Enchiladas with Broccoli

“Unlike enchiladas, burritos are eaten without any utensils. On the other hand, forks and knives are needed for eating enchiladas.” ~ Difference Between.com

I adapted this dish from a recipe I clipped from a newspaper decades ago. If you have cooked sauce or bottled salsa, and fresh broccoli, this dish is ready to eat in an hour; 45 minutes of that is baking time.


Enchiladas with Broccoli

Enchiladas with Broccoli

Pre-Columbians invented the corn tortilla and filled it with various meats and fish. They often stacked the filled tortillas and covered them with salsa.

Enchiladas first appeared in a cookbook in 1831.The modern enchilada is a long way from the original and survives today in many forms.

Traveling in Mexico you find wide variations on what are real enchiladas with ingredients that vary from one street corner to another. Most enchiladas contain meat or fish and plenty of vegetables both Old World and New.


Ancient Romans cultivated broccoli from wild cabbage; Italian immigrants brought broccoli to the US during colonial times. It is not a traditional Mexican ingredient but is perfect in these enchiladas adding a deep flavor and outstanding nutrition. Note: this is a good recipe for using broccoli stems. Cut them very small, or grate them so that they thoroughly cook.

Tomatoes are native to western South America and were first cultivated in what is now Mexico by Aztecs where the word originated. In winter I use drained canned tomatoes in this recipe and use the drained juice in the sauce.

Chilies are native to the New World where they have been cultivated for 7,000 years.

Cheddar cheese, as my recipe calls for is, of course, not Mexican. I prefer sharp organic Cheddar, but substitute Mexican-style cheese if you like. To learn about Mexican cheeses see here

Corn tortillas are traditional, but I prefer GMO-free whole wheat tortillas. Use what you like and have on-hand.

Salsa makes enchiladas more traditional. Any kind of tomato-based sauce works well in this recipe.


Broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse loaded with beneficial nutrients and cholesterol-lowering benefits. Broccoli contains a wide array of important vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Tomatoes are an outstanding source of lycopene and other antioxidants for good health, as well as important vitamins and minerals. Nutrients in tomatoes are released when tomatoes are cooked.

Chili peppers contain Vitamins A, E, K, B, copper, iron, manganese, and potassium.

Cheese is the main protein source in these enchiladas. If you’re a vegan, replace the cheese with pinto or black beans or homemade cheese to control the ingredients. There are plenty of on-line recipes for making vegan cheese with various nuts.

The salsa or sauce

The original recipe for this dish that I clipped from a newspaper decades ago calls for a 12-ounce jar of picante salsa. Jarred enchilada sauce would work well. I make Mexican seasoned sauce in large batches and freeze them. To make this a quick meal, use whatever sauce you have on hand.

Side dishes

Rice and beans are always good.

Here’s a quick recipe for Mexican rice, made with precooked rice.

Use canned or leftover cooked beans seasoned with chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika. Mash and heat.

Enchiladas with Broccoli
Prep time: 20 minutes if you have the sauce ready
Cooking time: about 45 minutes
You will need a 9 x 13 inch Pyrex baking dish and aluminum foil to cover the pan
Servings: 6


Chilies from my garden

Chilies from my garden

12 to 16 ounces bottled or homemade sauce
6 7-inch tortillas (corn or whole wheat)
1 pound broccoli, finely chopped (see note above)
1 or 2 large tomatoes, diced
or 1 small can diced cooked tomatoes, drained (see above)
1 4-ounce can diced green chilies
2 cups shredded cheese of your choice


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together in a bowl the broccoli, tomatoes, and chilies.
  3. Ladle about ½ cup of the sauce on the bottom of the pan. Moisten each tortilla with sauce and line the tortillas up with an opening at the top. Fill each tortilla with the mixed veggies from the bowl.
  4. Sprinkle grated cheese into each tortilla. Fold the tortillas closed.
  5. Pour on the salsa or sauce.
  6. Cover with aluminum foil, tightly sealed around the edges.
  7. Place in the preheated oven and bake about 45 minutes until the broccoli is fork-tender, the cheese melted, and all ingredients are hot.

Author:Sharon Reese

Lacto-ovo vegetarian for over four decades.

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I will be pleased to hear from you. I’ll try to answer questions you might have about cooking or nutrition.


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