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Craving enchiladas without the fuss? This flavorful cheese enchiladas recipe is packed with melty cheese, warm tortillas, and a zingy enchilada sauce: an easy dinner idea for pleasing everyone!

Cheese enchiladas

Over here we adore enchiladas, but it always feels like they take longer to make than we expect. Because when we need enchiladas, we need them now! Introducing, our easy cheese enchiladas recipe! This flavorful cheese enchiladas recipe is packed with melty cheese, warm tortillas, and a zingy enchilada sauce. Even better, you don’t need to cook anything for the filling: stuff it with cheese, green chiles and spices, and you’re ready to rock.

Jump to the recipe—now.

What you need for cheese enchiladas

Cheese enchiladas are a staple of Tex Mex cuisine, and they have a long tradition as a classic Mexican dish (the first reference to modern enchiladas was in 1885, though rolling tortillas around fillings had been a culinary practice in Mexico for centuries). The cheese enchiladas recipe below is Tex Mex in style, and we honor the great tradition of Mexican cooks and chefs who brought us the mighty enchilada.

There are a few major differences between Mexican enchiladas and Tex Mex style. Often Mexican enchiladas use corn tortillas and are fried, whereas Tex Mex enchiladas use flour tortillas and are baked. Cheese enchiladas are typical in both styles, and require no cooking of the fillings like in chicken enchiladas or sweet potato enchiladas, which is helpful for speedy prep. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Red enchilada sauce: We recommend finding a purchased sauce you love, though you can also make homemade enchilada sauce.
  • Mild roasted green chiles: It’s easy to find this ingredient canned in the grocery store near the tortillas.
  • Cumin, garlic powder, and salt: This blend of spices makes for a well-seasoned filling.
  • Colby or Monterrey jack cheese: We like Colby jack for flavor, but you can also use Monterrey Jack or Mexican blend cheese.
  • Mild cheddar cheese: Using two types of cheese adds nuance to the flavor, and mild cheddar melts well.
  • Tortillas: We use flour tortillas for this Tex Mex variation, but you can use corn tortillas as well, which are more traditional in Mexican-style enchiladas and a gluten free option.
Cheese enchiladas recipe

Use a great red enchilada sauce

Many people swear by homemade enchilada sauce: and we’ll admit, it tastes incredible! However, it takes quite a while and leaves a bit of a mess behind. For easy enchiladas, we like using a purchased brand. There are many great sauces out there that taste incredible (pretty much like homemade, in our opinion!).

  • Purchased red enchilada sauce: There are many enchilada sauce brands at the store, and many of them are minimally processed. Every brand is different, so experiment to find one you love. We like this Siete Foods enchilada sauce.
  • Homemade, made in advance: Make a batch of our Homemade Red Enchilada sauce in advance to ensure quick prep.
Pan of cheese enchiladas recipe

Flour tortillas vs corn tortillas

Corn tortillas are traditional in Mexican-style enchiladas, and flour tortillas are used in Tex Mex enchiladas. We prefer using flour tortillas for cheese enchiladas, since they’re easiest to roll and we crave that Tex Mex flavor. Here’s what to know about working with different types of tortillas:

  • Flour tortillas are our preference for enchiladas. They are easy to roll and more durable for holding up during the baking process. They also get nice and gooey from the enchilada sauce.
  • Corn tortillas are gluten-free, so they’re great if you’re looking for a gluten-free recipe. However, depending on the brand corn tortillas can tend to split when you roll them. To combat this, find the best quality corn tortilla brand you can. Then brush it with oil and cook it 15 seconds per side before assembling.
  • What about grain free tortillas? There are are other types of grain-free tortillas available at many grocery stores: almond flour, cassava flour, or chickpea flour (try Siete brand).

Want a cheesier top?

One thing to note about this cheese enchiladas recipe: we optimized the ingredients so that you don’t have to buy more than two 8-ounce bags of cheese. The cheese on top is minimal, but when covered by garnishes looks great.

If you prefer a more cheesy topping and don’t plan to add additional garnishes, use another ½ cup or more mild cheddar cheese for topping. If so, you’ll need to grab an extra bag of cheese at the store or load up on a large bag.

Cheese Enchilada recipe

Load up on cheese enchilada toppings

The best part of this easy cheese enchiladas recipe? Loading them up with all the best toppings! For the garnishes, make sure they are crunchy and fresh to contrast the gooey cheese and tortillas. Since there’s not a lot of texture to the interior of a cheese enchilada, the topping is key. Here are a few cheese enchilada topping ideas:

  • Shredded cabbage
  • Chopped iceberg lettuce
  • Pico de gallo
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole
  • Feta or queso fresco crumbles
  • Red onion or green onion
  • Cilantro
  • Pickled onions

Sides for cheese enchiladas

Use the bake time for the cheese enchiladas to pull together a few simple side dishes to make it a meal! Here are a few sides that go with enchiladas:

More enchiladas recipes

Enchiladas are always a hit in our house! Here are a few more fillings to try:

This cheese enchiladas recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free (with corn tortillas).

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Cheese enchiladas

Easy Cheese Enchiladas


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 enchiladas 1x

Description

This flavorful cheese enchiladas recipe is packed with melty cheese, warm tortillas, and a zingy enchilada sauce: an easy dinner idea for pleasing everyone!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 cups red enchilada sauce (or Homemade Enchilada Sauce, made in advance)
  • 8 ounces (2 cups) shredded pepper jack or Monterey jack cheese*
  • 8 ounces (2 cups) shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 2 4-ounce cans roasted green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 8-inch flour tortillas (or corn tortillas)
  • For serving: shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, sliced red onion, guacamole, sour cream, feta or queso fresco crumbles, sliced jalapeno or fresno peppers, torn or chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. 
  2. Spread 1 cup of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish. 
  3. If using corn tortillas (skip this step for flour tortillas), brush both sides of each tortilla lightly with olive oil. Heat a large griddle to medium-high heat. Cook the tortillas in batches for 15 seconds per side until lightly browned.
  4. Reserve ½ cup of the jack cheese for topping, then mix the remaining jack and cheddar cheese together in a bowl with the green chilies, cumin, garlic powder, and kosher salt.
  5. Fill each tortilla with ⅓ cup of the filling. Roll it up and place it in the baking dish seam side down. Once all 12 of the tortillas are in the dish, pour over the remaining 2 cups of enchilada sauce. Top with the reserved cheese.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the cheese is melted. Top with garnishes* and serve. (Leftovers keep well refrigerated.)

Notes

*The cheese on top is minimal but when covered by garnishes looks great. If you prefer a more cheesy topping and don’t plan to add additional garnishes, use another ½ cup or more mild cheddar cheese for topping. For the garnishes, make sure they are crunchy and fresh to contrast the gooey cheese and tortillas.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Tex Mex
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Cheese enchiladas, cheese enchilada recipe, cheese enchiladas recipe

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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2 Comments

  1. I’ve always made these to order, some version of them at least, good idea en masse, and yes to a great red sauce, thank you!