Enchiladas de Acelgas (Swiss Chard/Spinach Enchiladas)

Do you ever go through phases with certain foods?  I have been on an acelga kick for quite some time.  I can't get enough of them.  Acelgas is the Spanish word for Swiss chard, but depending on your produce vendor here in Mexico, you could end up with either Swiss chard or Spinach.  Good thing I'm crazy about both, and that the two are completely interchangeable in today's recipe and in this introduction.

If my grandmother was still with us, she'd tell you that I've been in love with spinach since I was a little baby.  Gramm LOVED to tell the story of how the only thing I ate for the first couple of months when I started eating solid foods, was pureed spinach.  She'd try to feed me other pureed veggies and fruits, but I wanted nothing to do with them.  All I wanted was spinach.  And lots of it.  I was like a mini-Popeye.  But way cuter.

So, maybe things haven't changed that much.

I love to eat acelgas in a soups, salads, quesadillas, and even on pizza.  But I think my favorite way to eat acelgas has to be in enchiladas verdes.   Enchiladas de Acelgas (Swiss Chard Enchiladas) are creamy and cheesy, and just a little bit spicy.  They are a delicious meat-free enchilada, perfect for Cuaresma (Lent).

Enchiladas de Acelgas (Swiss Chard Enchiladas) - lacocinadeleslie.com

Enchiladas de Acelgas 
(Swiss Chard/Spinach Enchiladas) (Recipe adapted from Herbivoracious by Michael Natkin)


  • 1-1/2 pounds tomatillos, husks removed
  • 2 serrano chilies
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup Mexican crema
  • 2 bunches acelgas (Swiss chard or spinach)
  • 1/2 medium onion,  finely chopped
  • Queso Fresco, crumbled
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • Mexican crema
  • 1/2 medium onion (red or white), sliced
  • Cilantro (for garnish) 

In a medium saucepan, cook the tomatillos and serrano chilies with 2 to 3 cups of water, over medium-high heat, until the tomatillos are fully cooked.  Puree the cooked tomatillos and serrano chilies with 1 cup of the water they were cooked in, along with 1/2 medium onion and the clove of garlic.   Pour the salsa verde into a saucepan.  Stir in the 1/4 cup of Mexican crema, and season with salt; set aside.

Remove the stems from the acelgas, then roughly chop the leaves.  Rinse the acelgas thoroughly with cold water.  Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Saute the chopped onion for about 30 seconds.  Stir in the acelgas; season with 1 teaspoon of salt.  Cover and let cook until the acelgas have wilted, and most of the liquid has been absorbed.  Stir in 1/4 cup of the salsa verde.

I didn't remember to snap a photo of my cooked acelgas until I was almost done assembling my enchiladas.  

Once you are ready to assemble the enchiladas, make sure you have all of the ingredients assemled together.  Warm up the salsa verde and the acelgas.  Heat 1/4 cup of vegetable oil in a medium skillet, over medium-high heat.  Fry the corn tortillas one at a time, in the oil for about 30 seconds on each side, just until the tortillas are soft and pliable.  Dip the tortillas in the salsa verde, one at a time, until evenly coated.  Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of cooked acelgas onto each tortilla, and top with 2 tablespoons of queso fresco.  Carefully roll up the enchiladas and place seam side down on a serving dish.

Once all of the enchiladas have been assembled, top with more of the heated salsa verde.  Garnish enchiladas with Mexican crema, crumbled queso fresco, onion slices, and cilantro.  Serve with Sopa de Arroz (Mexican Rice) and Refried Beans.  Enjoy!!!


*This recipe is part of the Lenten Blog Hop hosted by Mama Latina Tips.


  1. I highly recommend you write your own cookbook. I'd buy it. I especially appreciate vegetarian recipes.

  2. Leslie, I made this recipe last night for supper! And although my version looked very much less pretty than your own (presentation takes a nose dive with a crying baby in the kitchen, ha ha), it was absolutely delish! Will definitely make again!