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Weeknight dinners are often a challenge, but this recipe makes them seem like something special.

This not-at-all-authentic but easy enchilada recipe has become a weekly staple. My husband started making it when we discovered Herdez brand salsa verde, which you can find at most grocery stores. (My colleague Josh Walker, who manages the cafe at the University of Illinois Beckman Institute in Urbana, recommended it. We’ve enjoyed every Herdez item we’ve tried, especially the guacamole salsa.)

We make these with whole-wheat-flour tortillas and sometimes substitute a different kind of cheese or make each one larger or smaller. It’s a forgiving combination, and it’s hard to beat baked tortillas, melted cheese and salsa.

You will likely have leftover filling. Save it for another meal, perhaps with chips or rolled into a fresh tray of enchiladas.


1 pound ground beef

2 jalapeno peppers, ribbed,

seeded and diced

1 small yellow onion, diced

1 small green bell pepper, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

1 can fat-free refried beans

1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes and green chiles (with liquid)

4 ounces shredded pepper jack

4 ounces shredded sharp cheddar

1 package flour tortillas

1 cup salsa verde (or another

of your choice), divided

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Brown ground beef in a medium pot or Dutch oven with peppers, onion and garlic. Add spices. When beef is cooked, add refried beans along with tomatoes and chilies. Stir in

1/2 cup of salsa verde. Cook until beans are heated through, then remove from heat.

Place a pinch of shredded cheese inside a tortilla. Add a spoonful of filling and distribute evenly.

Roll and place fold-down in an ungreased 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. Continue until dish is full.

Spread 1/2 cup salsa verde and leftover cheese on top. Bake about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and tortillas are toasted and golden brown.

Meg Dickinson is a communications professional who spends many waking hours daydreaming about food. To submit a recipe, email

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