The Best Enchiladas Verdes

Enchiladas Verdes boasts a rich history that unfolds with every flavorful bite. Originating from the ancient Aztec civilization, enchiladas have evolved over centuries to become a beloved dish that transcends borders.

Nestled in the heart of Mexican culinary tradition, these rolled tortillas brim with cultural significance and regional diversity. Here we delve into the enchanting world of Enchiladas Verdes, a captivating rendition set apart by its vibrant green sauce. Prepare to embark on a culinary journey that celebrates both tradition and innovation.

Background on Enchiladas Verdes

The term “Verdes” in Enchiladas Verdes refers to the vibrant green color that characterizes these delectable rolled tortillas. This hue is derived from the key ingredient, Salsa Verde, a zesty pairing of tomatillos, green chiles, and aromatic herbs.

Enchiladas Verdes showcases an array of regional variations and adaptations throughout Mexico. In the coastal regions we find tangy Salsa Verde variations, in the heartland we find spicier renditions. Each locale adds its unique touch, creating a diverse tapestry of flavors.

Ingredients for Enchiladas Verdes

3 enchiladas with salsa verde on a brown mexican dish
  • Corn Tortillas (12-16): The foundation of Enchiladas Verdes, corn tortillas provide a soft, pliable casing for the flavorful filling.
  • Cooked Chicken (1 lb.): Shredded or diced, the chicken brings a hearty and protein-packed element to the filling, marrying well with the other ingredients.
  • Mild Green Chiles (7 oz. can): Infusing a subtle heat and earthy flavor, green chiles contribute to both the filling’s depth and the enchanting color of the dish.
  • Cream Cheese (4 oz., room temperature): Adding a creamy texture and richness to the chicken filling, cream cheese elevates the overall taste profile.
  • Shredded Cheese (4 cups, your choice): A versatile ingredient, shredded cheese binds the filling and creates a gooey, melty topping when baked.
  • Salt (1/2 teaspoon) & Pepper (1/4 teaspoon): Essential for seasoning, salt enhances the flavors, while pepper adds a hint of warmth to the filling.
  • Diced Onion (1/4 cup, optional): For those seeking an extra layer of flavor, diced onion can be added to provide a subtle crunch and aromatic essence.

Optional Additions and Substitutions for Dietary Preferences

Enchiladas Verdes offers flexibility for customization based on dietary preferences. For a vegetarian version, replace chicken with sautéed vegetables or black beans. Experiment with different cheese varieties.

Monterey Jack, queso fresco, or a Mexican blend may be more to your liking. Additionally, those with dietary restrictions can explore gluten-free corn tortillas or lactose-free cheese alternatives.

The optional inclusion of diced onions also adds a customizable touch.

Green Enchilada Sauce

a small bowl of green salsa for enchiladas verdes with a spoon laying on top

At the heart of the Green Enchilada Sauce lies the indispensable homemade Salsa Verde. Crafting this vibrant green sauce from scratch imparts a freshness and depth of flavor that store-bought alternatives cannot match. The process of making your own Salsa Verde ensures a flavor of authentic Mexican cuisine.

Ingredients for the Salsa Verde

  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos husked
  • 1 Serrano pepper
  • 2 green poblano pepper
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion cut into wedges
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • teaspoon Kosher salt
  1. Boil all ingredients for 5 minutes.
  2. Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Green Enchilada Sauce

  1. Heating Olive Oil and Adding Salsa Verde: Begin by heating two tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, carefully introduce the homemade Salsa Verde to the pan. Be attentive to the sizzling symphony that follows, stirring often to prevent sticking.
  2. Incorporating Bone Broth or Chicken Broth: As the Salsa Verde dances in the pan, introduce the next crucial element – one cup of rich chicken broth. This addition not only amplifies the savory undertones of the sauce but also provides a velvety consistency. Allow the ingredients to meld, bringing the mixture to a gentle simmer.
  3. Simmering and Cooling Process: Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and let the Green Enchilada Sauce luxuriate in its flavors. Allow it to simmer for approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure a harmonious blend. After this aromatic infusion, remove the saucepan from heat and let the sauce cool. This cooling period not only allows the flavors to deepen but also facilitates an ideal temperature for assembling the enchiladas.

The creation of the Green Enchilada Sauce encapsulates the essence of Enchiladas Verdes and infuses this dish with a tangy, spicy flavor. Remember, there are several recipes for Green Enchilada Sauce that are also very good. Homemade Salsa Verde stands as the cornerstone of this dish, so don’t skip this step.

