Cornbread & Black Bean Enchilada Bake

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Cornbread and black bean enchilada bake with a slice removed

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!

Red onion, flour, bell pepper, black beans, cornmeal, enchilada sauce,  dairy-free milk, and avocado oil

Inspiration

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.

Stirring a pan of black beans, onion, bell pepper, and enchilada sauce

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!

Pouring the cornbread layer over a skillet of our enchilada bake

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.

Cornbread topping spread over enchilada filling

We hope you love this enchilada bake! It’s:

Hearty
Smoky
Subtly spiced
Savory-sweet
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!).

Pan of our Cornbread & Black Bean Enchilada Bake topped with vegan butter and maple syrup

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!

Spoonful of black bean enchilada skillet with cornbread topping, vegan butter, and maple syrup

Cornbread & Black Bean Enchilada Bake

Flavorful, hearty skillet bake with black bean enchilada filling and a fluffy cornbread topping. Tastes like chili topped with cornbread but so much faster and easier to make! Just 10 ingredients required. Naturally plant-based and gluten-free optional.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Vintage spoon in a pan of Cornbread and Black Bean Enchilada Skillet
4.71 from 41 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 (Servings)
Course Entree
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mexican-Inspired, Southern-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

ENCHILADA FILLING

  • 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)

CORNBREAD TOPPING

  • 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)

Instructions

  • 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.

Video

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

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

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  1. Jessica Simpson says

    I had this for dinner tonight for my 3 boys and hubby. We added mushrooms too. It was AMAZING!! I really loved it. I will have to make double for the boys the next time!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! We’re so glad you and your family enjoyed it, Jessica. Thanks so much for the lovely review!

  2. Delaney says

    Made this with my own homemade enchilada sauce and oh my was it delicious. My corn bread was a little dry, but I didn’t add all of the maple syrup, maybe that’s why? Either way I will be making this again. I LOVE your website, it’s made cooking vegetarian so easy!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Delaney, thanks so much! The maple syrup does help add moisture. If you prefer not to add sweetener, you could try adding a bit more dairy-free milk next time.

  3. Robin Maganzini says

    This was soooo easy to make; and yummy! I will definitely make this again! Can’t wait for my leftovers at lunch!

  4. VICKY says

    I made this and doubled the quantities since I wanted left overs.
    The bread part was too thick and dry. Still a great dish and nothing that a scoop of guac couldn’t fix! Delicious! For next time I’m thinking on doubling the quantities for just the beans instead, do you think that ratio would still be good? Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sorry that happened, Vicky! Did you include the maple syrup? That should help with moisture or you can try more almond milk or oil. We think more beans would be nice.

  5. Megan says

    I made this recipe for my family the other night and it was delicious! I ended up using green enchilada sauce because of preference and it came out great! We’ve added it to our “easy weeknight vegan dinner” list. Thanks :)

  6. Kelley says

    This was such a welcome change from our usual taco night! My husband and I loved it. I have a 12 inch cast iron pan and I doubled the bean filling. I only had one bell pepper so I added in some spinach and made a little extra of the cornbread topping (I didn’t double it, just did 1.5 of all ingredients). I also subbed unsweetened macadamia milk for the almond milk in the cornbread. Thank you for another delicious recipe, Dana!

  7. Jackie says

    This was delicious! My entire family loved it! I used a mix of buckwheat and oat flour to make mine gluten free. I think I would double the bean/pepper mixture next time to make it go farther. I made the enchilada sauce from your website. Can’t wait to try that with another recipe. We all loved it so much! I’m so happy to have recipe my entire family likes! Thank you!

  8. Emily says

    This was soooo goood!! I did un-veganize it by adding ground beef and cheese, but followed the rest of the recipe as written.
    It was the perfect comfort food for a cold, snowy day. I am recommending this recipe to everyone!

  9. karry says

    This was a wonderful recipe. The cornbread layer was just the right level of sweetness (I used exactly the amount of maple syrup as the recipe specified) and the black bean, red pepper and enchilada sauce base was excellent. I did make the enchilada sauce from the Minimalist Baker recipe the night before.
    We had it on Valentine’s day and I did try to shape the cornbread into a heart.
    We will definitely make this again.

  10. Cora Geoffroy says

    Made this tonight and my boyfriend and I both loved it! I used regular butter since we aren’t vegan and it was delicious! Loved using the maple syrup to sweeten the corn bread as well. Thanks for another great recipe!

