Cheesy Enchiladas Recipe

Toasting and cooking a blend of dried chiles makes for a smoky, velvety sauce that’s ready to be sopped up by fresh corn tortillas and filled with cheese and onions.
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Serves 6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 ½ hours


for the enchilada sauce:
10 Guajillo chiles, deseeded and deveined 
3 chile Costeño, deseeded and deveined 
7 chile de arbol, deseeded and deveined
10 garlic cloves
3 medium tomatoes, quartered
½ white onion, quartered 
olive oil, for drizzling
kosher salt, to taste


for the enchiladas: 
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for frying
18 corn tortillas
1 ½ pounds|690 grams shredded queso Chihuahua
½ white onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
¼ head green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 lime, plus wedges to serve
kosher salt, to taste
queso fresco, to serve
cilantro leaves, to serve
crema or sour cream, to serve


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the chiles and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the chiles rest in their cooking liquid for 10 minutes. 
  2. Heat the oven to 350°F. Place the tomatoes, onion, and garlic on a sheet tray and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and roast until the vegetables are lightly golden, about 45 minutes. Cool slightly, then transfer to a blender. Add the chiles and 1 ½ cups|375 ml chile cooking liquid and blend on high until the sauce is smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer, discarding any solids. Season with salt and transfer to a shallow bowl. 
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Working in batches, dip the tortillas in the enchilada sauce, coating completely. Cook the tortillas until lightly golden on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the queso Chihuahua and 1 tablespoon of the onion on half. Fold the tortilla over the cheese and cook, flipping again, until slightly darker and the cheese has melted, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to a platter and continue cooking the remaining tortillas. 
  4. To serve, toss the carrot and cabbage with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Squeeze in the juice from the lime and season with salt. Top the enchiladas with a bit of the remaining sauce and sprinkle with the queso fresco and cilantro leaves. Serve with the cabbage salad, lime wedges on the side, and crema.

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