Enchiladas de Guatemala

Enchiladas de Guatemala

For Cinco de Mayo, I was searching for a great appetizer recipe to bring to the parties and came across bite size chip appetizer which reminded me of the typical tostada/enchilada appetizers I ate when I was in Guatemala.  I have wanted to make them since I got back from my trip, but completely forgot about them!

El Jicaro, one of the villages we worked at in Guatemala

The typical food in Guatemala is unbelievable.  With so many different types of typical food, so I tried new food all the time!  We ate guatemalan tortillas (so much better than traditional Mexican-style ones), frijoles, tamals de chipilin (my favorite), chiles relleno, chuchitos, chicharrones, tostadas, and these enchiladas!

In Guatemala, enchiladas are not your typical American-style enchiladas.  There, enchiladas are fried tortillas topped with lettuce, pickled vegetables, beets and cheese.  This was the very first thing I ate when I arrived in Guatemala.  We were at Jose’s place and got to meet everyone :)

Guatemalan food
Typical Food Appetizer plate, from one of the restaurants

I was very nostalgic when making this dish because my Guatemala trip was probably one of the best trips I have ever taken.  While traveling this beautiful country, I met the most amazing, welcoming, and self-less friends.  I miss all my friends there so much!  I know my dish can’t quite compare to my friends’ versions… but it was a decent attempt :)  Typically, the enchiladas have cotija cheese, but I used goat cheese instead!

Enchiladas de Guatemala

  • 1 bag tortilla round chips
  • 4 beets, shredded
  • 4 cups cabbage
  • 1 cup carrots
  • 1.25 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 bag arugula
  • 2.5 T brown sugar
  1. Cut, peel and shred beets (this was quite a workout!) Set aside.
  2. Boil a pot of water
  3. Combine cabbage and carrots in a bowl
  4. Pour the boiling water over the cabbage mixture, cover for 5 minutes, until veggies are soft, then drain
  5. Combine the cabbage mixture, beets and rice vinegar.
  6. Mix it all together and chill overnight in the fridge (it is such a pretty color!)
  7. I added a small bit of brown sugar the next morning to make it a little sweeter (optional)
Enchiladas de Guatemala
Beets, Cabbage and Carrots
Enchiladas de Guatemala
Pickled with Rice Vinegar
Enchiladas de Guatemala
Right before the party, assemble the dish by placing a chip with arugula, a spoonful of the pickled beets and top with goat cheese.  As you can see in the pictures, the pickled vegetables turn to a darker pink/red overnight.  They are so aesthetically pleasing… I couldn’t stop taking pictures of them.
Enchiladas de Guatemala
Enchiladas de Guatemala
In Guatemala, they would serve these enchiladas on a platter along with tostadas, which are fried tortillas topped with black beans or guacamole.  In my attempt to be as Chapine as possible, I made a version with a spread of American black beans!
Enchiladas de Guatemala


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  • Reply
    March 23, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Ok so these look great!! I’ve been to Guatemala 3 times, going back the end of this year. I am also in love with their delicious food! Your version of the enchiladas is right on! They look like the ones I made. I’m making them again this week, love it!!

    • Reply
      March 23, 2014 at 11:25 pm

      Hi Jill! Thank you for your note! I am so jealous you have been 3 times, I have been dying to go back. I haven’t made these in awhile, and you have sparked my desire to make them again :) Let me know how it turns out!

  • Reply
    Quinoa Citrus Salad - The Fresh Find
    March 9, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    […] addition to the Enchiladas that I brought to the Cinco de Mayo parties, I also made a quinoa salad, inspired by one of my […]

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