Looking for a quick and easy weeknight meal that’s cheesy and delicious? This recipe for homemade cheese enchiladas will have your taste buds dancing! From the gooey melted cheese to the smoky, spicy sauce, this recipe will become a family favorite.
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This quick and easy cheese enchilada recipe is perfect for preparing any day of the week. You can also make a big tray to feed a crowd to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! Grate your favorite melty cheeses, wrap them in tender tortillas, top them with a flavorful sauce, and bake! Dinner is hot and bubbly out of the oven in just 20 minutes. If you’re short on time, it’s a great dish to meal prep!
I like to use a combination of cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses. They deliver an enticing cheese pull and gooey melt. Add extra fillings like vegetables for heartier bites, chilis or spicy seasoning for more heat, or switch up the tortillas for a different taste and texture. For a complete feast, serve with Spanish rice, sauteed veggies, or refried beans.
- Tortillas: White or yellow corn tortillas about 6 inches in size. Use flour tortillas for a chewier texture and a more sturdy wrap.
- Cheese: Use a combination of shredded cheeses. Monterey Jack cheese and mild or sharp cheddar cheese are my favorites. Use a pre-shredded Mexican blend of cheese for convenience. Depending on the brand, that is usually a mix of cheddar, asadero, queso quesadilla, and Monterey Jack.
- Enchilada Sauce: Make the spicy and smokey chili sauce from scratch using my homemade red enchilada sauce. For convenience, use a store-bought canned red sauce, mild or spicy. Alternatively, use a green chili enchilada sauce for a tangier flavor.
Make the cheese filling
To make it easier to fill each tortilla, combine the flavorful ingredients together. Mix the Monterey Jack, cheddar, diced green chilies, and green onions in a large bowl. Now you can evenly divide the mixture, about ⅓ cup per wrap.
Suppose you like a creamier consistency. Mix in some sour cream or softened cream cheese. The filling can be prepared a few days in advance.
Warm the tortillas
It only takes a few minutes to warm the tortillas, and worth the extra time! Toasting them over medium-high heat for about 10 to 15 seconds per side adds more flavor to the surface, removing the raw starchy taste. It also makes them more pliable, making them easier to wrap.
Drying some of the surface moisture makes the enchiladas less soggy. Plus, it can soak up more of the delicious sauce.
Assemble the enchiladas
In a large 13 by 9-inch baking dish and ½ cup of enchilada sauce. Add about ⅓ cup of the cheese filling to each tortilla. Wrap them up into a cigar shape, then place them side by side with the seam side down in the pan. Spread additional sauce on top of the enchiladas, then the cheeses to coat.
Dipping corn tortillas in sauce causes them to get soggy, with a higher risk of falling apart. A light coating can be applied, but don’t let them soak. It’s safer to dip flour tortillas for extra flavor. The gluten gives the wrap a better structure.
Bake the Casserole
Cover the baking dish with foil. This will keep the heat in and prevent the tortillas from drying out. In a preheated oven set at 400ºF (204ºC), bake the enchiladas for 15 minutes. Remove the cover and cook for about 5 additional minutes to finish melting the cheese. If you like a more brown crust, broil for a few minutes, keeping a close eye on color change.
The best part about this recipe for cheese enchiladas is that it’s easy to customize. Switch up the cheese, and add in more spicy ingredients or vegetables. Give some of those tasty suggestions a try to switch things up!
- Add sauteed onions, garlic, bell peppers, zucchini, corn, or beans.
- For a creamy filling, stir in some sour cream or cream cheese.
- Mix in some sour cream or heavy cream with the enchilada sauce.
- Try queso asadero, queso fresco, mozzarella, colby, or pepper jack. Sprinkle on cotija, queso fresco, or parmesan cheese on top for a saltier taste.
- Toss the cheese with taco seasoning or chili powder to enhance the flavor.
- Use homemade flour tortillas, corn tortillas, or cassava tortillas.
- Mexican rice
- Mexican cauliflower rice for a low-carb option
- Black beans and rice
- Refried beans
- Toppings: Pico de Gallo, salsa, sour cream, avocado, guacamole, cilantro, pickled red onions.
Frequently asked questions
Use a melting cheese like Monterey Jack, cheddar, Colby, or pepper jack. Mexican restaurants typically use queso fresco, asadero, or a combination. Use a variety of at least two to switch up the taste. Top with cotija or queso fresco for a more aged, tangy, and saltier flavor.
For convenience, pre-shredded Mexican cheese blends can be used for enchiladas. Depending on the brand, they typically contain cheddar, asadero, queso quesadilla, and Monterey Jack.
Yes, cover the enchiladas to create a steamy environment. The trapped heat will heat the enchiladas and gently melt the cheese. The foil can be removed to melt the cheese or brown it at the end of baking.
Preventing soggy enchiladas
Soggy enchiladas are mostly a problem with corn tortillas. No gluten, like flour tortillas, exists to hold it strongly together. When soaked too long in sauce, the structure starts to break down. Lightly toasting the tortillas in a hot pan before wrapping helps to remove excess moisture, or frying in a thin layer of oil will create a barrier to reduce the amount of liquid soaked. After rolling up with filling, spread sauce on top to coat, but don’t drench.
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- Preheat the Oven – Adjust the oven rack to the center position—Preheat to 400ºF (204ºC).
- Make the Filling – In a large bowl, combine 1 ¼ cups of Monterey Jack cheese, 1 ¼ cups of cheddar cheese, green chilies, and green onions.
- Warm the Tortillas – Warm each tortilla in a pan over medium-high heat to lightly toast and make pliable, 10 to 15 seconds per side. Transfer to a plate and cover with a kitchen towel to keep warm.
- Assemble the Enchiladas – Lightly coat a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray or oil. Spread ½ cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom. Fill the center of each tortilla with about ⅓ cup of the cheese mixture. Roll into a cylinder and transfer to the baking dish, seam-side down. Repeat the process until 10 enchiladas are rolled and lined up in the pan. Evenly spread the remaining sauce over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese.
- Bake the Casserole – Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 5 minutes.
- To Serve – If desired, garnish with green onions. Serve while still hot.
- Topping Suggestions: Sour cream, pico de Gallo, avocado, cilantro, cotija cheese, red onions, or pickled onions.
- Make-Ahead: Assemble the casserole, cover it, and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw before using.
- Storing: Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Reheat: Cover with foil and warm in a 325ºF (163ºC) oven until hot. Alternatively, microwave portions on high setting in 15 to 30-second increments until hot.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.
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