At its core, an enchiladas is a corn tortilla wrapped around filling and smothered in sauce. The most common enchilada fillings are chicken, beef, and cheese. Although seafood, potato, vegetable, and bean are also popular enchilada fillings.
Verde, chili, cheese, and mole sauces are slathered on top of enchiladas before they are topped with cheese and warmed in the oven.
Enchiladas are the perfect vehicle for leftover meats, roasted or steamed vegetables, beans, and rice. Mix and match your favorite fillings and sauces to create a dish your whole family will love!
Serve your enchiladas with refried beans, Spanish rice, and a simple salad and you will turn your dining room into your favorite Mexican restaurant! Keep reading to learn how to make delicious enchiladas and find new enchilada recipes to try.
Most restaurant-style enchiladas are wrapped in a six-inch corn tortilla. Many recipes call for dipping these tortillas in vegetable oil that has been kept warm on the stovetop over low heat. This keeps them flexible and makes it easier to roll the enchiladas.
Use tongs to dip each tortilla in the oil for about 5 seconds and then place the tortilla in a pie plate resting in a warm oven until you are ready to assemble the enchiladas.
For a healthier, oil-free version, use 8-inch flour tortillas instead. Flour tortillas are often more flexible and easier to work with than corn.
Simply wrap the flour tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave them for 30 seconds. Leave them in the microwave or a warm oven until you are ready to put together your enchiladas.
If you are feeling adventurous, or you happen to have some on hand, you could also use flavored tortillas or wraps to make your enchiladas. Simply warm them through in the microwave like the flour tortillas and keep them in the microwave or a warm oven until you are ready to put the enchiladas together.
You are only limited by your imagination when it comes to filling your enchiladas. Use whatever you have in the fridge or create a filling from scratch. If you are using leftover unseasoned meat or beans, simply add ½ teaspoon of adobo seasoning, ¼ teaspoon of cumin, and ? teaspoon of chili powder before warming through.
Fill your enchiladas with poached chicken, rotisserie chicken, baked chicken, ground beef, shredded beef, black beans, pinto beans, cheese and onions, or roasted vegetables and rice. If you like spicy food, add finely chopped jalapeno pepper.
Cubed boiled potatoes and sweet potatoes, corn, peas, and green peppers are all delicious when mixed with leftover beans, meat, or rice in your enchiladas. Some people enjoy adding cooked shrimp to their enchilada filling.
You could also include slivered almonds or dried fruits to give your filling a delicious texture and deeper flavor. The goal is to use up what you have in the fridge, so be creative!
Enchiladas are most often served with red (chili), green (verde), mole, or cheese sauces. Many at-home enchilada recipes use a sauce that is made with salsa, condensed cream of chicken or condensed cream of mushroom soup, and sour cream. Red, or chile, sauce is made with dried red chili peppers that have been soaked in broth, seasoned, and ground into a sauce.
Some at-home recipes for chile sauce will use tomato sauce as a base. Mole sauce has a deep rich flavor and includes chili peppers, spices, tomatillos, sesame seeds, dried fruit, and ground nuts. Green or verde sauce has a base of pureed tomatillos with jalapenos, onion, cilantro, spices, and lime. Cheese sauce or queso blanco is made with queso blanco, canned chilis, fresh jalapenos, and milk or cream.
All of these sauces can be made as mild or as spicy as you would like. Season according to your tolerance for heat and enjoy.
Putting It All Together:
It is important to have your sauce, tortillas and filling warm, but not hot. If they are warm as you put the enchiladas together and go into the oven warm, it won’t take very long to get them heated through.
Assembling your enchiladas can go two ways: the saucy messy method or the clean goopy method. It is all about how you handle the sauce!
For the saucy messy method, you will be coating your tortilla in sauce before filling and rolling. This does not work well with cheese sauce! Using tongs, dip a tortilla in your sauce of choice and then set it on a plate. Place 3 tablespoons of filling and 2 tablespoons of cheese on the ? of the tortilla closest to you. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese on the rest of the tortilla. Roll up the tortilla, starting with the side closest to you. Place the enchilada in a baking dish and repeat this process until all of your enchiladas have been rolled. Cover the enchiladas with a layer of cheese and the remaining sauce and bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until warmed through.
There is absolutely no dipping in oil or sauce required for the clean goopy method. Place half of the sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Put a warmed tortilla on a plate and cover ? of the tortilla closest to you with 3 tablespoons of filling and 2 tablespoons of cheese. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese on the rest of the tortilla. Roll up the tortilla, starting with the side closest to you. Place the enchilada on top of the sauce in the baking dish and repeat this process until all of your enchiladas have been rolled. Cover the enchiladas with a layer of cheese and the remaining sauce and bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until warmed through.
Leftover Enchilada Filling:
If you run out of tortillas before you run out of filling, here are two delicious ways to use it up. Simply mix the extra filling into the remaining sauce before pouring it over the enchiladas. You could also turn the extra filling into enchilada nachos, i.e. enchilacos. Reserve a little bit of enchilada sauce, mix it with the leftover filling and set this deliciousness aside in the fridge. For lunch the next day, or a late night snack, heat through your sauce/filling mixture, top it with cheese, and eat it with tortilla chips.
Make it a platter: