Carne Adovada Enchiladas

Carne Adovada Enchiladas - Red chile enchiladas made with leftover carne adovada or pulled pork |

[Jump to recipe]

Oh…what to do with leftover carne adovada or pulled pork. In this kitchen, it’s normally used to make a batch of enchiladas.  It doesn’t take but about 1 cup of tender braised pork to make enough enchiladas for two people. If you have more than that, then make a larger batch and serve the whole family or family and friends.

Like with any batch of enchiladas, you can keep is simple by just using the meat, tortillas and the desired amount of chile or enchilada sauce, or, you can add other ingredients to create a complete, one dish meal. And that’s what I’ve done with these carne adovada enchiladas. Fresh spinach and onion are added to each layer along with a little sour cream,  and, even though I don’t show it in the pictures, a fried egg is placed on top along with a little more red chile.  Normally, our enchiladas are smothered in red chile, but because the carne adovada was already very spicy, I held back.

The recipe below is enchiladas for 2; however, if you have a larger family to feed, then use a casserole dish large enough for 4 to 6 corn tortillas in one layer.  Build your enchilada layers as described in the recipe until you have 2 to 3 layers.  Top the last layer with corn tortillas and either cheese or red chile sauce.  “Stacking” the layers is my favorite way to make enchiladas.  When enchiladas are made flat they are normally called “stacked” or “flat” enchiladas.  However, if you prefer “rolled” enchiladas, then build your enchiladas by placing a little bit of each ingredient on a tortilla and rolling the tortilla. Place the rolled tortillas on a plate or in a casserole dish and heat through (as described below).

Carne Adovada Enchiladas

Carne Adovada Enchiladas -Red chile enchiladas made with leftover carne adovada or pulled pork |

Red chile enchiladas made with leftover carne adovada or pulled pork |
Print or Save Recipe
Carne Adovada Enchiladas Recipe
15 mins
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins

Meaty and spicy enchiladas.

Build these enchiladas using leftover carne adovada.

"*" See Kitchen Notes for more information or links to special ingredients.

Course: Main Course, Red Chile
Cuisine: New Mexico, Southwestern
Yields: 2 servings
Recipe Author: MJ of MJ's Kitchen
  • 1 cup carne adovada, torn into small pieces*
  • 5-6 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup red chile sauce or sauce from the carne adovada*
  • ½ bunch fresh spinach*, stems removed, leaves chopped
  • ½ cup minced onion
  • cheddar or Montery Jack cheese, grated
  • sour cream (optional)
  • 1 fried egg, over easy or sunny side up per serving (optional)
After assembling, there are two methods one could use for heating these enchiladas - microwave or oven.
  1. For the microwave, assemble each serving of enchiladas on a microwave safe serving plate using 2 to 3 tortillas. Heat in the microwave on high for 2 minutes, remove, top with a fried egg, if desired, and serve.
  2. For the oven, preheat the oven to 350º F. Assemble a multiple layer stack of enchiladas in a small cast iron skillet or oven safe dish using 4 to 6 tortillas. Bake for 20 minutes. Cut into serving size pieces and top each serving with a fried egg and more red chile if desired. Serve and enjoy!
To assemble a layer of enchiladas
  1. Dip a corn tortilla in the red chile sauce (or carne adovada sauce) and place on the plate or skillet. Top with some of the spinach, carne adovada, minced onion, sour cream, and cheese or whatever you want to add.

  2. Dip another corn tortilla in the red chile and place on top of the first stack. Assemble a second layer.
  3. Continue stacking until you have the desired number of layers.
  4. Top the last tortilla with cheese if desired.
  5. Microwave or bake.
  6. Serve with or without an egg, extra red chile, and a side of pinto beans.
Kitchen Notes

Carne Adovada – When I make carne adovada I leave the pork in large pieces. However, for the enchiladas, I’ll use a fork and pull the pieces apart into smaller pieces.  Larger pieces would make these very difficult to stack or roll.


