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Green Enchiladas with Spinach and Arugula {vegetarian}

Emerald and sparkling with oh-yes spicy heat–these vegetarian green chile enchiladas with spinach and arugula make a fabulous Mexican meal!

Vegetarian Green Enchiladas with Spinach and Arugula

Click here to PIN Green Enchiladas with Spinach and Arugula!

For the filling, you sauté perfectly tender bitter spinach with arugula, and aromatize with onion, garlic and green chiles. Stir in herby chopped cilantro and parsley.

Tuck that veggie filling and some melty cheese into soft corn tortillas and bathe liberally in a tangy green enchilada sauce.

For the last five years, we’ve been visiting a dusty Baja Mexico town, Los Barriles. It’s on the Gulf of California, the east cape of the bottom of the peninsula.

Every day, a parade of vendors meanders through the neighborhoods and campgrounds, bells ringing, horns tooting, and microphones calling out recorded alerts.

You can get steaming warm tamales out of a brown sedan, today’s catch of fish from ice chests weighing down the back of an old white Toyota pickup, and 5 gallon bottles of purified water or propane gas delivered right to your door. You hardly need a car.

arugula in bags ready to sell for vegetarian Green Enchiladas

You’ll find street vendors offering watermelon, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and empanadas, and hawkers shouldering flats of strawberries brought from the agricultural towns a couple hours north. On Wednesdays and Saturdays Oscar comes withs an array of organic veggies, mostly greens, under his pop-up shade tent.

I made these green enchiladas with Oscar’s piquant arugula, leafy parsley, cilantro and spinach.

how to assemble Green Enchiladas The filling on a corn tortilla ready to roll. Sitting in green sauce in casserole dish.

The sauce is a simple homemade green enchilada sauce made with tomatillos and cilantro.

Idea*** For color contrast, serve your green enchiladas with achiote red rice pilaf.

Have you ever noticed how a lot of Mexican food incorporates the colors of their national flag?

Make it a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook something spicy, colorful, healthy and delicious!

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4.41 from 5 votes
Vegetarian Green Enchiladas with Spinach and Arugula
Vegetarian Green Enchiladas with Spinach and Arugula
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
50 mins

Green enchiladas filled with spinach and arugula. Makes 6 servings.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican, Vegetarian
Keyword: enchiladas, green enchiladas, spinach enchiladas, arugula enchiladas, green enchilada sauce
Servings: 6 servings.
Calories: 215 kcal
  • 1 bunch spinach, or 5 ounces of baby spinach and arugula mix
  • 1 bunch arugula, or 5 ounces of baby spinach and arugula mix
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion , diced in 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 serrano chiles , seeds removed, minced, optional (see note)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or lime juice
  • fine sea salt , as needed
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 6 to 8 ounces grated Monterey jack cheese (see note)
  • About 2 cups green enchilada sauce , purchased or homemade
  1. Wash the spinach well. Cut the leaves away from the stems, discarding the stems, and chop the leaves into 1-inch strips. Wash the arugula and discard the stems. If the arugula leaves are large, chop them as well. Or use 10 ounces of baby spinach and arugula mix.

  2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir and cook the onion, garlic and chile, if using, for 5 to 10 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the spinach and arugula, continuing to cook and stir until the leaves are wilted and shrunk. Stir in the cilantro. Season with vinegar and salt.
  3. Lightly oil in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Spread about 1/2 cup of green enchilada sauce in the bottom.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 350°. Place tortillas on baking sheets, 4 to 6 tortillas to a pan. Lightly brush or spray both sides of the tortillas with oil. Bake about 5 minutes, until pliable. (see note)
  5. Spread a heaping tablespoon of the greens in a tortilla. Sprinkle about the same amount of cheese on top. Roll the tortilla around the filling and place it seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas. You can cover the pan at this point and refrigerate overnight.
  6. Pour green sauce over the rolled tortillas, making sure to coat the ends. Sprinkle with more cheese, if you wish.
  7. Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with some chopped cilantro and parsley.
Recipe Notes
  • You won't need the real green chile if you use pepper jack or habanero cheddar cheese to create flavorful “picante” spicy heat.
  • Mexican cooks fry their tortillas in oil to make them pliable and so they don’t absorb the sauce. I prefer this over-warming method for more ease, less mess and ultimately less calories.
Nutrition Facts
Vegetarian Green Enchiladas with Spinach and Arugula
Amount Per Serving (2 g)
Calories 215 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 290mg13%
Potassium 129mg4%
Carbohydrates 29g10%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 80IU2%
Vitamin C 2.6mg3%
Calcium 54mg5%
Iron 0.7mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • I’m jealous of your time in Mexico- these look absolutely delicious! Reply · 5 March, 2015

    • Letty

      Thanks Kelley. Time is over in Mexico–we are on our way north. Had to have dinner at Chipotles tonight. 😉 Reply · 7 March, 2015

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