Enchiladas Rojas (Red Enchiladas)

This Enchiladas Rojas recipe is going to knock your socks off! A handful of ingredients makes an incredible Red Enchilada sauce full of Mexican flavor that infuses everything you put it on. The smell when this is cooking is amazing!

An oval plate with enchiladas.
Enchiladas Mexicanas with red sauce

Hey friends! If you’re like me, one of my favorite things to eat are enchiladas. Any kind will do. Do you agree? I also love entomatadas which are very similar to enchiladas (but it’s tomato based). If you haven’t had those, I suggest you check them out!

Since I eat these enchiladas so often, it was about time I shared the recipe with you! I can’t believe it took me this long.

Five Enchiladas Rojas on a white oval platter.

Ingredients

There are many versions of enchilada recipes on the web but the key to making really good ones, is to make an authentic enchilada red sauce. The traditional version is made with chiles secos (dried chiles) instead of using chili powder.

Ingredients for the Enchilada Sauce

  • 8 guajillo or new mexico peppers
  • 1 ancho chile
  • ¼ of a large onion
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt + ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups stock (either vegetable, beef, chicken stock will do). Alternatively, you can use water plus 1 bullion cube (vegetable, beef or chicken).
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 – 8 oz can tomato sauce

Ingredients for the Enchiladas Rojas

  • Enchilada Sauce
  • Corn tortillas
  • Oil for frying the tortillas
  • The filling -For enchiladas rojas de queso, use crumbled queso fresco or cotija.
  • For beef enchiladas, use shredded beef (follow directions from my Carne Deshebrada post).
  • For chicken enchiladas, use homemade shredded chicken or shredded rotisserie chicken.
  • For a vegan version, fill with Frijoles Refritos or Calabacitas.
  • Toppings: Shredded lettuce like romaine or iceberg, queso fresco, and radishes.
All ingredients for this recipe on a gray board.

Make The Enchilada Sauce

  1. Remove all seeds and stem from the peppers then rinse under cold water to remove any dust.
  2. In a medium pot, add the chiles, onions and garlic clove. Add enough water to cover the chiles.
  3. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes or until very soft and pliable. Rest chiles in the water for another 10 to 15 minutes to cool off and finish hydrating the chiles .

4. Transfer chiles to a blender or food processor and add 2 cups broth. Puree for about 1 minute. Note: you can do this in two different batches if the blender isn’t big enough for all the ingredients at once.

5. Strain the pureed chiles to remove the remaining seeds and skins (tip: push the chile mix with a spoon to get the most out of them).

6. In a large saucepan, heat the 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the pureed chiles and tomato sauce. Cook, stirring often for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper according to taste.

Making Authentic Enchiladas Rojas

  1. Add about ¼ cup of oil to a small or medium skillet. Heat on medium-high heat. When the oil is very hot (but not smoky), add one tortilla at the time and cook each side for about 4 to 5 seconds or until tortilla is lightly fried. 

Note: The tortillas should still be pliable for folding so make sure they’re not fried too long. Check out this video on how I fry the tortilla lightly.

As you fry each tortilla, drain any excess oil by tapping it into the pan then place on a plate with a paper towel. Repeat with remaining tortillas and add more oil if necessary. 

2. To assemble the enchiladas rojas, dip each tortilla into the warm sauce and place on the serving plates.

A white saucepan and dipping a corn tortilla in enchilada sauce.

3. Fill with your favorite filling. In this case we’re using crumbled queso fresco but you can use shredded chicken, beef, beans or your favorite cooked vegetables.

Adding crumbled cheese to a tortilla in red sauce.

4. Either fold the tortilla like a taco or roll them as pictured below. I like to add a little more sauce on top for extra flavor. I can’t get enough of this enchilada sauce!

5 enchiladas on a plate with crumbled cheese in another bowl.

6. Sprinkle with queso fresco and other toppings you choose. I like to squeeze some lime juice to balance all of the flavors but that’s up to you. Try it out and see if you like it 🙂

Make Ahead Tips and Freezing Instructions

The best thing to make ahead is the sauce. Chill in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.  To reheat, place in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat.

You can also freeze the sauce in an airtight, freezer safe container for up to 3 months.

A white platter with 5 enchiladas garnished with lettuce and crumbled cheese.