Red Chile Sauce – Sometimes I’ll have enough sauce left in the carne adovada to use it as the red chile sauce.  However, if I don’t, I’ll make some red chile sauce from powder or use red chile I have in the freezer.  The trick here is getting the right balance of heat or spice.  Since carne adovada is usually quite spicy, be careful not to go overboard on the spice in the red chile; otherwise, you’ll be needed some sopapillas and honey to put the fire out.


If you don’t have red chile, you can substitute your favorite enchilada sauce.  Here in New Mexico, our enchilada sauce is a red chile sauce.


If you are using leftover pulled pork, then you will need to make a batch of red chile, either from pods or powder.  Toss the pulled pork in with the sauce OR pour a little sauce on top of each layer during assembly, in addition to dipping the tortillas in the sauce.


Spinach – Because spinach only needs to be wilted, you don’t need to cook it before assembling these enchiladas.  The carne adovada and red chile have enough liquid in them to “steam” the spinach while it cooks in the microwave or oven.


Heating Method – When I want a quick meal and don’t want to heat up the kitchen by turning on the oven, I’ll use the microwave method.  Otherwise, I bake the enchiladas in the oven.  I find the when I bake them in the oven, I do need to add a little red chile to each serving because the sauce bakes into the tortilla as you can see in the picture above.  The microwave method usually yields a rather saucy enchilada; therefore, no additional red chile is needed, unless you want it.


Carne Adovada Enchiladas - Red chile enchiladas made with leftover carne adovada or pulled pork |


If you love these carne adovada enchiladas, then you might also like some of the other enchiladas I make:


Creating Bokeh in photographs

Recently, some people have commented on the “bokeh” in some of my photographs.  Bokeh is “is the quality of out-of-focus or “blurry” parts of the image rendered by a camera lens” ( The bokeh seen in my pictures is one of those “happy accidents”.  Since the majority of my photography is done the a sunroom where there are some rather large plants, I have the privileged of using those plants for background.  Below on the left is a Jade Tree that sits at the end of my photography table.  As you can see, it extends above the surface of the table (on the left of the shot).  When I shoot with the plant in the background, I can create bokeh with my depth of field setting (aperture) or f-stop.  For the picture in the middle, the f-stop was at f/1.8.  For the picture on the right, it was f/16.

Jade Tree used to create bokah for photographs' backgroundRed chile enchiladas made with leftover carne adovada or pulled pork | mjskitchen.comRed chile enchiladas made with leftover carne adovada or pulled pork |

Since I normally shoot in the afternoon when the light is the brightest in the sunroom, I use a diffuser in the window next to the photography table and let the sun shine bright on the jade.  And thus my happy accident is created.



Tags: , ,

50 Responses to “Carne Adovada Enchiladas”

  1. Chris October 26, 2015 at 6:08 pm #

    I lived in NM for 10 years. Now I’m down south, and there is no good Mexican food. I always took for granted that there would be someone around who could cook all the delicious food so I didn’t learn how to make so much of it, I did all the BBQ and meat smoking lol. I just found your site today and have spent the last hour combing through recipes. Luckily someone from NM brought me some dried red chile, so for the next week I will be making as much of your recipes as possible before running out of chile ?????

    • mj October 26, 2015 at 8:20 pm #

      Chris, thank you SO MUCH for your comment! I’m thrilled that you found my site. Did you find it through a search or was it shared with you. (Just curious). What a fun week you have planned! I hope you enjoy the recipes. Please let me know when you get a chance. Thanks again for your nice comment!

  2. swathi February 26, 2015 at 10:09 pm #

    Lovely enchiladas, MJ you make me hungry around 11 .00 clock night.

    • mj March 1, 2015 at 8:54 pm #

      Oh it’s never to late for enchiladas. 🙂

  3. Asmita February 26, 2015 at 7:50 am #

    Looks glorious!

    • mj February 26, 2015 at 12:58 pm #

      Thanks Asmita!

