Authentic Enchiladas Michoacanas (Red Enchiladas)

The way these enchiladas Michoacanas are made is popular all over Central Mexico. It may come as a surprise to many that these are authentically vegetarian enchiladas rojas. Made with a mild red sauce, filled with crumbled queso fresco and served with chopped potato and carrot. Make these enchiladas michoacánas as soon as possible!

Three enchiladas Michoacanas or cheese filled enchiladas rojas topped with potato and carrot and Mexican crema.

Enchiladas in Mexico

The authentic enchilada from Mexico is more than just enchiladas rojas (red enchiladas) or enchiladas verdes (green enchiladas), did you know that?

Depending on the region of Mexico there are different types of enchiladas popular in each particular region. 

For example enchiladas rojas can vary greatly not only with the red chiles used to make the red chile sauce, but also with the filling used. Some regions prefer to make them enchiladas de carne or beef enchiladas, and the beef used can be ground beef or shredded beef or chopped steak. Other’s may choose shredded chicken or vegetables or cheese.

Then there’s enchiladas verdes which are typically filled with shredded chicken, cheese, or vegetables. 

A white plate with view form above of enchiladas verdes.
Enchiladas Verdes with Poblanos and Cheese

I don’t know all types, and I’m sure I’ll miss some, in addition to the types of enchiladas mentioned above there are also: 

  • Enchiladas Potosinas which resemble more quesadillas.
  • Enmoladas which are bathe in mole sauce instead of chile sauce.
  • Enfrijoladas that use a creamy bean sauce. 
  • Entomatadas which are made with a mild tomato salsa.
  • Enchiladas Suizas which are made with a creamy and cheesy salsa verde.
  • Enchilada de suelo which are red but served opened faced instead of rolled or folded over. 
  • Enchiladas Michoacanas that are red enchiladas but authentically vegetarian since they’re filled with crumbled fresh cheese or queso fresco.
  • Enchiladas Mineras these are the same as the Michoacanas just a regional name difference, they too are filled with cheese and chopped onion. 
  • Enchiladas tamaulipecas that are from Tamaulipas and are red and also filled with crumbled cotija cheese. 
  • Enchiladas Zacatecanas which can be made red or green and are generally filled with shredded pork. 
  • Enchiladas de nata that are from Veracruz and made with a creamy chile and nata sauce. The filling is generally pork.
  • Enchiladas de requeson can be red or green and are filled with a type of Mexican cheese similar to ricotta cheese.

Amigos, I can’t think of other’s but you get the picture. By now you may understand that authentic Mexican cuisine is so much more than what most people outside of Mexico are exposed to. 

Enchiladas Michoacanas

Today we’ll be focusing on the Michoacan-style type of enchilada.

This type of enchilada roja is actually quite common across Central Mexico and parts of Northern Mexico. 

It consists of a salsa roja made from rehydrated chile pods which then the tortilla is dipped into, it’s then lightly fried and filled with a crumbled cheese. No meat in these enchiladas!

Some families or regions will serve with a piece of chicken.

But most families, just like in my family and the way I grew up eating them, they are served with pieces of potato and carrot. Maybe a drizzle of sour cream, a little more crumbled cheese, some lettuce and definitely pickled jalapenos.

Enchiladas mineras or rolled up enchiladas rojas filled with cheese.

Enchiladas Mineras

Growing up in my parent’s house we simply just knew these as enchiladas, enchiladas rojas or enchiladas mineras.

Mineras means mining. These types of enchiladas are believed to have originated in the state of Guanajuato, which is known as a mining town.

The traditional enchiladas mineras recipe is made just the same as the enchiladas michoacánas.

Amigos, these type of vegetarian enchiladas are what I grew up eating. In fact, I didn’t even know meat filled enchiladas existed until I moved to the US and saw them on a restaurant menu.

The funny thing is that I wasn’t used to enchiladas with meat, so I was not a fan of restaurant enchiladas in the US – and this was way before I went meatless too!

Growing up these enchiladas were always one of my favorite meals that my mami made, they are to this day. So it’s such a pleasure (sorry it took me so long to) share this great recipe with you today.

Rehydrated guajillo chiles with cooked tomato, onion, garlic, salt and some boiling broth for making enchiladas sauce.

Ingredients Needed

The ingredients are pretty simple, for the dried chiles you can click on the the underlined names and it’ll take you to Amazon where you can purchase or compare to your local Mexican food store prices. 

  • chiles guajillos
  • chiles de arbol, optional but add a little heat
  • roma tomatoes
  • onion
  • garlic cloves 
  • spices
  • corn tortillas
  • vegetable oil
  • white potato
  • carrot
  • queso fresco or a vegan crumbly cheese of choice
  • pickled jalapeños or pickled serrano peppers 
Red enchilada sauce inside a small white and blue bowl.

Variations

As always, there are variations to recipes. This easy recipe is authentic to me and everyone is free to change things up or make substitutions is desired. 

