Red & Green Enchiladas

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Red & Green EnchiladasOn a spring trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico, we stumbled across “Christmas” enchiladas made with both red and green sauces. Intrigued, we set out to re-create our own version. Though it takes a bit of time to prepare, it’s visually stunning, extremely flavorful, and ultimately simple—both sauces are whizzed in a blender with no need to precook. The ingredient list is deceptively long; many of them are reused or are common spices that are likely to be on hand. The traditional Mexican ingredients can be found in the international aisle in most grocery stores: green chiles, tomatillos (small green, citrusy tomatoes), and adobo sauce. Toasting the corn tortillas in a bit of oil prior to baking brings out maximum flavor. It’s a fitting recipe to prep with a family member or friend, which makes for more fun and less mess.

  • Yield: 4 to 6 Servings


  • 3 cups diced sweet potatoes (about 1 pound)
  • ¾ cup minced red onion (1 small)
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans
  • 1 4-ounce can diced mild green chiles
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • 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
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1 11-ounce can tomatillos
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • 1 4-ounce can diced mild green chiles
  • 3 cups baby spinach leaves, loosely packed (chopped if leaves are large)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Make the filling: Wash the sweet potatoes, leaving the skin on, then dice them into ½-inch cubes. Place them 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.
  3. Peel and mince the red onion. Chop the cilantro. Drain and rinse the black beans. 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.
  4. Make the red sauce: Peel the garlic. 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. Make the green sauce: Wash out the blender. Peel the garlic. Slice the jalapeño pepper in half and remove the ribs and seeds, taking care to properly shield your hands and eyes. Drain the tomatillos. Chop the cilantro. Add the garlic, ½ the jalapeño pepper, tomatillos, green chiles, spinach, cilantro, cumin, onion powder, oregano, and kosher salt. Blend on high until fully combined.
  5. Toast the tortillas: 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.
  6. Bake the enchiladas: Stir 1 cup cheese into the sweet potato mixture. In a 13 x 9-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 ⅓ 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, then serve warm.

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