Cecina Enchilada Recipe

There’s a world of flavors in Mexico’s gastronomy, with each region boasting its unique specialties. However, few dishes can match the mouthwatering appeal of the Cecina Enchilada. Hailing from the central and southern parts of Mexico, this delicacy represents a culinary tradition dating back to pre-Hispanic times.

The process involves thinly slicing beef or pork, marinating it in a blend of spices and chili sauce, and sun-drying or smoking it. A well-prepared Cecina enchilada is a festival of flavors with an appealing smoky hint and a spicy punch.



1 pound cecina (thinly sliced dried beef)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tomatoes, diced

2 tablespoons chipotle sauce

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt and pepper to taste


Step 1


Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the thinly sliced cecina and cook for about 2 minutes on each side until it becomes slightly crispy. Remove the cecina from the skillet and set it aside.

Step 2

In the same skillet, add the sliced onion and minced garlic. Sauté until the onion becomes translucent and the garlic becomes fragrant.

Step 3

Add the diced tomatoes, chipotle sauce, ground cumin, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.

Step 4

Return the cecina to the skillet and simmer the mixture over low heat for about 10 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.

Step 5

Remove from heat and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

Origin of Cecina Enchilada


Cecina enchilada is a classic Mexican dish that originatesfrom the beautiful region of Oaxaca. Known for its rich culinary heritage, Oaxaca is famous for its vibrant flavors and traditional cooking techniques. Cecina, which means “dried meat” in Spanish, is the star ingredient of this recipe.

The history of cecina dates back centuries ago when indigenous tribes in Mexico would dry meat to preserve it. Today, cecina enchilada is enjoyed as a popular dish that showcases the unique and bold flavors of Mexican cuisine.

Nutritional Benefits of Cecina Enchilada

Protein Powerhouse

Cecina, the main ingredient of this dish, is a great source of protein. Protein is crucial for building and repairing tissues, supporting muscle growth, and maintaining a healthy immune system. Including cecina enchilada in your diet provides a protein boost that keeps you feeling satisfied and helps meet your daily protein requirements.

Rich in Iron

Iron is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in the production of red blood cells, oxygen transportation, and overall energy levels. Cecina, being a dried meat, is a good source of iron. Incorporating cecina enchilada into your meals can help prevent iron deficiency and support optimal blood health.

Vitamin B12

Another noteworthy nutrient found in cecina is vitamin B12. This vitamin is necessary for proper brain function, nerve health, and the formation of red blood cells. By enjoying cecina enchilada, you can increase your intake of vitamin B12 and support the overall functioning of your body.

The Perfect Accompaniment Mexican Rice


No Mexican meal is complete without a side of flavorful Mexican rice. To complement your cecina enchilada, we recommend trying this mouthwatering recipe for Mexican rice. The combination of the savory rice and the spicy cecina enchilada is a match made in culinary heaven. This recipe provides step-by-step instructions to create fluffy, perfectly seasoned rice that will elevate your cecina enchilada experience. The aromatic blend of spices, tomatoes, and onions in the rice will transport your taste buds to the streets of Mexico. You can find the delicious Mexican rice recipe here:

Variations of Cecina Enchilada

Vegetarian Delight: For those following a vegetarian or plant-based diet, you can replace the cecina with thinly sliced and marinated tofu or tempeh. These alternatives offer a similar texture and can be seasoned with your favorite spices and herbs to mimic the flavors of the original recipe.

Seafood Sensation: If you’re a seafood lover, consider incorporating shrimp or fish into your cecina enchilada. Sautéed shrimp or grilled fish fillets can be seasoned with Mexican spices and wrapped in tortillas with the enchilada sauce. This variation adds a delightful oceanic twist to the dish.

Cheesy Goodness: If you’re a cheese aficionado, take your cecina enchilada to the next level by adding a generous amount of melted cheese on top. Whether it’s a gooey layer of Monterey Jack or a sprinkle of crumbled queso fresco, the melted cheese adds a creamy and indulgent touch to the dish.

Fire up with Salsa: To intensify the heat and add an extra kick to your cecina enchilada, experiment with different salsas or hot sauces. Whether it’s a smoky chipotle salsa or a fiery habanero sauce, drizzling it over the enchiladas or serving it as a side will elevate the spiciness and flavor profile of the dish.

Storing Cecina Enchilada Correctly


If you have any leftovers of this delectable cecina enchilada, proper storage is key to maintaining its freshness and flavors. Follow these tips to store your cecina enchilada correctly:

  • Allow the cecina enchilada to cool completely before storing.
  • Place the leftovers in an airtight container or wrap them tightly with plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate the cecina enchilada for up to 3 days.
  • When reheating, gently warm it in the oven or on the stovetop to preserve its texture and flavors.

Cecina enchilada is a delightful dish that showcases the bold and authentic flavors of Mexico. With its origins in Oaxaca and its rich history, cecina enchilada offers a unique culinary experience for food enthusiasts around the world.

By following the secrets of preparation and enjoying it with a side of delicious Mexican rice, you’ll be transported to the vibrant streets of Mexico with every bite.

So, gather your ingredients, fire up your stove, and get ready to indulge in the savory and spicy goodness of cecina enchilada. Don’t forget to check out the recipe for Mexican rice here to complete your Mexican feast. ¡Buen provecho!

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