Nearly all recipes will call for chile guajillo, not everyone uses arbol chile, I like to in order to add a little bit of spiciness to the red chili sauce. I’ve seen some recipes that use ancho pepper, for these enchiladas I don’t use it, but I do use it to make another type of red enchilada sauce – I’ll share that recipe another time. 

Ok as for the chiles they are dried or dehydrated peppers, you really can’t replace them with chili powder to make this authentic recipe for enchiladas – we always use either fresh or dehydrated chiles for enchiladas. 

Some recipes out there also use apple cider vinegar to make the red salsa. I don’t use it because I don’t like the punch of tartness it can add.

Please try to use fresh tomatoes for this recipe, canned tomato sauce lends a different texture and a change in flavor.

For the spices some recipes use ground cumin and dried Mexican oregano, I only use the cumin but it’s up to you.

Just and “fyi” enchiladas are never made with flour tortillas, this is because they will not hold and will easily fall apart when the enchilada sauce is added to them. 

Crema vegana or homemade Mexican crema inside a glass mason jar.
Vegan Mexican Crema

How to Make Vegan Enchiladas Michoacanas

Amigos, this is one of those authentic Mexican great recipes that’s so easy to veganize.

All you need to do is use a vegan cheese that you can crumble. A great option is a vegan cotija or vegan feta. I’ve used the Violife Just Like Feta and it works great.

For the dairy crema swap it out for vegan sour cream or my homemade vegan crema recipe.

A bowl filled with cooked potato and carrot, another bowl with red enchilada salsa, some corn tortillas and a bowl filled with crumbled Mexican queso.

How to Make Enchiladas Michoacanas

Making authentic Mexican enchiladas is a bit labor intensive – it’s not difficult, you just need a bit of time to do all the steps. So make sure the day you set out to make these enchiladas that you have a little extra time. 

  • The first step is to wipe clean the chiles then remove the stem, seeds and vein the seeds are on. You can also rinse clean the chiles but if doing so then remove the stem and seeds first. 
  • Place the guajillo peppers, arbol chiles in a medium saucepan along with the tomatoes, onion and garlic cloves. Pour enough water to cover the vegetables and over medium heat bring to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are soft and the chiles have rehydrated. 
  • Remove the chilies and cooked veggies from the pot and place in a blender cup along with 1/2 cup of boiling broth, the salt, cumin, vegetable bouillon and blend until smooth. Add more water if needed to achieve a smooth enchilada salsa. 
  • Pour into a shallow but big bowl and set the salsa aside.
  • While the enchilada sauce ingredients are cooking you can also book the potato and carrot in a separate medium pot. Place them in a medium pot with a large pinch of salt and plenty of water and cook until they are fork tender. Drain and set aside.
  • In a small bowl combine the crumbled cheese with the chopped onion and mix until well combined. Set aside.
  • Warm up the corn tortillas in the microwave. In a medium skillet add a few tablespoons of oil and heat over medium-high heat until hot.
  • Dip a tortilla into the chile sauce then carefully place in the hot oil. Fry for 2 minutes then flip over and fry another minute. Place the saucy tortilla (or baking sheet if making all at once) on a plate then add a heaping tablespoon or so of the cheese mixture and fold in half or roll up. Continue until all tortillas have been used adding a little more oil as needed.
  • In the same and with a little more oil, add the cooked potatoes and carrot and sauté until a bit crispy or golden brown if desired. You can add more chile sauce if you’d like.
  • Serve 3 enchiladas per person. Top with the potato and carrots, crema, pickled jalapeno, chopped lettuce and more cheese if desired. Serve immediately. 
Red enchiladas filled with crumbled Mexican cheese.

How to Serve Enchiladas Michoacanas or Mineras

Traditionally these enchiladas are served with just the cooked potatoes and carrots and other toppings. But occasionally some will add a piece of chicken to the side.

Of course we aren’t going to be adding any meat. So if you want to add a little more protein you can serve with some homemade refried beans – though keep in mind that it’s adding more carbs and calories to the dish.

How to Store Leftovers

Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container and in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

I don’t do it often but I have stored already rolled or prepped enchiladas in the fridge. When reheating they’ll hold their shape but do become soggy. So it’s really best to put the enchiladas together right before serving.

Close up view of cheese filled red enchiladas.

FAQs

Can I use flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas?

I don’t recommend it. Corn tortillas is what’s traditional for enchiladas and the reason is that they’ll hold their shape.

Is this red enchilada sauce spicy?

A little bit but if you don’t want any heat you can simply omit the chiles de arbol.

Can I make the enchilada sauce in advance?

Yes, absolutely! In fact I’ve done it many times when I want to break up the process or save it for later in the week.

Can I make enchiladas to serve later?

I highly recommend that you prepare enchiladas right before you serve them. The tortillas can become soggy and fall apart, so best to put them together right before.

Are enchiladas Michoacanas vegetarian?

Yes they are because they are traditionally made with a crumbled cheese filling and topped with carrot and potato.

Can I make these enchiladas vegan?

Absolutely! Just use swap out the cheese and crema for dairy-free, vegan options.

