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Pati's Mexican Table : TV Recipes

Pati Jinich

Enchiladas en Salsa Roja

For the sauce:
1 poundripe tomatoes
1 garlic clove, skin on
1 1/4″-thick slicewhite onion (about 1 ounce)
1 jalapeño or serrano chile, or to taste
3/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or to taste

For the enchiladas:
Oil for frying the tortillas, optional
12 corn tortillas
1/2 cup Mexican cream
1/2 cup queso fresco or cotija, crumbled
1/3 cup white onion,chopped
Ripe Mexican avocado, halved, scooped and sliced

Place the tomatoes, garlic, onions, and chile on a medium baking dish, roasting pan or ovenproof skillet. Place them under a hot broiler and char the ingredients for about 9 to 10 minutes, turning them halfway through as the pieces brown thoroughly. The tomatoes’ skin should be charred, wrinkled, and the juices begin to run. The chile and onions should be softened and nicely charred; the papery husk of the garlic should be burned and the clove softened inside.

Remove the skin from the garlic clove and discard. Place the garlic in the blender along with the tomatoes, onion, and chile (start with half chile first, adding the other half or more if you feel you want more heat later), and the salt. Purée until smooth, set aside.

In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, add enough oil to reach 1/2-inch deep; let it heat for about 3 minutes. Gently glide each tortilla through the oil, one by one, for about 15 seconds on each side, so that they soften and become resilient. You should be able to fold them without breaking them. Transfer the tortillas to a paper towel-covered plate. Alternately, you can lightly toast them on an already hot comal or skillet set over medium heat, for about 20 seconds per side.

Glide the tortillas through the salsa. Fold and then cover, generously, with more of the red sauce. Sprinkle with the crumbled cheese, the cream, and the chopped onion.


This looks great, and I have lots of tomatoes and peppers in my garden I can use. Do these enchiladas not have a filling? Do they not need to be baked? Thanks for clarifying!

They don’t, but you can choose to add a filling of your choice. They don’t need to be baked.

Going to make this for lunch today with an al pastor filling.

I also want to know if these enchiladas have a filling and do they get baked? What temp for how long?
Thanks Alex

I watched this episode again last night and Pati said that the enchiladas could have a filling added and, as I recall, she mentioned “shredded chicken” or “even potatoes”.

She didn’t bake them, as the sauce was already baked and the tortillas were heated as well (either by frying or by heating on a comal.)

Thank you, Ann!! Yes, these enchiladas can be filled with a variety of things…

Hi Pati, in the episode Classic Mexican Food Battle aired in my area on 1-5-13, you mentioned that Mexicans refer to the Roma tomato as ‘?’. What was that word? I thought I heard something like ‘juate’ but I know I am way off. Thanks in advance for your help.

Hi Michelle,

I’m not Pati but living in Mexico. Roma tomatoes are “jitomate” here. Hope that helps :)


Si no me equivoco, estas no se llaman enchiladas de tomate, son ENTOMATADAS. Naci en el DF, soy mas Mexicana que le mole, y llamo a los platillos autenticos como debe de ser.

Hola Velia! Me hiciste reír! Yo también soy más mexicana que el mole.. y si tienes razón, se llaman entomatadas, pero también pueden llamarse enchiladas en salsa roja 😉

Para los gringos, no importa como se les llame a las porquerias que en este pais llaman comida Mexicana.

Sra.Velia: con todo respeto las recetas no estan escritas en pie-
dra, las variants son deliciosas y los diferentes nombres es lo que hace nuestra cocina Mexicana tan versatile e interesante,yo tengo 60 primaveras bien

Sra. Velia: perdone pero las recetas no estan escritas en piedra,y como usted dice debemos llamar a los platillos de nuestra cocina con el nombre autentico, de acuerdo, pero la autenticidad de nuestra cocina cuenta con el ingredient principal que es la versatilidad o sea cocine con lo que tenga a mano llamelo como le guste y yo que soy una abuelita de 60 a~os con cuatro nietecitos que les encanta cocinar comida Mexicana no me pierdo la dicha de hacerlo por falta de un ingredient o el nombre del platillo.Ademas la amable Chef de este blog es una autoridad en la material,relajese y disfrutelo.

