Vegetarian Mexican Recipes: Baked Red Enchiladas with Spinach and Cheese

I’ve been getting requests to share authentic vegetarian Mexican recipes here on the site, and so I’ve decided to start a new category here on the blog for those of you who are both vegetarians AND Mexican food lovers–I know: it’s a weird combination! And to start all of this off, I have a tasty organic recipe for baked spinach and cheese red enchiladas, or enchiladas rojas vegetarianas if you’re Mexican!

Normally, you’ll bake or fry red enchiladas recipes with either chicken or beef as the main ingredient in the body of the enchilada. But of course, when you’re a vegetarian, eating meat like this will get you arrested by the vegetarian police, so it’s really not an option. Luckily for those of you, I’ve met a friend down here in Mexico who makes red enchiladas with organic spinach and cheese and they’re freaking delicious.

I’ve opted to share the baked version of this enchiladas recipe here, because it’s healthier than frying them and I know that a lot of vegetarians have made their unfortunate decision to not eat meat because they want to live healthier ( 🙂 can you tell I’m not a vegetarian?) But all joking aside, this is a super delicious vegetarian Mexican recipe that I think you’re going to love, even if you’re a red blooded meat eater like the vast majority of Mexicans. So here we go:

vegetarian Mexican recipes dish of baked red enchiladas that use spinach and cheese instead of the traditional meat

Cook Time: about 90 minutes

Ingredients (serves five authentic Mexican food lovers, two enchiladas each)

    3 chiles guajillos (dried)
    1 chile serrano or a chile jalapeño
    500g tomato puree
    5 bunches of organic spinach
    1/4 big white onion
    1/4 big red onion
    5 cilantro branches
    2 cups organic iceberg shredded lettuce
    300g organic cheddar cheese (you can also use Monterey Jack, if you prefer)
    100g organic sour cream
    1 vegetable stalk cube
    2 cloves of garlic
    1 pinch of salt
    1 table spoon of olive oil
    10 corn tortillas (fresh out of the tortilla machine from your local Latin food market, if there’s one near you. The fresh corn tortillas are super important, so really work to find someone in your area who makes them fresh because it will make a difference)

(additional, recommended sides to serve these with)

Directions:

De-stem your spinach and put them in a pot, then cover with water and and add a single pinch of salt to it.

Next, add one clove of garlic and a very small piece of white onion.

Bring this all to a boil and let it cook until the spinach is soft. Once it’s there, drain those ingredients.

Devein, de-seed, then boil your dried chiles guajillos. Once they’re boiling, drain them and add to blender.

Also add the tomato puree to the blender, plus the white onion and whichever green chili you chose to go with for this vegetarian Mexican recipe–serrano or jalapeño–and then blend it all, thoroughly. Then strain the blended mix.

Next, we make the authentic Mexican vegetarian enchilada sauce:

Add a single table spoon of olive oil to a sauce pan, then pour in your blended mixture, and then season with your veggie stalk cube.

Now bring this all to a boil.

While you’re waiting for this to happen, you’re going to make the vegetarian enchilada garnish and heat up your fresh corn tortillas:

Start by shredding your lettuce and by thinly cutting your red onion into rings.

Heat up the corn tortillas in a pan (or a Mexican comal, if you have access to one!) until they are warm but still flexible; you don’t want to heat them to the point where they’re crispy. Repeat this same process with each tortilla, and then fill each with spinach and about a half table spoon of the cheese you’re using for this recipe: either the cheddar or the Monterey Jack, and roll them up.

After you’ve made them all like that one at a time, place them in a glass baking dish, and then with them all in there, pour your Mexican vegetarian enchilada sauce on top of them, completely covering them with the sauce.

Grate remaining organic cheese over top, evenly.

Heat your oven to 375F/180°c, then bake the red enchiladas for around ten minutes, or just until the cheese has completely melted on top.

Remove the glass pan from the oven and then place your hot enchiladas on serving plates.

Top each enchilada with organic sour cream, some onion rings, a little lettuce, and serve your these vegetarian Mexican red enchiladas with side dishes of brown cilantro rice and Mexican black beans if you’ve made them.

And enjoy your masterfully created and intensely delicious authentic Mexican vegetarian red enchiladas! It takes a bit of work to cook these, but I think you’ll agree with me that the reward is worth the effort!

If you’d like me to share more authentic vegetarian Mexican recipes from this diverse cuisine, do me a favor and click the facebook “like” button below for this recipe or leave me a comment down there, and I’ll know to share some more of these. I have quite a few other vegetarian recipes like this from the authentic Mexican food lovers I’ve been meeting lately down here, and I’m going to try them out. If they turn out, I’ll share them here with you! -Carlos

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