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Bacon and sweetcorn enchiladas

Sat, 25 September, 2021

Enchiladas filled with corn and bacon mixture, spiced with red salsa and smothered with cheese: bubbling, crisp and utterly delicious.

sweetcorn and bacon enchiladas

Who doesn't love bacon?

Bacon is apparently the only meat that a lot of vegetarians sometimes miss. It is the salty fat, the smoky flavour and the fact that it is so, so unhealthy – like all the most temptingly delicious things on earth.

Non-vegetarians love it too, to the extent of sometimes overlooking bacon’s meaty nature. Occasionally, when I suggest preparing a vegetarian pasta dish for dinner, the Weather Man will say ‘okay, maybe with just a little bacon?’ as if that addition would still keep the pasta vegetarian.

Bacon goes with many things extremely well, not only pasta. And recently I have been cooking it with fresh sweetcorn all the time because the two together are explosively tasty.

cheesy corn enchiladas

How to cook sweetcorn with bacon

Smoked diced bacon (lardons) is best for this exercise as it will give the dish a gutsy flavour. It starts off in a cold pan over medium heat while you shuck the sweetcorn and slice kernels off the cob.

There are many hacks and tricks around on how to best do it without making a mess, but it really is no big deal: I use a serrated knife and slice down the cob in a sawing motion. Mess? There’s always some mess when you’re cooking.

You can add the corn kernels into the pan just as the bacon starts to crispen. Stir, cook for ten minutes and season with black pepper. That, for me, is a meal of its own.

how to cook corn with bacon

I love Mexican cuisine

Mexican food is my unrequited love. Unrequited because for some idiotic reason it isn’t hugely popular in the UK and so an authentic taqueria or fondita is impossible to find. Thus I have to cook my tacos, quesadillas, chilies and nachos at home, probably lamely and ignorantly.

Therefore, I have absolutely no idea whether enchiladas filled with corn and bacon are even a thing, let alone a Mexican thing, but as soon as I discovered the corn-bacon combo, I wanted to wrap a tortilla around it.

enchiladas with red salsa and sweetcorn and bacon filling

Quesadillas vs. burritos vs. enchiladas

The Weather Man still gets confused about the various ways stuff is wrapped in tortillas and what the resulting dishes are called. He gets tacos probably because it’s a nice and short word and we have them a lot.

But quesadillas which he calls ‘casa-diers’ (and possibly believes are spelt that way) trouble him, no matter how many times I explain that ‘quesa’ means cheese so Cheddar must be involved.

Buritos and nachos always need clarifying too (‘the wrap thing’ and ‘the crisps thing’) and fajitas leave him bewildered because there are no tortillas involved.

Enchiladas are ‘the baked thing with salsa and cheese’ and thankfully it does not matter much what they are filled with – Mexicans are charitably flexible like that. So even if corn and bacon are not the most traditional of enchilada fillings, the fact that the dish tastes great hopefully justifies my recipe.

corn enchiladas


Isn’t it awesome that Latinos call a dish with the word for a dance? Joking – it’s actually the other way round. Salsa dancing is hot and spicy, and the dancers or musicians would shout ‘salsa!’ during gigs to enliven the tempo.

Salsa the condiment comes in the red or the green versions. The latter is problematic to make outside South America as tomatillos, the green cousins of tomatoes, are hard to come by. I make it with green tomatoes but it’s not exactly the authentic article.

Salsa roja, red salsa is made with tomatoes. Arguably, it won’t be authentic either if made with Isle of Wight toms but at least the ingredient is correct.

It is super easy to make: just blitz the tomatoes with onion, chillies and herbs in a blender or food processor. But in case you thought the mix can be used straight away as it will get cooked in the oven, you’re wrong. Salsa needs to be cooked in a pan on the hob to develop the flavour and thicken, like the proper sauce it is.


Assembling enchiladas

It couldn’t be easier: a lick of salsa in the dish, toasted tortillas tightly wrapped around the filling, cigar-fashion, snugly nested and topped with more sauce and cheese, if used (but whoever would opt out of using cheese?).

It sounds like an ideal make-ahead dish but I should not recommend it: tortillas tend to go soggy when they stand with the filling. Caveat then: if you want to try and make it ahead, it’s at your own risk as I never dare to.

how to assemble enchiladas

More Mexican recipes

Enchiladas again: this time with roasted, sliced chicken breast filling and green (problematic, see above) salsa. Use leftover chicken meat by all means.

All-day breakfast quesadillas, with bacon, mushrooms and, obviously, cheese. No, I don’t subscribe to the Tik-Tok quesadilla hack. I’m old school.

What’s naughtier than crisps for dinner? Still, homemade loaded nachos will be healthier than a packet of crisps.

enchiladas with bacon and sweetcorn

More sweetcorn recipes

Cheesy sweetcorn tart, a fantastic way to use leftover pizza dough and fresh ears of corn.

Creamed corn and tomatoes is a brilliant combination, but using fresh corn is a must.

Chilli con carne? No – this is chilli con corn! A veggie dish with sweetcorn instead of beef.

Bacon and sweetcorn enchiladas

Servings: 4Time: 1 hour 30 minutes


  • For the red salsa:
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • ½ onion
  • 2 jalapeño chillies
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ bunch coriander
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • a large pinch of salt flakes
  • 1 tbsp. tomato puree (optional)
  • For the corn and bacon:
  • 2 ears of corn
  • 100g (3 oz.) diced bacon or pancetta
  • black pepper
  • For the enchiladas:
  • 8 medium corn tortillas
  • 150g (2/3 cup) Monterey Jack cheese, grated or sliced


1. To make the salsa, roughly chop the tomatoes, peel and chop the onion, top and chop the jalapeños (deseed if you like it less hot), peel and chop the garlic and roughly chop the coriander with the stems. Blend everything in a blender or food processor.

blending red salsa ingredients

2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and pour in the salsa. Add the salt and cook over medium-high heat for about 10-30 minutes until thickened; the timing depends on how ripe or watery the tomatoes were. When it reaches saucy consistency, taste and add the tomato puree if necessary, then take the pan off the heat and leave to cool.

cooking red salsa

3. Shuck the corn and slice off the kernels with a serrated knife into a bowl.

4. Place the bacon in a sauté pan and cook stirring until it starts to crispen. Add the sweetcorn and cook stirring for about 10 minutes until the corn softens.

5. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6. Heat up a dry non-stick or cast iron pan. Prepare a roasting tin or casserole dish, 35 x 23 cm or similar and spread 2-3 tablespoons of salsa at the bottom.

6. Toast each tortilla in the pan for about a minute on each side, then spread some salsa over it. Place a pile of corn and bacon in the middle, top with some cheese and roll up tightly. Place in the prepared tin and continue with the remaining tortillas.

preparing tortillas for enchiladas

7. Spoon and leftover salsa over the tortillas in the dish (but don’t drown them). Sprinkle with the remaining cheese, cover with foil and transfer to the oven onto a middle rack.

8. Bake for 15 minutes; take off the foil and bake for further 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with dollops of crema or crème fraiche, quartered avocados and green salad.

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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