30 Minute Mexican Enchiladas

Enchiladas on a black plate

The Spruce

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
677 Calories
35g Fat
70g Carbs
23g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 677
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 35g 45%
Saturated Fat 9g 47%
Cholesterol 43mg 14%
Sodium 2326mg 101%
Total Carbohydrate 70g 26%
Dietary Fiber 10g 35%
Total Sugars 15g
Protein 23g
Vitamin C 4mg 20%
Calcium 510mg 39%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 270mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This easy Mexican enchiladas recipe takes only 30 minutes to prepare for a filling family meal. They can be prepared simply with just cheese, or be spruced up by adding a little bit of beef or chicken to appeal to the omnivores in your household.

In their simplest form, enchiladas are simply corn tortillas dipped in a chile sauce and then eaten with a fork. They might or might not have a filling (but often do) and are sometimes topped with a sprinkling of grated cheese or a drizzle of cream. As enchiladas became popular across the Southwestern United States, they evolved into an oven-baked casserole-style dish that we now make today: filled, rolled tortillas topped with sauce and cheese and baked in the oven until it's bubbling.

You can make your own sauce—they're typically red or green—or buy a good jarred one. This recipe uses a jarred sauce, which makes for a relatively quick weeknight recipe. You also have the option to use corn or flour tortillas, too, depending on your preference. Corn is more traditional, but flour works, too.

1:25

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooking oil

  • 16 corn or flour tortillas

  • 1 (28-ounce) can enchilada sauce (or homemade ​red enchilada sauce)

  • 2 cups grated or shredded mozzarella or queso blanco cheese

  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked beef, chicken, or pork, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Enchilada ingredients
    The Spruce 
  2. Heat oven to 400 F. Pour 1 cup of oil into a medium-sized saucepan and heat until it's hot, but not sizzling. You want to warm the tortillas in the oil, not fry them.

  3. Using tongs, dip each tortilla, one at a time, into the hot oil until it is warmed through and pliable. Remove tortilla from oil and drain it briefly on a paper towel.

    Warming tortillas in a pan
    The Spruce
  4. Pour just enough sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish to cover it. Pour the rest of the sauce into a large bowl. Dip a warm tortilla into the sauce and then place it in the bottom of the baking dish.

    Tortillas dipped in enchilada sauce
    The Spruce
  5. Place a little less than 1/4 cup of cheese down the center of the tortilla. If you are adding meat, use a little less cheese. Fold half of the tortilla over the cheese, then the other half, so that the tortilla is rolled around the cheese. Turn it over so it is seam-side down and the weight of the cheese will help keep it in place.

    Tortillas in enchilada sauce with cheese
    The Spruce
  6. Repeat each of those steps for each of the tortillas making two layers of enchiladas in the dish, if necessary. Pour any remaining sauce over the top of the enchiladas. Sprinkle the cotija cheese over the enchiladas.

    Cheese enchiladas in a square casserole dish
    The Spruce
  7. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until enchiladas are hot throughout and cheese is melted.

    Cheese enchiladas baked and topped with cilantro and avocado
    The Spruce 
  8. Serve your enchiladas with a spatula, four to a plate, and enjoy!

Why Are My Enchiladas Soggy?

You get all excited to make the crispy-cheesy enchiladas of your dreams, but only to have them turn out soggy. Soggy tortillas can be avoided by following this recipe carefully, as frying them briefly in oil ensures that there's a bit of a protective barrier between the tortilla and the sauce.

Recipe Variations

  • If you want to keep this enchilada vegetarian, but are looking for a bit more of a heartier dish, try sautéing some chopped up bell peppers and onions and adding those to the enchilada when you add the cheese to the tortilla.
  • Use shredded cooked chicken or cubed cooked steak and add it to the tortillas when you add the cheese.

How to Store Enchiladas

Enchiladas will keep in the fridge, covered, for 3 to 5 days. Simply reheat in the casserole dish in a low oven, covered, until warm all the way through.


If you would like to, enchiladas freeze well. You can wrap them in pairs or individually, or make a double batch and freeze one whole casserole dish, wrapped in aluminum foil, for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge, and then bake in the oven as directed.