  4. Bam's Kitchen February 25, 2015 at 10:45 pm #

    Thanks for the wonderful idea! Wow this carne adovada enchiladas looks dreamy. I need to catch with all of your wonderful recipes! Sharing, of course!

    • mj February 26, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

      Thank Bobbi! Your boys would love the enchiladas. 🙂

  5. All That I'm Eating February 24, 2015 at 10:01 am #

    This sounds great, not tried anything similar to it before.

    • mj February 24, 2015 at 4:18 pm #


  6. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles February 23, 2015 at 10:00 pm #

    I love how you’ve worked the spinach in here MJ – such a clever idea and I know exactly what you mean about the delicate leaves wilting under the influence of heat. The steam effect is all you need, perfect. This looks like the kind of meal our entire family would welcome any day. Loved your notes on creating bokeh! Yes, indeed I had noticed this great effect but would have never guessed it was from a jade tree. I tend to shoot overhead I think but when I do need a vertical background I generally just use white and have not been very experimental in this regard… your fresh idea is something I will definitely keep in mind. So pretty!

    • mj February 24, 2015 at 4:18 pm #

      I figured you would like the way I squeezed in some spinach. 🙂 The bokeh…interesting effect isn’t it? The first time it happened I was like “What? What the heck caused that!?” 🙂 Gotta love those happy accidents.

  7. Evelyne@cheapethniceatz February 23, 2015 at 4:39 pm #

    I do love pulled pork, great recipe for it. I like how the dish is stacked an thumbs up on the fried egg!

    • mj February 24, 2015 at 4:16 pm #

      Thanks Evelyne! If you haven’t tried stacking enchiladas, you should give it a try. So much easier than rolling them.

  8. Dedy@Dentist Chef February 23, 2015 at 6:13 am #

    Simply damn delicious hot spicy enchiladas!!!!

    • mj February 24, 2015 at 4:16 pm #

      Thanks Dedy!

  9. Raymund February 22, 2015 at 12:19 pm #

    That pork looks very tender and juicy, perfect filling to any tortilla.

    • mj February 22, 2015 at 9:13 pm #

      Thanks Raymund!

  10. Roz @ La Bella Vita Cucina February 22, 2015 at 9:58 am #

    I am so wanting these enchiladas MJ! And truthfully ANY of your mouthwatering enchilada recipes that you included in this post! We have such a weakness for Mexican food and I’m SO not very good at preparing it. Too bad we live so far from each other, I need a mentor!!!
    Thanks for ALL of these delicious enchilada recipes!

    • mj February 22, 2015 at 9:13 pm #

      Thanks so much Roz! I can see that you’re an enchiladas lover like I am. Hope you do get a chance to try one of these recipes. They are so easy and quite tasty. 🙂

  11. Sissi February 22, 2015 at 8:55 am #

    As you might remember, I love pork, so both carne adovada and these enchiladas are already on my long list of planned dishes. And one more way to use the delicious chile sauce!!!
    I have never heard of the bokeh term, but I like the blurred things behind the main object too. Your photographs are always extremely well-made and beautiful, anyway.

    • mj February 22, 2015 at 9:09 pm #

      Thanks so much Sissi! Oh yes, I do remember how much you love pork. Girl…you would love carne adovada! Thanks for the comments on my photos.

  12. Joanne February 22, 2015 at 6:05 am #

    Sounds like you’re making great use of those leftovers! Looks delicious!

    • mj February 22, 2015 at 9:06 pm #

      Thanks Joanne! I’m pretty good with leftovers. In fact, my husband calls me the “leftover queen”. 🙂

  13. Tamara Andersen February 21, 2015 at 6:37 pm #

    I am so glad I found you MJ! New Mexican cooking is so wonderful, and it’s great to have a fellow food blogger with great ideas for using our local ingredients. These enchiladas look awesome, and we do pork and red chile a few times each year, so we’ll give this one a try!


    • mj February 22, 2015 at 9:06 pm #

      Thanks so much Tamara! Hope you do get a chance to make them.

