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Pastel Azteca(Layered Enchiladas)

The perfect balance of cheese, tortillas, salsa and vegetables are what make this pastel azteca(layered enchiladas) delicious! Oh and that creamy jocoque-style sauce is a must try!
Course Main Course, Meatless
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large poblano sliced into strips
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced into strips
  • 1 medium sweet onion sliced into strips
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 jalapeño red fresno  or serrano, minced
  • 2 ears of fresh corn
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano crushed
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For Salsa de Mesa

  • 3 roma tomato sliced in half or quartered
  • 1/4 sweet onion
  • 1  to 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 to 2 serrano peppers or red fresno roughly chopped
  • Pinch of oregano
  • salt to taste
  • *You could add some lime to the salsa but I did not this time

For White  Sour Cream Sauce (Jocoque)

  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup cotija or queso fresco cheese crumbled ( I added some extra jack cheese to the sauce as well, about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • salt to taste

You will also need

  • 16 corn tortillas
  • More olive oil
  • 2 cups Oaxaca Chihuahua or Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups pepper jack cheese shredde



  • To a skillet add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat to medium. Add the poblano, bell pepper, onion, garlic and chile pepper. Season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 6 -8 minutes. Add the corn, oregano, paprika and a little more salt and pepper (just a pinch). Cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • While the vegetables are cooking, prepare your salsa de mesa. You can cook them on the stove top or pop all of the ingredients in the microwave. Add to a glass bowl, cover with paper towel and microwave for 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to the blender, add oregano, lime (if using) and salt to taste. Blend until smooth, pour into a bowl and rinse out the blender jar.
  • For the sour cream enchilada sauce, you will add all of the ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth. Taste for salt, set aside.  Brush the corn tortillas on both sides with olive oil. Preheat a nonstick pan to medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Cook the corn tortillas for 45 to 50 seconds per side or until they start to get crisp in spots. you want them to still be pliable. Stack and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  In a deep oven safe skillet(4 quart) or pie pan build your pastel azteca. Start with a layer of white sauce, just enough to cover the bottom of pan. Don't be skimpy, lol!  Add a layer of tortillas, they should overlap slightly. Then add a  layer of white sauce,  sauteed vegetable mixture, cheese, salsa de mesa and end with more white sauce. Repeat the layers  until you end up with a light layer of white sauce, vegetables, cheese and salsa on top.  Top with a little more crushed oregano. Don't go too heavy on the layers in between or you will run out of ingredients. Cover with foil paper and bake for 30 minutes. remove foil and cook under broiler just to brown the cheese a little. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Yields 6-8 servings


This style of enchiladas can be prepared with or without meat and with your choice of red or green enchilada sauce.