Enchiladas de Guate

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 delicious.  There is also so many different types of typical food, so we were trying new things all the time!  We ate tortillas (so much better than Mexican ones), frijoles, tamals de chipilin (my favorite), chiles relleno, chuchitos, chicharrones, tostadas, and these enchiladas!  In Guatemala, enchiladas are not what Americans think of as enchiladas.  There, enchiladas are fried tortillas topped with lettuce, pickled vegetables and beets and cheese… which I have made here.  This was the very first thing I ate when I arrived in Guatemala.  We were at Jose’s place and got to meet everyone 🙂

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.  I met the most amazing, welcoming, and self-less people and got to travel in a beautiful country.  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

and shredded!


  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)
Beets, Cabbage and Carrots

Pickled with Rice Vinegar

    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.

    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!



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