Chicken Filling

close up of enchiladas verdes on a red platter

Preparing the Chicken for the Filling

  1. Cooked Chicken (1 lb.): Begin by ensuring your chicken is thoroughly cooked. Whether roasted, grilled, or poached, the key is achieving tender, flavorful meat. Shred or dice the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces for easy incorporation into the filling.
  2. Green Chiles (7 oz. can): Open a can of mild green chiles, ensuring they are drained. These chiles will infuse the chicken with subtle heat and earthy undertones, enhancing the overall flavor profile.
  3. Cream Cheese (4 oz., room temperature): To achieve a velvety texture in the filling, ensure the cream cheese is softened to room temperature. This makes it easier to blend seamlessly with the other ingredients, creating a creamy and cohesive mixture.

Combining Ingredients for the Flavorful Filling

In a large mixing bowl, bring together the following ingredients:

  1. Cooked and Shredded Chicken: Add the prepared chicken to the bowl, creating a protein-rich base for the filling.
  2. Mild Green Chiles: Introduce the drained green chiles to the mix, allowing their mild heat to complement the chicken’s savory notes.
  3. Cream Cheese (Room Temperature): Incorporate the softened cream cheese. Its luxurious texture not only binds the filling together but also introduces a rich, creamy element.
  4. Shredded Cheese (1 cup): For an extra layer of gooey goodness, include one cup of your chosen shredded cheese. This enhances the overall cheesiness of the filling.
  5. Salt (1/2 teaspoon) & Pepper (1/4 teaspoon): Season the mixture with salt and pepper, adjusting to taste. These staples heighten the flavors and ensure a well-seasoned filling.

Assembling Enchiladas Verdes

  1. Oil a 9×13 Baking Dish: Begin by generously oiling a 9×13 baking dish. This not only prevents the enchiladas from sticking but also adds a subtle crispness to the edges during baking.
  2. Thin Layer of Green Enchilada Sauce: Pour a thin, even layer of the prepared Green Enchilada Sauce into the bottom of the baking dish. This serves as a flavorful foundation for the enchiladas and prevents them from sticking to the dish.

Softening and Filling the Corn Tortillas

  1. Warming the Tortillas: Heat the corn tortillas briefly to make them pliable. You can do this by wrapping a stack in a damp paper towel and microwaving it for 20-30 seconds or warming it individually in a dry skillet.
  2. Filling the Tortillas: Spoon approximately 1/3 cup of the prepared chicken filling onto each warmed tortilla, placing it along the center. Ensure an even distribution of the filling for consistent flavor in each enchilada.

Rolling and Placing the Enchiladas in the Baking Dish

  1. Rolling Technique: To form the enchiladas, tightly roll each filled tortilla, creating a neat cylinder. Place the rolled enchiladas seam-side down to secure them.
  2. Arranging in the Baking Dish: Place each rolled enchilada side by side in the prepared baking dish, nestling them snugly against each other. This arrangement not only promotes baking but also allows the enchiladas to absorb the flavors of the Green Enchilada Sauce.
  3. Pouring Remaining Green Enchilada Sauce: Once all the enchiladas are snugly arranged, pour the remaining Green Enchilada Sauce generously over the top. Ensure each enchilada is coated, creating a luscious layer of flavor.

Pouring the Green Enchilada Sauce over the Enchiladas

After the enchiladas are neatly arranged in the baking dish, generously pour more of the Green Enchilada Sauce over them. Ensure each enchilada is coated with the sauce, creating a flavorful bath that will infuse the dish with the vibrant taste of the Salsa Verde. This step not only adds moisture to the enchiladas but also contributes to the appealing sauciness of the final dish.

Sprinkling Shredded Cheese for the Perfect Topping

  • Even Distribution: Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese over the top of the sauced enchiladas. Aim for an even distribution, ensuring each enchilada is adorned with a delectable layer of melted cheese.
  • Visual Appeal: The cheese not only adds a gooey, savory element but also creates an enticing golden crust when baked. This visual appeal enhances the overall presentation of the dish.

