Cheese Enchiladas

$5.97 recipe / $1.49 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.91 from 10 votes
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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.

overhead view of a casserole dish full of cheese enchiladas with a spatula.

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:

  • Beans
  • Chopped spinach
  • Chopped cooked chicken
  • Chorizo
  • Ground beef
  • Sautéed zucchini
  • Bell pepper
  • Sweet corn
  • Avocado
  • 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!

Close up view of a casserole dish full of cheese enchiladas.
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Cheese Enchiladas

4.91 from 10 votes
Cheese enchiladas are a simple and delicious comfort food that never disappoints. These enchiladas are extra creamy and full of flavor! 
Close up of enchiladas being scooped out of the casserole dish
Servings 4 3 enchiladas each
Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins
Total 45 mins

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions 

  • 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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Video

Notes

*Optional toppings: green onion, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo.

Nutrition

Serving: 3enchiladasCalories: 589kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 26gFat: 34gSodium: 1562mgFiber: 7g
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Side view of cheese enchiladas in the dish with a spatula scooping.

How to Make Cheese Enchiladas – Step by Step Photos

Corn tortillas being toasted in a skillet.

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.

Cheese filling ingredients in a bowl.

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.

Cheese filling stirred together in the bowl.

Stir the filling ingredients together until well combined.

Enchilada sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish.

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.

tortillas being rolled and filled.

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.

Enchilada sauce being poured over enchiladas 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.

Enchiladas topped with the remaining shredded cheese.

Add the remaining shredded cheese on top of the enchiladas.

Baked enchiladas in the casserole dish.

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.

finished cheese enchiladas in the casserole dish, topped with sour cream and guacamole.

Serve hot with your favorite toppings and side dishes (I topped them with green onion, sour cream, and guacamole)!

Love Enchiladas? Try These Other Recipes:

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  1. Don’t skip the step – heating up tortilla ! It changes the flavor completely for the better. Having 30 tortilla I experimented and found it best that my pan was on high heat and about 5 seconds on each side. I kept tasting the tortilla until the flavor completely changed and I knew I had it! Don’t skip this step!!

    Also, I used Kroger Mexican cheese blend because it was 1.49. I would like to find a more flavorful cheese.

    My can sauce was thin and made the enchiladas soggy. So, I need to find a way to thicken sauce.

    Also, another mandatory step is adding sour cream on top- or something to balance it out like Mexicana cream that I found discounted to 50 cents. I wouldn’t eat without this.

  2. Great recipe with lots of flavour. It wasn’t difficult to make and the notes were quite helpfull. I did add a bit more sour cream in the cheese mix though!

    All in all, great recipe! Also, I thought I was making quesadillas the entire time and I was confused because the recipe didn’t seem like it was for quesadillas 😅😂

  3. I ALWAYS heat about an inch or two of vegetable oil in a skillet. I put My corn tortillas, one at a time and fry on each side for 8 seconds. Take out on a paper towel and fix as for a enchilada, taco or whatever else you want. The enchiladas and tacos are SO GOOD!

  4. Maybe I missed it, but would this work if I prepped it ahead of time and then popped in the oven at dinner time? I’m craving some cheese enchiladas and these look amazing.

    1. I haven’t tried that, so I can’t say for sure, but I think it depends on how long it sits assembled before baking. My only worry would be that the tortillas would soak up too much moisture and get a bit soggy.

      1. I am going to make this tomorrow – and I think I’m going to assemble the filling ahead of time and then put it together when I get home. That should save me some time but avoid the sogginess as I think you’re probably right about that. I’ll report back how it goes. :)

  5. How long does it usually take you to add new recipes to the app? I don’t see this one on there quite yet. I am loving the app, BTW! Thank you :)

    1. Hi Devon! This recipe is available on the app. The app comes pre-loaded with 500 recipes, which you access from the homescreen. Everything I’ve created since the app’s launch can be loaded into your app through the app’s marketplace (you can still get them for free). Just tap the little shopping bag icon on the bottom of the home screen, then once in the marketplace tap over to “recipes” at the top instead of “bundles”. Then type “enchiladas” in the search bar at the top and it will come up. :)

  6. I made this for Meatless Monday dinner tonight and it was a hit. It is definitely going into my rotation of vegetarian dishes. Here in Canada finding prepared enchilada sauce can be difficult as most stores don’t carry it, but I lucked out today and found one that does so I bought a few extra cans for the pantry to make these in the future.

  7. I enjoy cheese enchiladas but never knew how to make them. I tried this recipe last night and it was awesome! I paired it with refried beans, cilantro lime chicken, and cumin lime slaw. I made it as written but used a mix of cheddar/pepper jack/monterrey cheeses and sour cream/greek yogurt.

  8. I made this for dinner today and it was delicious! (Though I didn’t bother toasting the tortillas because I was short on time and I’m bad at multitasking.) But I put three tablespoons of filling in each enchilada like you said and there was only enough for eight of them.

  9. Loved this recipe, we made it with the homemade enchilada sauce as well. Only suggestion is to go a little shy on the 3 tablespoons of cheese filling – we found that we ended up with just one lonely tortilla left over!

  10. These were perfect as I hadn’t gone grocery shopping and had all of this stuff on hand. Cheap, easy and delicious – I used your recipe for enchilada sauce too. I doubled it, as I have a family of 5, and added cannellini beans as per someone else’s suggestion in the comments and it added fiber. My kids liked it so well, some had the leftovers for breakfast. Thank you, Beth!

    1. I did not need to double the enchilada sauce recipe – was able to make that stretch over a doubled cheese enchilada recipe.

  11. Years ago, I was introduced to a recipe for cheese enchiladas that had a filling made of a small can of green chiles, a small container of sour cream, a medium container (I don’t have the recipe written anywhere, so I don’t remember the actual measure, maybe 12 oz?) of cottage cheese, and some shredded cheese. Rolled up in tortillas, covered in enchilada sauce, covered in more cheese and baked. They were delicious, and I don’t even like sour cream OR cottage cheese. I usually add most of a can of black beans to the filling when I make it now, and a friend would add some pulled chicken. I think you would like it.

    1. I haven’t tried that, unfortunately! Sometimes mixtures with sour cream don’t freeze well, though, so I think it might be risky.

  12. Your enchilada sauce is so amazingly good I call it “crack sauce.”  When I first discovered it years ago, I went through your website and made every single recipe that included it…and all were delicious. I’ve shared your recipe and your website many, many times and brought many new fans because of it.  I can’t wait to make this new version.  Cheese enchiladas are my favorite because it was my mom’s favorite.  And as usual, this version is economical and easy…and I know it will be delicious too.  Thanks Beth!