I first saw this combination of flavors in a recipe for an enchilada stack and it sounded delicious. But every time I sat down to redo the recipe, I didn’t feel like building the stack. So these simple vegetarian enchiladas with goat cheese, black beans and plantains were born.
They are a new take on a classic Mexican dish.
The flavors are familiar and simple yet, not often thought of together. These vegetarian enchiladas include goat cheese for something tangy, some black beans for some bulk, salt and spice and a bit of sweetness from the plantains.
This recipe is a tiny bit more involved than most of my recipes, yet, still has simple ingredients that you likely have in your pantry or can easily find at your local grocery store.
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A plantain isn’t just a big banana.
While plantains look like giant bananas they have a much different taste and texture profile than the perfectly packaged yellow treats of our childhoods.
Much like everyone likes their bananas at a different ripeness (I’m partial to yellow with many brown spots, while my husband likes his to be yellow with not even one brown spot), plantains actually cook differently and taste totally different at different degrees of ripeness.
In this recipe you are going to want to use plantains that are on their way to turning black. This indicates that they are fully ripe and sweet which is what we are going for.
If your plantains are green, you will want to either wait a few days to make this recipe or use them for plantain chips or tostones. When green or just a bit yellow they will act more like a starchy root vegetable than a sweet fruit.
If you can’t get your hands on any plantains, you can also cube and roast sweet potatoes and use them as a substitute. You are looking to get some of the sweet notes that the plantains provide in this dish and a roasted sweet potato will do that for you.
Do I have to use goat cheese in these vegetarian enchiladas?
Nope, but it’s really what I suggest you use even if you aren’t normally a goat cheese fan. In order to help balance the flavors of this dish out you need to have something a little tangy or acidic. The goat cheese does just that. It also provides a nice creaminess to the filling.
You could substitute cojita cheese which is crumbly cheese from Mexico or even a milder farmer’s cheese or ricotta if you wanted.
How do you make these goat cheese, black bean and plantain enchiladas?
While this is a bit more involved than some of my other recipes, it’s still a very simple recipe.
First, you’ll want to work on the plantains, frying them up might be the hardest part. Peel and slice two plantains in rounds. Then toss them in the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. In a large frying pan, add olive oil to just coat the bottom of the pan and then fry the plantains until they are golden brown on each side. When done, let them cool on a plate or in a bowl and work on the next step.
Then, work on the black beans. This is super easy. Drain, but don't rinse your can of black beans. In a medium size bowl, add the spices and with the back of a fork or a potato masher, smash the beans and spices together. You want to end up with a chunky texture here.
Lastly, assemble everything and bake. To do this, spray your 8x8 baking dish with put in baking dishcooking spray and then cover with a light layer of enchilada sauce.
Then, roll your enchiladas making sure you put beans, plantains and goat cheese in each one. Lay those tightly in the plan, drizzle over more enchilada sauce, sprinkle with some shredded cheese if desired, cover and bake for about 30 minutes.
Let cool a few minutes, serve and enjoy!
Tips and Tricks:
- Vegetarian enchiladas are recipe is super easy make for a crowd. Just double all ingredients and use a 9x13 pyrex dish. Or make two recipes side by side and freeze one for quick dinner down the road.
- You can freeze this recipe either before you bake it (you’ll want ot prep it in dish you don’t mind freezing and being without for a while) or once it’s cooked. Either way, be sure to cover tightly with foil when reheating so that the enchiladas don’t dry out.
- Easily substitute your favorite gluten free tortilla in this recipe for a great gluten free dinner. Want to make it vegan? Just leave out the cheese or make a vegan goat cheese and use that.
Looking for other easy weeknight dinner recipes? Check these out!
Simple Vegetarian Enchiladas - Goat Cheese, Black Beans & Plantains
- 2 ripe plantains
- ¼ cup brown sugar or a little less
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- olive oil for frying
- 15 oz can black beans drained, not rinsed
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
For Assembly of Enchiladas
- 6 flour tortillas
- 8 oz enchilada sauce
- 5 oz goat cheese
- ½ cup shredded Mexican cheese optional
Fry the plantains
- Cut a ripe plantain into ½ inch slices. In a glass bowl toss with brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and just cover the bottom with olive oil
- Fry the plantains until golden brown (about 3-4 minutes per side)
- When done, set aside.
Make the Black Beans
- Open and drain a can of black beans, do not rinse and put into a medium sized bowl.
- Add cumin, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder and mash together to form a chunky texture, set aside.
Assemble the Enchiladas
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray an 8x8 baking dish with nonstick baking spray and pour ½ the enchilada sauce in the bottom of the dish.
- Assemble each enchilada by layering the goat cheese, black beans and plantains in a tortilla and rolling up like a burrito.
- Place the enchiladas into the prepared dish and pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the top.
- Sprinkle with shredded cheese if desired.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven, let cool a few minutes and enjoy!
Want to make these now? Are you missing some ingredients? Amazon Now can get them to you in a few hours, Instacart can get them to you today. Or add them to your Peapod grocery list and don't be stuck without them again!