If you’re looking for a cozy, warming, filling, all-in-one dish, enchiladas are it!
Corn tortillas wrapped up around a super savory meaty filling, smothered in homemade enchilada sauce and topped off with cheese…drool.
I first fell in love with enchiladas in New Mexico. Mike and I were on a road trip and boy oh boy did I fall hard for the the land of enchantment – which handily happens to be the state slogan. One of the best meals we ate was at Mary & Tito’s: the enchiladas (extra chile please!) are something I still dream about.
If you love enchiladas that are plump, juicy, full of filling, with a lot of sauce and cheese, this is the enchilada recipe for you!
What is an enchilada?
If you haven’t had the pleasure of having one before, an enchilada is a rolled corn tortilla stuffed with meat (or beans or vegetables), covered with sauce, and baked. Enchiladas are originally from Mexico, but a lot of people associate them with American Tex-mex. The ones we are making today are New Mexico style, but they are both really good!
Red vs green
Generally, there are two kinds of enchiladas: red or green. Red enchiladas have red enchilada sauce, made from dried red chile peppers. Green enchiladas have green chile sauce, made from roasted green chile peppers. We’re going to make green enchiladas because I am obsessed with green chile!
How to make enchiladas
They may seem complicated, but if you can roll up a tortilla, you can enchilada!
- Prep the sauce. We’re going to go all out and make a homemade green enchilada sauce but if you’re in a hurry, you can used jarred enchilada sauce – you can find both red and green sauce in the Mexican aisle at the grocery store.
- Make the filling. Don’t go rolling up just plain meat inside your enchiladas! You want the filling to be flavorful, juicy, and moist. Give your filling an extra boost by mixing in a good amount of enchilada sauce and cheese.
- Roll. Time to roll! Lightly heat up your tortilla, the spoon some filling in the center. Roll the tortilla up tightly and place it seam side down in an oven safe baking dish.
- Sauce. Spoon on some extra enchilada sauce and finish with generous amount of cheese.
- Bake. Bake the enchiladas until they are heated through and the cheese is melty and delicious.
- Top and enjoy! Finish everything off with some toppings: cilantro, onions, salsa, sour cream, extra chiles. Enjoy hot!
Enchilada sauce – enchilada sauce is surprisingly easy to make, especially because a blender does all the work for you. That being said, you can use store bought sauce if you’re in a hurry.
Chicken – I like to air fry the chicken because air fried chicken is SO juicy, but you can also use leftover rotisserie chicken or baked chicken too.
Cheese – A blanket of melty cheese on top as well as cheese inside the enchiladas make these guys extra cheesy comfort food.
Tortillas – I like to use corn tortillas, which is traditional, but enchiladas with flour tortillas are popular too and flour tortillas are a lot softer, making them very easy to roll.
Toppings – What are enchiladas without toppings? Sour cream is a must! I also like a squeeze of lime, diced red onions, sliced avocados, and chopped cilantro.
I love chicken enchiladas, but to be honest, you can fill these with almost anything, including all the meats: seasoned ground beef, barbacoa, carnitas, chicken tinga (shown below), al pastor, or carne adovada.
What to serve with enchiladas
- who doesn’t love Mexican rice?!
- quick and easy homemade salsa verde
- better than store bought tortilla chips
Make the enchilada sauce: set the oven to broil. Wash and dry the tomatillos and chiles. Toss with a bit of oil and toast on a foil lined baking sheet until charred, flipping once, about 15-20 minutes.
When the tomatillos and chiles are done, remove the tomatillos from the baking sheet, placing in a blender. Carefully wrap the foil up around the peppers so they are in a little package so they can steam. Let steam for 10 minutes and then peel off the skins and remove the stems and seeds. Add the peppers to the blender, along with the onion, garlic, cilantro, oregano, and cumin. Blend until finely chopped. Taste and season with salt.
Set the oven to 375°F and lightly oil or use non-stick spray on a baking dish.
Add 2 cups of the green enchilada sauce to a bowl with the shredded chicken and 1 cup of cheese. Mix well, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Lay a tortilla flat (warm them up in the microwave briefly if they need to be more pliable) then spoon on some filling in the center. Roll up tightly and place seam side down into the prepared baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and chicken mixture.
Top generously with the remaining enchilada sauce and cheese. Bake in the oven until cheese is melted and bubbly, 20-30 minutes. Top with cilantro and serve with hot sauce and lime.