This is the recipe I point people to when they’re new to homemade enchiladas. If you’ve been using enchilada sauce from a can you’ll get a massive upgrade in flavor by making your own sauce and this recipe is the perfect starting point.
Plus you’ve already got chipotles in your kitchen, right?!!
Don’t let the simple ingredient list deceive you. The combo of roasted tomatoes, cumin, and chipotles in adobo creates a where-have-you-been-all-my-life flavor that is far superior to anything you’ll get out of a can.
First things first, get three tomatoes roasting in the oven at 400F.
And saute 1/2 an onion and 3 garlic cloves in a dollop of oil over medium heat. You can chop roughly as all of this is going in the blender eventually. I usually just peel the garlic cloves and plop them in whole.
You’ve got options for the chicken. Rotisserie chicken will work if you want to streamline this recipe even further, or you can poach a chicken breast in simmering water for 20 minutes or so. That’s what I did for this batch — I’ll put instructions for this in the recipe box below.
Okay, in about 15 minutes the tomatoes will be roasted ‘enough’ as there is an extended simmer coming up on the horizon.
Add the tomatoes to the onion mixture along with:
3 chipotles in adobo
1 Tablespoon adobo sauce
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 cup stock
freshly ground black pepper
After this mixture comes to a uniform temp (2-3 minutes), add it to a blender and combine well.
Return it to the saucepan and simmer on mediumish heat for another 5-10 minutes.
Take a taste for seasoning. For this batch I added another pinch of salt and another pinch of Mexican oregano.
Also note that using 3 chipotles in adobo creates some real heat! If you want a less spicy dish you can dial back and use only 1 or 2 chipotles.
Now it’s time to warm up the tortillas. I covered them with damp paper towels and nuked them in the microwave for 60 seconds.
Add a dollop of the enchilada sauce to a plate. Dredge a tortilla in it and flip. This ensures you have some of the delish sauce inside each enchilada. Fill with chicken, cheese, and a few bits of raw onion.
Roll tight and place seam side down on a baking dish. You can line the bottom of the baking dish with some enchilada sauce to prevent sticking if you want.
Cover the enchiladas with the remaining sauce and give the dish a jiggle so the sauce seeps in between them.
Bake at 400F for 8-10 minutes, or until you think all the cheese is melted through.
You’ve got lots of choices for garnish. Of course, it’s tough to beat some Crema and a sprinkling of Cotija cheese.
A simple Arroz Rojo and Guacamole also work really well with the flavor of these enchiladas.
This is a simple, rewarding enchilada dish to make and it is a massive upgrade from canned enchilada sauce. If you keep chipotles in the pantry and stock your fridge with some tomatoes then you’ll always have the option of whipping up a rewarding batch of these Red Sauce Enchiladas.
I’ll put the recipe box below if you want to make it. Next up we’ll look at a Mexican classic…Enchiladas Suizas! Click the ‘Next Recipe’ button down below to continue.
Easy Red Sauce Enchiladas
- 3 tomatoes
- 1/2 onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 3 chipotles in adobo
- 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
- 1 cup stock (or water)
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 chicken breast
- 8-10 corn tortillas
- Monterey Jack cheese
- 2-3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
- Crema (optional)
- Cotija cheese (optional)
- Basic Guacamole (optional)
- Start by roasting 3 tomatoes in the oven at 400F.
- If you are poaching the chicken, cover the chicken breast with cold water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and let cook until the chicken is no longer pink inside, approx. 20 minutes. You can also add salt, onion, and cilantro to the simmering water for a hint of additional flavor. Once cooked, set aside to cool and then shred using two forks.
- Saute a roughly chopped 1/2 onion and 3 whole, peeled garlic cloves in a dollop of oil over medium heat.
- Add the roasted tomatoes to the onions and garlic, along with 3 chipotles in adobo, 1 Tablespoon adobo sauce, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano, 1 cup stock (or water), 1/2 teaspoon salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
- Let the mixture simmer for a few minutes and then add it to a blender. Blend well and return to the saucepan. Taste for seasoning. ( I added additional pinches of salt and oregano to this batch). Let simmer for 5-10 minutes on mediumish heat.
- Meanwhile, heat up 8-10 corn tortillas. I covered them with damp paper towels and nuked them for 60 seconds.
- Add a dollop of the enchilada sauce to a plate. Dredge a tortilla in the sauce and flip. Fill with shredded chicken, chunks of cheese, and some bits of finely chopped raw onion. Roll tight and place on a baking dish seam side down. You can line the baking dish with enchilada sauce to prevent sticking.
- Continue rolling the enchiladas until all the chicken is gone. A single chicken breast will make 7-9 enchiladas. Cover the enchiladas with the remaining sauce and give them a jiggle.
- Bake at 400F for 8-10 minutes
- Serve immediately with your choice of Crema, Cotija cheese, Arroz Rojo, and Guacamole.