Traditional Guatemalan Enchiladas or Jardineras Recipe

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Guatemalan enchiladas or jardineras are a traditional Guatemalan dish. This fairly easy Guatemalan recipe is one of my favorite Guatemalan dishes. Made with flavorful ground beef and piled high with veggies is one of my favorite authentic Guatemalan foods.

The best recipe of Guatemalan enchiladas

What are Guatemalan enchiladas?

Enchiladas are one of the most popular Guatemalan foods. They are a mixture of vegetables and ground meat that is piled high onto a crunchy toasted  or fried corn tortilla.

Guatemalan enchiladas are delicious: with so many different layers of flavors and textures, from the crunch of the tortilla to the tanginess of the beet and vegetable salad. I have never made them at home but my mother-in-law makes them all the time so I decided to head on over to her house so she could teach me how to make them.

Everyone makes Guatemalan jardieras a little different and every family has their own slighty different recipe, specially when it comes to how to prepare the vegetable escabeche. The key to this recipe is the beet salad or escabeche as this is what makes gives this dish its unique flavor. You can modify your beet salad as you wish to make this your own version of jardineras. 

Guatemalan enchiladas recipe

What are the ingredients for Guatemalan enchiladas? 

Guatemalan enchiladas are made with beef and a vegetable mixture called escabeche. The main ingredient for the escabeche is beets, which are mixed with carrots, peas and green beans. 

Enchiladas are assembled over a  crunchy tostada, a crispy baked or fried corn tortilla with you can make at home or get at the supermarket. Over the tostada you layer fresh lettuce, then comes the ground or shredded beef with is topped with the vegetable escabeche. Finally you drizzle the Guatemalan enchilada with a smooth tomato based sauce and top it off with a slice of hard boiled egg, fresh cilantro and Queso fresco or other hard crumbly cheese like Feta. 

Are Guatemalan enchiladas the same as Mexican enchiladas?

Guatemalan enchiladas are very different from Mexican enchiladas most people are familiar with. Mexican enchiladas are made of soft rolled tortillas filled with different ingredients and drizzled with sauce and lots of cheese. On the other hand Guatemalan enchiladas, or jardineras as my grandma used to call them, consist of a toasted tortilla topped with a vegetable mixture or escabeche, ground beef, and tomato sauce.

Recipe for Guatemalan Enchiladas

My mother-in-law’s recipe for Guatemalan enchiladas is unique and it’s a family recipe that has been handed down from generations. It’s a real family tradition.

best Guatemalan enchiladas recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb groud beef
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 eggs, hard boiled and cut into slices
  • ¼ cup queso fresco
  • 1 package of toasted tortillas
  • 10 lettuce leaves
  • ½ lb green beans, chopped
  • 3 small carrots
  • 2 cups of green peas
  • 4 beets
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 laurel leaves
  • 1/2 cup of white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt and pepper

guatemalan enchiladas ingredients and preparation

Instructions

Making the vegetable escabeche

  1. Place beets in a saucepan covered with salted water to taste.
  2. Add 1 tsp of vinegar.
  3. Boil until tender about 40 minutes.
  4. Drain and run cold water over beets.
  5. Cut beets into small squares.
  6. Place 4 cups of water in a large saucepan.
  7. Add the green beans, carrots, green peas, and bay leaf.
  8. Bring water to a boil and cook vegetables until soft (don’t overcook as you still want some crunch).
  9. Let the vegetables cook and then chop the green beans and carrots into small pieces.
  10. Mix the vegetables and beets together.
  11. Add thyme and laurel to the mixture as well as the vinegar and one tablespoon of olive oil.
  12. Season with salt and pepper.

How to make Guatemalan enchiladas

Cooking the ground beef

  1. Chop 1 tomato and half of one onion.
  2. Place a large saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add one tablespoon of olive oil.
  4. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, add the tomato and sauté for 2 or 3 minutes until softened.
  5. Remove 2/3 of the tomato and onion mixture from the saucepan and set aside.
  6. Leave the remaining 1/3 of the mixture in the saucepan and add the one more tablespoon of olive oil and the ground beef.
  7. Saute until beef is browned, about 10 minutes.

Making the tomato sauce

  1. Place half of the onion and two tomatoes on a pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Cook until tomatoes are soft.
  3. Remove tomatoes and onion from the heat, drain and let the vegetables cool.
  4. Remove the skin from the tomato.
  5. Place tomatoes and onion in a blender and blend until smooth.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

guatemalan enchiladas ingredients and preparation

Assembling the Guatemalan enchiladas

  1. To assemble the enchiladas place a lettuce leaf on the tostada, add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable escabeche on top of the lettuce leaf, add a couple of tablespoons of ground meat, top with one slice of hard boiled egg, drizzle a tablespoon of tomato sauce and sprinkle with cheese and fresh parsley.

