Tortilla Rojo Bake

Tortilla Rojo Bake
6 servings

It’s one-half lasagna, one-half lazy enchiladas and one hundred percent so, so good. Instead of wrapping vegetables inside each tortilla and then bathing them in sauce and a blanket of cheese, I layer the tortillas lasagna-style with sheet pan–cooked cabbage, poblanos, mushrooms, and onions, add some cheese (you don’t have to), and the sweet, smoky pureed red chile rojo sauce. Use the Charred Tomatillo Salsa (page 16), too, if you prefer, or your favorite purchased enchilada-style sauce.



cups very thinly sliced napa cabbage
red onion, halved and thinly sliced
oz mushrooms, stemmed, caps thinly sliced
serrano or jalapeño chile, stemmed (seeded for reduced heat, if you like) and thinly sliced crosswise
garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½
tsp kosher salt
tsp freshly ground black pepper
corn tortillas (6" each)
2 ¾
cups Guajillo Chile Sauce (see below)
cups shredded Mexican cheese blend or a combination of mozzarella and Monterey Jack cheeses (optional)
scallions, thinly sliced
cup crumbled Cotija cheese (optional)
cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Guajillo Chile Sauce

dried guajillo chiles (about 2 ounces; see Note)
ancho chile
1 ½
cups boiling water
lb(s) plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 ½
tsp kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling
can (14 oz) chopped tomatoes (preferably fire roasted)
garlic cloves, roughly chopped
Tbsp dark brown sugar
tsp dried oregano
tsp ground cumin
tsp ground coriander



Note: Guajillo chiles are the dried version of the mirasol chile pepper. They are a deep scarlet color and, generally, 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide and 2 1/2 to 4 inches long. They have a mild, sweet, fruity flavor. A pasilla chile or ancho chile can be used as a substitute.

Step 1

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, place a rimmed jelly roll–size sheet pan on it, and preheat the oven to 400°F.

Step 2

Place the cabbage, red onion, mushrooms, chile, and garlic in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, salt, and pepper and toss to combine. Turn the vegetables out onto the hot sheet pan and roast, stirring every 10 minutes, until the mushrooms are browned, 25 to 35 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a heatproof bowl and save the sheet pan for Step 4 (no need to wash it).

Step 3

Meanwhile, warm the tortillas directly over a gas burner set to medium heat, turning occasionally, or in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until the tortilla just starts to blister and becomes more pliable, 30 to 45 seconds per side. (I like how the edges get a little charred, but you can also stack the tortillas in 2 piles, wrap each in a damp paper towel followed by a sheet of aluminum foil, and place them in the oven until warmed through, 5 to 8 minutes.)

Step 4

Spread about 1/2 cup sauce over the bottom of the sheet pan in a thin, even layer. Lay the tortillas in the pan, overlapping them slightly. Cover with one-third of the vegetables, spreading them in an even layer. Spoon 3/4 cup sauce over the vegetables, spreading it out as best you can with the back of a spoon. Cover with 1 cup shredded cheese (if using). Repeat 2 times with 2 more layers of tortillas, vegetables, sauce, and shredded cheese.

Step 5

Bake until the cheese melts, 15 to 20 minutes. If not using cheese, bake until the tortillas are warmed through and the top layer of sauce looks dry, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve sprinkled with scallions, Cotija (if using), and cilantro.

Step 6

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 375°F.

Step 7

Place a wire cooling rack inside a rimmed sheet pan and place the guajillo and ancho chiles on the rack. Roast the chiles until they are fragrant and begin to darken, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the chiles to a medium-size bowl and cover with the boiling water. Put a plate on the chiles to submerge them and set the bowl aside for 20 minutes.

Step 8

Increase the oven temperature to 400°F. Remove the wire rack from the sheet pan and line the pan with a piece of parchment paper. Toss the tomatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a medium-size bowl, then place them on the sheet pan, cut side up. Roast until they are juicy, about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the tomatoes to a blender.

Step 9

Remove the chiles from the water (save the water in the bowl). Discard the stems and slice the chiles open lengthwise. Scrape away the seeds and add the chiles to the blender, along with 1 cup of the reserved soaking water, the canned tomatoes, the garlic, sugar, oregano, cumin, coriander, and remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Blend at medium speed until very smooth.

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