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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Chilaquiles Rojos with Black Beans

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If you love Mexican food, then you’re going to adore chilaquiles rojos! This classic Mexican dish is filled with black beans, peppers, tomatoes, and spices with layers of corn tortilla smothered in a rich tomato sauce. It’s a vegetarian-friendly Mexican casserole the whole family will love!

chilaquiles rojos in a white casserole dish

Chilaquiles is a classic Mexican casserole dish.

It’s traditionally made with fried tortilla chips topped with a spicy tomato sauce, tons of cheese, and eggs.

Delicious? Yes! Healthy enough to eat on a regular basis? Not so much.

But my version of chilaquiles rojos keeps all of the flavor of the original recipe with none of the guilt!

I recommend taking this dish to your next party or potluck. It will seriously disappear right in front of your eyes, and everyone will rave about how good it is.

This recipe is perfect for feeding a large group of people for breakfast or brunch, or even as a breakfast-for-dinner for two with lots of leftovers later.

The leftovers taste great after making this dish, since it just gives the spices even more time to blend together!

Tools and Equipment You’ll Need

Recipe Ingredients & Notes

ingredients for chilaquiles rojos
  • The Sauce: While you can use store-bought enchilada sauce for this recipe, I highly recommend making your own. I’ve incorporated my homemade enchilada sauce into this recipe. It takes just 5 minutes and tastes way better than store bought – so making it at home is so worth it!
  • The Tortillas: Chilaquiles is typically made with deep fried corn tortillas. I used fresh corn tortillas in this recipe to lighten it up! To get a similar texture as the deep fried version, you can lightly toast or bake your corn tortillas before adding them to this dish.
  • The Filling: The filling ideas are pretty much endless here! I chose black beans, peppers, corn, tomatoes and onions but you can use any veggies + protein you like!

How to Make Chilaquiles Rojos – Step by Step

Step 1: Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Meanwhile, make the sauce: combine the tomato sauce, vegetable broth, chili powders (all 3 of them), garlic powder, onion powder, and dried oregano in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk to combine, then turn the heat down to low and let simmer.

red sauce simmering in a pot

Step 2: Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, about 5 minutes.

peppers and onions sauteeing in a pot

Step 3: Stir in beans, tomatoes, corn, cumin and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are heated through, about 3-5 minutes.

black beans, corn, peppers and onions sauteeing in a pot

Step 4: Scatter half the tortilla pieces in the casserole dish.

corn tortillas in a casserole dish

Step 5: Top with half the vegetable mixture, half the sauce and half the cheese. Repeat with one more layer of tortillas, vegetables, sauce and cheese.

layered vegetarian chilaquiles in a casserole dish

Step 6: Cover the casserole with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the casserole is bubbling around the edges and the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes more. Top with diced tomatoes and green onion.

chilaquiles rojos in a white casserole dish

What Makes This Chilaquiles Rojos Healthy?

  • Low Calories: Each serving of this healthy chilaquiles rojos is huge and only has about 250 calories! It’s great for keeping you full and pleasing your taste buds too. 
  • Protein: Eating plenty of protein is good for your bones, helps you maintain weight, and keeps you full. Each serving has over 11 grams of plant protein! 
  • Fiber: Another important nutrient you need is fiber to help control your blood sugar and aid in digestion. Each serving of these chilaquiles has over 8 grams of fiber! 

Will Kids Enjoy Chilaquiles Rojos?

Kids are going to love everything about this chilaquiles rojos recipe. The corn tortillas, cheese, seasonings, and black beans are kid friendly ingredients. If your kids are especially sensitive to spice, I’d omit the chipotle chili powder in the sauce and adjust the rest of the spices as needed.

The hardest part about feeding this Mexican casserole to kids is that they aren’t going to want to stop eating it. They will almost always go back for another helping, but don’t worry! It’s healthy for them, so it’s a great recipe to feed those little growing bodies. 

chilaquiles rojos in a white casserole dish

Recipe FAQs

Are These Vegetarian Chilaquiles Spicy?

No, this recipe isn’t too spicy. The combination of cumin, chili powder, ancho chili powder, and chipotle chili powder adds a little bit of spice, but it’s a mild spice. 
In order to increase the heat, you can add in some extras! Fresh diced jalapenos, cayenne pepper, or red pepper flakes would all be lovely ways to add some spice to the casserole. I would start with one jalapeno to see if it’s spicy enough for you. As far as the cayenne and red pepper flakes, start with a little and add more if needed. You don’t want to add too much and make it too hot, especially if you are feeding kiddos. 