What To Serve With Enchiladas

Enchiladas are a dish that goes well with many things. You can serve them with Arroz Primavera or a side of Frijoles Charros. However, my perfect combination is the following:

3 Enchiladas Rojas on a white plate with calabacitas on the side.

More Recipes You May Like

If you like these enchiladas, I bet you’ll love these recipes too! I hope you give them a try:

⭐️ Did you make this? Leave a star rating and a comment below! ⭐️

3 Enchiladas Rojas on a white plate with calabacitas on the side.

Authentic Enchiladas Rojas

Servings 14 enchiladas
Ana Frias
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
These Enchiladas Rojas are an authentic recipe made with lightly fried corn tortillas dipped in a delicious red sauce. Add your favorite filling, garnish with cheese, crema, onion and lettuce for the final touch. 
14 enchiladas

Ingredients
  

Ingredients for Enchilada Sauce

  • 8 guajillo or new mexico peppers
  • 1 ancho chile
  • ¼ of a large yellow or red onion
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 cups stock (vegetable, beef, or chicken). Or use water plus 1 bullion cube (vegetable, beef or chicken).
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce

Ingredients for the Enchiladas Rojas

  • 3 cups enchilada sauce
  • 14 corn tortillas
  • oil for frying the tortillas

Option for fillings

  • 2 to 3 cups queso fresco, or shredded beef or chicken

Toppings

  • 2 cups Shredded lettuce (romaine or iceberg)
  • 1 cup queso fresco
  • sliced radishes

Instructions
 

Make The Enchilada Sauce

  • Remove all seeds and stem from the peppers then rinse under cold water to remove any dust.
  • In a medium pot, add the chiles, onions and garlic clove. Add enough water to cover the chiles.
  • Cover and cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes or until very soft and pliable. Rest chiles in the water for another 10 to 15 minutes to cool off and finish hydrating the chiles.
  • Transfer chiles to a blender or food processor and add 2 cups broth. Puree for about 1 minute. Note: you can do this in two different batches if the blender isn't big enough for all the ingredients at once.
  • Strain the pureed chiles to remove the remaining seeds and skins (tip: push the chile mix with a spoon to get the most out of them).
  • In a large saucepan, heat the 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the pureed chiles and tomato sauce. Cook, stirring often for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper according to taste.

Make The Enchiladas Rojas

  • Add about ¼ cup of oil to a small or medium skillet. Heat on medium-high heat. When the oil is very hot (but not smoky), add one tortilla at the time and cook each side for about 4 to 5 seconds or until tortilla is lightly fried (See notes section)
  • As you fry each tortilla, drain any excess oil by tapping it into the pan then place on a plate with a paper towel. Repeat with remaining tortillas and add more oil if necessary. 
  • To assemble the enchiladas rojas, dip each tortilla into the warm sauce and place on the serving plates.
  • Fill with your favorite filling. In this case we're using crumbled queso fresco but you can use shredded chicken, beef, beans or your favorite cooked vegetables.
  • Either fold the tortilla like a taco or roll them as pictured below. I like to add a little more sauce on top for extra flavor.
  • Sprinkle with queso fresco and other toppings you choose. I like to squeeze some lime juice to balance all of the flavors.
  • Buen provecho!

*Ana’s Notes:

  1. Frying the Tortilla:The tortillas should still be pliable for folding so make sure they’re not fried too long. Check out this video on how I fry the tortilla lightly.
  2. Make Ahead:The best thing to make ahead is the sauce. Chill in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.  To reheat, place in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. The sauce can also be frozen in an airtight, freezer safe container for up to 3 months.

ADD YOUR OWN PRIVATE NOTES

Whenever you come back to this recipe, you’ll be able to see your notes.

NUTRITION

Serving: 1enchilada | Sodium: 507mg | Sugar: 1g | Fiber: 3g | Potassium: 132mg | Cholesterol: 33mg | Calories: 210kcal | Fat: 9g | Protein: 13g | Carbohydrates: 18g

The nutritional information and US conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data. If this is important to you, please verify with your favourite nutrition calculator and/or unit conversion tool.

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Recipe Rating




11 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love that you made the enchilada sauce from scratch. I’ve yet to be impressed by canned premade sauces but this one was fantastic and brings such immense flavor to the dish!

  2. 5 stars
    What a great recipe! Your step by step instructions are ultra easy to follow and the flavors came out so good. Can’t wait to make it again!

  3. 5 stars
    I gave you five stars even though I haven’t made this yet because your recipes are always so clear and concise and foolproof! Plus I love your helpful tips and photos.
    Wishing you and your family many blessings in this new chapter of your life. I’ll be looking forward to reading about your adventures.

    1. Hi Rita! Your well wishes and comment mean so much! Thank you!!! I will definitely be keeping people updated on the new adventures. If you’re ever in Portugal, be sure to let me know!
      XO, Ana

  4. 5 stars
    These enchiladas taste amazing! The red sauce has the real authentic Mexican flavor that my mom used to make. I made it with rotisserie chicken and can’t wait to make them again!