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Spicy Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce

This dish can be assembled up to eight hours ahead of time; refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, until ready to bake (add a few minutes to the cooking time).

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
Spicy Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce

Source: Everyday Food, May 2004


  • 1/2 leftover Thyme-Roasted Chicken with Potatoes, skin removed, meat shredded
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 jalapeno chile, quartered (remove ribs and seeds for less heat, if desired)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 8 corn tortillas (6-inch)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese (6 ounces)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine chicken and scallions. Season generously with salt and pepper; set aside.

  2. In a blender, puree pumpkin, garlic, jalapeno, chili powder, 2 1/2 cups water, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until smooth (hold top firmly as blender will be quite full). Pour 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of an 8-inch square (or other shallow 2-quart) baking dish.

  3. Lay tortillas on work surface; mound chicken mixture on half of each tortilla, dividing evenly. Roll up tortillas; place, seam side down, in baking dish.

  4. Pour remaining sauce on top; sprinkle with cheese. Place dish on a baking sheet; bake until cheese is golden and sauce is bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Reviews (17)

  • souprgirl 6 Nov, 2014

    I have made this recipe three times and it never works for me. I am an experienced cook and have no issues with recipes in general, but somehow this one never tastes good. It's both spicy and bland at the same time. I've tried to make it work, but this recipe just isn't for me.

  • Doug McDonnell 22 Jan, 2015

    I too tried this recipe and was disappointed. But I solved it! The sauce needs to be thinned with chicken stock and add chipotle (in adobo) and some brown sugar, as a start… Season it up!! My family likes it slightly sweet and spicy. The next big fix was the tortilla. Use corn and dip them briefly in hot oil before stuffing. Without this step they (the tortilla) just got mushy and fell apart. Family loves them - serve with sour cream and some nice ripe avocado. Don't give up on this recipe.

  • mmhanigan1 30 Sep, 2014

    Great way to use leftover tortillas. I've also made it with leftover Thanksgiving turkey.
    and added sauteed onion, green pepper and spinach or swiss chard. Use chicken stock in the puree instead of water or mix both.

  • Minnesota cuisine 21 Apr, 2013

    I made this recipe for friends, and it was terrific! I'm allergic to sodium phosphate, so I substituted 2 sodium-solution-free chicken breasts. I prefer a little more zing, so next time I would double the chili powder and add the juice of a lime to the pumpkin sauce; also, I would add chopped cilantro to the chicken and onion mix. I used authentic Mexican corn tortillas (warmed 30 secs in the microwave for pliability), and they easily fit into an 8x8 pan.

  • mbeau21 19 Mar, 2012

    This is a keeper!! I'm a college student and my roommates and I take turns cooking dinner. All together there are usually nine of us. I tripled the recipe and didn't jalapenos, and I used about a cup less water for the sauce. They were SOO good. And heavenly for pumpkin lovers like myself. Yay!!

  • orangek8 27 Dec, 2011

    This was totally delicious. The only thing I would note was that this definitely didn't fit in an 8 inch square pan for me. I had to use a 9X13. I'll be making this again for SURE!

  • britnym 4 Oct, 2011

    Delicious!! Enchiladas are a staple in our house, however we usually use a family recipe and they are way to hot for our 3 yr old. Thought I'd try this an alternate. They were so good, very full of flavor and our daughter love them too! I left out the jalapeno and topped them with a little sour cream. I also used 2 garlic and oregeno roasted chicken breasts and pumpkin I had roasted. If you want your tortillas not to fall apart you can lightly fry them in oil first.

  • pickettje 26 Sep, 2010

    I have to agree with all the "love it" comments above... I used a New Zealand White Cheddar and it. was. delicious.

  • gmcknight 5 Mar, 2010

    Absolutely delicious.

  • tthau 9 Oct, 2009

    this looks really good, but we're not fans of spicy foods. Do you think it's possible to make it mild? Woudl I just not include the jalapeno?

  • beththompson 16 Jun, 2009

    this was delicious! i used 2 chicken breasts instead of the roasted chicken and sauteed them with some onion, then shredded. the mixture made enough for more than 8 tortillas - so i made a second batch and froze it for later.

  • mongtz 4 Mar, 2009

    This is really good, but I changed the jalapen n n n o for chipotle

  • monumentallybusy 19 Feb, 2009

    We roasted a pie pumpkin for this but didn't have enough pumpkin so we added a sweet potato to make up the total 15oz of pumpkin/sweet potato which was very tasty. Also, we thought the 8-inch square baking dish was too small. We used a 9x13 and used 6 8inch whole wheat flour tortillas instead. This used all the sauce and made enough for 6 servings instead of 4. I would also top with sour cream and guacamole.

  • talarc 12 Feb, 2009

    i really didn't like this at all. it was edible, but i won't be making it again. i love pumpkin, but it didn't do anything for this meal -- pretty flavorless. this would've tasted better with a tomato based sauce, more like a traditional enchilada

  • paigedoliver 13 Oct, 2008

    My family really liked this. The sauce isn't overwhelmingly "pumpkiny" or at all sweet - it's just good. Yes, your corn tortillas are going to get super soft - that's the charm of corn tortillas. If you want them to hold up better, use flour tortillas, but you'll miss out on all that good sauced-filled taste. I had a little leftover sauce that I put over pasta with sage. Now I want to just keep making the sauce and finding an excuse to use it.

  • Bila75 9 Aug, 2008

    wow this sounds great..i'll have to give it a try!

  • dwhitney08 16 Jun, 2008

    Did anyone else's tortillas fall apart during baking? Not sure if it was a fluke, but it tasted great regardless!
    We loved the sauce so much i made a second batch, froze in small portions and served over grilled chicken topped with either scallions, cilantro, tortilla strips or pepitas. SO GOOD, quick, and healthy when you're not splurging on the whole enchilada!

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