Photo by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Enchiladas de Papas Doradas y Nopalitos (Crispy Potato and Cactus Enchiladas)

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Sponsored by Nissan.


Sometimes we have more time to prepare meals for dinner, but on some nights, we need a recipe that comes together quickly.


Have you ever had one day when you arrived home and realized you did not defrost any meat for dinner? This recipe for enchiladas requires no meat, and though we use chicken bouillon, you can substitute vegetable soup base for a more vegetarian option.


This dish is an excellent option for Lent. The key to making this dish stand out is frying the diced potatoes. It adds so much more flavor and texture than just using boiled potatoes.


We prepared this filling precisely as our mothers would prepare their beef picadillo recipe, but we added nopales (cactus) and poblano pepper instead of meat. It’s excellent for crispy tacos, tostadas, or enchiladas.


If you have any leftover filling, it makes a great breakfast the next day by mixing it into some scrambled eggs. At the end of the recipe post, you will find the links to some of my favorite sauces to serve over enchiladas.


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  1. Preheat 4 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat for a few minutes in a large skillet. Add the potatoes, cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Turn them as needed to brown most sides. Drain onto plate lined with paper towels, set aside.
  2. To that same skillet, add 1 more tablespoon of olive oil and return to medium heat. Add onion, poblano, serrano and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook for 6 minutes. Add the diced Roma tomato and cook for a few minutes.
  3. In the blender, add the remaining tomato, chicken bouillon, oregano, cumin, pepper and water. Blend on high until smooth add to pan, stir well to combine. Bring to a boil, taste for salt and cook for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Add the nopalitos and fried potatoes, mix and cook just until warm. Fold in some freshly chopped cilantro. Cover and remove from heat.
  4. Preheat oven to 350ºF. To soften the corn tortillas, lightly fry them in oil just until soft and pliable. I use about 1/4 cup of oil in a frying pan, then stack them as you take them out of the oil. Add 1 cup of enchilada sauce to bottom of baking dish and spread out evenly. Fill and roll as tight as you can, and transfer to baking dish seam side down. Pour 2 cups of enchilada sauce over top, sprinkle with cheese and bake in oven just until cheese melts. Garnish with your favorite toppings.

Chef Notes

We like to use any extra enchilada sauce and ladle it in the bottom of my serving plate before adding enchiladas on top. Extra sauce is always good!

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