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How to Make Enchiladas

Yes, you can make restaurant-worthy enchiladas at home—and it’s easier than you think! From the sauce and tortillas to the many different filling combos, read on for the best tips and tricks for making the best enchiladas ever.

What are enchiladas, exactly? The word “enchilar” directly translates “to season with chili” in Spanish, which largely describes enchiladas—they are a classic dish with origins in Mexico and can be loosely defined as tortillas wrapped around a filling and smothered in chili pepper sauce. Common fillings include meats like chicken or beef, cheese, beans and a variety of vegetables. You don’t have to go to a Mexican restaurant to eat enchiladas, though! This tasty dish can easily be made at home, and you can find out how to make them right here. Let’s get started!

How to Make Enchiladas

Making enchiladas at home is actually quite easy, and it’s simple to customize the dish to your family’s taste. There are just a few key components to keep in mind!

The Tortillas

The traditional type of tortilla used is corn tortillas. Corn was a staple crop in ancient Mexico and it’s thought that the practice of rolling food in corn tortillas dates back to Aztec times. Though the recipe for enchiladas has evolved over the years, corn tortillas are still used to make them! Nowadays, however, you’ll also see a lot of restaurants and recipes call for flour tortillas, which is also a delicious way to prepare enchiladas. The taste of the two different types of tortillas is slightly different, so go with your personal preference when selecting your ingredients at the grocery store.

The Sauce

Red enchilada sauce made from chili peppers is the typical sauce you’ll see in enchiladas, but you can try mole sauce, tomato sauce or even a salsa verde sauce to switch things up. In most enchilada recipes, the tortillas get dipped or spread with a bit of sauce, filled and are then topped with even more sauce.

The Filling

You can go wild with the combinations of fillings in enchiladas. Most recipes call for beef or chicken and can be mixed with cheese and vegetables like corn and black beans. You can opt to make your enchiladas vegetarian, if you choose, and leave out the meat filling.

The Toppings

Almost all enchiladas get topped with cheese and sauce. You can serve them this way, or add even more toppings after the dish comes out of the oven. Try sour cream, cilantro, avocado, black olives and/or more traditional Mexican toppings.

Ready to put all of the pieces together? Read on to learn how to make the easiest enchiladas, ever.

How to Make Enchilada Sauce

Though today there are a variety of enchilada recipes, a red chili sauce is the most traditional sauce used. You don’t need many ingredients to make your own at home, but in favor of saving time during busy weeknights, we always reach for Old El Paso™ red enchilada sauce.

If you do happen to have some extra time on your hands and want to make a homemade batch, our friends at have a super easy recipe! It only take five minutes to make and only requires six simple ingredients.

How to Make Chicken Enchiladas

You only need chicken breasts and four additional ingredients to make a satisfying chicken enchilada dinner, thanks to this easy recipe.

What You Need

  • 12x8-inch (2-quart) baking dish 
  • 4-quart pot 
  • Large bowl 
  • Mixing spoon 
  • Aluminum foil


  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 10 oz total) 
  • 8 Old El Paso™ flour tortillas for burritos (8 inch) 
  • 2 cans (10 oz each) Old El Paso™ red enchilada sauce 
  • 1 can (15 oz) Progresso™ black beans, drained 
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican four-cheese blend (8 oz)

Step 1: Heat oven to 350°F. Line the 12x8-inch baking dish with foil. Fill a 4-quart pot three-fourths full with water. Add two boneless skinless chicken breasts and heat until boiling. Reduce the heat to simmer; cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the center of the thickest part is cooked through (at least 165°F).

Step 2: Meanwhile, lightly fold eight flour tortillas in half and place folded-side-down in dish; set aside. Pour one of the cans of red enchilada sauce, a can of black beans and one cup of the shredded Mexican cheese into a large bowl. Shred the cooked chicken and add it to the bowl; stir all of the ingredients with a large spoon to combine.

Combine shredded chicken, enchilada sauce, black beans and shredded cheese in a large bowl.

Step 3: Divide the chicken mixture evenly among the tortillas and then wrap the tortillas around the filling and place seam-down into the pan.

