You know those times when you have a random can of something on your shelf, and you’re like, what in the world am I gonna do with that? This recipe was borne out of that recent situation: a lone can of organic pumpkin puree sitting in my pantry.
Foodily, my go to recipe search engine when I need inspiration, spit out multiple variations of a pumpkin enchilada sauce, but this version, come across via One Hungry Mama, appealed for its simplicity.
I also happened to have most of a pot of simple Rancho Gordo pinto beans in the fridge, and I knew that they would be great filling. Now let me tell you, I’ve always been skeptical of those who insist that paying a premium for dried beans, the Queen of cheap foods, was a good idea. But I received two bags of beans as a gift from someone, and I was blown away by the quality. And while I won’t be shelling out for shipping on these puppies very often, I can tell you that those Rancho Gordo pintos were amazing: creamy, fat, sweet, and fast-cooking as well. I made a big pot simply with onion, salt, bay leaf, and a pinch of dried oregano to eat with cornbread and then pureed the leftovers with some spices to make the filling for these enchiladas. Seriously though, treat yourself one of these days to some heirloom dried beans…
My modification of the recipe has multiple steps, mainly because I had leftovers that would work as great filling in the enchiladas, but the good news is that canned refried beans or whole black beans, as well as whatever veggies you have in the fridge (greens, carrots, potato) or freezer (corn) would substitute in well. The pumpkin sauce turned out really well–rich, but not heavy, healthy, and a welcome alternative to metallic-tasting canned enchilada sauce.
(Now listen, I know my sloppy plating and photo below aren’t the best, but I challenge you to prettily plate enchiladas without cilantro on hand!) Hope you all enjoy!
Chipotle Pumpkin Enchiladas with Greens and Beans
- 1 can pumpkin puree, about 2 cups
- 1 1/4 C. water or vegetable stock
- 1 canned chipotle pepper, plus a few teaspoons of adobo sauce
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- dash cinnamon
- 1 tsp. cider vinegar
- salt and pepper
- 3 Tb. olive oil, divided
- 1 onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 large bunch of swiss chard or other greens, chopped coarsely
- 1 C. refried beans (either canned or made by pureeing pintos with salt, a bit of olive oil, cumin, and chili powder)
- 8 corn tortillas
- 1/4 C. feta cheese and/or white cheddar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine the pumpkin puree, water or stock, chipotle, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste in the food processor. Whir until thoroughly combined. Taste the puree for salt, vinegar, and chipotle, adding as needed, and mixing again. Heat 1 Tb. olive oil in a small saucepan and add the pumpkin mixture. Turn on low and simmer.
In the meantime, heat the remaining 2 Tb. olive oil in a pan and add the onion. Saute 5 minutes and then add the garlic. Saute over medium until the onion is transclucent–about 5 more minutes. Add the greens and saute for 5 minutes and take off flame..
At this point, the enchilada sauce will have simmered for about 15 to 20 minutes and may be taken off the flame if it is thickened and tasty.
Coat a square Pyrex dish with olive oil or Pam and set aside. Pour 1/3 of the warm sauce into the bottom of the pan. Heat up the tortillas in a water-soaked kitchen towel for 1 minute in the microwave to soften them. Remove, careful of the steam. Fill each generously with some refried beans and greens, roll, and place seam-side down in dish. Pour the rest of the sauce over the enchiladas. Top the enchiladas with cheese, and then place in the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until hot and bubbling and cheese is melted. Serve, ideally with cilantro sprinkled on top, and extra hot sauce on the side.