New Mexico Red Chile Cheese Enchiladas

A big welcome to our newest contributor, Cecily!  Read a little about her here

Red or green? That’s the New Mexico state question; as in, would you like red or green chile on your enchiladas?  Having lived in southern New Mexico for seven years, I love red chile.  Well, I love green too, come to think of it.  I continue to crave these red enchiladas even though we left NM three years ago.  My recipe is a simple 3-ingredient version of this classic potluck dish.  These enchiladas are layered, lasagna style, not rolled.  You can do rolled as well, but this is easier.  I’ve enjoyed red enchiladas both ways in restaurants, but always layered at potlucks and parties.

Choose a canned red enchilada sauce with dried red chiles listed as the first ingredient (I like La Preferrida from the Mexican foods section of the grocery store).  Red chile sauce is spicy and bitter.  If you’re feeling industrious, you can try to make your own red sauce.  If you do, good luck!  It’s easy to make it too spicy!

Enjoy these cheesy, gooey NM favorites!


20-30 corn tortillas (I like La Banderita and use their 27.5 oz. package.  I always have some extras)

28 oz can of Red Enchilada Sauce

3-4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese


Diced onion

Fried egg

Serves 4

  1. Preheat oven to 400.  Spray an 8×8 pan with cooking spray.
  2. Spread layer of red sauce over bottom of pan.
  3. Place two layers of four (more or less) corn tortillas over sauce. You can tear them to fill any gaps as needed.
  4. Top 1 cup of cheese.
  5. Repeat 3-4 times.
  6. Bake for 20-30 minutes until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.

I top my enchiladas with tons of diced onion and a fried egg (over easy) when I plate them, just as they do at my favorite Mexican restaurant, Jalisco Café, in Silver City, NM.  Sounds weird, but the creamy yolk is the perfect complement to the spicy enchiladas.

This dish goes great with beans, a green salad, and a cold beer.

These enchiladas are even better the next day!


Hi, I’m Cecily and I’m new around here! I cook primarily for my super-picky husband and daughter and occasionally for girls’ night events and such. I’m currently a stay-at-home mom (although I rarely do) and wife. No matter how tired I am in the evenings, I always enjoy cooking dinner. My food philosophy seems to go in cycles, one phase after another. Currently I’m on a “real food” diet; I’m following the whole foods philosophy. I’m trying to get my family to jump on the bandwagon too. Eliminating over-processed, chemical laden “food substances” is a start. I’m trying to add tons of fresh veggies and fruits to our meals, too. Hopefully this phase will last. In the past, I’ve experimented with several diets for overall health and wellness such as The Zone, the paleo diet, vegan, anti-inflammatory and vegetarian. I’ve also gone through phases of totally gluttony: the Krispy Kreme and nacho diet just didn’t work out. Maintaining a healthy diet for the family is easier said than done. My five-year-old likes to gag to show her disgust after tasting foods she doesn’t like. My recipes reflect my experiences with my ever-changing diet philosophies (some super healthy, some, just fun and yummy) as well as my childhood in the South and the seven years I spent living in New Mexico. Regardless of what my current food philosophy may be, one thing has always remained the same: I love to cook and eat. I hope you enjoy my recipes as much as I do!


tasteful comments!