Authentic Mexican Enchiladas Rancheras

Authentic Mexican Enchiladas Rancheras

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
694 Calories
51g Fat
44g Carbs
21g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 694
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 51g 65%
Saturated Fat 14g 69%
Cholesterol 62mg 21%
Sodium 752mg 33%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 9g 30%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 21g
Vitamin C 86mg 428%
Calcium 540mg 42%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 1108mg 24%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This authentic enchiladas rancheras dish combines two wonderful genuinely Mexican foods: stove-top enchiladas and ranchera sauce. The sauce’s pronounced tomato flavor is delicious when served over these cheese-stuffed enchiladas that are cooked in the traditional way–in a pan, not baked in the oven.

Ingredients

  • 1 dried red chile (guajillo or Anaheim, plus hot water for soaking)

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cooking oil or pork lard, divided

  • 1 small white onion, diced

  • 3 pounds red tomatoes, roughly chopped

  • 1 green bell pepper, seeds removed, diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Ground black pepper, to taste

  • 8 corn tortillas

  • 2 cups shredded or crumbled queso fresco or Monterey Jack cheese

Steps to Make It

Prepare the Ingredients

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Authentic Mexican Enchiladas Rancheras ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. Place dried red chile in a bowl and cover with hot water. Soak for 10 to 20 minutes.

    Place dried red chile in a bowl and cover with hot water

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. When chile is softened, remove stem. Cut the chile lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and white stringy areas and discard. Cut chile into long pieces about 1/4 inch across, and then cut the strips into 1/4-inch-size pieces.

    diced red chile on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Cook the Sauce

  1. Heat two tablespoons of oil or lard in a large saucepan over medium heat.

    oil in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. Add onion and pepper and cook until they begin to soften, about three minutes.

    onions and peppers in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Add tomatoes, chile, garlic, cumin, and oregano and cook for an additional five minutes, stirring. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Cover pan and keep it over low heat to stay warm while you prepare the tortillas.


    Note: If you prefer a smooth version of the sauce, you can use a handheld immersion blender to blend it in the pan until it reaches your desired consistency. If using a jar-style blender, let the sauce cool to near room temperature before attempting to blend it. You can then reheat the sauce over low heat.

    sauce in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Assemble the Enchiladas

  1. Add remaining cooking oil to a medium-sized frying pan to coat the bottom. Heat cooking oil over medium-high heat.

    frying pan with oil

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. Place a tortilla in the hot oil, and cook for about 10 to 15 seconds. Flip it over and add 1/4 cup cheese down the center. The cheese will begin to melt. Cook the tortilla for about another 10 seconds.

    tortilla in a frying pan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Flip it over and add 1/4 cup cheese down the center. The cheese will begin to melt. Cook the tortilla for about another 10 seconds.

    tortilla in a frying pan with cheese on top

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Remove it from pan and place on absorbent paper to absorb some of the oil.

    tortilla with cheese on top

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. Wrap one side over cheese, and then the other side, so that cheese is now rolled up inside of tortilla.

    tortilla wrapped around the cheese

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  6. Quickly cook another tortilla and cheese, transfer to paper towels, and then place on a serving plate. Repeat process until all tortillas have been cooked, adding more oil as necessary.

    cheese Enchiladas on a platter

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  7. To serve, pour about 1/2 cup of sauce over pairs of enchiladas. These enchiladas are great plain or topped with cream, guacamole, and/or a sprinkle of chopped fresh onions and fresh cilantro leaves. Serve alone on the plate on alongside some Mexican rice and/or beans.

    Enchiladas on a plate

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

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