Enchiladas, Part II


I shouldn’t even consider a re-made of my most successful post, especially since it involves a recipe from my amazing mother, but I can’t help myself. Enchiladas are so beautifully versatile, it would be like sticking with one kind of pizza for the rest of your life (home made pizza recipe coming up soon– stay tuned..). And no one is that foolish, right?

I know my mother will forgive me. She’s a real bro like that.



This take on cheesy goodness tucked into tortilla sleeping bags is more labor intensive than my last ones, but is a great freezer option and can be made in bulk to make it more effective. It’s also super tasty, which helps.


Other time saving tips:

  • Double the sauce recipe and freeze for later use
  • Shred cheese in the food processor
  • Buy pre-cooked carnitas (Trader Joe’s, Chipotle, any burrito place)
  • Buy pre-shredded cabbage (I know, totally cheating, but Trader Joe’s had so many people stuffed into it I felt like a bit of an enchilada myself. I had to grab the closest thing to me and run for my life).



Enchilada Sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
  • Sauce:
  • 4 T canola oil
  • 2 T flour
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large (or two smaller) tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 t chili powder
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • 2 t oregano
  • 2 t cumin
  • 1 c tomato sauce
  • ¾ c chicken stock
  • Enchiladas:
  • 12 oz cooked carnitas
  • 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced thinly
  • ½ head green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 10 small corn or flour tortillas (I like a blend-- they are softer)
  1. For Sauce:
  2. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and, when hot, add the flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5-10 minutes, or until soft. Add tomatoes and spices, cooking for another 3 minutes with lots of stirring.
  4. Add tomato sauce and stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, or until thick. Remove from heat.
  5. Puree with immersion blender until smooth.
  6. Enchiladas:
  7. In a large sauté pan over medium heat add the olive oil and and, when hot, add the sliced onions. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes, then add the cabbage and stir to combine. Caramelize until brown and jammy, about 25-30 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, shred the carnitas and spoon in some of the enchilada sauce to wet them.
  9. Butter a 9"x13" pan, coat with a thin layer of sauce, and set aside.
  10. Assemble:
  11. On a large baking sheet, line up the tortillas. You can see how I do it in the pictures to make it easy and space-saving: accordion style, with the sides leaning up against each other.
  12. Spoon in a tablespoon of sauce, ¼ c carnitas, ¼ c cabbage-onion mixture, and a sprinkle of cheese. (some people like to dip the tortillas in the sauce...I find this messy and unnecessary).
  13. If you have leftover filling and there is space in the tortillas, divide it up. If not, put aside for a burrito or omelette.
  14. Roll up each enchilada and place seam-side down in the prepared pan. When all of the enchiladas are tucked in, pour over the remaining sauce and sprinkle on the remaining cheese.
  15. Bake at 375 for 15-25 minutes, or until browned. I like to turn on the broiler at the end to get them really crispy on top. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, salsa, guacamole-- whatever suits your fancy! Nom!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: