Sometimes I do this thing where I see a recipe that looks amazing and I automatically assume that simply because of its sheer awesomeness, it must take forever to make. (I generally don’t read a recipe until I am in the act of making it. Bad habit.) Then I finally get around to trying it and find out that, surprise! It’s actually super quick and easy. That’s what happened here. I first came across this recipe quite a while ago when flipping through a favorite Rick Bayless cookbook and it was like it was made for me – black beans, chorizo, and tomatillo salsa. AYKM?!

After literally years of somehow passing these over, they finally made it onto the menu. I think I made them on a Sunday expecting a long, drawn out cooking time. And then about 10-15 minutes later, I had dinner staring me in the face. Guys, this is a gooood one. I did overcomplicate it slightly by making my own chipotle queso fresco from One Hour Cheese but that was another recipe that took me by surprise with its unfussiness. I think it took about 20 minutes from start to finish and then I just let it cool.  I used store-bought rolls this time around since we ended up making this sort of last minute, but I would recommend making your own if you can. (Speaking of, if anyone has a favorite recipe for a sub roll that is crusty on the outside but still soft and tender on the inside, I’m all ears.)

Don’t be like me – make these sandwiches ASAP.

  • Yield about 4 servings


  • 8 oz. chorizo sausage, casing removed (about 1 cup)
  • 3-4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 3 cups cooked black beans (2 15 oz. cans), with liquid*
  • Salt
  • 4 sandwich rolls, split
  • About 6 oz. queso fresco or other fresh cheese, sliced ¼-inch thick
  • Tomatillo salsa 
  • Sliced avocado


  • 01

    Place a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Add the chorizo to the pan, breaking it up as it cooks. Continue to cook until it is browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the olive oil (less if the chorizo was has rendered a lot of fat, more if it was on the lean side). Add the beans to the pan and bring to a simmer.* As the beans cook, mash with a potato masher, the back of a spoon or two forks. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture has the consistency of soft mashed potatoes (about 10 minutes after adding the beans). Taste and adjust seasoning with salt as needed.

  • 02

    Brush the split buns lightly with olive oil and toast in a skillet or in the oven. (You may want to hollow out part of the top half of the rolls to make room for all the fillings.)  Layer the rolls with sliced queso fresco, then spread with a portion of the bean-chorizo mixture (about ½ cup). Top with the tomatillo salsa and sliced avocado and replace the top halves of the rolls. Serve immediately.