Frugal Friday: Tortilla and Black Bean Pie

If you cook your own meals and/or enjoy perusing foodie blogs and recipes online, then you’ve probably heard of Meatless Mondays.  Enjoying a vegetarian dinner once a week (or more often) is a great way to eat healthier and keep some of your hard-earned money in your pocketbook.

That being said, I’ve never been good at menu-planning.  Most often, I wait until early afternoon before thinking about what to cook for dinner.  We usually have plenty of food in the house — I just have to figure out how to put it together to make a meal.  This is something I would like to get better at, since I know a menu planned one or two weeks in advance would save me time, money and plenty of stress.  So, since I decided to “wing it”, my Meatless Monday turned into a Frugal Friday.

Tonight I tried out a recipe I found on Martha Stewart online.

Tortilla and Black Bean Pie

  • 4 flour tortillas (10 inches)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno chile, minced (remove seeds and ribs for less heat)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 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.
  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.
  4. Fit a trimmed tortilla in bottom of springform pan; layer with 1/4 of the beans and 1/2 cup of cheese. 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.
Tonight I followed the recipe exactly, but in the future I am going to play with the flavors a bit.  Instead of using a jalapeño, for example, a chipotle pepper in adobo sauce would add great flavor!  As it was, though, this dish was pretty good (especially with a dollop of sour cream on top) and quite satisfying.  It’s a keeper!
What is your favorite vegetarian meal?  Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup?  Peanut Butter and Jelly?  I can’t wait to hear what your Meatless Mondays (or Frugal Fridays) are like!

5 responses to “Frugal Friday: Tortilla and Black Bean Pie

  1. That looks simple, filling, and tasty. I like that everything is likely in the kitchen/pantry already. I’m a sucker for fall/winter soups that are meatless like a thick potato soup or a corn chowder and, of course, pasta always makes me happy. We eat a lot of rice (rice cooker) with sauteed veggies as well. 🙂 I like your Frugal Fridays idea–you should do a linky party, Jen!

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