How Do You Store and Keep Mexican Chilaquiles?

Refrigerator: Place the cooled chilaquiles rojos in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. 
Freezer: Store leftovers in a freezer-safe container with a lid that fits tightly. Freeze for up to three months. Defrost before reheating. 
Reheating: You can reheat in the microwave or the oven. For the microwave: place on a microwave-safe plate, cover with a paper towel and heat in the microwave. For the oven: put it in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or  until hot. 

Are These Vegetarian Chilaquiles Gluten Free?

Yes! This recipe uses corn tortillas that are naturally gluten free. Just make sure you’re purchasing corn tortillas that are gluten free certified, as many corn tortillas are made in spaces that also produce wheat, spelt, etc. tortillas (so there is a risk of cross contamination).

Topping Ideas and Variations For Chilaquiles

We enjoy this recipe just the way it is, but you can certainly add all your favorite toppings if you want. Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Sour Cream or Plain Greek Yogurt: 1-2 tsp per serving is plenty!
  • Guacamole: Add some freshly made guacamole. It’s delicious and goes so well with all of the other ingredients. 
  • Pico de Gallo or Salsa: If you love pico de gallo, add a tablespoon or so on top right before serving. 
  • Cilantro and/or Green Onions: Dice some fresh cilantro and green onions and sprinkle all over top. It’s bright, vibrant and adds a touch of freshness!
  • Eggs: Chilaquiles are typically served with a fried egg, or scrambled eggs. Feel free to cook up some eggs (fried, scrambled, poached, or however you like it) and top these healthy chilaquiles with them after they come out of the oven!
  • Baby Spinach: For even more veggies and extra greens, add 6oz fresh baby spinach to the black bean mixture (add it at the step when you add the black beans).
  • Refried Beans: For some extra protein, you can serve these up with some refried beans on the side.

Top Tips For Making Chilaquiles Rojos

  • Allowing the sauce to simmer brings out all the flavors of the seasonings. 
  • Don’t forget to add foil when baking the casserole. It will keep the top from burning while heating it all the way through. 
  • Evenly dice your chopped vegetables so that they are about the same size. This will give the casserole a good texture, and make sure you get all the flavors in one bite!
  • If you want tortillas with a little bit of bite, bake them at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes, or toast them in the toaster oven before assembling.
  • Feel free to switch up the toppings and filling with your favorite ingredients!
  • Make these vegetarian chilaquiles vegan just by omitting the cheese, or using a vegan alternative!
chilaquiles rojos in a white casserole dish

Check Out These Other Healthy Mexican Inspired Recipes!

If you have tried this Chilaquiles Rojos Recipe or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

chilaquiles rojos in a white casserole dish
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Chilaquiles Rojos

If you love Mexican food, then you’re going to adore chilaquiles rojos! This classic Mexican dish is filled with black beans, peppers, tomatoes, and spices with layers of corn tortilla smothered in a rich tomato sauce. It’s a vegetarian-friendly Mexican casserole the whole family will love!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 253.6kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion diced
  • 3 red, yellow or orange bell pepper diced
  • 2 15oz cans of black beans, rinsed
  • 1 14oz can of diced tomatoes
  • cups corn frozen (thawed) or fresh
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 10-12 corn tortillas quartered
  • cups shredded Cheddar cheese or a Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 15oz can tomato sauce 1 can
  • cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • ½ tsp chipotle chili powder use less for a less spicy sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Diced tomato and green onion for topping

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Meanwhile, make the sauce: combine the tomato sauce, vegetable broth, chili powders (all 3 of them), garlic powder, onion powder, and dried oregano in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk to combine, then turn the heat down to low and let simmer.
  • Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in beans, tomatoes, corn, cumin and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are heated through, about 3 minutes.
  • Scatter half the tortilla pieces in the casserole dish.
  • Top with half the vegetable mixture, then half the sauce, and then half the cheese.
  • Repeat with one more layer of tortillas, vegetables, sauce and cheese.
  • Cover the casserole with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the casserole is bubbling around the edges and the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes more.
  • Top with diced tomatoes and green onion.

