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The Best Friday Night Enchiladas

We try to avoid using pre-prepared cooking sauces and meal kits too often but there is one exception which has always been a weakness of mine and that is the Old El Paso Enchilada kits. These were a regular Friday night staple for us for many years. Over the last few weeks, I have made it a mission to try create a sauce that mimics the flavours of these kits using typical store cupboard ingredients, and I think I've finally cracked it! It looks like a lot of ingredients but I guarantee you'll already have most if not all in the cupboard, and it's super easy to make. If you have any sauce left over, it'll keep in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 10 days, or you can freeze it for up to a month.

INGREDIENTS (makes 8 enchiladas)

For the enchilada sauce:

- 3 tablespoons flour

- 3 tablespoons rapeseed oil (or other vegetable oil)

- 1 tin chopped tomatoes

- 1 tablespoon tomato puree

- 1/2 tablespoon chilli powder (up to a tablespoon if you like it really spicy!)

- 1 teaspoon kashmiri chilli powder or smoked paprika

- 2 teaspoons dried oregano

- 1 teaspoon cumin

- 1 teaspoon garlic powder

- 1 teaspoon onion powder

- 2 teaspoons sugar

- Water (fill 1/3 of the empty tomato can)

- Juice 1/2 lime (if needed as a cooling agent)

- season to taste

For the Enchiladas:

- 600g chicken, diced

- 1/4 block cheese grated (or more of you like them really cheesy!)

- 8 Corn tortilla wraps

- 1 red onion

- 1 red pepper

- salt and pepper


  1. To make the sauce, add the oil to a saucepan and place on a medium heat then add the flour and whisk until combined.

  2. Add all the remaining sauce ingredients except the lime juice and leave to simmer for 15 minutes. Use a hand mixer/blender to blitz the sauce until smooth then season to taste. Different chilli powders are hotter than others - our is super spicy so we tend to be cautious with amounts. If the sauce is too spicy, you can add in the juice of half a lime to reduce the heat then set aside.

  3. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees (fan).

  4. Chop the chicken into bitesize pieces, and slice the pepper and red onion.

  5. Place a deep frying pan on a high heat with a drizzle of oil. Once heated, add the chicken, onions and the peppers and cook through.

  6. When the chicken is golden, add just under half the enchilada sauce and a generous handful of grated cheese and mix together.

  7. To assemble, place 1/8 of the filling into each wrap. Roll each one up and assemble in an ovenproof dish.

  8. Top with a thin layer of the enchilada sauce and sprinkle on some extra cheese.

  9. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until the cheese has browned then remove from the oven and leave to sit for a couple of minutes to allow them to firm up.

  10. Serve up and enjoy!

You could do this with any vegetable combinations you like.- mushrooms, aubergine and sweetcorn also work well. If you wanted to make the recipe fully vegetarian, you also could bulk up the mixture with black beans.

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