Whole wheat black bean tortilla pie


This is what black beans do on their vacations: make layers and bake.

I am all for easy. I am all for Mexican food. And I looooooove black beans.

Did I say I love black beans? I. Love. Black. Beans.

Yes, there is something to be said for taking an entire afternoon to make your own homemade version (just ask Heidi Swanson). I am sure it is worth it. And before you ask- no, it was not attempted on this recipe. Though maybe one day I will get over ambitious, watch too much Cooking Channel, and decide to make a day of it.

The recipe below was not only easy, it hit the niche of what I was craving: something spicy, cheesy (this seems to be a running theme on this blog; note to self: do not post something cheesy for the next entry-hah!), and full of black beans. It also reminds me a bit of those layered Mexican dips you see at parties, only way bigger and better.

So if you have an extra thirty minutes to spare, are aching to use those jarred cans of black beauties, and love a layered Mexican dish like I do, strap on your onion goggles and get choppin’.

For my favorite brand of canned black beans, go here.

For my favorite restaurant’s black beans, go here.

This recipe came from marthastewart.com, but I modified it a bit.


  • 4 10-inch flour tortillas  (I used “medium” size and the whole wheat version instead)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno chile, minced (one can remove ribs and seeds if one desires; one may also leave them in if one loves jalepenos like I do)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (I also added a bit more cumin because this spice loves Mexican food)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed (you know what brand to use)
  • 12 ounces beer, or 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (2 1/2 cups)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. With a paring knife, trim tortillas to fit a 9-inch springform pan. Use the bottom of the pan as a guide. Set aside. (I did not trim my tortillas because they were smaller than 10 inches and it worked great.)
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, jalapeno, garlic, and cumin; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Add beans and beer, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until liquid has almost evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in corn and scallions, and remove from heat. Taste and adjust for seasoning. (I needed more salt here.)
  4. Fit a trimmed tortilla in bottom of springform pan; layer with 1/4 of the beans and 1/2 cup of cheese. Be careful here to keep the bean layers even. In my overexcitement, and what some may call “eagerness” to eat and therefore put this bean bliss in the oven, I sort of haphazardly piled the beans on the middle of the tortilla and by the end of the recipe it resemebled more of a bean tower than a neatly layered dish. Well, we can’t all be Martha Stewart.
  5.  Repeat three times, using 1 cup cheese on top layer. Bake until cheese melts, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove side of pan; sprinkle pie with scallions. To serve, slice into wedges.
This makes a normal six servings, or, for my husband and I, two meals’ worth.

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