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Enchiladas Rancheras

User Rating 4 Star Rating (2 Reviews)


Enchiladas Rancheras

Enchiladas Rancheras

Enchiladas Rancheras
This dish combines two traditional Mexican recipes, enchiladas and ranchero sauce. Ranchero sauce is a bit different than a typical enchilada chile sauce in that it has more of a tomato base. The tomato flavor is delicious when served over these cheese-stuffed enchiladas and it is a nice change from a chile sauce. These enchiladas are cooked in a pan, not baked in the oven.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: Makes 4 servings of 2 enchiladas


  • 1 dried red chile (Guajillo or Anaheim work well for this)
  • Warm water for soaking the red chile
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil or lard
  • 1 small white onion
  • 3 lbs tomatoes
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup vegetable broth (you can substitute chicken broth)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Approximately 1/2 cup cooking oil (for cooking the tortillas in)
  • 8 corn tortillas (approximately 5 inches in diameter)
  • 2 cups shredded or crumbled Queso Fresco (you can substitute Monterrey Jack cheese)


Place the dried red chile in a bowl and cover it with warm water. It may float to the top and that is okay, it will still absorb the water. It will need to soak for 10-20 minutes. While it is soaking, you can begin preparing the sauce. Peel the onion and chop or dice it into 1/4 inch pieces. Prepare the tomatoes by cutting out the stem portion and roughly chopping them. Cut the stem off of the bell pepper and cut it into quarters lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and discard them. Dice the green bell pepper into 1/4 inch pieces. Peel the garlic cloves and roughly chop them. When the chile is softened, cut the stem off (this is easiest with a pair of kitchen scissors) and then cut the chile lengthwise to open it up. Use a metal spoon to scrape out the seeds and white stringy areas and discard them. Using kitchen scissors (you can use a knife, but the scissors are easier) cut the chile into long pieces about 1/4 inch across, and then cut the strips into 1/4 inch size pieces.

Heat the 2 tablespoons of cooking oil or lard in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Swirl the melted fat around the pan to coat it. Add in the chopped onion and green bell pepper and cook them until they begin to soften, about three minutes. Add in the tomatoes, red chile, garlic, cumin and oregano and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so and adding salt and pepper to taste. Then you will need to cover the pan, and keep it over low heat to continue to cook and keep warm while you prepare the tortillas.

Tortillas and Cheese:
Add enough of the remaining cooking oil to a medium frying pan to coat the bottom by about 1/8 inch or less. Heat the cooking oil over medium high heat. You can test when it is hot enough by pinching a tiny crumb of tortilla off and carefully dropping it in the oil. If it sizzles and floats to the top, the oil is too hot. You don't want to fry the tortillas crispy, you just want to lightly cook them. You want to keep the oil at a steady temperature, so try to avoid making large adjustments in the heat (such as turning it down to low in the middle of cooking.) Place a tortilla in the hot oil, and cook it for about 10-15 seconds. The oil should be barely sizzling. Flip it over, add 1/4 cup cheese down the center. The cheese will begin to melt. cook it for about another 10 seconds and remove the tortilla from the pan and place on paper towels to absorb some of the oil. Wrap one side over the cheese, and then the other side, so that the cheese is now rolled up inside of the tortilla. Quickly cook another tortilla and cheese, place it next to the other one on the paper towels to absorb some of the oil, then place both hot tortillas on a serving plate. The cheese will continue to melt in the hot tortillas. Continue until all tortillas have been cooked, adding more oil as necessary.

Finishing the Enchiladas Rancheras:
Spoon about 1/2 cup of the sauce over the two cheese-stuffed tortillas and serve immediately. If you need to make a large batch, keep the cooked cheese-stuffed tortillas in a baking dish in a warm oven (about 200 degrees) for up to 30 minutes.

Serving Suggestions
These enchiladas are great when topped with one of these Guacamole Recipes and a sprinkle of chopped fresh onions and fresh cilantro leaves. A great side dish is Mexican (Spanish) Rice and home-made Refried Beans. Also, if you prefer a smooth version of the sauce, you can use a hand-held stick style blender to blend it until it is your desired consistency. If you want to use a jar-style blender, make sure to let the sauce cool to room-temperature before attempting to blend it. You can then re-heat the sauce over low heat.

User Reviews

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 5 out of 5
Why cumin?, Member mcpeon

In Mexican cuisine hardly used cumin, I do not understand why these enchiladas carry cumin if we do not use that specie. I have a lot of recipes for enchiladas and any leads cumin

2 out of 4 people found this helpful.

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