Enchiladas Michoacanas Recipe

Ok amigos below is the recipe card which you can click on the heart to save for later or you can print it out.

I really hope you give this enchilada recipe a try very soon, it makes such a delicious dish that’s perfect for everyday or for special occasions. I think you’re truly going to enjoy these enchiladas rojos.

A white plate with red enchiladas made Michoacan style or filled with cheese.

Enchiladas Michoacanas Recipe

Nancy Lopez & MexicanMadeMeatless.com
These red enchiladas or enchiladas rojas are traditionally made vegetarian and they are incredibly delicious. Made with a mild red sauce, filled with crumbled queso fresco and served with chopped potato and carrot. These are a must make!
5 from 5 votes
Save Recipe Pin Recipe Leave a Review
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican, Vegan Mexican Recipe, vegetarian mexican
Servings 12 Enchiladas
Calories 133 kcal

Ingredients
  

Enchilada Sauce Ingredients

  • 8 to 10 guajillo chiles use 8 if on the larger end or 10 if on the smaller side
  • 3 chile de arbol
  • 1/2 small white onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 medium Roma tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable bouillon powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin optional

Enchilada Ingredients

  • 12 corn tortillas*
  • 2 medium-small potatoes peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 large carrot peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup white onion finely chopped and adjust to taste
  • 1 1/4 cups crumbled queso fresco* or queso panela or vegan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Mexican crema* dairy or vegan crema
  • 2 cups lettuce roughly chopped
  • 4 pickled jalapeños to taste

Instructions
 

Make The Enchilada Sauce

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. Wipe clean or thoroughly rinse the dried chiles. Cut off the stem, remove seeds and vein. Once the water is boiling carefully drop in the dried chiles, tomatoes, onion and garlic cloves. Simmer until everything is soft. The chiles may be ready before the other ingredients, remove things as they’re ready.
    Boiling dried guajillo chilies in hot water to rehydrate them.
  • Place the boiled veggies and rehydrated chiles into a blender cup with 1/2 cup of the boiling broth. Add the salt, cumin powder and veggie bouillon and blend until smooth. Add more boiling broth if needed to achieve a smooth salsa.
    Rehydrated guajillo chiles with cooked tomato, onion, garlic, salt and some boiling broth for making enchiladas sauce.
  • Pour the blended salsa into a bowl or container large enough to dip the tortillas into. Set aside.
    Red enchilada sauce inside a small white and blue bowl.

Make The Enchiladas

  • Place the chopped potato and carrot into a pot with enough water to cover them. Sprinkle in some salt and bring to a simmer and cook until fork tender. Drain and set aside.
    A bowl filled with cooked potato and carrot, another bowl with red enchilada salsa, some corn tortillas and a bowl filled with crumbled Mexican queso.
  • Mix the crumbled cheese and finely chopped onion in a bowl then set aside.
    Enchilada sauce blending in a blender.
  • Heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in a medium skillet. Once hot dip one tortilla into the enchilada salsa, once well coated place in the hot oil. Fry for 2 minutes on one side, flip over for another minute.
    Frying corn tortillas that have been dipped in red enchilada sauce.
  • Place the fried tortilla on a plate and fill with a heaping tablespoon of the cheese mixture. Fold over into half moon shapes or roll up. Repeat process until all of the tortillas have been cooked, adding more oil as necessary.
    Tortillas covered in red enchilada sauce on a white plate being filled with crumbled cheese to make enchiladas michoacanas.
  • Once you’re done making the enchiladas, sauté the cooked potato and carrots and allow to crisp up a bit.
    Sautéing chopped potato and carrot to use as topping for vegetarian enchiladas.
  • Serve 3 enchiladas per plate and top with the crispy vegetables, a drizzle of crema, some chopped lettuce, jalapeno and more cheese if desired. Enjoy!
    Three enchiladas Michoacanas or cheese filled enchiladas rojas topped with potato and carrot and Mexican crema.

Video

Notes

  • The tortillas preferably should be a day old at least. Fresher will be too soft and moist and will cause the enchiladas to fall apart. 
  • Warm up your tortillas for a few seconds in the microwave to help them soften up a bit.
  • For the cheese you can use any crumbled Mexican cheese and to make this recipe 100% use a vegan queso fresco or a vegan feta for a perfect vegan enchilada. I have a vegan cotija recipe you can try. 
  • For the crema you can use store-bought or make my vegan crema recipe
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information may vary depending on the type of tortillas, cheese and crema used. 

Nutrition

Serving: 12servingsCalories: 133kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 5gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 435mgPotassium: 199mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 2034IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 120mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Leave me a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and tag me on social media @MexicanMadeMeatless or tag #mexicanmademeatless!
A white plate with red enchiladas made Michoacan style or filled with cheese.

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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Saw these in your newsletter & been waiting on red enchiladas. Just like my grandma made and can’t wait to make them this weekend.

  2. 5 stars
    They were absolutely fantastic!!.. Can I exchange the inner filling with fried square chopped potato?

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