Enchiladas Bandera! Vegetarian Enchiladas

This year, for Cinco de Mayo, I finally managed to get it together enough to plan (a whole 48 hours in advance) with our friend Carlos to share his mom’s avocado enchiladas recipe — aka Enchiladas Banderas. We’ve been talking about doing this recipe for over a year, since the first time he made these for us at our friend Amalia’s house. Dayummm. They good, alright. Vegetarian, healthy, fast, fresh (and cheap if you live in Guadalajara, or somewhere else where avocados literally grow on trees) these vegetarian enchiladas are definitely a new weekly special around my house.


In the video, we make the avocado filling and a fresh tomato salsa, but my favorite part is the super-simple assembly. Forget layers of enchiladas packed in a casserole dish. Hayell naw. These are rolled up individually with the filling, then topped with some crema, drowned in the warm salsa, and sprinkled with two Mexican cheeses. Watch the video to see how easy enchiladas can be.


Carlos says the salsa is a basic one that can be used for many other recipes, such as chilaquiles, to which I can fully attest. We had the most badass chilaquiles the next day with the left over salsa. You can make the salsa a few days ahead of time, too, and keep it in the fridge for an even faster dinner when you’re ready.


Avocado Enchiladas – Enchiladas Bandera!

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4.9 from 8 reviews

  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


  • Avocado Filling:
  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 white onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup minced cilantro
  • 12 serranos or jalapeños, minced (and seeded for less heat)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Salsa:
  • 56 Roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 white onion, large chunks
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 28 chiles de arbol
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Pinch dried oregano
  • Black pepper
  • Optional: 4-8 ounces tomato sauce (for a redder color)
  • For Enchiladas:
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • Crema Mexicana (or sour cream if you can’t find that)
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese
  • 1/2 cup queso fresco


  1. Make the filling first. Mash the flesh of the avocados until smooth. Add all other filling ingredients and set aside.
  2. For the salsa, Cut the tops off the tomatoes and cut them in half. Remove the seeds. Combine tomatoes with all other salsa ingredients except tomato sauce in a pot and add 2 cups water. Bring to boil over high heat, uncovered, and let boil about 8 minutes, or until tomatoes and onions are soft.
  3. Puree with an immersion blender or in a blender in batches until smooth. Add tomato sauce if you’d like a richer, redder color to your sauce.
  4. Warm tortillas in the microwave for a few seconds or steam them to soften.
  5. For each serving, place two tortillas on a plate, fill with 2 tablespoons avocado mixture, roll up tightly. Spread about a tablespoon of crema on them, then drench in the hot salsa (1/4 cup or more). Top with a couple tablespoons of the cheeses, which have been crumbled together.


  • Serving Size: 2 enchiladas
  • Calories: 523
  • Fat: 37
  • Carbohydrates: 43
  • Protein: 12

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  1. Great Stone Face on April 30, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Carlos suggests using tomato puree in the salsa to redden it. Your recipe says to use (optionally) 4-8 ounces of tomato sauce. For additional spices and flavor, I’d prefer the tomato sauce in your recipe.

    • Hilah on May 1, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      Oh yes, I tend to use the words sauce and puree interchangeably, though a tomato puree is a little thicker and not as smooth as tomato sauce, right? He uses sauce.
      One thing, too, that I noticed was that the salsa gets redder and darker each time it’s reheated so … well, I don’t know, just thought I’d mention it!

  2. Bkhuna on May 1, 2013 at 1:36 am

    These look tasty. All they need is some shredded chicken in the filling and you’re on to something.


    • Hilah on May 1, 2013 at 2:38 pm

      Haha! Yes, we have a friend who hates avocado (freak! 😉 and he makes these with chicken instead for her. What a nice guy!

  3. Great Stone Face on May 1, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    I had a thought. If the purpose of the added tomato sauce is to redden the enchilada sauce, how about using a seasoned tomato paste instead? Hunt’s (and I sure other companies) makes a basil, garlic, and oregano tomato paste. Do you think that would work? I thought it might redeen the enchilada sauce more and would intensify the flavor, too. If you think this’d work, how much paste would you use?

    • Great Stone Face on May 1, 2013 at 4:04 pm

      I should proofread. “and I sure” should read “and I am sure”. “redeen” should read “redden”

  4. Jessicajch on May 7, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Oh my god! I tried these tonight and am totally satisfied! I used bottled salsa because I don’t have an immersion blender and was too impatient to make my own. But oh man was this good! Thanks for posting your recipes, Hilah!

