Enchilada Bake

I love enchiladas because they are such a rich, cheesy, spicy, delicious comfort food. But one of the things I hate most about enchiladas is the tedious act of rolling them and fitting them into an appropriately sized pan without them coming unrolled. It takes a long time and they're difficult to cut up accurately when you try to serve them. When I was younger, my father would make an enchilada casserole from the same laziness.

For some reason, the store was out of red enchilada sauce. I had never made enchilada sauce before but I gave it a shot and I must say, it was pretty tasty.

Enchilada Sauce 

  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • salt, pepper, cumin and oregano to taste
  • chicken stock as needed
  1. Sautee onions and celery in until they soften
  2. Add tomato paste and cook another 30 seconds. Stir in flour as well
  3. Pour in crushed tomatoes, chipotle peppers and bay leaves. Add chicken stock if needed to get the right consistency. Cook down for 10 minutes
  4. Pour entire pot in blender and blend until smooth. Pour sauce back into pan and adjust seasoning/stock. Cook down until correct consistency is reached.
That's the basic enchilada sauce. If they hadn't been out of sauce at the story I would not have done this. But it's good to know for future reference. The next day, I discovered my sauce was really super spicy so I added some greek yogurt to the sauce to mellow the flavors. It also made it rich and creamy for the enchiladas. You can also use heavy cream/sour cream/ cream of chicken soup or whatever you prefer.

Beef Enchiladas
  • 1 pack corn tortillas
  • enchilada sauce
  • 1 pound ground beef or shredded chicken
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • plenty of mixed jack and cheddar cheese
  • hot sauce or hot pickled peppers for serving
  1. Cook beef completely and drain off the fat. Season appropriate with salt/pepper/cumin
  2. Heat enchilada sauce (homemade or canned) and add yogurt or sour cream as needed to mellow flavors.  I added corn as well. Heat thoroughly
  3. Sautee onions and mushroom until soft. You can use bell peppers too- whatever you want to put in your casserole is fine.
  4. Layer tortillas, sauce, meat, vegetables and cheese in alternating layers as you would lasagna
  5. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees until heated through. Remove and bake another 10 minutes until cheese bubbles
  6. Serve with hot peppers, fresh cilantro, rice and black beans. Top with extra sauce if desired