Cheese Enchiladas with Red Chili Sauce

  • Active Time 45m
  • Total Time 1h 15m
  • Rating ****

8 servings

Intense, earthy and absolutely addictive, New Mexico’s cheese enchiladas showcase red chili sauce at its most elemental, thickly blanketing tortillas and melted cheddar. We’ve added some extra creaminess and body with locally popular pinto beans, to cut down on the classic’s load of saturated fat. Top with shredded lettuce and minced onion.

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the sauce (Step 1) for up to 3 days.


  • For Red Chili Sauce:
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup minced white onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup mild-to-medium-hot red New Mexican chili powder
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • For Enchiladas:
  • One 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and mashed, or nonfat refried beans
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat plain yogurt
  • Twelve 6-inch corn tortillas, blue corn if available
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar (8 ounces), divided
  • 1/4 cup minced white onion, plus more for garnish


To prepare the sauce: Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion; cook, stirring, until it begins to soften, about 1 minute. Stir in the garlic and continue cooking until the onion is translucent and soft, about 2 minutes more. Stir in the chili powder. Add the broth, water, oregano and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until thickened and reduced by about one-third, about 20 minutes. (The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.)

To prepare the enchiladas: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 7 by 11-inch (or similar-size 2-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.

Combine the beans and yogurt in a small bowl.

Spread about 1/4 cup of the sauce in the baking dish. Arrange 4 tortillas in the dish, overlapping them to cover the bottom. Top with half the bean mixture, using the back of a spoon to spread it thin. Scatter 2/3 cup cheese and 2 tablespoons onion on top of the beans. Top with one-third of the remaining sauce, 4 tortillas, the remaining bean mixture, 2/3 cup cheese and the remaining 2 tablespoons onion. Spread half of the remaining sauce on top and cover with the remaining 4 tortillas. Top with the remaining sauce and the remaining 2/3 cup cheese.

Bake the enchiladas until hot and bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with additional minced onion, if desired.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Publisher. All rights reserved.

RecID 11512

nutrition information per serving

305 calories; 14g total fat; 6g total saturated fat; 30mg cholesterol; 606mg sodium; 35g carbohydrates; 7g fiber; 12g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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