New Mexico-Style Stacked Enchiladas


  • 1 medium clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup ground dried red chile
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Vegetable oil (for cooking tortillas)
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup grated medium Cheddar or longhorn cheese, packed
  • 1 (4 1/2 ounce) can black olives, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced


  1. Sauté garlic in olive oil in a large skillet over low heat until light gold, about 4 minutes. Stir in the red chile, and then quickly add the water and salt so that the chile does not burn. Raise the heat to medium-low and simmer the red chile sauce, stirring occasionally, until it has the consistency of a gravy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Heat 1/2 inch vegetable oil in another large skillet over medium heat until a piece of tortilla sizzles upon contact. Slip a corn tortilla into the oil and cook it for about 10 seconds so that it becomes pliable but not brown and crisp. Remove the tortilla with tongs to paper towels to drain. Repeat this process until all the tortillas are cooked.
  3. Dip a tortilla in the red chile sauce and place it on a large, greased, shallow baking dish. (As the sauce cools, it tends to thicken. If it becomes too thick to drip off the tortilla, thin it with a few tablespoons water). Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of the cheese, 1 1/2 teaspoons olives and 1 teaspoon diced onion on the tortilla. Dip another tortilla in the sauce and place it atop the first tortilla. Sprinkle the same amount of cheese, olives and onion on the second tortilla and top it with one more dipped tortilla. Repeat the process until you have made 4 stacks of 3 tortillas each.
  4. Spoon remaining red chile sauce over the enchiladas, then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake the enchiladas in a preheated 350 degrees F oven until the cheese inside melts, about 10 minutes.
  5. Serve at once with refried beans and Spanish rice or posole (hominy stew).

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