    • Hilah on May 8, 2013 at 1:34 pm

      Hi Jessica! I’m so happy to hear that! I’ll tell Carlos, too. 🙂

  5. Dana Garden on May 12, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Ohhhhh … just can’t wait to make these enchiladas! My Mexican butcher is getting me some sweetbreads and chunky pork on the bones to cook up this Wednesday … want to try that combination.

    • Hilah on May 13, 2013 at 4:26 pm

      Oh wow, Dana! You are hardcore! Sounds like quite a Mexican feast you have planned. Enjoy!

  6. Beth on May 13, 2013 at 12:58 am

    I made these enchiladas for dinner tonight they were RAD! You’re recipes and cooking videos are the best! Thank you for being awesome! 🙂

    • Hilah on May 13, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      Yay!! Thanks, Beth! 🙂 So glad you enjoyed these.

  7. Nathan on May 18, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Tu amigo is very cute 🙂 Love your work and can’t wait to try these tonight!

    • Hilah on May 19, 2013 at 9:21 am

      Heehee! Stay tuned for more Carlos in the future. He has a TON of recipes he wants to share. Hope you liked the enchiladas!

  8. Whatsurproblm on May 19, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Deliciosas enchiladas, yo las he hecho con salsa roja o verde . Gracias por la receta !

  9. Sara on July 16, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Love this recipe, makin’ it this week for sure! One plus about living in Arizona is that avocados are pretty cheap 🙂 Thanks Hilah!!!

    • Hilah on July 17, 2013 at 9:38 am

      Aw, yeah, Sara! Enjoy! I’m sure you will. They are amazing. 🙂

  10. The Other Randy on September 13, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Even considering how many gallons of guacamole have been delivered to my mouth via corn tortillas in their triangular, fried state and how much I love cheesey dishes made with tortillas in their rolled, baked state, it’s still not surprising that my lack of imagination never inspired me to think of making enchiladas with a guacamole filling. But how on earth could such a fantastic dish stay off of an enchilada fiend’s radar completely until now?

    I did make the guacamole slightly differently. Same ingredients, but using a technique I found in one of Roberto Santibeñiz’s cookbooks. Start by making a paste from the onion, chile, salt and half of the cilantro by pounding them in a molcajete or on a cutting board using a chef’s knife to mash the ingredients. Add the avocado cubes and stir into the paste as if dressing a salad. And finally add the remaining cilantro and mash it up but leaving some nice chunks of avacado intact. It is really amazing at what this technique means in terms of flavor: every component’s flavor seems intensified.

    With an eye towards freezing what remained of the salsa after making just 3 enchiladas for just me, I used tomato sauce in the salsa. It tasted wonderful, but I was slightly disappointed that mine turned out a bit thicker than what you and Carlos made on the show. I thought that yours looked much more elegant.

    Where did you get the crumbled cotija in a bag? It’s such a pain in the ass to crumble it, it’d be worth buying it even though crumbling a solid block right before making the enchiladas probably has slightly better flavor.

    Thanks so much, Carlos and Hilah!!!

  11. stephen Wasserman on August 13, 2015 at 8:12 am

    Hello Hilah.
    We were visiting george Town last weekend and we were all watching your cooking shows.
    You are greeat, we really enjoyed your shows.
    Also went down town to the pretzel place after viewing that clip!

    • Hilah on August 13, 2015 at 1:56 pm

      Oh cool! I hope you enjoyed your visit. 🙂

  12. Elsie on October 22, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    This recipe looks so good. I plan to make it soon. Can you also share the chilaquiles recipe?

  13. Fraser on March 29, 2016 at 11:42 am

    We really liked this recipe. I agree with The Other Randy – How did this not occur to us sooner. Good to add another veggie recipe to the arsenal.


  14. Charlotte on April 29, 2016 at 3:23 am

    Hi there,

    Over in the UK we don’t have a ready source of Mexican cheeses 🙁 Any suggestions of what I could use instead?


    • Hilah on April 30, 2016 at 8:16 am

      Hi Charlotte!
      Try a mild cow’s milk feta in place of the Mexican cheeses. That will be pretty close.

  15. Velma on August 16, 2020 at 6:10 pm

    Made this dish today and it was a big hit with everyone especially my husband. Now that speaks volumes because he doesn’t really like avocados. It was so light I will definitely be making this again!

  16. Minal Dalal on February 9, 2021 at 11:27 am

    We love these enchiladas!! Thank you so much for this amazing recipe.

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