How to Make Easy Enchiladas
Enchiladas are a traditional Mexican dish that consists of tortillas filled with chicken, beef, beans -- or whatever filling you choose -- and topped with sauce and cheese. We'll show you step-by-step how to make easy and authentic baked Mexican enchiladas, along with some alternative enchilada recipes.
There's a lot to love about the make-and-bake simplicity of enchiladas -- a tortilla wrapped around a mixture of fillings, dunked in sauce, and topped with cheese. The best part about making enchiladas is that they're easy and completely customizable: Pick your favorite kind of tortilla, meat or bean, veggies, sauce, cheese, and go. Here are a few of our favorite enchilada recipes to get you started:
Step 1: Choose the Tortillas
Corn tortillas are traditional for enchiladas, but flour tortillas also work. Choose 7- or 8-inch flour tortillas or 6-inch corn tortillas -- they fit best in most pans. Recipes vary, but for a 3-quart rectangular casserole dish, you will need about eight flour or corn tortillas.
Tip: Corn tortillas are more pliable and easier to roll if heated first. Wrap them in foil and bake in a 350 degrees F oven for 10 minutes.
Step 2: Choose and Prep the Sauce
Covering enchiladas with sauce adds flavor and keeps them moist while cooking. Sauce recipes are abundant (see options below), or you can start simple by using canned enchilada sauce, canned Mexican-style tomatoes, or tomato or fruit salsa. Another popular sauce is the "Suiza" or Swiss-style cream sauce used in Enchiladas Suiza or Swiss Enchiladas
Some recipes suggest spreading a little sauce (1/2 cup for a 3-quart baking dish) on the bottom of the pan before adding enchiladas. This keeps the enchiladas from sticking to the pan or getting tough on the bottom.
Step 3: Choose and Prep the Filling
There are many different ways to fill an enchilada. Stir together a 10-minute black bean filling, braise beef or chicken in the slow cooker, opt for a seafood filling, or create your own with whatever ingredients you have on hand. Plan on about 1/3 cup filling per enchilada.
Step 4: Wrap the Filling
Place the filling (about 1/3 cup per tortilla) onto one edge of each tortilla. Roll up tortillas and place them, seam side down, in a row in the baking dish. This deters the tortillas from curling up during baking and helps to keep them rolled. Pour the enchilada sauce evenly over the enchiladas in the baking dish.
Tip: If all the enchiladas don't fit in the dish crosswise, tuck some above your row. You can also bake them in two baking dishes or in individual baking dishes. You may need to shorten the baking time, however.
Step 5: Bake and Serve
Most enchiladas are baked covered with foil until heated through. Oven temperatures and baking times vary per recipe, but on average they cook in a 350 degrees F oven for about 25 minutes.
Sprinkle the cheese on top of the enchiladas after they are heated through. Return the pan to the oven to bake for about 5 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted. Let the enchiladas cool slightly on a cooling rack before serving.
Tip: Popular cheeses for enchiladas include shredded Monterey Jack or Chihuahua, or crumbled Cotija. Use 1/2 to 1 cup of cheese to sprinkle on top of a 3-quart rectangular pan of enchiladas.
Tip: Snipped fresh cilantro, sour cream, diced tomato, and shredded lettuce all make tasty enchilada toppers.