Baking Instructions for Optimal Results

  • Preheat the Oven: Preheat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC) to ensure an even and consistent bake.
  • Bake Time: Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake the enchiladas for approximately 30 minutes. Monitor the dish, and once the cheese is melted and bubbly and the edges of the tortillas are lightly golden, the enchiladas are ready.
  • Resting Period: Allow the enchiladas to rest for a few minutes after removing them from the oven. This brief resting period allows the flavors to settle, making it easier to serve without losing the integrity of the rolled tortillas.

Serving Suggestions for Enchiladas Verdes

a clear casserole dish full of enchiladas verdes

Garnishes and Accompaniments for Enchiladas Verdes

  1. Fresh Cilantro: Sprinkle freshly chopped cilantro over the enchiladas for a burst of freshness and a hint of citrus notes.
  2. Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt: A dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt adds a cool and tangy contrast to the warm and savory enchiladas.
  3. Sliced Avocado: Enhance the dish with creamy slices of ripe avocado, offering a buttery texture and mild flavor.
  4. Lime Wedges: Serve lime wedges on the side for a zesty touch. Squeezing fresh lime juice over the enchiladas can brighten the flavors.
  5. Diced Tomatoes: Sprinkle diced tomatoes for a juicy and refreshing element that complements the richness of the dish.
  6. Thinly Sliced Radishes: Add a crisp and peppery crunch by garnishing with thinly sliced radishes.

Making the Meal Visually Appealing

  • Colorful Plating: Arrange the enchiladas on a vibrant plate to highlight the rich green color of the sauce. Contrast with colorful garnishes for a visually striking presentation.
  • Use of Fresh Ingredients: Ensure that garnishes like cilantro, avocado, and tomatoes are fresh and vibrant, adding a pop of color to the dish.
  • Layered Presentation: Stack or arrange the enchiladas in a visually appealing manner. A layered presentation enhances the overall aesthetic and makes the meal more inviting.
  • Serving Dish Choice: Choose a stylish serving dish or platter that complements the theme of Mexican cuisine, adding an extra touch of authenticity to the presentation.

Conclusion: Mastering Enchiladas Verdes Like a Pro

I encourage you to embark on your kitchen adventure and bring the enchantment of Enchiladas Verdes to your table. The carefully layered flavors and straightforward assembly make this recipe accessible to all levels of home cooks. The process is not only a culinary delight but also an opportunity to connect with the heritage and authenticity of Mexican cuisine.

Beyond being a dish, it’s a celebration of tradition, family, and the vibrant spirit of Mexican culinary identity. In each bite, taste the history and heritage that has been passed down through generations. Discover how making Enchiladas Verdes is not just a meal but a flavorful journey into the heart of Mexico.

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Happy cooking and bon appétit!

3 enchiladas verdes on a white plate

Enchiladas Verdes

homemadefoodfromscratch
Experience a taste of Mexico in every bite of theses delicious Enchiladas Verdes. Easy to make and bursting with flavor, they're perfect for any occasion.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4

Equipment

  • 1 casserole dish

Ingredients
  

Ingredients for the salsa verde

  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos husked
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion peeled, cut into wedges
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 or 2 Serrano chiles seeded and cut in half
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • teaspoon Kosher salt

Ingredients for the enchiladas:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked carnitas or cooked shredded chicken
  • 2 cups 8 ounces shredded cheese Asadero or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 2 avocados peeled, pitted, and cubed

Instructions
 

Enchilada Sauce Verde

  • Place the tomatillos, onion, garlic, serrano chiles, cilantro, and salt in a large pot. Bring to a boil, turn off heat, let tomatillos sit in hot water util they are just tender.
  • With a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatillos onion, garlic, chiles, and cilantro to a blender. Add 1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid and blend until smooth.
  • If the salsa is too thick, add more of the cooking liquid until its thin enough to pour. Season to taste.

For the Enchiladas

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish and spread 1 cup of the salsa along the bottom. In a skillet, heat up the oil on medium-low heat.
  • One at a time, heat up the tortillas in the oil, then pass them through the salsa one by one.
  • On each tortilla place 1/4 cup of the cooked carnitas or chicken down the center, and then roll the tortilla. Place filled tortilla in the baking dish seam side down. Repeat.
  • Pour the rest of sauce evenly over the rolled enchiladas. Top with the shredded cheese. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbling.
    Serve warm topped with sour cream, onion slices and avocadoes.

Notes

Serving: 1of 3 Enchiladas | Calories: 377kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 1003mg | Potassium: 659mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 601IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 269mg | Iron: 2mg
Keyword enchiladas, enchiladas verdes

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