Carne Asada Enchiladas

These are the perfect balance of “I slaved away in the kitchen all day” and “I’m lazy and just want to drink margaritas”. The green enchilada sauce is so easy to make – everything gets roasted on a sheet pan and thrown in a blender. It’s perfectly savory and spicy and so much better than the canned stuff.

For the carne asada, I’ll use the premarinated carne asada from Trader Joes. It has great flavor and encourages the perfect amount of laziness. Keep in mind that the carne asada cooks for a second time while the enchiladas are in the oven, so I’ll cook it medium rare (closer to rare) the first time around. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat, get a quick sear on each side for 2-3 minutes, and you’re done.


For the green enchilada sauce:

  • 1 poblano pepper, stem removed, halved lengthwise
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, stems removed, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 yellow or white onion, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, skins left on
  • 4-5 tomatillos, peeled, cut in half
  • Olive oil
  • Large handful (approx. 1 cup packed) fresh cilantro, stems and leaves
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Fine sea salt

For the enchiladas:

  • 2 cups leftover carne asada, cut into small chunks
  • 1 cup cooked white rice
  • 4-oz can diced green chiles
  • 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 3 cups green enchilada sauce
  • 8 fajita-size flour tortillas
  • Optional, for garnish: fresh chopped cilantro, thinly sliced green onions, mexican crema


To make the green enchilada sauce:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Add the poblano pepper, jalapeno peppers, onion, garlic cloves, and tomatillos to the baking sheet. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and a healthy pinch of salt and toss to combine. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Peel the garlic and discard the skins.
  2. Add everything from the baking sheet to the blender along with the cilantro, vegetable broth, ground cumin, and a pinch of salt. Blend on high speed until the sauce is completely smooth. Season with additional salt to taste and set aside (or refrigerate) until ready to use.

To make the enchiladas:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. To make the filling, mix the carne asada, rice, diced green chiles, and 1 cup of the shredded pepper jack cheese in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. Spoon 1 cup of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
  4. Lay out a tortilla and spread 1/3 cup of the filling in a line down the middle of the tortilla. Gently roll up the tortilla and place it seam-side down in the baking dish.
  5. Repeat to assemble the remaining enchiladas. Spoon the remaining 2 cups of green enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas, followed by the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese.
  6. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes, until the enchiladas are cooked through, the tortillas are crispy at the edges, and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from the oven, let sit for 5-10 minutes, and garnish with toppings as desired. Serve warm.