Divide the chicken mixture evenly among folded tortillas in a baking dish; wrap the tortillas around the filling and place seam-down into the pan.

Step 4: Pour the second can of red enchilada sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle the enchiladas with the remaining cup of shredded Mexican cheese.

Put enchilada sauce and shredded cheese over the enchiladas.

Step 5: Bake uncovered for 40 to 45 minutes or until the enchiladas are hot and bubbly. Serve with your favorite toppings such as chopped green onions, fresh cilantro, sour cream or Mexican crema.

5-Ingredient Chicken Enchilada Casserole

How to Make Beef Enchiladas

Have some ground beef in your freezer? You can make easy beef enchiladas with that! Our super-simple five-ingredient beef enchilada recipe uses a pound of ground beef to make enchiladas that will feed up to eight people.

What You Need

  • 13x9-inch (3-quart) baking dish 
  • Cooking spray 
  • 10-inch nonstick skillet 
  • 1 large bowl 
  • 1 mixing spoon


  • 8 Old El Paso™ flour tortillas for burritos (8 inch) 
  • 1 lb. lean (at least 80%) ground beef 
  • 1 can (10 oz.) Old El Paso™ mild enchilada sauce 
  • 1 jar (16 oz) black bean or corn salsa 
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican four-cheese blend (8 oz.)

Step 1: Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) baking dish with cooking spray. Gently fold the flour tortillas in half and place folded-side-down in dish; set aside.

Fold the flour tortillas in half and place folded-side-down in baking dish.

Step 2: In 10-inch nonstick skillet, cook the ground beef with salt to taste over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until no longer pink; drain. Transfer to large bowl. Add 1/4 cup from 1 can of the enchilada sauce, the jar of black bean or corn salsa and 1 cup of the shredded cheese; stir to combine.

Combine browned ground beef, enchilada sauce, salsa, and shredded cheese in a large bowl.

Step 3: Divide beef mixture evenly among tortillas; wrap tortillas around filling and place seam side down.

Divide the beef mixture evenly among folded tortillas in a baking dish; wrap the tortillas around the filling and place seam-down into the pan.

Step 4: Pour remaining sauce and remaining cup of shredded cheese. Spray sheet of foil large enough to cover baking dish with cooking spray. Cover baking dish with foil, sprayed side down.

Pour enchilada sauce and shredded cheese over enchiladas.

Step 5: Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

5-Ingredient Beef Enchilada Casserole

How to Make Cheese Enchiladas

Do you want to make a meatless version? You can make simple cheese enchiladas, too—even without meat, they are still loaded with flavor. This recipe is packed with cheese and veggies, and is perfect for serving two people (though you can easily double this recipe for a larger crowd).

Cheese Enchiladas

What to Serve with Enchiladas

One of the best things about making enchiladas for dinner is that it really is an all-in-one meal—it’s not necessary to serve with any sides, though plenty of toppings such as sour cream, cilantro and avocado are great additions. If you’d like to add something a little extra to your meal to serve alongside the main dish, here are some recommendations:

Leftover Enchiladas

Wondering what to do with leftover enchiladas? Though they taste best the day you make them, you can keep any leftovers in the refrigerator for two or three days. You can store enchiladas in the freezer, too as long as you prepare them in disposable foil cake pans with cooking spray. Cover the pans with the sprayed foil, place in gallon-size resealable freezer plastic bags, or wrap in double layer of plastic wrap. Then label and freeze. When you’re ready to re-heat, make sure you thaw the enchiladas overnight in refrigerator. Heat your oven to 350°F, remove from plastic and place foil-covered pan(s) on cookie sheet. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until instant-read thermometer inserted in center reads 165°F. You can also bake from frozen, just adjust the baking time. Bake for one hour, then remove foil and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

Twists on Enchiladas

Like enchiladas so much, you want to make them all the time? Avoid an enchilada rut with a variety of dishes that are inspired by the classic recipe and offer the same enchilada flavor you know and love.

Love Mexican cuisine? Find easy recipes for more classic Mexican recipes like tacos, fajitas and more.