Quick and easy enchiladas rojas

My first cooking memory involves trying to make a grilled cheese sandwich in the microwave.

I grew up as an only child with a single parent after my father died when I was very young. Before high school, where I was ultimately inspired to cook by the Food Network and a little show called “30 Minute Meals,” we relied heavily on fast food and microwave dinners when my mom had no time to cook.

Luckily, I began trying out recipes and cooking became something I quickly fell in love with. Cooking is something that can be both creative and rewarding. You don’t need too much money or time to create good meals and I hope I can show you that learning can be easy too.

Living in San Diego means being surrounded by good Mexican food, but you don’t always have to go out. Here is my favorite recipe for enchiladas.

Enchilada sauce

From bread-and-honey.blogspot.com


1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock

3 dried California chilies, seeded and soaked

1 clove of garlic

2 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon of cumin

1 tablespoon corn starch

1-3 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce

White sugar (A few pinches if the sauce tastes too sour.)


Seed the dried chilies and soak in cool water for a few hours until pliable.

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend. Taste the mixture periodically and season to taste.


2-3 cups shredded chicken

(I used some leftover boiled chicken but any leftover chicken you have around will do. Rotisserie chicken from the grocery store is a great substitute.)

Shredded jack cheese

2 cups of homemade enchilada sauce

1 4 ounce can of chopped green chiles

1 2 ounce can of black olives

1 15 ounce can of black beans

1 15 ounce can of corn kernels


Green onions (scallions)


Chili powder

Salt and pepper to taste

12 corn tortillas

Rinse and drain the black beans and corn. Heat a pan with 1-2 tablespoons of oil and then add the black beans and corn to the pan. Stir for about five minutes.

Add the can of green chiles and stir, let cook for another 3 minutes. Add a pinch of chopped cilantro, salt, and pepper. (Not too much. You’ll season everything again before filling the tortillas.)

Shred the chicken with two forks and add it to a large bowl. Add half of the black bean, corn, and green chile mixture to the chicken along with 1/2 cup of shredded jack cheese, 2-3 chopped scallions, 1 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix everything together and taste as you go.

Take a few tortillas at a time and wrap them in a damp paper towel and microwave them in 30-60 second intervals. This will soften the tortillas and make them easier to handle.

Spray a pan with cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Begin assembling the enchiladas. Pour enough red enchilada sauce to coat the bottom of the pan and then begin layering on top of it.

Take one tortilla and fill it with your chicken filling. Be careful not to overfill the tortilla or it will burst. Roll up the tortillas and place them seam side down in the pan. Repeat this process with the rest of the tortillas – you will probably have extra filling leftover.

Pour the extra red sauce over the enchiladas. Shred some more cheese and sprinkle it all over the enchiladas and top with the sliced olives.

Take a sheet of foil and spray one side of it with cooking spray. (The side that will be facing the enchiladas. This will keep the cheese sticking to it as it melts.) Bake for 30 minutes. Take out and remove the foil and then bake for another 5 minutes until the cheese is bubbly.

Top with chopped cilantro and scallions and serve with sour cream. Enjoy!

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Quick and easy enchiladas rojas