Bean and Quinoa Enchiladas

June 21, 2011

There are a number of things I could have titled this post. The most appropriate one being “The week my computer decided it was just as tired as I am and quit working.” Or perhaps “That time I walked out of the mall crying, with my mascara running all over my face while I had a wedding meltdown.”

Both would be true, but neither very fun to talk about. Thank goodness I had a batch of these in the freezer to save me from having to make dinner last night because I just didn’t have it in me.

The requests and e-mails just keep rolling in asking for more easy dinner ideas that can be prepared quickly or made ahead of time and frozen. To those of you wanting more dinner recipes, I have great news because these enchiladas fit the bill. 

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been known to stock a freezer that contains its fair share of Trader Joe’s frozen bean and cheese burritos. They’re easy to pop in the microwave and relatively healthy, plus Joey ate one for dinner the other night and didn’t even miss the meat. Major win-win.

My one complaint, however, is that they aren’t made with whole wheat tortillas, which is typically a deal-breaker for me. That and the fact that they are more expensive to buy than make at home.

So when I sat out to make some of my own, I knew I wanted them to be healthier and heartier. Mission accomplished. Inside the whole wheat tortillas is a combination of fat-free refried beans, shredded cheese and, here’s my favorite addition, cooked quinoa in place of rice. Not that I have anything against rice, it’s just that I had quinoa on hand and it’s absolutely packed with high-quality protein not normally found in other foods.

Plus, when wrapped up with beans and cheese, picky eaters will never notice it’s not rice. That goes for future husbands, too. 🙂

Bean and Quinoa Enchiladas
*1 cup uncooked quinoa 
*4 whole wheat tortillas
*3/4 to 1 cup fat-free refried beans (vegetarian if you follow a veg diet) 
*1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
*1/4 to 1/2 cup enchilada sauce
*Additional shredded cheese

*Preheat oven to 375°F. 
*Bring 2 cups of lightly salted water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the quinoa to the saucepan. Reduce heat to low (simmer) and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, or until the water has evaporated and quinoa is light and fluffy. Remove from heat and toss lightly with butter.
*In the center of each tortilla, spread some of the refried beans and Mexican cheese blend. Spoon some of the quinoa into the center, atop the cheese (you will have leftover quinoa).
*Fold in the shorter ends of each tortilla first, then roll lengthwise to form tortilla ‘pockets’. Place in a large baking dish. Top with the enchilada sauce and some additional shredded cheese.
*Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until mixture on top is bubbly and cheese is melted.
*Make Ahead Tip: You can make these ahead of time. Just fill the tortillas as directed and place each tortilla in a zip-top bag. When you are ready to eat, top with the enchilada sauce and cheese and bake at 375°F until heated through, about 30 to 35 minutes.

Happy Cooking!



  • Reply Cindy @The Flipping Couple June 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    I firmly believe that every bride has the right to (at least) one major meltdown. I hope you got yours out of the way and it's smooth(er) sailing from here!! These enchiladas look amazing. Thanks for sharing the recipe!!

  • Reply Lauren at Keep It Sweet June 21, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    These look delicious, I never thought to use quinoa in enchiladas. Perfect since I detest rice:-)

    I feel your pain on the wedding meltdown, I hope things are better this week!

  • Reply Stephanie June 21, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    These look amazing! We are big enchilada eaters in our mostly vegetarian household, so this is a great recipe to mix things up!

    So sorry to hear about your computer — hopefully it'll get fixed ASAP!

  • Reply Katie @ This Chick Cooks June 22, 2011 at 1:13 am

    Those sound yummy! Computer issues are always a bummer. I hope your's is able to get fixed up!

  • Reply Jen June 22, 2011 at 11:32 am

    These look delicious.

    One more suggestion for the healthy recipe make-over project…I loved your article on your weekly grocery shopping a while back, and I thought you might give us a post some day on your pantry essentials. It would be great to have the basic ingredients to hand.

    I for one am certainly adding quinoa to the shopping list this weekend 🙂

  • Reply DessertForTwo June 22, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Oh no! Wedding melt down? 🙁

    Hope you're feeling better. Wish I knew exactly what to say here. I'll just say that non-whole wheat things are a deal breaker for me too, so I'm so glad you remade on of my favorite lunches! 🙂

  • Reply Rachel June 22, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Do you have any suggestions for store-bought enchilada sauce? I typically make my own, but it would be nice to have a pre-made one too!

  • Reply Natalie June 24, 2011 at 2:02 am

    I can't get over how simple these are and how yummy they look! I am in desperate need of meals like this lately, can't wait to give it a try!

  • Reply kneth June 29, 2011 at 1:07 am

    Wedding stress stinks, but soon you will be married!!! 😀 Tyler gives Joey a big thank you for the recommendation. He LOVED them!

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