Enchiladas might be my favorite Mexican dish. It’s that smoky, spicy, savory sauce that gets me every time. My husband, whose mother was born and raised in New Mexico, is a pro at making enchiladas. But then he enjoys spending half the day in the kitchen, whereas I think that’s too long to spend making food that my family devours in 5 minutes.
So, can we agree that 1) enchiladas are yummy but that 2) they’re way too much trouble? Heck no! About 8 years ago I discovered an awesome shortcut that skips all that pesky hand-rolling and throwing away of broken tortillas. It’s known as Enchilasagna, and there are several variations floating around. The one I learned is actually vegetarian, with black beans, but there are lots of options for adding shredded chicken or ground beef. You can also go with green enchilada sauce if you prefer, but I don’t, so I use red. See, this one is easy to improvise with, and I don’t say that lightly, because I’m a recipe slave.
I decided to share it today because when I tweeted this week that I was making it for dinner, I had a handful of VERY excited friends ask for the recipe. The best part is that it takes about 10 minutes prep and then, WHAM, into the slow cooker it goes and you can get back to your blog! Below is my baseline formula; you can add or subtract the major players as you like.
What’s your favorite slow-cooker shortcut? Share it in the comments!
Aside: I didn’t include a photo of the actual dish because, to be honest, it doesn’t look all that pretty when plated! If you figure out how to get it out of the crock without collapsing the layers, let me know. — Erin O’Donnell, co-editor, Kansas Women Bloggers
1 10-oz can red enchilada sauce
1/4 cup salsa (I prefer something chipotle; its smokiness pairs great with the enchilada sauce)
10 corn tortillas
2 cups shredded cheese
2 15-oz cans of black beans (or 2 cups dry beans, cooked)
Black olives (optional)
1. In a small saucepan, combine enchilada sauce and salsa over medium-low heat until warmed through.
2. Cut tortillas into triangles. Use a pizza cutter to make it easy.
3. Spray the bottom of the slow cooker with cooking spray. Spoon a layer of sauce into the bottom, about 3 tablespoons.
4. Make a layer of tortillas, then about one-third each of your beans, cheese, sauce, and olives, if you chose. Repeat layers; you should have enough for three.
5. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
TIP: This cooks fairly quickly, and if you leave it too long, the tortillas get chewy. Try it sometime when you can stick with it for at least 4 hours to see how your slow cooker performs.