Video

https://youtu.be/efLpZmLf52I

Notes

Topping Ideas and Variations For Chilaquiles
We enjoy this recipe just the way it is, but you can certainly add any of your favorite toppings or mix-ins that you like. Here are a few ideas to consider:
  • Sour Cream or Plain Greek Yogurt: 1-2 tsp per serving is plenty!
  • Guacamole: Add some freshly made guacamole. It’s delicious and goes so well with all of the other ingredients. 
  • Pico de Gallo or Salsa: If you love pico de gallo, add a tablespoon or so on top right before serving. 
  • Cilantro and/or Green Onions: Dice some fresh cilantro and green onions and sprinkle all over top. It’s bright, vibrant and adds a touch of freshness!
  • Eggs: Chilaquiles are typically served with a fried egg, or scrambled eggs. Feel free to cook up some eggs (fried, scrambled, poached, or however you like it) and top these healthy chilaquiles with them after they come out of the oven!
  • Baby Spinach: For even more veggies and extra greens, add 6oz fresh baby spinach to the black bean mixture (add it at the step when you add the black beans).
  • Refried Beans: For some extra protein, you can serve these up with some refried beans on the side.
Top Tips For Making Chilaquiles Rojos
  • Allowing the sauce to simmer brings out all the flavors of the seasonings. 
  • Don’t forget to add foil when baking the casserole. It will keep the top from burning while heating it all the way through. 
  • Evenly dice your chopped vegetables so that they are about the same size. This will give the casserole a good texture, and make sure you get all the flavors in one bite!
  • If you want tortillas with a little bit of bite, bake them at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes, or toast them in the toaster oven before assembling.
  • Feel free to switch up the toppings and filling with your favorite ingredients!
  • Make these vegetarian chilaquiles vegan just by omitting the cheese, or using a vegan alternative!
Adapted from EatingWell

Nutrition

Calories: 253.6kcal | Carbohydrates: 38.9g | Protein: 11.4g | Fat: 6.8g | Saturated Fat: 3.4g | Cholesterol: 12.5mg | Sodium: 515mg | Potassium: 606.5mg | Fiber: 8.6g | Sugar: 4.4g

Posted In…

Mexican Recipes ·

Mexican flavors are perfect for easy one-pot, kid-friendly dishes like my cheesy quinoa and black bean casserole. With smart swaps, you can create a healthy version of a Mexican favorite: “guacamole” with about half the calories and 3x the protein!

Like Chipotle? You’ll love my ultimate sofritas and burrito bowls! These recipes are so easy to remix to add your own style (or use up some leftovers).

52 responses to “Chilaquiles Rojos with Black Beans”

    • Haha!! That is awesome! So happy to hear that Rick!! This is definitely a favorite in our house too!

  1. A friend of ours gave this dish to us after we had our daughter, nearly two years ago. This is easily our daughter’s favorite recipe and a sure-fire way to get her to gobble up her veggies. Thank you for creating such an easy and crowd pleasing recipe! (And, it freezes and reheats really well for a quick weeknight meal!)

    • Awww thank you so much Elaine!! This is one of my daughter’s favorite recipes too (and I totally agree with you about how it’s great for freezing!) I’m so glad it’s working well for your family! 🙂

  2. I’ve made this a couple of times and we all love it. The only change I do (cause I’m lazy), is to saute the onions and peppers and then throw everything else for the sauce into the same pot, and just layer the tortillas, sauce and cheese. One less layer and one less bowl/pot to wash. 🙂

    • That’s awesome – thanks for letting me know Kim! And glad combining everything into one pot worked for you! 🙂

  3. Made this last night, and hubby and I absolutely loved it! This recipe is a keeper. I did make some modifications for us:

    1) I’m not a big fan of canned tomatoes so I skipped the sauce entirely. I instead mixed all the spices in the black bean mixture.
    2) I spread about 1/2 cup of Trader Joe’s hot Chipotle Salsa for the first layer of sauce, and Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde for the second layer of sauce, per someone’s suggestion here. They’re both calorie free, no preservatives, and quite low in sodium, so I didn’t feel bad about using them.
    3) I skipped the first layer of cheese and added spinach instead. I just topped the dish with 1/2 cup cheese. I didn’t miss the taste of an extra layer of cheese, but perhaps it might have held up a bit better. We didn’t mind it being slightly messy.
    4) I used 8 Trader Joe’s corn+wheat tortillas and rather liked their chewiness.

