Green Chili Enchiladas


Thanks to my sister-in-law, Janet, for this scrumptious recipe. She served us a Mexican meal at her house early in our marriage. I remember thinking she was an awesome cook and nothing has changed my mind in the 33 years we’ve been related.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, you may be thinking only of turkey. But I guarantee these are going to taste fabulous the day after. Do yourself a favor. Print it and save it. Even if you don’t have time to make enchiladas, take note of my variation on the original sauce at the end. Makes an outstanding queso when served with chips!

These enchiladas are mildly spicy to eat and uncomplicated to make. Try substituting chicken, turkey or spinach and mushrooms for the ground beef.  Use Cheddar or Colby instead of Monterey Jack.  Add cheese to the sauce or sprinkle more on top.  Add jalapenos for more zip.

DSC_5839.JPGAlthough Mexican food can be high in calories and fat, I have a few tricks under my sombrero. For example, try replacing the traditional way of softening corn tortillas by frying in oil  with an easier, low-fat microwave technique.  Substitute skim milk for whole milk in the sauce.  Cheese is another minefield of calories where substituting a lower fat cheese or reducing the amount can make a big difference.





tomato cheese enchiladas.jpg

A cheesy variation on the sauce


Green Chili Enchiladas
Recipe type: entree
Meat/Vegetable Mixture
  • ¾ pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil spray
  • 1 dozen corn tortillas
Filling for enchiladas
  • Browned meat/vegetable mixture (see above)
  • 1½ cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies
Vegetable/Meat Mixture
  1. Brown ground beef. Drain excess grease. Add onions and garlic and saute 2 more minutes. Add chili powder, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Assembling Enchiladas
  1. To soften tortillas, spritz them on both sides with vegetable oil spray. Stack and wrap in paper towels. Microwave on HIGH for one minute. Keep covered until you are ready to roll enchiladas.
  2. Place generous tablespoon of meat/vegetable mixture on a softened tortilla. Add a tablespoon of cheese. Roll up and place seam side down in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Prepare remaining tortillas in the same manner. Any remaining meat or cheese may be sprinkled on top or sides of enchiladas.
Making Sauce
  1. Melt butter in non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add flour and stir until bubbly.
  3. Whisk in milk. Continue stirring until mixture is slightly thickened. Add green chilies and remove from heat.
  4. Pour sauce over enchiladas and cover with foil. Heat in 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.
My variation on the sauce
  1. Saute ¼ cup finely chopped onions and 1 teaspoon garlic in 3 tablespoons butter.
  2. Whisk in 3 tablespoons flour until smooth.
  3. Whisk in 1 cup skim milk and 1 cup diced tomatoes (canned with juice). Use Ro-tel tomatoes if you like some heat. Add 1 (4-ounce can) chopped green chilies and cook until thickened. Season with 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce and a few drops of hot sauce.
  4. Add ¼ lb. shredded or cubed cheese (I like 2% Velveeta but a smooth melting cheese such as Jack or Colby will also work) and stir until melted.
*The original recipe called for a portion (half?) of the onions listed above to be reserved and rolled inside the tortillas along with the meat and cheese. I detest raw onions so I cook them all when browning the beef. *Enchiladas can be prepared one day ahead. Seal well. Add sauce immediately before baking and increase oven time to 30 minutes. Or freeze naked enchiladas--again, well sealed. *The cheesy variation is especially good poured over enchiladas made with flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas. Try it as queso served with tortilla chips.

Related Posts:

Beefy Refried Beans

Fresh Guacamole with a Surprise Twist

Tamale Pie

Email This Post Email This Post Share Follow me on Pinterest

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Jules @ Everyday Mommy December 14, 2010 at 3:05 pm

You mean you were in Kansas City and you didn’t bring me any Lemon-Pecan Thumbprint Cookies? Pfffft.


Sandy January 19, 2010 at 10:48 am

I made these with my left over turkey from Thanksgiving ( I had the turkey in the freezer of course) Everyone was impressed with the way they looked and tasted. I had a little larger can of chili peppers than usual and just put in the whole can. My mother started coughing with the first bite and took a big drink of water. She mumbled something about too much pepper but then continued to finish them. We will make a Texan out of her yet. Bob loved them. Thanks so much for your blog.


Ann Hastings November 22, 2009 at 8:53 am

Too cool, so glad you were able to meet Pioneer Woman 🙂


Susie November 20, 2009 at 6:35 pm

pioneer woman! reading this blog always makes me hungry. not sure if that’s a good thing or not! 🙂


Linda Ashburn November 20, 2009 at 4:03 pm

Mary Sue passed on your website to me. Wishing you much success.

I love green chili enchiladas and am always looking for new recipes. Our daughter keeps us stocked with fresh green chilis from NM. Yum!


Staci November 20, 2009 at 6:56 am

Oh man! You’re gonna be a week too late for the pecan pie! I had to make one last week (yes, my first ever…I’ve made lots of pies…but I usually leave the pecan pie to Grandmommy) for the Tri-C dinner…and I don’t think they turned out the best 🙁


Cindi November 19, 2009 at 10:38 pm

This recipe looks amazing! I will definitely make it!! What a great picture of you and Ree! She was just here in Utah, and I watched her on 2 local tv shows. Her new cookbook is on my Christmas list!


Sis November 19, 2009 at 2:29 pm

Can’t wait to try that sauce. Beats paying $4 for a small cup of it in a restaurant.


Crystal November 19, 2009 at 12:22 pm

I’m definately adding these on my list of dinners I want to make!


Sue November 19, 2009 at 9:06 am

These enchiladas look wonderful! My family will absolutly love them. Thanks for your wonderful suggestions of variations. You have a very creative mind. I think you and Ree look like you could be sisters. I plan on going to the book signing on the 1st in Dallas. So glad you and your family were able to go to KC. Did you get your picture with MM???


Christina Lee November 19, 2009 at 8:51 am

That’s REE DRUMMOND! I’m jealous! 🙂
She is going to be in Dallas at a Borders up by North Park area I believe on December 1st. I’m going to that book signing!


christine November 18, 2009 at 9:43 pm

that would be ree drummond, the pioneer woman!

i don’t even much like enchiladas, but those look dee-licious. thanks for sharing the recipe! 🙂


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: