The Whole Enchilada

Mexican food is undoubtedly my favorite type of cuisine to prepare. When cooking for a large group of family or friends, my go to Mexican dish traditionally is enchiladas, arroz (rice), and guacamole. Even in Indiana on two separate occasions, I’ve delivered the whole enchilada. And might I say finding all of the necessary ingredients there was no easy task!

The homemade sauce slowly simmered on the stovetop is what sets this recipe apart from your run of the mill enchilada sauce from a can. The marriage of flavors between the comino, chili powder, tomato paste, Mexican oregano, fresh garlic, and lime juice takes this recipe to new heights. Thug Kitchen has an excellent sauce recipe I’ve adapted. I love it so much that it is the only sauce recipe I’ve used in the last two years.

sauce ingredients



  • 2 1/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
  • 2 to 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Combine the broth, tomato paste, spices, garlic, and soy sauce in a medium size pot and simmer over medium low heat for about 15 minutes. Do not allow the sauce to come to a full boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Squeeze fresh lime juice and stir.

The versatility of this dish makes it an easy dinner option for everyone from vegetarians to carnivores. Carnitas, ground beef, shredded chicken, sautéed mushrooms, spinach and onions, sweet potatoes and black beans… I could go on and on about the different kinds of fillings you could roll between each tortilla.

The most recent batch I made included carnitas and sautéed onions. I rolled them in corn tortillas and sandwiched them together in a 9 x 13 Pyrex dish.

Next pour the sauce across the top of the enchiladas until the tortillas are completely covered and about 1/4 of the bottom of the dish is full. Top with a healthy amount of grated cheddar or Mexican blend cheese.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Allow the enchiladas to bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and even slightly brown.

oven time

Top with guacamole, sour cream, salsa, and cojita and serve with arroz. When my house guests don’t devour all of the deliciousness, they make great leftovers too. You can reheat them in the oven or microwave them easily and enjoy them later in the week for lunch or dinner.


I can’t say enough positive things about this dish and truthfully neither can my friends. It truly is the whole enchilada! Even my little sous chef agrees. From my kitchen to yours, buen provecho.