Recipe for Quick and Easy Enchiladas
By Antonia Greco
, last updated June 1, 2011
Making enchiladas can be as easy as uno, dos, tres! Whether you are a carnivore or a vegetarian, enchiladas are a versatile choice for an easy weeknight meal. An enchilada is simply a Mexican dish comprised of a flour tortilla that is rolled around the filling of your preference and baked with sauce. Popular choices are usually beef or chicken, however, seafood and vegetarian enchiladas can be a great (and healthy!) way to change things up.
The key to fast and delicious Mexican food is a well-stocked pantry. It is best to stock your pantry with the following items: cumin powder, chili powder, onions, garlic, black olives, beans, corn, rice, and salsa (all of which are staples in Mexican cooking).
The following recipe is versatile and can be altered according to taste preferences.
- 1 lb of lean ground beef
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper (red or green), chopped
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp of salt
- 1 can black olives, sliced
- Velveeta or Monterey Jack cheese (I prefer Velveeta for it’s consistency)
- 1 package of large flour tortillas (burrito size)
Preheat oven to 350. In a frying pan, add olive oil. Sautee the onion and bell pepper until tender. Add garlic. When garlic is lightly browned, add ground beef. Season with cumin, chili powder, and salt. Let meat cook thoroughly. Set aside.
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 can crushed tomatoes (28oz)
- 1 can whole tomatoes (28oz)
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
Over medium-high heat, coat a pan with the olive oil and sautee onion. Once translucent, add garlic. When garlic is lightly browned, add crushed tomatoes. Add whole tomatoes by crushing them in your hands or lightly breaking them up with a knife. Add sugar. Put on a lid and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add remaining seasonings and simmer.
Ladle a few spoons of sauce (enough to cover bottom) into a large, glass casserole dish. One by one, add a few spoons of the beef mixture down the center of a tortilla. Sprinkle on black olives and cheese, roll and place in dish. Ladle remaining sauce over enchiladas and more cheese. Top with olives. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until bubbly.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream and salsa.
If you prefer chicken enchiladas instead, follow the recipe for beef, except substitute diced chicken. However, the sauce for the chicken enchiladas will be as follows:
- Sauce (for chicken enchilada):
- ¼ cup of butter
- ¼ cup of flour
- 8oz package of cream cheese
- 1 ½ cups of cheese
- 2 cups of milk
In a pan over medium heat, melt butter and add flour to make a roux. Stirring constantly, add remaining ingredients and cook until thickened. Fold sauce into chicken mixture. Follow the same assembling and cooking process as the beef enchiladas.
Remember, the protein in this recipe can be adjusted according to preference. Black beans, tofu or mixed vegetables are great options for those who wish to make this truly vegetarian. Also, to those who like to “spice it up,” feel free to season the mixture with cayenne pepper or, add a diced chili pepper during the sautéing process.
This recipe feeds 8-10 people. If you wish to make less, cut the recipe by half. If you prefer to make more, simply double the recipe.
For a complete the meal, serve enchiladas with a side of rice and beans, or a side of corn. And don’t forget your margarita!