  14. Karen (Back Road Journal) February 21, 2015 at 11:36 am #

    I haven’t had enchiladas in a long time and your stacked version sounds great.

    • mj February 22, 2015 at 9:04 pm #

      Sounds like it’s time for some enchiladas Karen. 🙂

  15. Viviane Bauquet Farre February 20, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

    Gorgeous color, MJ! The idea of putting a fried egg on top makes it sound even more delicious.

    • mj February 22, 2015 at 9:04 pm #

      thanks Viviane!

  16. Katerina February 20, 2015 at 12:36 am #

    I love, love enchiladas but I would take the mild version with the sauce from the carne adovada. I like the addition of spinach and egg too. A very filling meal!

    • mj February 20, 2015 at 10:12 am #

      Thanks Katerina! Sounds like you wouldn’t need any extra sauce. 🙂

  17. Carol at /Wild Goose Tea February 19, 2015 at 11:02 am #

    Okay, you REALLY hooked me this time. Pulled pork as the meat in this fab
    ‘enchilada’ casserole. I am in love! Mouth watering.

    • mj February 20, 2015 at 10:11 am #

      So glad to have set the hook Carol! 🙂

  18. minnie@thelady8home February 19, 2015 at 7:13 am #

    That’s lovely!! I am sure it tastes as divine as it looks. Pulled pork is in my list of things I am going to cook this week, so it will be a good time to try this. Thanks so much!

    • mj February 19, 2015 at 9:16 am #

      Thanks Minnie! I hope you have some leftover pork so you can give this a try. it’s so good! 🙂

  19. Shashi at RunninSrilankan February 18, 2015 at 11:50 am #

    I am so glad you didn’t photograph that fried egg cause that would have taken me from sitting here drooling to licking my computer screen! 🙂
    And thanks for the lesson on trying to capture your bokeh technique, Mj!

    • mj February 18, 2015 at 7:15 pm #

      Thanks Shashi! Oh I know – the fried egg really takes these enchiladas over the edge. 🙂

  20. mimi February 18, 2015 at 7:01 am #

    That is one beautiful enchilada! I love the way you put it together. That one photo with the beans is to die for!!!

    • mj February 18, 2015 at 7:14 pm #

      Thank mimi! Beans and enchiladas – a heavenly combo. 🙂

  21. Angie@Angie's Recipes February 18, 2015 at 2:16 am #

    This looks AMAZINGLY delicious, MJ, and so are the photos!

    • mj February 18, 2015 at 7:13 pm #

      Thanks so much Angie!

  22. John@Kitchen Riffs February 17, 2015 at 9:24 pm #

    I love carne adovada. And drooled over your post for it earlier this year. Still haven’t made any, and I need to. If for no other reason, so I can make these enchiladas! Great idea. Love the pictures, too. Thanks for this.

    • mj February 18, 2015 at 7:13 pm #

      Thanks so much John! I batch of carne supplies 2 people with lots of meal. I made a carne adovada frito pie tonight with leftovers from the leftover carne. 🙂

  23. Debra February 17, 2015 at 8:16 pm #

    Well, obviously I have missed some great recipes here. I’ve been slacking. Thanks for a recipe for two. I loved the stacked goodness here with the spinach and onions. Love me some red sauce, too.

    • mj February 18, 2015 at 7:10 pm #

      Thanks Debra! I know what you mean about missing stuff. Visited your site yesterday and found lots of great stuff!

  24. Judy @Savoring Today February 17, 2015 at 4:56 pm #

    Yes, yes, yes. Looks amazing! I just made pulled pork for sandwiches and have plenty leftover to make this too — oh yum! 🙂

    • mj February 17, 2015 at 7:19 pm #

      AND you have some red chile sauce. 🙂 Enjoy!

  25. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef February 17, 2015 at 4:55 pm #

    That top photo is dreamy!

    • mj February 17, 2015 at 7:18 pm #

      Thanks Maureen!

I love hearing from my visitors, so please leave a comment. Thanks for dropping by!