM!

  • Reply
    heather @ chiknpastry
    June 2, 2010 at 9:37 am

    looks great! i love chilaquiles, and it’s definitely a great weeknight dish :).
    i don’t live alone, but if i did i probably would still cook often because i love it, and i love leftovers! plus, recipes are easy to pare down to 2-3 servings so it’s not overkill.

  • Reply
    Kate @ Savour Fare
    June 1, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Chilaquiles are one of my favorite weeknight dishes! This looks great!

  • Reply
    June 1, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    This is calling my name, unfortunately I’m at work and can’t partake just yet but at some point this week, these will be on my dinner table. Lately I have a love for all things Mexican when it comes to food.

  • Reply
    June 1, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    I definitely have those days where I run to the deli across the street and buy a really awesome salad for dinner. But I try to cook as often as possible. These chilaquiles look amazing! Just like a good choose your own adventure book…

  • Reply
    June 1, 2010 at 11:14 am

    I don’t know if I can even pronounce Chilaquiles properly, but I adore Mexican and black beans. This looks uber delicious!!

  • Reply
    June 1, 2010 at 9:55 am

    If I made this for dinner my husband would be one happy man

  • Reply
    June 1, 2010 at 9:40 am

    This looks great! When I lived alone in grad school, I often made myself a little vegetable curry with rice for dinner. It was simple and delicious. Now that I have other people in the house to think about, dinner has become more elaborate…more suitable to their tastes. I miss those days of cooking alone.

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