Caramelized Onions & Sweet Potato Enfrijoladas

If we’ve said it one, we’ve said it a thousand times, we’re really enjoying participating in the Kitchn’s Cookbook Club. It gives us inspiration to try new things, and to explore recipes that wouldn’t be our natural go-tos. (See our Cookbook Club page for all of our previous fun!) This month’s selection is Cool Beans, by Joe Yonan. This cookbook is fully vegetarian and mostly vegan, focusing on cooking with “the world’s most versatile plant-based protein” – the bean! We’ve been trying to incorporate more meat-free meals into our diet, so this was a great choice for us this month.

I’m embarrassed to say that prior to reading this recipe, I didn’t know what enfrijoladas were! If you’re like me, let me bring you into the delicious loop! Think of enchiladas, but instead of enchilada sauce on top, these have a bean sauce on top. As we were eating this for dinner tonight, both of us were so excited about our new-found knowledge and were already plotting new enfrijolada recipe plans. This particular recipe is super flavorful and an incredibly filling dinner for two that won’t make you feel like you’re missing a meat protein. Cooking the filling is the longest step, though well worth it for the amazing flavor that truly caramelized onions bring. But we can already think of other filling options that make enfrijoladas a more viable week-night option. However, you can prep all of the ingredients up until step 8, and then the last combining steps on take a few minutes.

Caramelized Onions & Sweet Potato Enfrijoladas

(Adapted from Cool Beans, by Joe Yonan)
  • 1 large onion, divided
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil, divided
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce + 1 tbsp of the sauce
  • 1 can of black beans, not drained/rinsed
  • Water
  • Corn tortillas
  • Queso fresco (or cotija), coarsely grated
  • Optional additional toppings:
    • Tomatoes
    • Avocado
    • Cabbage
  1. Slice the onion. Remove 1/4 cup and chop. Set aside for the bean sauce.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions to the pan and top with 10 turns of fresh ground black pepper and a pinch of salt. Stir to coat with the oil and lower the heat to low.
  3. Continue to cook the onions, for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until thoroughly browned and caramelized.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the sweet potato chunks and boil for 8-10 minutes. (They should be softened, but not mushy.) Set aside.
  5. In another saucepan, heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes.
  6. Now add the chipotle and its sauce. Stir to combine with the onions and garlic and cook for just 2 minutes.
  7. Follow this with the black beans and their liquid, plus another 1 cup of water. Bring the pot to a boil, and then lower heat to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove the bean sauce to the side and use an immersion blender (or food processor) to combine into a smooth puree. Add water if needed to create a thick sauce with consistency to your liking. Return to the stove with just enough heat to keep the sauce warm.
  9. When the onions are done, remove them to the side. Add the sweet potatoes to that pan and cook for 6-8 minutes, until the edges are a little crisp.
  10. Combine the sweet potatoes and caramelized onion. Fill the tortillas with this filling and roll up. Place them seam-side down on a plate.
  11. Spread the black bean sauce over the assembled tortillas. Top with the cheese and whatever other toppings you choose.
Serves 2 – makes 4-5 enfrijoladas

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