Cornbread & Black Bean Enchilada Bake
If you love the pairing of chili and cornbread, this is the dish for you! It combines all the flavor of chili (deep, hearty, smoky bean stew), with the fluffy, toothsome sweetness of classic cornbread! But it’s even easier to prepare because it’s all cooked in 1 skillet!
Even better? This dish is naturally sweetened, plant-based, and gluten-free optional. And it’s made with just 10 wholesome ingredients. Let us show you how it’s done!
This enchilada bake draws inspiration from both Mexican and Southern cuisines. It combines the flavor and heat of enchiladas with the comfort of cornbread. You can learn about the origins of enchiladas here and cornbread here.
How to Make This Enchilada Bake
The enchilada filling is made by sautéing onions and bell pepper for natural sweetness and adding black beans for fiber and protein and a little salt to enhance all the flavors.
We used our easy red enchilada sauce for maximum flavor and customization, but store-bought enchilada sauce is also an option here. To make it more weeknight-friendly, we like to make a big batch of enchilada sauce and freeze 1-cup portions in small glass jars (just leave a little room to allow for expansion). Then transfer a jar of sauce to the fridge a day or two before you want to make this!
Once the filling is cooked, it gets topped with cornbread batter. Swoon!
The cornbread is a combination of cornmeal for classic cornbread flavor, flour to lighten it up (all-purpose or GF both work), and baking powder for fluffiness. Salt adds flavor, dairy-free milk is the liquid, and a small amount of avocado oil or melted vegan butter adds moisture.
We also like adding maple syrup for balance and a hint of sweetness. But if you’re someone who thinks sugar in cornbread is a crime, just leave it out.
We hope you love this enchilada bake! It’s:
Quick & easy
& SO delicious!
It’s perfect for weeknight meals or any time you’re craving something easy and comforting. And while filling on its own, it would also pair well with our Serrano & Rosemary Guacamole, Chopped Kale Salad with Adobo Dressing, and/or Green Cauliflower Rice (20 minutes!).
More Enchilada Recipes
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
Servings 4 (Servings)
- 1 Tbsp avocado oil (or sub other neutral oil or vegan butter)
- 1 cup diced red onion (or sub white or yellow)
- 1 medium red or orange bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup red enchilada sauce (or store-bought such as Frontera brand)
- 1 cup cornmeal (fine or medium grind)
- 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (if gluten-free sub GF all-purpose flour)
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt, to taste
- 2/3 cup unsweetened plain almond milk (or sub other dairy-free milk like oat or rice)
- 2 Tbsp avocado oil (or sub melted vegan butter for richer cornbread flavor)
- 2-3 Tbsp maple syrup (optional // start with lesser amount and adjust to taste)
Preheat the oven to 425°F (218 C).
- Heat a 10-inch cast-iron or oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil. Once oil is hot, add the onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently until translucent and beginning to slightly brown. Turn heat down slightly if browning too quickly.
Add diced bell pepper and sea salt and stir. Cover and sauté for 5 minutes or until softened and lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the (drained) black beans and enchilada sauce and turn off the heat. If you’re using a 10-inch oven-safe skillet, you can cook the casserole in the same skillet. If your pan is not oven-safe, lightly oil a 9- or 10-inch baking dish and transfer the veggie mixture to the prepared dish.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt. In a glass measuring cup, whisk together the dairy-free milk, oil (or melted vegan butter), and maple syrup (starting with the lesser amount and adding more to taste as needed). Maple syrup is optional, but if you prefer cornbread on the sweeter side, be sure to include it!
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. It should be slightly thick but pourable. If too thick, add a bit more dairy-free milk. If too thin, add a bit more cornmeal or flour. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt to taste or maple syrup for sweetness. Let the batter rest for 5 minutes to ensure it’s evenly hydrated.
Spread the cornmeal mixture over the enchilada filling. We left a ~1-inch gap around the edge so the filling could get slightly caramelized. But you can also spread it all the way to the edge.
Bake for 20 minutes, until the crust is fully set. If using gluten-free flour, it’s normal for there to be some cracking on top. Serve hot as is or top with a little vegan butter and maple syrup.
Store cooled leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Reheat in the microwave or in a 350 degree F (176 C) oven until hot.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.
Serving: 1 serving Calories: 349 Carbohydrates: 52.8 g Protein: 8.6 g Fat: 12.6 g Saturated Fat: 1.5 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.3 g Monounsaturated Fat: 7.8 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 974 mg Potassium: 527 mg Fiber: 9.8 g Sugar: 6.3 g Vitamin A: 3098 IU Vitamin C: 44.3 mg Calcium: 234 mg Iron: 3.2 mg