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Mom’s Enchiladas

Growing up, my mom would make cheese and olive red enchiladas and they were always the treat of the year. This is my vegan version, complete with a homemade chile sauce. You can serve these rolled or Sonoran style (think lasagna,) and either way is perfectly fine. It’s all about digging into gooey, melty enchiladas.


The Sauce

  • 10 guajillo chiles rehydrated and deseeded and destemmed
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 4 cups of water
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 teaspoon of dried Mexican oregano
  • 3 tablespoons of masa harina
  • Salt to taste

The Enchiladas

  • 15 to 20 corn tortillas
  • Corn oil for frying
  • 4 cups of your favorite vegan cheese
  • 10 green olives stuffed with garlic sliced thin


  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Puree the chiles, garlic, water, lime juice, and oregano. Press this through a sieve into a pot. Take out ¼ cup of the sauce in the pot and whisk together in a mixing bowl with the masa harina, then set aside. Bring the sauce in the pot to a simmer and slow simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir in the masa mix and whisk until smooth. Keep simmering for about 5 minutes. You’ll have a thick chile sauce. Reduce the heat to low to keep the sauce warm.
  • Next, you’ll need to line up your work area. Add ¼ inch of oil to a pan and heat it to medium. Next in line should be your warm sauce. Next to that on the counter should be an oiled baking dish (or two if you don’t have one big enough to accommodate the enchiladas.) Next to that should be your cheese and a separate bowl of sliced olives.
  • Fry a tortilla in the oil for 3 seconds per side, then dredge through the sauce. If you are serving Sonoran style, create a layer of flat tortillas in the baking dish, then add a thick layer of cheese. You’ll use about 1/3 of the cheese. Do another layer of fried and dredged tortillas, then another layer of cheese, and then top off with one more layer of the chile tortillas. Pour any remaining chile sauce on the tortillas. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, then scatter liberally with sliced green olives. If you are doing rolled enchiladas, fry and dredge a tortilla, then fill with ¼ cup of cheese and roll closed. Tuck tight and repeat until you are out of tortillas or cheese. Pour any remaining chile sauce on the tortillas. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and the sliced green olives. Bake for 20 minutes.