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Red and Green Enchiladas

Red and Green Enchiladas
Alex Overhiser / A Couple Cooks: Pretty Simple Cooking
Cook Time:
20 mins
Prep Time:
1 hr

Chef notes

We first tasted this dish in Santa Fe, New Mexico (it's called Christmas Enchiladas because of the red and green sauces). It was so tasty that we took the idea back to our kitchen to make a "pretty simple" version. Though it takes a bit of time to prepare, it's visually stunning, extremely flavorful and ultimately simple.

Technique tip: Make the filling and sauces in advance, and assemble the day of baking. Toasting the corn tortillas in a bit of oil prior to baking brings out maximum flavor.


  • 3 cups diced sweet potatoes (about 1 pound)
  • 1/3 cup minced red onion (1 small)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 15-ounce can can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 4-ounce can diced mild green chiles
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Red sauce
  • 2 small cloves garlic
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Green sauce
  • 2 small cloves garlic
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, ribs and seeds removed
  • 1 11-ounce can tomatillos, drained
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
  • 1 4-ounce can diced mild green chiles
  • 3 cups baby spinach leaves, loosely packed (chopped if leaves are large)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 14 6-inch yellow corn or corn-wheat blend tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese (about 8 ounces), divided
  • 1 handful cilantro, for garnish
  • Mexican hot sauce, to serve


Preheat the oven to 375°F.

For the filling:

Place the sweet potatoes in a saucepan and fill the pot with cold water 1 inch above the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, around 6 to 8 minutes, then drain. In a large bowl, combine the cooked sweet potato, red onion, cilantro, black beans, green chiles, cumin, garlic powder and kosher salt. Mix to combine.

For the red sauce:

In a blender, add the garlic, tomato sauce, tomato paste, adobo sauce, chili powder, cumin, oregano and kosher salt. Blend on high until fully combined. Transfer to a 2-cup liquid measure or bowl.

For the green sauce:

Wash out the blender. Add the garlic, 1/2 the jalapeño pepper, tomatillos, green chiles, spinach, cilantro, cumin, onion powder, oregano, and kosher salt. Blend on high until fully combined.

For the enchiladas:


Brush both sides of each tortilla lightly with olive oil. Heat a large griddle to medium-high heat. Cook the tortillas in batches for 15 seconds per side until lightly browned.


Stir 1 cup cheese into the sweet potato mixture. In a 9- by 13-inch baking dish, spread a thin layer of the red sauce lengthwise on one half of the dish, and then spread a thin layer of the green sauce on the other half.


Place a tortilla on a plate and spread 1/3 cup of the filling on the bottom third, then tightly roll it up. Repeat for all tortillas, placing each seam-side down in the baking dish, with 10 tortillas in the middle and 2 lengthwise on each side for a total of 14 tortillas.


Sprinkle the entire pan with a thin layer of cheese, then top each half lengthwise with the remaining red and green sauces. Where the sauces meet in the center, spread the remaining cheese in a line down the middle.


Sprinkle the entire pan with torn cilantro leaves. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Serve warm.

Excerpted from "A Couple Cooks - Pretty Simple Cooking: 100 Delicious Vegetarian Recipes to Make You Fall in Love with Real Food" by Alex and Sonja Overhiser. Published by Da Capo Lifelong Books © 2018.

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