Veggie Filled Mexican Crêpes start with a flavorful masa crepe, stuffed with a customizable vegetable filling of nopales, onion, bell pepper, and Beyond Beef, then topped with salsa verde and cotija. These savory masa crêpes may have you re-thinking your perception of "Mexican food!"
Tamara Talks (about Shrove Tuesday and masa crêpes!)
As I type this, it is Shrove Tuesday - the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and the first day of Lent. My husband and I are relatively new Episcopalians, and we're still "learning the ropes." In an effort to understand these faith traditions, I decided to do a little research and post a recipe for pancakes (crêpes).
Shrove Tuesday provides a dual purpose for practicing Christians: It is an opportunity to repent of sins as well as a last chance to eat, drink, and be merry prior to the more somber Lenten season that lies ahead.
So, what do pancakes have to do with Shrove Tuesday? Pancakes are associated with Shrove Tuesday because they're a great way to use up rich foods like eggs, milk, and sugar. Liturgical fasting emphasizes simple food, and in some cultures, eggs and dairy are not consumed during Lent.
But are crêpes considered to be pancakes? Yes and no. While they share common ingredients - flour, eggs, dairy, fat - crepes are not leavened (no baking powder or soda). Both are flat and cooked on a griddle, though pancakes tend to be smaller in circumference and thicker.
Masa crêpes won out after some experimentation. I liked the idea of wrapping the crêpe around a savory filling and topping it with roasted tomatillo and Hatch chile salsa verde. I was afraid a pancake with the filling dumped over top would look like a hot mess. LOL.
I have been making crêpes since high school, and I always made them with the aid of an electric crêpe maker. I no longer have an electric crêpe maker, and I don't make them often enough to warrant buying one and giving up pantry real estate that is already in short supply.
This masa crêpes recipe does not require an appliance; rather, you need a fairly large non-stick griddle or sauté pan. Were I to buy a specific appliance, I would not go for the style that must be tipped upside down like the one I used to have. I actually lost a few perfect crêpes that way! This crêpe maker looks really nice...
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How to Make Veggie Filled Mexican Crêpes
Masa Crêpes Ingredients
- 1 ¼ cups flour
- ¾ cup masa harina
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups milk (dairy or alternative)
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
Veggie Filling Ingredients
- 12 ounces nopales (see tips and FAQ for alternatives)
- 1 medium onion
- 1 sweet bell pepper
- 1 pound Beyond Beef or preferred ground meat
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- sea salt and pepper
Veggie Filled Mexican Crêpes Cooking Steps
add all crêpe ingredients to processor
process until very smooth
sauté until nopales begin to brown and mucus evaporates (see FAQ)
sauté onion, bell pepper, garlic, cumin
brown the Beyond Beef (or ground meat if using)
combine all filling ingredients and heat through
cook crêpe until firm and bubbly before flipping
crêpe is done when the 2nd side is set (about 1 minute)
spoon filling into center of crêpe, fold over sides then top with salsa verde and garnish!
Tips and FAQ
I have never cooked nopales, help! I am going to work on an extensive post all about nopales and nopalitos. They're really not as intimidating as you might think. I buy them at my local markets already cleaned and sliced. All they need is a few minutes in a hot pan. You can also find them in a jar, but be sure to choose water-packed as you do not want vinegar! Rinse and drain. You can add them in with the bell pepper and onion.
I don't want to deal with nopales. What can I substitute? I suggest diced zucchini or other summer squash varieties that cook quickly.
I'm not a fan of "veggie burger." What else can I use? I used to feel the same way until I tried Beyond Beef. It is juicy and flavorful, and I promise you won't know the difference in this recipe. However, you can substitute ground turkey, chicken, beef, or pork.
Do you have any other suggestions for filling? Yes. Grilled corn off the cob, pintos or black beans, squash (as mentioned above), diced chicken. Make it your own.
Do I have to use homemade salsa verde? No! While homemade is always best IMHO, there are many excellent store bought salsa verdes available. My salsa verde includes both tomatillos and Hatch green chile, and the blend of the two is ideal. This salsa verde from Amazon has both. Good salsa verde is a great pantry staple!
These Veggie Filled Mexican Crêpes are a new favorite #meatlessMonday dish and lovely for brunch or dinner. If a brunch cocktail is in order, try a savory margarita or a pomegranate tequila cocktail. A craft beer is always a good choice as well!
- 1 ¼ cup flour
- ¾ cup masa harina
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups milk
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 12 ounces nopales (see notes)
- 1 small onion, chopped or sliced
- 1 bell pepper, chopped or sliced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1 pound Beyond Beef or ground meat of choice
- 1 cup salsa verde (see notes)
- crumbled cotija
- chopped cilantro
- Make the crêpe batter - Add crêpe ingredients to a food processor or blender. Pulse until very smooth. Set aside while you make the filling.
- Cook the nopales - Spray a non-stick pan with cooking spray on medium-high heat. Add the nopales. Cook stirring often, until the mucus evaporates (about 10-15 minutes). Set aside. (See notes).
- Cook the aromatics and bell pepper - Add a drizzle of olive oil to the sauté pan over medium-high heat along with onion, bell pepper, cumin, and garlic. Cook until onion is soft but not brown and bell pepper is tender. Set aside.
- Cook the Beyond Beef or ground meat - You can use the same pan. Cook until crumbled, breaking it up as it cooks.
- Combine all filling ingredients - Add the veggies back into the pan. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and cover while you prepare the crepes. This is a good time to heat the salsa verde and prep the garnishes.
- Make the crêpes - Spray surface with cooking spray then heat griddle or pan to medium-high heat. Pour about an 8" circle (doesn't have to be perfect). You can tilt the pan around to cover more area. When the uncooked side is setting up and many bubbles are visible, lift the edge to see if it's golden brown (about 2 minutes). Turn. The second side only needs about 1 minute. The crepes need to be flexible and tender.
- Fill the crêpes - Spoon filling on to the middle third (browned side down). Fold the other two sides over the filling and carefully plate them.
- Finish the crêpes - Spoon a generous amount of salsa verde over top, then garnish as desired. Enjoy!
I use 2 non-stick pans for this dish - 1 for my crepes and 1 for the filling. I keep a large prep bowl next to the stove, and I scoop the veggies into it as they're cooked, and then combine them back in with the Beyond Beef.
I'm usually cooking for 2, and this recipe serves 4. The filling and the crêpes keep well in the refrigerator, but keep them separated until ready to reheat.
I heat my salsa verde in a ramekin in the microwave just before serving. While I often make my own salsa verde, I often use a good store bought salsa verde. I look for one that includes both tomatillos and green chile.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 628Total Fat: 31gCarbohydrates: 57gProtein: 32g