  11. Lisa Kirshner says

    This was, as expected, delicious. Perfectly warming for a cold night and easy to put together using ingredients I usually have on-hand. The next time I make it I will probably double the “filling” as the cornbread topping (which was delicious) was disproportionate. We also added a little frozen corn to the filling which we enjoyed.

  12. Melissa says

    Another winner. Great recipe. Added corn to give it more depth. Used the enchilada sauce recipe from the butternut squash black bean enchilada recipe – worked great. My husband says it is a keeper.

  13. Tim says

    This was delicious! And extremely fast and easy. Looking forward to modifying with ideas like those in some of the comments. I will definitely double the filling next time as by volume it turned out for me to be about 3/4ths cornbread! Cheers

  14. Stephanie says

    I could only find cornbread mix at Whole Foods :( Do I just use that in place of flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking powder? And add only the oil and milk?

  15. Kristin says

    I made the recipe as written and it was delicious, filling and perhaps best of all so quick to make! The ratio of cornbread to enchilada filling was just right in my cornbread loving opinion. I used Siete brand sauce, made the filling in a skillet and transferred to a 9 by 9 baking dish.

  16. Lisa W says

    I really liked this recipe. It was easy to make and delicious! The only change I would made is to prepare more chili underneath – up to twice as much! Then I would have my preferred proportion of chili to cornbread in each bite.

  17. Jamie Bissot Rosenshine says

    I am looking at using Bob’s red mill GF cornbread mix for this. The package is relatively large. How much would you suggest using?

  18. DEBRA says

    Loved the bean part, but thought the cornbread topping was too dry. Went back to the recipe to see if i left out anything, like an egg. But no, I had put everything in the recipe called for.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Debra, sorry the cornbread wasn’t a love! We like our cornbread on the crumbly side so next time add a bit of oil or more maple syrup in and it will moisten it right up. xo!

  19. Marlene Allard says

    three of us devoured this very quickly – will double the recipe in the future so that there are leftovers:) Added a poblano pepper to keep my spicy people happy. Will definitely make again.

  20. Aarika says

    For people who had trouble with the cornbread topping not baking through, dollop the batter on top and leave little spaces. I have a terrible oven and it cooked perfectly into one big piece during baking! Super delicious recipe. Only addition I made was tossing in some leftover sweet potato.

  21. Susan says

    Hi Dana. Another delicious, easy recipe to prepare! The kitchen smelled so good while the skillet was in the oven. At the suggestion of other reviewers, I add corn to the onion/red pepper/bean/sauce mixture. It was a very yummy, cozy dinner that I will definitely make again. Thank you for all your wonderful recipes.

  22. Devlin McNeil says

    Dissatisfied with this recipe. Simplistic and bland flavor palate. Made, ate half a serving, and tossed. Maybe if you doctor it with corn, another protein, and more heat.
    Generally love all other Minimalist recipes.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sorry you didn’t love this one, Devlin! Might I ask what kind of enchilada sauce you used? We prefer our DIY recipe which is quite flavorful and spicy.

  23. meg says

    Love this recipe! I only had kidney beans on hand but it still turned out delicious. Also added frozen corn & spinach to bulk it up a bit. Topped it off with cashew cream and it was a huge hit :)

  24. Cecile says

    OMG! So good! We added some corn, jalapeño to the beans/red pepper mix. We topped off the cornbread with honey. It was delicious. Thank you for an easy and delicious dinner!

  25. Chelsea says

    Easy to make and turned out great! I don’t have a cast iron, so I transferred this to a glass baking dish – the cornbread needed around 30 minutes to fully cook. Looking forward to making this again – I think I may add some soy chorizo next time :)

      • MaryPat says

        What a tasty recipe!! Quick to make and great flavor. Might add corn and spinach next time or maybe butternut squash. So many great options to your foundation!! Thanks much!!

          • Shannon says

            This was really good and easy to make. My only suggestion would be to add more of the chilli portion to the recipe – I found cornbread / chilli ratio to be a little off balance.

          • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

            I hear ya! We’re big cornbread fans so we love the ratio. But that’s a great suggestion!

  26. robyn says

    Made this for dinner tonight. It was so easy and delicious! I used the frontera green enchilada sauce I was very pleased with the results. mine was GF – I used king arthur’s GF flour mix – great consistency. This will be a go to for these chilly winter nights and its also a great dish to bring to a potluck. Nice presentation in a cast iron pot. Next time I think I would double the bean proportion. Thanks for another winner of a recipe. I can always count on Minimalist Baker for great taste and ease.

