Cheese Enchiladas

Cheese Enchiladas made with corn tortillas, homemade enchilada sauce and a cheesy filling are so delicious your wont have leftovers!

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Cheese enchiladas in a 9x13 baking dish

What makes these Cheese Enchiladas so amazing?

I love cheese enchiladas! These cheese enchiladas with homemade enchilada sauce are insanely good! The homemade enchilada sauce take some extra time to make, but it is so delicious and makes these enchilada the best!

The enchilada sauce is like a Mexican gravy. It is thick and savory with a depth of flavor you don’t get with canned enchilada sauce. You can adjust the seasonings and the spice to your liking.

You can use canned enchilada sauce. If I use canned sauce, I prefer Old El Paso brand, but you can use any brand you like! You can also use mild, medium or hot. If you prefer to use canned enchilada sauce you need a 28 oz. can.

Trust me! If you are wanting the best homemade cheese enchilada, make the homemade enchialda sauce!

Tortillas for Homemade Cheese Enchiladas

I prefer corn tortillas for cheese enchiladas over flour tortillas. This is strictly a personal preference. They are both tasty, use what you like.

Corn tortillas in a package used for cheese enchiladas

Just a few tips if using corn tortillas:

  • Do not use a ”thin style” corn tortilla. They break apart to easily and make it harder for rolling the enchilada (at least they did for me!).
  • White corn or yellow corn tortillas are both fine, use whichever you prefer.
  • Corn tortillas tend to be a bit more dry and crack when rolling. This is why I fry my tortillas for just a few seconds to make them easier to roll (and it adds great flavor).
  • You do not have to fry your tortillas before rolling them. You can just roll them up and let them crack.
  • To avoid cracking without frying, you can also soften the corn tortillas by placing a few at a time in a warm, wet paper towel and microwaving them on high for 20-30 seconds. They still may crack a bit, but should be easier to work with.
  • I use 2 packages of 10 corn tortillas for this recipe, making 20 enchiladas. I squeeze them into the pan but they fit. You can make as many as you like, but 20 fit in a 9×13 pan, placing them in 2 rows of 10.
Cheese enchiladas  rolled up in a 9x13 pan in 2 rows of 10

Frying the Tortillas to avoid cracking (and it adds flavor)

I like to fry my corn tortillas for a few seconds on each side before rolling them up. This helps soften the tortilla to avoid cracking and tearing, but it also adds great flavor.

Just heat a little bit of oil (canola, vegetable oil or whatever your prefer) in a skillet on medium heat. You do not need a lot of oil. I usually use about a half inch of oil. You will know the oil is hot enough when you splash a bit of water in it and it sizzles.

Corn tortilla frying in oil

You will not fry your tortillas until they are crispy. Just a few seconds on each side so they are soft. You should be able to still easily bend them. If you cannot bend them and they are stiff, you fried them too long.

Tongs taking a corn tortilla out of hot oil for frying

Fry all of your tortillas and set them on some paper towels.

Cheese for Cheese Enchiladas

I prefer using a Mexican blend cheese or a Fiesta blend. This usually is a combination of cheddar jack cheese , queso cheese, cheddar, asadero and maybe a few more depending on the brand.

A bowl of Mexican blend cheese

You can use plain cheddar, or a blend of cheddar-mozzarella cheese. Any type of cheese is delicious.

I use a a little more than 4 cups of cheese for this recipe (if I make 20 enchiladas) . I always buy 2 bags that have 4 cups of cheese in each bag. I usually have some leftover but I want to make sure I have enough cheese. You need some for the top of the enchiladas too!

Depending on how much cheese I roll in each tortilla, and how many enchiladas I make, I use about 4-6 cups of cheese. You can get by using 4 cups of cheese, your enchiladas just won’t be as cheesy and you won’t have as much cheese sprinkled on top.

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Homemade enchilada sauce is the only way to go when making Homemade Cheese Enchiladas.

The enchilada sauce is like a Mexican gravy. It is a bit different than my Homemade Enchilada Sauce. There is no tomato sauce in this recipe, so there is no tomato base flavor. I also use a can of beef broth along with chicken broth in this recipe instead of just chicken broth like my other recipe uses.

This homemade red enchilada sauce is made with the perfect blend of Mexican flavors. You can add more or less chili powder depending on how spicy you want your enchiladas to be. The flavors can be adapted to what your family likes.

Spices and seasonings for homemade enchilada sauce for cheese enchiladas

It is easy to make! Start out with oil, and flour in a large saucepan or skillet. Heat it until it is mixed together.

Add your spices.

Whisk it together. It will be thick. As it heats you will start to smell the seasonings and your mouth will water. Let it heat for a few minutes.

Then add your chicken broth and beef broth and whisk it until it is smooth.

The enchilada sauce will thicken as it heats. Adjust the flavors and heat to your liking.

Making Cheese Enchiladas

Spread some enchilada sauce in the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan.

Enchilada sauce spread in a 9x13 pan

Place some cheese in the center of each tortilla and roll them up. Place them in a greased 9×13 pan. I make 2 rows of 10. Keep rolling the enchiladas until all of your tortillas are gone. Remember to leave enough cheese so you have some to sprinkle on top!

Pour the rest of your enchilada sauce on top of the rolled enchiladas. I use all of the enchilada sauce because I love saucy enchiladas. If you do not like a lot of sauce, use just what you prefer.

