Traditional cheese enchiladas are a beloved staple of Tex-Mex cuisine. They’re simple to make and perfect for feeding a crowd or making dinner for one. These classic cheese enchiladas are made with a homemade sauce and are filled to the brim with melty cheese.
All about Tex-Mex Cheese Enchiladas
Cheese enchiladas are corn tortillas filled with melted cheese then covered in either a chili pepper sauce or red salsa. This dish can be served as an appetizer, main course, or side dish. The cheese in cheese enchiladas varies but often includes one or more kinds of cheddar, Monterey Jack, mozzarella, and/or queso fresco.
Tex-Mex cheese enchiladas originated in Mexico and were brought to the United States by immigrants. This delicious dish has become an integral part of American culture. Tex-Mex, short for Texas-Mexican, is a fusion of Mexican cuisine and American cuisine. Tex-Mex dishes feature ingredients from both cuisines, such as chiles, tortillas, beans, cheese and beef.
The popularity of Tex-Mex cheese enchiladas has grown over time, and today you can find them on menus across the country. They are especially popular in Texas and other parts of the Southwest, where they are often served alongside other Tex-Mex favorites, such as tacos, burritos, and nachos.
Ingredients You’ll Need for Tex-Mex Cheese Enchiladas
- Corn tortillas
- Cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese
- White flour
- Olive oil
- Chili powder
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Dried oregano
- Tomato paste (tomato concentrate)
- Chicken stock
- Neutral-tasting oil (for frying)
How to Make Tex-Mex Cheese Enchiladas
Prepare the sauce:
- Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the white flour and mix well until the flour is toasted and golden.
- Stir in the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, chili powder, and oregano.
- Add the tomato paste. Mix well and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Slowly add the chicken stock, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Mix until all the chicken stock is incorporated into the mixture.
- Simmer on low while you fry the tortillas.
Fry the tortillas:
- Heat the neutral oil in a different pan.
- Fry each corn tortilla for a couple of seconds until they fluff. Remove from the heat and set aside on a plate covered with paper towels to absorb the extra oil.
Assemble the enchiladas:
- Dip a fried tortilla into the sauce then lay it flat on a plate.
- Fill the tortilla with cheese and roll it up.
- Stack the rolled tortilla in the oven dish.
- Repeat with each fried tortilla until all of them have been rolled and stacked in the dish.
- Pour the remaining sauce on top of the rolled enchiladas.
- Cover with more cheese.
- Cook at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 7 minutes until the cheese has melted.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro on top and serve hot.
Tips and Variations for Cheese Enchiladas
Making the perfect cheese enchiladas can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Here are some tips for getting the most out of this cheese enchilada recipe:
- Select good quality cheese. For maximum freshness, grate it yourself on the finest grater setting to make sure you get the desired texture. If you don’t have time to grate the cheese yourself, packaged cheese that is already shredded is fine.
- Experiment with different varieties of cheese to find the combination that suits your taste.
- Add diced onions, peppers, jalapenos, and cilantro inside the enchiladas or on top.
- Top the enchiladas with sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, sliced avocados, or crumbled queso fresco after baking.
- Serve with a side of Spanish rice or black beans for a complete meal.
Cheese Enchiladas FAQs
Is there any meat in classic cheese enchiladas?
It’s your choice. Classic cheese enchiladas can contain only cheese or can include ground beef or shredded chicken. You could also add beans as a vegetarian alternative.
Is it possible to make vegan cheese enchiladas?
Yes. You can make these enchiladas vegan by using vegan cheeses and substituting vegetable stock for the chicken stock. Read the ingredient label of the corn tortillas to make sure they don’t contain any animal products.
What are good neutral-tasting oils for frying the corn tortillas?
Canola oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, and safflower oil are all good neutral-tasting oils for frying.
How do I store leftover cheese enchiladas?
It’s best to eat these cheese enchiladas right after they are cooked. But leftovers are good for up to a week in a sealed container in the fridge.
Other Tex-Mex Recipes
Mexican Street Corn Salsa Hummus
Tex-Mex Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Cheese enchiladas are a classic Tex-Mex dish that can be enjoyed as a main course or as a side dish. This cheese enchilada recipe is easy to make, but it’s full of flavor thanks to the homemade sauce and melted cheese. With this recipe, you can create delicious cheese enchiladas with your favorite cheese combination in no time.
Classic Tex-Mex Cheese Enchiladas
Classic Tex-mex cheese enchiladas, with a homemade sauce, to die for, filled to the brim with melty cheese
- 10 corn tortillas
- 3 cups cheddar cheese and mozzarella
- 1/8 cup white flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons tomato concentrate
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2-3 cups neutral-tasting oil (for frying)
Let’s prepare the sauce:
Fry the tortillas: for this heat neutral oil in a different pan and fry one by one for only a couple of seconds, until they fluff. Remove from heat and set aside on a kitchen paper-covered plate.
- Dip each fried tortilla into the sauce and then sit flat on a plate.
- Fill with cheese and roll.
- Stack in the oven dish.
Once all of them have been rolled, pour on top the remaining sauce.
Cover with more cheese.
Cook for 7 minutes at 374 F/ 190 C until the cheese has completely melted.
Serve hot garnished with some fresh cilantro on top.
These cheese enchiladas are best eaten right after being made. However, leftovers are good for up to a week in a sealed container in the fridge. Just make sure to heat them before eating.
Some versions add some diced onion to the filling and raw on top. Equally delicious.
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