  27. DebbieA says

    Thank you! I didn’t know what dinner was going to be and then saw your post. This was incredibly easy and quick and delish with a massaged kale salad.

  28. Kaitlyn says

    This was great! I added sweet potato and kale with the onion and pepper which bulked it up a bit more. Very satisfying and a quick weeknight meal.

  29. Janice Short says

    Thanks so much for your reply. I was just reading today’s Valentine’s day Roundup, which is swimming with great recipes. I want to make them all! but I’m going to make the cornbread Skillet first, as soon as I slow cook some black beans . I’ll let you know how it turns out. You’re the best!

  30. Maya says

    Store bought enchilada sauce isn’t readily available where I live (nor are the ingredients for the homemade version), is there something else that could work instead? Would adding a can of diced tomatoes make it too bland?

    Thanks in advance, look forward to trying this!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Maya, for the enchilada sauce, what about doing the homemade version, but subbing a mix of red bell pepper and canned chipotle chilies in adobo? We don’t think diced tomatoes would add enough flavor, unfortunately.

  31. Erin says

    Made this last night, it was so good! Definitely would make again! I think my cornmeal is coarse and I think the cornbread would come out much better with a finer cornmeal, but it was still great and I’m mad I didn’t double the recipe! I did add vegan chorizo crumbles that I happened to have, so good!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woah, love your addition, Erin! Thanks so much for sharing! And yes, fine cornmeal is our preferred in cornbread for a better texture, but it can be more challenging to find.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi, we don’t have a recipe for vegan butter and typically buy it from the store. Examples of brands include Earth Balance and Miyokos. Hope that helps!

  32. Ruth says

    Mmmmmmm definitely trying this!
    When you say cornmeal, is it the corn flour used for arepas? Or the one used for polenta? Or would both work? (I’m not familiar with cornbread)
    Thanks

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Ruth, masarepa is cooked, but cornmeal is not. Corn grits for making polenta are similar, but are a coarser grind – you’d need to grind it more finely to avoid hard, crunchy bits. Here‘s an example of cornmeal – it should be labeled as such. Hope that helps!

  33. Magda says

    Genius! Just having this for lunch. Very easy to make and very very tasty! Never made corn bread before and it came out perfect! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  34. Pamela Shull says

    I made this recipe tonight.. the cornbread didn’t cook all the way so center below was raw batter. I will make again but next time I will bake it without the batter and make muffins on the side. The flavor s were good but beware the cornbread didn’t cook through even after over 45 minutes. That is why I am giving it a three star rating.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Oh no! We’re so sorry to hear that was your experience, Pamela. We wonder what type of flour you used? Or did you make any modifications?

  35. Annie Mitchell says

    The recipe sounds delicious, but I can’t eat bell pepper. What do you suggest for a veggie to substitute for the filling?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Annie, We’d suggest finely chopped carrot for a similar sweetness. Cook until softened in step 3. Let us know how it goes!

  36. Denise Bory says

    I made the Cornbread and Black Bean Enchilada Bake recipe for dinner tonight and it was very good. Both my husband and I felt it could have had more filling under the cornbread topping and I had also added frozen corn to the bean mixture. It just seemed rather flat. Next time I will add more veg to the mix and maybe a another bean to round it out. Very good though. Served with guac and corn chips. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for the feedback, Denise! Your modification ideas sound great! Another idea would be to increase the batch size and cook in a larger skillet.

  37. Janice Short says

    Question. I have a 12-inch cast iron skillet, a 9-inch pyrex pie plate, an 8- inch pyrex baking dish. Any advice if any of these will work? This looks great and I’d really like to try it.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Janice, we’d suggest using the 12-inch cast iron skillet and making a slightly larger batch (perhaps 6 servings?). Let us know how it goes!

  38. Rebekah says

    This recipe was wonderful with some modifications!! I did not have the ingredients for the enchilada sauce and so I made a chili instead. The added cornbread was perfect and this was so easy to make. Can’t wait to try it with the enchilada sauce next time.

  39. Mary says

    This was a great meal that came together quick. It didn’t appear to be substantial enough so I added another can of black beans. My husband and I both enjoyed the meal, as did our 3 and 5 year olds. Will def make again!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you and your family enjoyed it, Mary! Thanks for the lovely review and for sharing your modification!