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These enchiladas have a surprise inside

Recipe: Pumpkin, black bean and pork enchiladas stretch ingredients

Before serving, top the enchiladas with guacamole and salsa.

Before serving, top the enchiladas with guacamole and salsa. Debbie Arrington

Ever-versatile enchiladas rank among my favorite ways to use up leftover roast meat. Combining roast pork with black beans and roast pumpkin stretches 8 ounces of meat into a full meal for three or four people.

Skip the meat altogether and increase the beans and pumpkin to 1-1/2 cups each. Or substitute cooked rice or potatoes for the pork or the beans. The idea is to make the most of what you have on hand -- very useful when you're sheltering in place and wondering what's for dinner.

This recipe works great with chicken instead of pork, too. (Did I say versatile?)

I’m still cooking with my fall pumpkin harvest (one left!), so I used fresh roast pumpkin in this recipe. But steamed pumpkin or canned pumpkin will work, too.

Roast pumpkin is the secret ingredient in the enchiladas.
Canned pumpkin also works.

Pumpkin, black bean and pork enchiladas
Makes 6 big enchiladas (3 to 4 servings)


1 cup onion, chopped
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 cup pork roast, cooked and diced
1 cup black beans, cooked and drained
1 cup pumpkin, cooked
¼ cup mild chilies, seeded and chopped
½ cup salsa (fresh or jarred)
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 soft flour tortillas (soft taco size)

For sauce:
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

For topping:
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup sliced black olives

For serving:

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Butter or grease a 9-inch baking dish; set aside.
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil and sauté chopped onion until translucent. Add pork and brown slightly. Add beans and pumpkin, stir lightly. Add chilies, salsa and pepper flakes; heat filling until warmed through.
Meanwhile, prepare sauce. In a small saucepan, combine tomato sauce, cumin powder and chili powder. Gently warm until almost bubbly.
One at a time, place a generous ½ cup of filling at the center of a tortilla; roll up and place in baking dish. Roll filling in each tortilla until dish is full. Cover with sauce. Top with shredded cheese and garnish with sliced olives.
Bake enchiladas in 350-degree oven for 45 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese starts to brown. (Put a cookie sheet under the baking dish to prevent overflow. If cheese browns too quickly, shield with aluminum foil.)
After removing from oven, let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm with guacamole and salsa.


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For week of March 3:

* Celebrate the city flower! Catch the 100th Sacramento Camellia Show 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, and 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Admission is free.

* Between showers, pick up fallen camellia blooms; that helps cut down on the spread of blossom blight that prematurely browns petals.

* Feed camellias after they bloom with fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.

* Camellias need little pruning. Remove dead wood and shape, if necessary.

* Tread lightly or not at all on wet ground; it compacts soil.

* Avoid digging in wet soil, too; wait until it clumps in your hand but doesn’t feel squishy.

* Note spots in your garden that stay wet after storms; improve drainage with the addition of organic matter such as compost.

* Keep an eye out for leaning trunks or ground disturbances around a tree’s base, a sign of shifting roots in the wet soil.

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* If aphids are attracted to new growth, knock them off with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap. To make your own “bug soap,” use two tablespoons liquid soap – not detergent – to one quart water in a spray bottle. Shake it up before use. Among the liquid soaps that seem most effective are Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soaps; try the peppermint scent.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Make plans for your summer garden. Once the soil is ready, start adding amendments such as compost.

* Indoors, start seeds for summer favorites such as tomatoes, peppers and squash as well as summer flowers.

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