Easy Guatemalan enchiladas recipe la mejor receta de enchiladas Guatemaltecas

Other Traditional Guatemalan Recipes

  • Gallina en Pepián Dulce: My twist on a traditional Guatemalan recipe, served in chocolate sauce. The recado resembles mole, a sauce known well in Guatemala’s northern neighbor, Mexico. Its flavor, however, is remarkably distinct due to roasted sesame and squash seeds.
  • Salpicón De Res: An Easy Guatemalan Recipe: A shredded or diced beef salad loaded with citrus flavors! It is a tasty traditional Guatemalan food perfect as a party appetizer or a wholesome main dish.

Guatemalan salpicon de carne

  • Guatemalan Cocido:  This slow cooker version of my grandma’s traditional Guatemalan cocido recipe is an easy-to-make vegetable and beef stew. It will surely become your go-to favorite comfort food, as it is mine!
  • Guatemalan Hilachas de Carne: An easy Instapot and slow cooker shredded beef stew recipe for a traditional Guatemalan dish. Similar to the Mexican Ropa Vieja recipe, it is a flavorful and easy-to-make shredded beef stew simmered in a velvety tomato-based recado sauce.

Guatemalan hilachas easy recipe

  • Chiles Rellenos: This popular dish is made with fried sweet peppers, filled with a mixture of beef and veggies, served drizzled with tomato sauce. If you’ve never tried Guatemalan food, Chiles Rellenos should be at the top of your list!

 

The enchiladas were easy to make although it did take some time and work, especially because of the time it takes to cut and cook all the vegetables. But the work was well worth it. This traditional Guatemalan dish brings back memories from my grandmother’s house and I really enjoyed sharing this with my kids. I really love that the enchiladas are also very healthy and the perfect dish to enjoy on a warm day.

Guatemalan enchiladas are one of my favorite Guatemalan foods. This traditional dish is a popular Guatemalan street food and it’s often found in open markets and at fairs and other events. 

Enchilada from Guatemala recipe

 

The best recipe of Guatemalan enchiladas

Enchiladas Recipe From Guatemala

Yield: 10 enchiladas
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

My mother-in-law's recipe for Guatemalan enchiladas is unique and it's a family recipe that has been handed down from generations. It's a real family tradition.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb groud beef
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 eggs, hard boiled and cut into slices
  • ¼ cup queso fresco
  • 1 package of toasted tortillas
  • 10 lettuce leaves
  • ½ lb green beans, chopped
  • 3 small carrots
  • 2 cups of green peas
  • 4 beets
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 laurel leaves
  • 1/2 cup of white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

VEGETABLE ESCABECHE

  1. Place beets in a saucepan covered with salted water to taste.
  2. Add 1 tsp of vinegar.
  3. Boil until tender about 40 minutes.
  4. Drain and run cold water over beets.
  5. Cut beets into small squares.
  6. Place 4 cups of water in a large saucepan.
  7. Add the green beans, carrots, green peas, and bay leaf.
  8. Bring water to a boil and cook vegetables until soft (don’t overcook as you still want some crunch).
  9. Let the vegetables cook and then chop the green beans and carrots into small pieces.
  10. Mix the vegetables and beets together.
  11. Add thyme and laurel to the mixture as well as the vinegar and one tablespoon of olive oil.
  12. Season with salt and pepper.

GROUND BEEF

  1. Chop 1 tomato and half of one onion.
  2. Place a large saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add one tablespoon of olive oil.
  4. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, add the tomato and sauté for 2 or 3 minutes until softened.
  5. Remove 2/3 of the tomato and onion mixture from the saucepan and set aside.
  6. Leave the remaining 1/3 of the mixture in the saucepan and add the one more tablespoon of olive oil and the ground beef.
  7. Saute until beef is browned, about 10 minutes.

TOMATO SAUCE

  1. Place half of the onion and two tomatoes on a pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Cook until tomatoes are soft.
  3. Remove tomatoes and onion from the heat, drain and let the vegetables cool.
  4. Remove the skin from the tomato.
  5. Place tomatoes and onion in a blender and blend until smooth.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

ASSEMBLING THE ENCHILADAS

  1. To assemble the enchiladas place a lettuce leaf on the tostada, add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable escabeche on top of the lettuce leaf, add a couple of tablespoons of ground meat, top with one slice of hard boiled egg, drizzle a tablespoon of tomato sauce and sprinkle with cheese and fresh parsley.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 10 enchiladas
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 262Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 137mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 17g

 

 

 

Guatemalan enchiladas recipe. These Guatemalan traditional dish is very different from the Mexican enchiladas.

If you’re looking for more traditional Guatemalan foods be sure to check my other Guatemalan recipes. 

Traditional Guatemalan Recipes

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