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Enchiladas in Pumpkin Seed-Chile Sauce Recipe

Course: Main Course
Total Time: Under 2 Hours
Skill Level: Moderate
Cost: Moderate
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Enchiladas in Pumpkin Seed-Chile Sauce

Photo by: Joseph De Leo

This reliable enchilada recipe doesn’t require any time-consuming procedures. The toasted pumpkin seeds give the sauce a delicious flavor as well as a boost in protein. Use the dark green, hulled pumpkin seeds that are available in whole-foods stores and some Latin American markets.

Yield: Serves 4


For the sauce:

  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeño pepper (or 2, if you’d like more heat)
  • 2 teaspoons canola or corn oil
  • 1 medium onion, coarself chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 8 tomatillos, husked and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • ½ cup hulled, unsalted pumpkin seeds, toasted 6 to 8 minutes in a 350° oven
  • ½ cup water
  • Salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste

For the filling:

  • 1 tablespoon canola or corn oil
  • 2 medium onions, sliced thin
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small green cabbage head, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup farmers cheese, ricotta cheese, or mild, soft chèvre (goat cheese)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Fresh-ground black pepper to taste

  • 8 large flour tortillas


1. Preheat the oven to 450°. Place the bell and jalapeño peppers on a baking sheet, and bake them for 15 minutes or until they are blistered and soft. Let them cool.

2. Make the filling: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, and sauté them for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, cabbage, cumin, and coriander. Sauté, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat. When the mixture has cooled, stir in the cilantro, farmer’s cheese (or ricotta or goat cheese), and the salt and pepper.

3. When the peppers have cooled, remove the skins with your fingers. Chop the peppers coarsely.

4. Make the sauce: In a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Sauté the onion, garlic, and tomatillos until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the ground coriander, and sauté 2 minutes more. Transfer this mixture to a blender or food processor. Add the chopped peppers (jalapeño seeds included, if you want heat), all but 1 tablespoon of the pumpkin seeds, and the water. Blend the sauce until it is almost smooth. Add the salt and pepper.

5. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread 1/3 cup filling down the middle of a flour tortilla. Roll the tortilla tightly, folding in the sides as you roll. Place the rolled tortilla in a 9-by-13-inch casserole pan. Do the same with the remaining seven tortillas, using all of the filling. Pour the sauce over the filled tortillas, and then cover the dish with foil. Bake the enchiladas for 25 minutes.

Serve the enchiladas garnished with the remaining pumpkin seeds.

© 1997 Didi Emmons

Editor's Note

Nutritional information includes 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving.


Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

742kcal (37%)
368mg (37%)
107mg (178%)
60mcg RAE (2%)
16mg (5%)
1540mg (64%)
7g (36%)
29g (45%)
8mg (45%)

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