Bien dicho. Por eso es dificil dar una receta a veces. Mis amigas me piden recetas de QUESADILLAS!!! Y cuando les digo que aunque se llaman quesadillas, no necesariamente son de queso, la conversacin se deriva en una platica sabrosa y apetitosa. PROVECHO!

Oh my gosh, this was so delicious! I had some sweet mini bell peppers in the fridge that I roasted along with the other veggies….it was soooo delicious! Part of them I stuffed with queso fresco and the other part I stuffed with imitation crab and queso fresco, and a few crab/cheddar ones as well. The sauce is so fresh tasting, sweet but not too sweet, delicate and flavorful! Served it with beans, lettuce and avocado….kids even loved it!

Kerry, Thank you for sharing!! This sounds sooo good.

As a “gringo”, I am so happy to have stumbled upon this recipe as it reminds me of the enchiladas that I’ve had from street vendors in the beautiful Mexican state of Guanajuato, spefically, in Rincon de Tamayo just outside the city of the Celaya where my friends live. There they serve the enchiladas with a side of fried potatoes. I can hardly wait to make this recipe!

Ron: I was just in Celaya a month ago! Hope you like the recipe when you try it.

Pati…I’ve made your recipe many, many times since my first post way back in January! They are delicious as is but sometimes I add fresh cilantro and a pinch of mexican oregano to the blender when I’m making the sauce. Thanks for sharing such a delicious recipe with us!!!

We don’t have cable anymore. When PBS Create channel came along it filled a void in the cooking shows I enjoyed. My husband and I watch several but agree Pati’s Mexican table is our favorite. Tonight I made this dish. I roasted tomatoes,garlic,yellow pepper and onion. Blended a couple slices of jalapeno’s from a jar (I had an awful experience with fresh jalepenos burning through the gloves I wore, so I buy them in a jar)and fresh cilantro to add more flavor. We topped the tortillas with rice, black beans and sliced steak left over from last nights dinner out. Also cheese,guacamole and sour cream. This was a yummy meal, to a guy who doesn’t like tomatoes and a girl that doesn’t like beans and rice! Thanks Pati, I’ve bookmarked several more recipes to try. By the way I have to eat gluten free. Why aren’t there large corn tortillas like the flour tortillas?

Hi Michelle, I’m thrilled you and your husband found my program!! It sounds like you and your husband turned my enchiladas recipe into a lovely meal, and I’m happy to hear you plan to try more of the recipes. You will have to let me know how they turn out. About the corn tortillas…it is a bit more tricky, but I know there are some large corn tortillas to be found in stores.

I had a dish like this in Monterrey, Mexico at the restaurant Los Jacales and never found them again. this is the recipe I have looked for for over 20 years. thank you so much. I know what’s for dinner tomorrow!

Oh, Mary! I’m so happy you found this dish through my show!! Please let me know how you like the recipe.

I watched your show today I will be making your sisters marble pound cake! Can’t wait to try with coffee!
Thanks for sharing and please continue, Rosario Byus

Rosario, Thank you so much for watching! Let me know how the pound cake works out for you.

Hi Pati, about the enchiladas in tomato sauce I have to say they were a great success. I only made 10 because I didn’t want t make a lot and have the family not like them, but I shouldn’t have worried. The kids and spouses came over and everyone got one enchilada and a promise for more next weekend. thank you again, and you now have three more households watching your program.

Oh this is such a wonderful recipe! I’m so glad I found it. My husband is from Mexico and does not eat meat anymore so this is just wonderful to make for him. Really enjoy your shows and thanks again Pati!

Thank you so much, Kim! I hope your husband likes the enchiladas!!

Hi Patti. I so truly enjoy your recipes. Do you have one for coconut cookies? Would love to have your recipe if so. Thank you so much!

Hola Kimberly, Thank you so much! I will try to post a recipe for coconut cookies soon. I do have a coconut flan recipe, if you would like to try it:

yes this is a good sauce,i have tried several recipes of pati’s ,all have been very good , have shared lot’s of these dishes at family gatherings , and have wrote several of them to give to friends and family some recipes are: salsa verde with avocado and queso fresco ::a another we enjoy is:: Chicken in a tomatillo, Chipotle brown sugar sauce :lime rubbed chicken tacos /w corn guacamole , and Brick layer tacos , The great thing about all your recipes , is that I live in the southern california region ,and Iam able to purchase all the ingredients your recipes call for last season I grew a beautiful chilli garden I just sincerely want to thank you for your recipes ,you have a simple way of explaining to whole process Joan Moore so cal

