Cheese enchiladas are such a simple comfort food. They’re warm, creamy, cheesy, and just all-around amazing. Plus, the combination of tortillas and cheese is just something I never get tired of. 😏 To ramp up the flavor in these simple cheese enchiladas I added some mild green chiles, a few spices, and a little sour cream for extra creaminess, then I drenched them in my homemade enchilada sauce. The result was seriously delicious for something so simple.
What Kind of Cheese to Use
This recipe is super flexible, so it’s a great way to use up any odds and ends of cheese that you may have in your fridge. You’ll need about 12oz. (one and half 8oz. blocks) of cheese for this recipe and you can mix and match cheese types. So today, I used a whole block of cheddar and a leftover half-block of pepper jack that I had in my fridge. Here are some other types of cheese you could use:
- Queso Blanco
- Monterey Jack
- Queso Asadero
- Queso Fresca (use in smaller amounts in combination with a creamy-melty cheese)
- Chihuahua Cheese
- Colby Jack
Enchilada Sauce Options
I used my homemade red enchilada sauce recipe because it’s fast and easy, and it has a really great flavor, but you could certainly used canned if you need something extra convenient. Or, if you want to try something more authentic, try this recipe for Authentic Enchilada Sauce from Isabel Eats.
Are Cheese Enchiladas Spicy?
These cheese enchiladas can be spicy, depending on the ingredients used. If you need to make sure your enchiladas are mild, pay attention to the canned green chiles and enchilada sauce. Canned green chiles can be either spicy or mild (usually indicated on the label) and the same is true for enchilada sauce. Check the label on the can or the ingredients used in the recipe, if you’re making homemade (cayenne pepper is spicy and chili powder can be either spicy or mild).
What Else Can I Add?
Cheese enchiladas are such a simple vegetarian meal, but they can also be a blank template for other ingredients to be added (vegetarian or not). Here are some other ingredients that you can toss into the filling, if you want to try something new:
- Chopped spinach
- Chopped cooked chicken
- Ground beef
- Sautéed zucchini
- Bell pepper
- Sweet corn
- Scrambled eggs
What to Serve with Cheese Enchiladas
I topped my enchiladas with a little more sour cream, guacamole, and green onion for extra color on the plate, but those are totally optional. Since an all-cheese enchilada can be a little on the heavy side, I would definitely add some fiber-filled side dishes, like Quick Seasoned Black Beans, Cucumber and Black Bean Salad, or Cowboy Caviar. A little zesty Cilantro Lime Rice on the side would also lighten up the flavors a bit!
- 12 small corn tortillas ($0.80)
- 12 oz. cheese, shredded ($3.44)
- 1 4oz. can diced green chiles (drained) ($0.89)
- 1/4 cup sour cream ($0.19)
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin ($0.02)
- 1/8 tsp salt ($0.01)
- 1.5 cups enchilada sauce ($0.60)
- Toast the tortillas in a hot skillet, one at a time for a few seconds on each side, or just until lightly browned.
- Add ¾ of the shredded cheese to a bowl (saving the remainder to top the enchiladas). Also add the drained green chiles, sour cream, garlic powder, cumin, and salt. Stir the ingredients to combine.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Add about ½ cup of enchilada sauce to the bottom of a large casserole dish and spread it around until it covers the surface.
- Fill each tortilla with about 3 Tbsp of the cheese filling, then roll to close, and place them in the casserole dish. Continue until all of the tortillas have been filled, rolled, and placed in the dish.
- Pour the remaining 1 cup of enchilada sauce over the enchiladas, then top with the remaining shredded cheese.
- Bake the enchiladas for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or just until they are heated through and melty. Do not overbake the enchiladas, as this can cause the filling to separate and curdle. Serve hot with your favorite toppings* and sides!
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How to Make Cheese Enchiladas – Step by Step Photos
I highly suggest toasting your corn tortillas before you begin. This takes the flavor of the corn tortilla from bland and raw to deliciously toasty with a more pronounced corn flavor. I just do this in a hot, dry skillet. Once the skillet is nice and hot, it only takes about 15-30 seconds per side to get just a little color on the tortilla.
Shred 12oz. cheese and then set aside about ¼ of it to use as a topping for the enchiladas. Combine the rest of the cheese in a bowl with ¼ cup sour cream, one 4oz. can of diced green chiles (drained), ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp cumin, and ⅛ tsp salt.
Stir the filling ingredients together until well combined.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Add ½ cup enchilada sauce to the bottom of a casserole dish and spread it around to cover the surface.
Add about 3 Tbsp of the cheese filling to the center of each tortilla, then roll it closed and place it in the casserole dish. Continue until all of the tortillas are filled, rolled, and in the casserole dish.
Pour another one cup of enchilada sauce over the enchiladas. I like to leave some of the tortillas exposed to get extra toasty, but you can cover them completely, if you prefer.
Add the remaining shredded cheese on top of the enchiladas.
Bake the enchiladas for 20 minutes, or just until heated through. Make sure not to overbake the enchiladas, as this can cause the filling to curdle.
Serve hot with your favorite toppings and side dishes (I topped them with green onion, sour cream, and guacamole)!