Made with an easy enchilada sauce, filled with savory melted cheese, and topped with chopped onions, these cheese enchiladas are sure to be a staple weeknight dinner. Great with Mexican rice and refried beans!
These cheese enchiladas are certainly a crowd pleaser that even your most carnivorous friends will enjoy.
This recipe is made with our easy enchilada sauce, filled with melted Mexican blend cheese and topped with bright and tangy chopped onions and cilantro. Pair them with Mexican rice and refried beans or borracho beans for a filling and authentic Mexican dinner!
This cheese enchilada recipe has a special place in my heart. This is one of my mom’s staple dishes and she loves to cook it as much as I do. We have it at least every other week, and once you try it hopefully you will too.
How to make cheese enchiladas
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Spread a few spoonfuls (about 1/4 cup) of enchilada sauce at the bottom of your baking dish. This helps prevent the bottom of the enchiladas from sticking or burning, and ensures that the bottom of the enchilada is covered in sauce. Set the remaining sauce aside.
Warm your tortillas of choice (corn or flour) in the microwave.
If you’re using corn tortillas, wrap them in a damp paper towel and microwave for 1 minute. Flip them over after 30 seconds until they are all warm and pliable. Using a damp paper towel adds moisture and helps steam them.
If you’re using flour tortillas, microwave them on a plate for 1 minute, flipping them after 30 seconds until they are all warm and pliable.
This step is very important in making sure your tortillas won’t tear. They are the most malleable and easiest to fill and roll when they are warm. While you’re filling them, keep the rest of your tortillas warm in a tortilla warmer, wrap them in a light cloth, or place them inside of a plastic zip-top bag.
To assemble your enchiladas, fill each individual tortilla with about 3 tablespoons of shredded cheese. Roll them tightly and place them inside the baking dish seam side down.
Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas and top with the remaining shredded cheese.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted, then serve immediately.
My favorite toppings to use are chopped onions, cilantro, and shredded lettuce. A drizzle of sour cream is also a great topping!
A note on tradition
This recipe uses the oven to speed up time and add convenience. A more traditional way to cook these enchiladas is to omit the oven altogether. To use this process, omit warming the corn tortillas in the microwave and instead lightly fry/warm them in a pan with hot oil for about 10 seconds, then dip them into your enchilada sauce, fill, roll, and top with cheese and your desired garnish.
SUBSTITUTIONS AND VARIATIONS
- Shredded mozzarella or crumbled queso fresco are great alternatives for fillings. If using queso fresco, be aware that queso fresco doesn’t melt well so you only need to bake the enchiladas in the oven for about 5-8 minutes, or until the tortillas and sauce are fully heated through.
- Shredded lettuce is a great topping to add texture and an extra crunch.
- My mom likes to mix the shredded cheese and chopped onions as a filling instead of using onions as a toppings.
Storing and Reheating
To store, let the enchiladas cool completely and then store them in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
To freeze, place the enchiladas in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
To reheat, place the enchiladas in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. If the enchiladas were previously frozen, place them in the oven at 350℉ for 10-15 minutes until warm and bubbly.
- 1 1/4 cup easy enchilada sauce, divided
- 8 corn or flour tortillas (see notes if using flour tortillas)
- 2 1/2 cups shredded Mexican-blend cheese, divided
- toppings: diced onions, chopped cilantro, sour cream, shredded lettuce
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Add 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce to the bottom of a large baking dish and spread it evenly over the entire surface.
- If using corn tortillas: Wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel and heat them in the microwave for 1 minute, flipping the them halfway through until all of them are warm and pliable.If using flour tortillas: Microwave the tortillas on a plate for 1 minute, flipping them halfway through until all of them are warm and pliable.
- Assemble the enchiladas by filling each tortilla evenly with about 3 tablespoons of shredded cheese. Roll the tortillas tightly to close and place in the prepared baking dish seam side down.
- Pour the remaining 1 cup enchilada sauce over the tortillas, top with the remaining shredded cheese, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese on top has melted.
- Serve immediately and garnish with desired toppings.
- Enchilada sauce: I highly recommend making your own using this easy enchilada sauce recipe or this authentic enchilada sauce recipe. If you’re short on time, you can use your favorite store-bought sauce.
- Cheese: I used a shredded Mexican-blend cheese, but you can use whatever cheese you have in the fridge. Cheddar, Monterey jack, and mozzarella are all great options.
- Flour tortillas: Since flour tortillas are often larger than corn tortillas, you will need a little more shredded cheese and enchilada sauce.