Enchilada sauce being poured on top of the rolled enchiladas in a pan

Then using a spoon, spread the sauce evenly over the top of the enchiladas. I like to push my spoon in between the enchiladas and around the outside edges of the pan to make sure enchilada sauce gets in between the enchiladas and on all sides of the pan.

Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake in the oven until heated through and the cheese is melted!

Cheese sprinkled on top of the cheese enchiladas

After the enchiladas have baked, serve them up and enjoy! I love mine plain but you can add some sour cream, tomatoes, green onions or lettuce on top!

Plate of cheese enchiladas with the pan of enchiladas in the background

You can serve your cheese enchiladas with some easy Mexican Rice, and refried beans or avocado salsa.

Also try my Green Enchilada Sauce recipe, my easy Chicken Enchiladas or Easy Ground Beef Enchiladas.

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Cheese Enchiladas

Homemade Cheese Enchiladas are made with a homemade red enchilada sauce, corn tortillas and are stuffed with cheese!
This recipe makes up to 20 cheesy homemade enchiladas. You can make less if needed.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword cheese ball, cheese enchilada, enchilada, enchilada sauce
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 20 Enchiladas

Ingredients

Homemade Enchilada Sauce (you can also use canned enchilada sauce- use a 28 oz. Can)

  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can beef broth
  • 5 tbsp oil (canola, vegetable or corn)
  • 5 tbsp flour
  • 3 to 4 tbsp chili powder *start with 3 add more to your liking- the more you add the spicer your sauce will be – add more to taste after the sauce is made
  • 3 1/4 tsp white sugar
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt *or more to taste-add more to taste after sauce is made
  • 1/4 tsp cocoa powder
  • pinch of cinnamon

Cheese Enchiladas

  • 20 corn tortillas *flour work too, see notes for more on the amount this recipe makes
  • 4 to 6 cups shredded cheese, I prefer Mexican or Fiesta blend * see notes, make sure to leave some extra cheese to sprinkle on top for baking
  • oil for frying the corn tortillas until soft and pliable *optional – see notes

Instructions

Enchilada Sauce

  • Measure all of your spices/seasonings together and set aside.
  • In a large saucepan/skillet add your oil and flour. Heat it over medium heat, whisking it together. It may be a bit thick at first. As it heats it should thin out but it is ok if it doesn’t.
  • Let the oil and flour cook for about 2 minutes. Then add in your seasonings and whisk them together with the oil and flour. Let is cook until the seasonings are fragrant. It will be thick like a paste. (See photos above)
  • Add in your can of chicken broth and beef broth. Whisk the broth into the seasonings. Keep whisking as it heats.
  • Let the sauce simmer and thicken. Take it off the burner once it is thickened. Adjust the chili powder and salt to your liking. Set aside.

Tortillas

  • If using corn tortillas they will tear when you roll them unless you warm them or fry them. This is optional – you can just roll them straight out of of package if you are ok with them cracking and tearing.
    Frying: Heat some oil (canola, vegetable or corn oil) in a skillet. Your oil will be hot enough when you splash some water in the oil and it sizzles and pops. You need about a half inch or a bit more in a skillet. Fry your corn tortillas for a few seconds on each side. They should soften to where they won’t tear but should still be soft and able to roll. If they are crunchy or stiff you fried them for too long. Fry each tortilla and set it on paper towels to cool.
    Warming: Place up to 5 corn tortillas in a wet paper towel. Heat on high in the microwave for 30 seconds. They still may crack a bit when rolling.

Making the Cheese Enchiladas

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Pour half of the enchilada sauce into a greased 9×13 baking dish.
  • Take a bit of cheese and place it in the center of a corn tortilla. Roll it up then place it seam side down in the enchilada sauce in the pan. Repeat until all of your tortillas are rolled up with cheese. I rolled up all 20 tortillas and they fit (tightly) in my 9×13 pan with 2 rows of 10. See blog list above for a photo.
    *Make sure to leave enough cheese to sprinkle on top of the enchiladas before baking.
  • After the enchiladas are rolled up and placed in the pan, pour the rest of your enchilada sauce on top, spreading it out on top of all of the enchiladas. Take a spoon and gently run the spoon in between the enchialdas and along the sides of the pan. This is to make sure enchilada sauce is in between all of the tortillas and along the outside edges of the pan.
  • Cover the enchiladas with shredded cheese.
  • Bake, uncovered for 30 minutes until the cheese is melty and the sauce is bubbly. (Bake longer if needed)
  • Take the enchiladas out of the oven and serve. Some sour cream, green onions, lettuce and tomatoes are always delicious on top of these cheese enchiladas. You can serve them with rice, beans or your favorite sides.
  • Store any leftovers in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

Notes

This recipe as written will make 20 corn tortilla cheese enchiladas.  They fit tightly in a 9×13 baking dish.  You can make more or less.  I place them in my pan in 2 rows of 10.  See blog post above.
I buy 2 bags of cheese (4 cups each) for this recipe but I don’t use it all.  4 cups is barely enough by the time you roll the enchiladas with cheese and put some on top.  So I buy 2 bags and have leftovers.  You can use any kind of cheese you like, cheddar or a Mexican Blend work best.
You can use flour tortillas.
I fry my corn tortillas  for the added flavor and so they are easier to roll without tearing.  This is optional.  You can also warm them in wet paper towels like the recipe states above.   Or  roll them up and don’t worry about them tearing and cracking when rolling them.

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