Black Bean and Vegetable Enchiladas with Carrot Sofrito

Published April 9, 2013. Comments


My vegetarian friends always ask me to make something for them. I do feel guilty when I bring food to the winery, where I sometimes work at events, and my vegetarian friends can't share in the love. Today is a staff meeting so I'm surprising everyone with this vegetarian dish. Yes, even meat eaters will love this. It's super tasty...don't be discouraged by the long list of ingredients. It's actually easy to put together and you can start on the sofrito up to three days before. 

I was reading the May 2013 issue of F&W magazine and there was a recipe for a no-bake enchilada, filled with just cheese and red onions. I loved the sofrito but I added red enchilada sauce and tomato paste for more depth of flavor. I'm also in the midst of reviewing a wonderful vegetarian cookbook and took inspiration from her baked enchilada recipe and made the filling with black beans and some veggies I had sitting in my vegetable crisper. Et voila! A substantial delicious meal for your weeknight meatless dinner with family or friends. Let me know what you think of it in the in the comments! 

Black Bean and Vegetable Enchiladas with Carrot Sofrito


For the Carrot Sofrito Sauce:

5 medium sized carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces

½ medium yellow onion, roughly chopped

3 garlic cloves

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 cups red enchilada sauce (your own or best quality canned)

3 tablespoons tomato paste

Salt and black pepper to taste


1 cup diced zucchini

1 cup diced summer squash

½ cup diced red bell pepper

½ cup diced green bell pepper

¼ cup diced red onion

3 garlic cloves, smashed and finely minced

Salt and black pepper to taste

½ teaspoon crushed red chili flakes

1 ½ cups cooked black beans

9 oz queso fresco, crumbled

12-14 medium sized corn or flour tortillas

1 ½ cups red enchilada sauce

Canola oil


¾ cup chopped cilantro leaves and stems

½ cup crumbled queso fresco

½ cup chopped red radishes

2 red radishes, finely sliced thin on a mandolin

½ of your favorite salsa

½ cup Mexican sour cream/crema


  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F.
  2. In a food processor, add carrots, onion, and garlic. Process until the carrots are small diced.
  3. In a deep oven proof sauté pan, put in about 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Heat over medium-high heat. Add the carrot mixture. Cook until the carrots have become translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Then add the enchilada sauce and stir. Cover with lid and put into the oven for 1 ½ hours.
  5. In a dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent. Add the zucchini, squash, and both red and green bell peppers. Cook for about 3 minutes until the veggies are just about soft, but still have some crunch. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Add the cooked black beans to the dutch oven and stir to heat the beans through. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly. Once cooled, stir in the queso fresco then set aside.
  7. In a small fry pan, heat the canola oil and heat the corn tortillas until just hot. Do not fry them. Each side should only take about 30-40 seconds. Remove to a plate. Pile each tortilla on top of each other so they stay warm.
  8. In a 13 x 9 casserole dish, pour the 1 ½ cups of red enchilada sauce all over the bottom. On a small workspace, pour about ¼ cup of the veggie/black bean mixture onto one tortilla and roll up like a cigar. Put into the casserole dish, seam side down, and repeat until all the tortillas have been used and the casserole dish has been filled.
  9. Once the carrot sofrito sauce is finished, spoon the sauce over the filled tortillas, careful not to over-sauce. Pop back into the oven for about 15 minutes to heat through the sauce and enchiladas.
  10. Combine all the garnish ingredients together (the cilantro, chopped radish, and queso fresco). Remove the enchiladas from the oven. Sprinkle the garnish all over the top of the carrot sofrito. Then top with dollops of salsa, crema, then scatter with your thinly sliced radishes.  Serve immediately. 

    Black Bean and Vegetable Enchiladas with Carrot Sofrito