Oh my gosh, Joan, you have made so many of my recipes! Thrilled to hear it!!

hi Pati, thanks for your ,response I was wondering if you have a recipe for Creamy jalapeno sauce? I had this over a grilled steak about 10 years ago I have created my own it’s very tasty I wondered if you have a version? thanks

My question is, will it keep the corn tortilla softer as you show dipping into the tomato sauce mixture or for the green Chili sauce? Sometimes there are hard edges even after dipping in oil. I do like to bake mine just to melt the cheese.
I generally stuff mine, but love that yours could be great for picky kids. Just have a couple different ingredients or not cheese.

Thank You,

Yes! And if you want them softer, add a bit more sauce.

I do so appreciate your time away from your family as you respond to questions. Thank you for your answer.


I made these enchiladas for my 9 year old son,husband and mami. They all loved them. I filled them with cheese and they cleaned their plates! Thank you for making these amazing Mexican recipes so easy. I am your new fan. Saludos y besos departe de una Mexicana casada con un Gringo!

I hope your Gringo loves your Mexican food!!! Muchos saludos, Janie, gracias por tu mensaje.

Pati, I am so excited I found your website!! My name is Patricia also and am about to graduate with a BA in Urban Planning and Policy, but I’ve realized during my college years that I’m totally obsessed with food… more than policy research (like you!). I am Italian, but my boyfriend who I live with is Mexican, and I LOVE Mexican food.

I saw your video with the Guajillo flavored pasta, loved the marriage between the ingredients. What you said about the diverse Italian/Mexican culinary regionalism is spot on!! I need to mix the flavors! I either cook Mexican or Italian but don’t combine them too often…I always make my salsas italianas a lil more spicy than typical, though 😉

Anyhow, I wanted to tell you how much I admire you for following your passion and switching careers from a great job in policy research. I am trying to figure out what I want to do post my BA. I was thinking about getting a Masters in Nutrition and maybe do policy advocacy in that field… or do a nutrition/culinary Masters program.

Again, thanks for sharing your journey with all of us!! It’s really great to know that someone has been down a similar path as me. Gracias y un beso!!

Thank you, Paty! How exciting that you have all those options to consider as you move on post your BA. Whatever you choose to do, keep on cooking! And Mex-Italian, I agree, is such a fabulous combination.

Hi Pati, I’m a huge fan, and I appreciate the authentic Mexican recipes you make available. I cooked these entomatadas last night for my 1 1/2 year old son, so I left out the chile, but I topped it with chopped chicken, and broiled the end product. He has just become very picky recently, so i think textures and wet ingredients like tortillas are something he’s exploring. He ate every bite once I pureed it-jaja! You do what you gotta do as a mom! This recipe reminded me of the entomatadas I had in Oaxaca 3 years ago. Needless to say i will be making these again, que rico y delicioso. I saved the sauce I didn’t use so I can make these in the coming days for breakfast with eggs. What a simple dish with a big bang of flavor! Now I want to make my own corn tortillas- I’m sure you have a recipe for that. Healthy Mexican cooking. I’m Mexican at heart. Wishing you all the success you deserve!

Thank you so much for your message, Jennifer. Keep cooking Mexican for your son! Make corn tortillas: here you go

Last year I saw your show in the middle of the night holding our 4th baby boy. The next evening,I used our tomatoes and green/red peppers from our garden but did not have a chile and used your recommended amount of crushed chile pepper powder as a substitute. My family raved over it and became big fans. However, I can’t remember the amount of chile powder to use. I tried winging it and the results were not up to par. Would it be possible to explain the proper amount of chile powder to add and even the details on how to execute the recipe. I have tried to find the episode online to no avail. Thanks you very much for any help!

Yours truly,

John K

Hola John, Thank you so much for watching & for your message! I recommend making the enchiladas in red tomato sauce with one jalapeño chile or one serrano chile. They can be used interchangeably and are available at most grocery stores. If you want to use chile powder, I recommend a Mexican Chile Powder and start by adding very little, about 1/4 teaspoon. If you taste and want more spice, add another 1/4 teaspoon until the heat is to your liking. I hope this helps! With all my best…


Hola Ana, Thank you for watching! Let me know if you try any of the recipes. Would love to hear what you think!

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