I make enchiladas at least once a month, usually when I have a random assortment of leftovers and vegetables I need to use, and I am craving something a little spicy. What I like best about enchiladas is that you can make them a thousand different ways, and they’re almost guaranteed to be delicious no matter what you put in them. My commitment to creating authentic Mexican cuisine is minimal, so it frees me up to try a lot of possible combinations.
My basic formula is:
- Put a few cups of cooked beans or leftover chicken, pork or beef into a mixing bowl. (This is an excellent use for slow-cooker pulled pork or dried beans that you soak overnight, then cook on low all day in the slow cooker.)
- Mix beans or meat with sour cream (or Greek yogurt), a few generous handfuls of shredded or crumbled cheese, chopped cilantro, salt and pepper.
- Lightly sauté some veggies in olive oil.
- Take flour tortillas (or corn tortillas that have been softened by microwaving them briefly or sautéing them in a little oil) and add generous dollops of beans or meat and veggies in the center.
- Roll the filled tortillas up, and nestle them in a casserole dish, seam down.
- Cover with enchilada sauce and bake, adding more cheese on top for the last few minutes.
A few recipe ideas:
- Pork, spinach and pepper jack cheese
- Chicken, red peppers and cheddar cheese
- Pinto beans, zucchini and goat cheese
- Black beans, squash and cotija or feta cheese
Any variations you would add to the list?
Bean, Mushroom, Red Pepper & Cheese Enchiladas
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups cooked pinto beans (about 1 16-ounce can)
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
- 1 cup wild or white button mushrooms, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 - 1 ½ cups sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- 1 bag shredded cheese (about 200 g or 8 oz)
- 10-12 small flour tortillas
- Salsa or hot sauce (optional)
- Pickled jalapeños (optional)
- Avocado (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 large can whole peeled tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Olive oil
- Spices to taste (chili pepper, cumin, salt, pepper, oregano, cayenne, etc.)
- Heat a small amount of olive oil in a pan and sauté pepper, onions and mushrooms for 5-8 minutes, until vegetables start to soften. Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Make the sauce in a separate saucepan: sauté garlic in olive oil for 1-2 minutes, then add the tomatoes and their juices, crushing them well with your hands as you go and breaking them up more with a spoon or spatula. Season with spices and let simmer uncovered for about 15-20 minutes. Blend with an immersion blender if you want a smoother sauce.
- In a large bowl, mix pinto beans, cilantro, sour cream and half the bag of cheese. Add a few good shakes of salt and pepper, and mix well.
- Grease a 9 x 13 casserole pan with a bit of olive oil to keep enchiladas from sticking. Place heaping portions of bean mixture and veggie mixture on a tortilla, roll it up and place it seam side down in the pan. Repeat until the pan is full and you use up all the filling.
- Pour the sauce over the enchiladas. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for about 40 minutes.
- Take the enchiladas out of the oven, remove the foil and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Return to the oven and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are starting to get crisp on the edges.
- Serve with extra toppings: sour cream, jalapeños, salsa, hot sauce, avocado, lime, cilantro, etc.