    Have you noticed how we all lust after Trader Joe’s products?! In any case, thank you so much for this recipe!

    • Oh awesome!! Thanks so much for sharing your additions/modifications Pooja — they all sound great! Oh and I love the Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde — so good!! Trader Joe’s products in general are the best, I agree 🙂

  4. Never tried a mexican dish before but I decided to try this one and wow even the kids ate it! Many thanks for sharing

  5. I made this a couple days ago and it was great! I’m moving this week so I wanted something healthy and filling so this was perfect! I made it in three separate containers so I can bake them wherever I am 🙂

    • Hooray!! So happy to hear that Anna 🙂 And this recipe freezes / stores perfectly — it only tastes better after you reheat it because the flavors have so much time to blend together!

  6. I made this on Saturday with vegan cheese (a mix of Daiya mozzarella and pepper jack shreds) and added some soyrizo to the bean mix. Meant to add some spinach but will have to do that next time.

    Yum! Definitely a keeper and I’m loving the leftovers. Thanks for this!

    • Awesome!! Love the idea of adding spinach — such an easy way to get some extra greens into your diet! So glad you liked this recipe Catherine!

  7. I made this tonight for dinner. My sons (12,13) who say they really don’t like beans, REALLY enjoyed it and asked for seconds, even thirds! 😮 This recipe is definitely a keeper in my home, thank you!!

      • Oooh that does sound good! I usually just buy the tomatillo sauce from Trader Joe’s which is made with 100% all natural ingredients and is pretty affordable — so you might want to try that! I don’t have a good recipe for making tomatillo sauce from scratch yet but I will let you know if I come across one that I love!

      • That’s great I’ll definitely try Trader Joe’s tomatillo sauce, thank you for the recommendation! Congrats on the birth of your baby girl, Layla, she’s beautiful!

    • That is so great Nancy!! The fact that your sons liked it (and we know how picky kids can be when they’re eating) means a lot!!

  8. My mom saw that I liked your post about this recipe on FB so she made it herself last night! 🙂 It turned out great. Can’t wait to make it myself!

  9. This looks so delicious and perfect for this freezing weather! Chilaquiles is one of my fave Mexican dishes so I will definitely be trying it:)

    • Sweet! This is definitely a super warming and comforting dish – I’m sure you will love it Ginnie!

  10. Hi! Your email to my inbox could not have come at a more perfect time! I was looking to make some mexican today and was heading to the grocery store! This is a great twist that I’ve never tried before! Excited to be making a mexican casserole dish! The sauce is on the stove and the vegetables are prepped! I’ll let you know tonight how it turns out! Thanks for the recipe!

  11. Hello Anjali, I really do love traditional Mexican breakfast with a healthy love of the breakfast chilaquiles dish.

  12. Can you recommend any cookbooks to me? I try to find other places with good recipes like books and websites but I always end up back here. I love almost everything you fix! Today I tried a blue cheese and pasta recipe from the moose wood cookbook but I despised it and wished I had fixed something from here instead. Is there anything as reliable as you in a cook book?

    • Hi Sarah!! Awwww thank you so much – you are so sweet! I’m so glad you’re enjoying my recipes 🙂 Regarding one cookbook, honestly I haven’t found just one that I love either. Sometimes I’ll take recipes from cookbooks (like Plenty) as inspirations, and then modify them to suit my tastes, and that’s what ends up on the blog. I’ll also use websites like CookingLight.com, FoodNetwork.com, and EatingWell.com for recipe inspiration, but it’s rare that I follow any recipe exactly. Sorry I don’t have a better rec for you – I wish I could be more helpful!

  13. We make this one often since we found it on your blog. Its great. thanks for the great and easy recipes you share. 🙂

  14. This is one my families all time favorites, we eat it every other week! There is only 3 of us so I divide it between 2 8×8 pans and freeze one for later. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • What a great tip to save the leftovers!! I’m in a similar situation – it’s just me and my hubby – so we just ended up eating the leftovers or re-purposing the leftovers for days. I like your solution a lot better – I’m freezing half next time! 🙂

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