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Panile De Espinaca Spinach Panile

Panile is a Mexican dish, which has been around for centuries, if not longer. This is a traditional Mexican dish, which predates the arrival of the Spanish in the new world and is unlike many Mexican dishes in that it is not influenced by European cuisine. Panile makes use of the peanut, which is in fact indigenous to the Americas.

However, this dish does include an important Old World ingredient, spinach. The Spanish introduced the vegetable to Mexico, where it was enthusiastically adopted by the indigenous population – one can find spinach burritos at many taquerias, in fact. This spinach panile recipe blends the old and new worlds with an unusual, but wonderful combination of peanuts, spinach, smoky pasilla peppers, and corn tortillas.

It is a combination of flavors, which may strike you as odd, but once you have tried it, you will probably want to make it again and again. This is a great side dish and, along with some soup or salad, makes a satisfying lunch. This spinach enchiladas recipe is something that does not call for many ingredients but the ingredients used are enough to make something delicious. Whether you are looking for vegan enchiladas with spinach or a simple spinach enchiladas recipe, the spinach is a wonderful ingredient to cook with.

As is the case with many south of the border recipes most of the ingredients in this are fresh produce. As well as the spinach, you will find onion, garlic, chilies, and lime juice in here. Tortillas, peanut butter and a little oil are the only other ingredients you will need to make this spinach panile. The tortillas are dipped in peanut sauce and then filled with the vegetable mixture.

These look very unusual and if you are making these for the first time, the family is going to be very curious about exactly what it is you have prepared. These are really tasty and they are healthy too, boasting not only the nutrients in peanut butter but also all the goodness of fresh produce.

Panile De Espinaca Spinach Enchiladas With Spicy Peanut Sauce
Summary: An unusual dish, this tasty spinach panile recipe makes a nice treat if you are in the mood for something different. The tortillas, peanut sauce and spinach are great together.
Cuisine: Mexican
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 6
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 package of fresh spinach (or 4 bunches of non-prewashed spinach)
  • 1 small white onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 cup chunky natural peanut butter (commercial brands are sweetened – use only all-natural)
  • 3 dried pasilla peppers (available in Mexican markets)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp olive or canola oil
  1. Start by sautéing the garlic and onions until they begin to turn golden brown, 3-4 minutes. As you begin cooking these, start ½ cup water boiling in a small pan. It should come to a boil about the same time as your garlic and onions are ready.
  2. Cut the stems off of the pasilla peppers and add them to the boiling water. Boil for 2-3 minutes and turn off the heat. While your peppers boil, add the spinach to your garlic and onions, cover, and reduce the heat to low. The spinach will be wilted in about 5 minutes.
  3. As the spinach cooks, you will need to add the peanut butter to the water you boiled the peppers in. Be sure to remove the peppers first; the water will have absorbed their smoky, fruity, slightly spicy flavor. You should be left with a thin, slightly smoky, and spicy peanut sauce.
  4. Now it is time to toast your tortillas. If you have a gas stove, you can toast each side for about 10 seconds directly over a high flame; this will soften the tortillas.
  5. By the time you are finished with this, the spinach will be ready. Drain off any excess water; add lime juice, stir, and set aside.
  6. The next step requires tongs and a dish or large serving plate. Dip each tortilla into the peanut sauce, making sure it is well coated on both sides. As you finish dipping each tortilla, lay it on the plate and top with a spoonful of spinach before rolling into a tube shape.
  7. Once you have assembled all 12 tortillas, top your paniles with any remaining spinach, and pour the rest of the peanut sauce over the top.
  8. This is a somewhat unusual recipe, but once you give it a try, you will understand why it has remained popular in Mexico for hundreds and hundreds of years.

Photo Description:

This spinach panile recipe is very unusual, but Mexico is home to a huge array of classic recipes like this one, and just because you might not have heard of it before, does not mean you should not make it. In fact, quite the opposite is trye here. This delicious and healthy meal includes tortillas, peanut sauce and spinach, as well as other fresh produce. The photo shows what it will look like when finished, and suggests serving some kind of colorful garnish, perhaps pickled vegetables to contrast, or you could consider Mexican rice if you prefer that.

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi, I'm Christine, and I'm pleased to welcome you to I have endeavored to gather as many delicious South of the border recipes here for you, including Mexican-inspired as well as traditional Mexican, and also some Tex-Mex and Mexican fusion dishes. Food is very important to our family's lives and Mexican food is certainly a favorite around here.

We have everything from appetizers and snacks to soups, drinks, entrées, and much more. You will find everything from mild dishes to super-spicy ones, simple recipes based on fresh ingredients up to more complex ones suitable for a dinner party.

Home cooks just starting out with Mexican cooking tend to be surprised how much of the emphasis is placed on using fresh ingredients and aromatic herbs and spices. Forget the typical ideas about Mexican food being all beans, cheese and beef (that applies a little more to Tex-Mex), take inspiration from authentic Mexican dishes based on fresh ingredients, and inject all your passion into cooking South of the border food, for perfect results every time.

Thanks for visiting,