This easy recipe for Tex-Mex cheese enchiladas is a family favorite! Just lightly fry corn tortillas, roll them up with Jack or cheddar cheese, cover with a tomato and green chile sauce, more cheese, and bake.
When I’m asked, “what’s your favorite recipe on the site?,” my reply without hesitation is this one— my mother’s cheese enchiladas!
We had enchiladas at least once a month my entire childhood; it’s still the most requested recipe from any of my siblings when they come home to visit. We’ll often make extra just so my father can have leftover enchiladas for breakfast the next day (it’s his version of chilaquiles).
How to Make Enchiladas
My mother, a fifth generation Hispanic Arizonian, was taught this recipe by my grandmother. Here’s her step-by-step guide to how to make enchiladas using yellow corn tortillas, a cheesy filling, and a tomato and green chile sauce.
You soften some corn tortillas, put some jack cheese in them, and roll them up. Place the rolled tortillas in a 9×13 casserole dish, cover them with the tomato and green chile sauce, a little more cheese, and bake.
A Tip About Tortilla Prep
Sturdy yellow corn tortillas hold up better in these enchiladas than more delicate white corn tortillas. (Do not use flour tortillas for this recipe; the flavor isn’t right.) The corn tortillas must be softened before they are rolled and baked in the casserole.
Frying them gently in a little oil both softens the tortillas and also greatly enhances their flavor. You can do this one at a time, or you can adopt my mother’s trick.
She places another tortilla either on top of the tortilla in the pan (and then flips both tortillas), or beneath it. In either case, the tortilla picks up some of the excess fat from the first tortilla.
You can continue “stacking” tortillas, removing the ones that have bubbled, softened and lightly browned, while adding more oil as needed to the pan. This way you can heat and soften the tortillas without using a lot of fat.
How to Make This Enchilada Sauce
The sauce for these enchiladas couldn’t be easier to make! Start by cooking chopped onions and garlic in a skillet. Then add canned crushed tomatoes, green chiles, some oregano and a little water.
If you don’t have green chiles, you can substitute the chiles with a cup of your favorite prepared salsa (cooked, do not use salsa made with fresh, uncooked tomatoes).
What to Serve with Enchiladas
We like to eat these enchiladas with a simple side of thinly sliced iceberg lettuce sprinkled with a little apple cider vinegar and some salt. Iceberg lettuce is cool and crunchy and has just the right texture and taste to accompany these enchiladas.
You can also serve them with chopped avocado or guacamole, dollops of sour cream, and a some fresh chopped cilantro.
Make-Ahead, Freezing, and Reheating Instructions
You can assemble these enchiladas the day before and refrigerate them until you’re ready to bake them. Once cooked, they’ll keep for 4 to 5 days in the fridge.
You can also freeze them, and just reheat them in the microwave or oven. To freeze, wrap them first in plastic wrap and then in heavy duty aluminum foil.
MORE ENCHILADAS TO LOVE
Watch the video for how to make enchiladas!
Updated October 6, 2019 : We spiffed up this post with some extra details to help you make the best enchiladas EVER! No changes to the original recipe. Enjoy!