Chile Relleno Enchurritos

Can’t decide between enchiladas or burritos for Cinco de Mayo? Make enchurritos. Simply slather whole grain flour tortillas with spicy refried black beans, tuck cheese-filled green chiles inside, and roll them ‘em up. Lastly, drench with red enchilada sauce and pop in the oven. Easy to put together and always a hit–chile relleno enchurritos.

Chile Relleno Enchurritos

In Spanish, “enchilada” means “chili-sauced”, thus, Mexican filled and sauced corn tortillas are known as enchiladas. When we fill something—like a green chile–it’s relleno. When we roll flour tortillas around yummy fillings, we call them burritos. Put ‘em together and what have you got? Chile relleno enchurritos.  Continue Reading…

Quick and Easy Red Enchilada Sauce

Coming soon–Cinco de Mayo, May 5th. Also coming soon—a super easy recipe for green chile enchiladas. But first the sauce. I mean how can you go wrong with enchiladas all bathed in a quick and easy red enchilada sauce?

quick and easy red enchilada sauceWhat’s so easy about this particular Tex-Mex enchilada sauce is that it’s made in one skillet. And it’s made with chili powder. Chili powder, with an “i”, to differentiate from ground chile pepper powder, with an “e”. Chili powder is a seasoning blend, of ground red chiles along with cumin, garlic, oregano, and other spices.

Another thing about this speedy red enchilada sauce–it’s made with vegetable broth and tomato vegetable juice. And it’s thickened with a gluten-free roux of cornmeal and canola oil, well seasoned with fresh garlic.

letty and carlos on beach for quick and easy red enchilada sauce

Robbie and I are down in south Texas, hanging out at the beach. It’s about 80 degrees with a light breeze, and about 90 degrees humidity. Warm and sultry. South Padre Island. You might say that Robbie is addicted to kitesurfing and that’s why we’re here. But I don’t mind. A dig of the feet in the sand is always good for the soul.

The bars on the island already have their banners up–advertising 2:1 margaritas on Cinco de Mayo. Not. We’ll be celebrating at home—eating Mexican food and drinking pink hibiscus margaritas.

Hold on to your sombrero—a easy new recipe for enchiladas made with flour tortillas, enchurritos, moistened with this sauce, up next. Meanwhile, you can find me on the beach.

Quick and Easy Red Enchilada Sauce recipe notes:

  • Easy and quick red enchilada sauce is not really authentic–find my authentic red enchilada sauce recipe in the archives here.
  • For Mexican spaghetti squash, stir this sauce into pinto beans and ladle it onto baked spaghetti squash–recipe here.
  • Another recipe idea, with a story of Cinco de Mayo–chard and pepper jack quesadillas.

Wishing you a fabulous weekend–get in the kitchen and cook something delicious!

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Quick and Easy Red Enchilada Sauce

Yield: Makes about 2 cups sauce.

Quick and Easy Red Enchilada Sauce

This super easy sauce adds flavor and color and can turn anything into Mexican food. Try mixing it into beans, or as a dip for chips!


  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/4 cups hot vegetable broth or water
  • 5 or 6 ounces vegetable juice (Very Veggie Juice or V-8 juice)
  • Real Salt, to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a medium skillet or saucepan over medium flame. Stir in the garlic; cook a minute. Stir in the cornmeal and chile powder and cook, stirring constantly, to make the roux. Slowly pour in the vegetable stock and vegetable juice, continuing to stir. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens into a sauce, 5 to 10 minutes.

Chickpea Socca

Sort of a crispy-edged thin pancake or thicker crepe, chickpea socca tastes sweet and nutty, well, like chickpeas. Which makes sense, since the batter is basically chickpea flour, olive oil and water. I’ve wanted to try my hand at socca for a long time, ever since tasting the rounds as a snack, hot off the griddle at an outdoor market in France.

Chickpea Socca

With homemade socca on the mind, I bought a bag of chickpea flour, aka garbanzo bean flour. Then it sat in the pantry unused, for I’m not telling you how long. I needed a kick in the socca-cooking butt. Thank you Gina Hamshaw for the push–for including a socca recipe in your new vegan cookbook!

Mixing chickpea socca

Socca is super-simple to make, perfect for last-minute Letty, and anyone who, like me, operates on short notice. You whisk together just 5 ingredients, the gluten-free bean flour, olive oil, salt, pepper and water. In this recipe the batter bakes in a hot cast-iron skillet, in a hot oven. Five minutes to mix, 10 minutes to rest, and 20 minutes to bake. Continue Reading…

Shallot and Red Wine Jam

In one mouthwatering roll around the tongue you get fruity, onion-y, sweet, and tangy. Shallots with honey, wine, and balsamic vinegar, slowly cooked into a sticky compote–this intensely flavorful savory shallot and red wine jam almost takes your breath away. To complete the magic even more, we add aromatic rosemary and vanilla, and a generous grind of black pepper.

Shallot and Red Wine Jam

On top of crostini, and paired with goat cheese, the plum-colored tangle of allium becomes a fabulous cocktail nibble. It goes great with wine. Since you didn’t use the entire bottle of wine to make your shallot jam, you might as well drink the rest along with the crostini. At least that’s how it went down with me…  Continue Reading…

Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Chowder

The roast dimension comes from darkly blistered cauliflower, and there’s salty lemony cauliflower relish for zesty acidity. Bright green spinach wilts into the thick broth, adding a slight bitterness. Tasty and slurpable, chunky with potatoes, beans and cauliflower, you will love the balance of flavors and color in this rich and hefty roasted cauliflower and white bean chowder.

Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean ChowderImpetus to make this soup comes from a recipe in the New York Times. My friend Ed, who comes to our house every Wednesday for yoga, handed me the newspaper clipping and whispered, “This is an excellent recipe, I made it over the weekend.”

Ed changed up the recipe and I changed it even more, but we both kept the stellar layering that gives this chowder amazing depth of flavor. The recipe comes from Amanda Cohen of Dirt Candy in Manhattan. Dirt Candy—can you dig that name for a vegetarian restaurant? Continue Reading…