Enchiladas Rojas

10 minutes
to prep

35–45 minutes
to cook

4–6 servings

About this Recipe

This recipe for enchiladas is versatile, with various options for filling, sauce and even layering techniques to suit your time and tastes.

Recipe by: Alex Vargas with options courtesy of
Eddie Garza and Socorro Muller Sargent

Photos by: Katie Gillespie


  • 1 batch filling, potato-chile or “chicken” (see below)
  • 1 batch enchilada sauce, red or green
  • 12-15 corn tortillas

For Red Enchilada Sauce Option:

  • 5 chiles guajillos or California
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ onion, rough chopped
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 inch of cinnamon stick

For Green Enchilada Sauce Option:

For Potato-Chile Filling Option:

  • 6 russet potatoes, cubed
  • ½ cup vegan butter
  • 5 green chiles pasillas
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
Lao-Style Pho

For ”Chicken” Filling Option:

  • 2 tablespoons high-heat oil such as sunflower oil or canola oil
  • 1 large red onion, finely diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds or 1 teaspoon ground cumin powder
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces vegan “chicken,” diced
  • 4 ounces tomato puree
  • 1/2 (8-ounce) package vegan shredded cheese (approximately 1 cup)
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Step-by-Step Instructions

For Red Enchilada Sauce:
  1. Remove seeds from the chiles.
  2. In a small pot, bring the chiles and broth to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Transfer to a blender. Add garlic cloves, onion, black pepper, cinnamon stick, and salt.
  4. Blend all ingredients until pureed and set aside.
For Potato-Chile Filling:
  1. Bring 7 cups of water to boil in a medium pot.
  2. Peel potatoes and add them to the pot. Simmer about 20 minutes until they are fully cooked (they should be fork-tender). Drain and mash in a bowl.
  3. Add vegan butter, salt and pepper and mix well.
  4. Roast the green chiles pasilla by placing them directly on the elements of a gas stove or a grill. Roast evenly by turning them every 2 minutes until they are completely roasted. The skin of the chilies should be blistered and blackened as much as possible.
  5. Place the chiles in a plastic bag or transfer them to a large bowl and cover with a lid.
  6. Set roasted chiles aside for 10 to 15 minutes or until they’re cool enough to handle. Note: As long as chiles sit and cool for approximately 15 minutes it is not necessary to cover and steam since they will still be easy to peel. However, the steaming will continue to cook and soften the chiles, making the skin come off faster.
  7. Peel off the skin and remove seeds. Cut chiles into medium dice and fold into the smashed potatoes well.
For ”Chicken” Filling:
  1. In a large skillet, sauté diced onion on medium heat until translucent.
  2. Add bell pepper, cumin, garlic, and red pepper flakes until bell pepper becomes a bright green color.
  3. Add vegan “chicken,” increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly to brown evenly.
  4. Add tomato puree and 1/2 the package of shredded vegan cheese. Mix thoroughly until vegan cheese is mostly melted.
  5. Remove the skillet from heat and turn heat off.
  6. Add sea salt to taste and mix thoroughly.
For Traditional Enchilada Assembly:
  1. Heat ¼ -inch oil in a skillet.
  2. In the meantime, pour the sauce you will be using into a bowl.
  3. Warm each tortilla and dip it into the sauce.
  4. Place the sauced tortilla on a plate and add about 2 tablespoons of the filling in the center. Roll up to form the enchilada and place seam side down in the skillet.
  5. Fry two or three enchiladas together in the skillet around 2 minutes per side.
  6. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.
  7. Garnish each serving with chopped cilantro, onion and lettuce. Enchiladas can be served with rice, salad or guacamole. Enjoy!
For Enchilada Casserole Assembly:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray each tortilla with your favorite oil spray or brush them with a little oil, and heat them in a skillet (individually or two at a time, depending on the size of the skillet).
  3. Cover the bottom of a 9 X 13 inch ovenproof dish with oil spray.
  4. Cover the bottom of the dish with 6 or 7 of the warmed tortillas, cutting them as needed to cover the bottom well.
  5. Spoon your chosen filling mixture evenly over the tortillas.
  6. Top with the remaining tortillas.
  7. Gently and evenly pour the sauce over the top and cover the dish with foil.
  8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
  9. If desired, remove the foil, top with shredded vegan cheese and broil until just brown and cheese is melted.