No-Bake Vegetarian Enchiladas


The recipe here is based on a dish created by Josef Centeno's great-grandmother, who raised 12 kids. Because meat was expensive, she often made enchiladas using only vegetables, like carrots and potatoes. For his enchiladas, Centeno makes a sofrito, cooking carrots low and slow in olive oil with garlic and tomatoes.

No-Bake Vegetarian Enchiladas
Photo: © Con Poulos
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs
4 to 6


carrot sofrito

  • 1 1/4 pounds carrots, coarsely chopped

  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped

  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled

  • 1/2 pound tomatoes, chopped

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt


  • 9 ounces queso fresco, crumbled (about 2 cups)

  • 1 cup finely chopped cilantro

  • 3/4 cup finely chopped red onion

  • Canola oil, for warming

  • 12 corn tortillas

  • Smoky tomatillo salsa

  • Mexican crema or sour cream, for drizzling


make the carrot sofrito

  1. Preheat the oven to 225°. In a food processor, pulse the carrots, onion and garlic until very finely chopped. Scrape the mixture into a medium bowl. Add the tomatoes to the food processor and pulse until nearly smooth.

  2. In a medium, deep ovenproof skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the carrot mixture and a generous pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened slightly and nearly dry, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the tomato puree and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 6 tablespoons of olive oil. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours until the carrot sofrito is very soft. Season with salt, cover and keep warm over low heat, stirring occasionally.

assemble the enchiladas

  1. In a medium bowl, toss the crumbled queso fresco with the cilantro and red onion.

  2. In a small skillet, heat 1/2 inch of canola oil over moderately low heat. Add 1 tortilla to the skillet and cook until just pliable, about 20 seconds. Using tongs, transfer the tortilla to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

  3. Working quickly, roll a scant 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture in each tortilla and arrange them on a large platter, seam side down. Spoon the hot sofrito over the enchiladas and scatter the remaining cheese mixture on top; drizzle some of the smoky tomatillo salsa and crema over them and serve, passing additional salsa and crema at the table.

Suggested Pairing

Sweet carrots pair wonderfully with minerally German Riesling.

Related Articles