two enchiladas plated with salad

How to Make Enchiladas from Scratch

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Enchiladas from scratch are one of my favorite meals. You can customize it any way you want. You can make it as fancy as you’d like or simply use up what you have on hand. These enchiladas paired with my homemade enchilada sauce are a crowd-pleaser, easy to meal prep, or freeze for later.

Enchiladas from scratch topped with cheese prior to baking

I love to fill my enchiladas with pulled pork or pulled chicken. Oftentimes, I make enchiladas when I am trying to use up leftover meat. For example, I’ll cook a whole chicken, serve it with some sweet potatoes and veggies, and then the next day I’ll take all the leftover bits, sauté it with some taco seasoning and salsa, and then use it in the enchiladas.

Food Prep Tips

Without a doubt, enchiladas from scratch can be an event to make, because there are a lot of fillings to prepare depending on how you make them. Here a few of my top kitchen tips and tricks to make cooking go a little quicker.

  1. Buy onions and peppers in bulk, slice or dice, and then freeze them. Don’t be afraid to buy a whole bag of onions or peppers. Grab some while they’re on sale and within two or three days go ahead and wash them, cut them up, and freeze them in gallon-sized zip-locked bags. Not only will this save you money, but it will also save you time. Now when a recipe calls for an onion, you can just go to the freezer and all the hard work is already done!
  2. If you have a kitchen aid mixer, invest in the cheese shredder attachment. It is my #1 most used attachment. The attachment is so quick and easy to use. It will shred two pounds of cheese in minutes. Then, if you don’t use all the cheese you shredded, you can toss it in a bag and stick it in the freezer for later.
  3. Make enough enchiladas to put a pan of them in the freezer for another night! My enchilada sauce recipe makes enough for two pans of enchiladas. Since you already have everything out, make some extra to save yourself some time and a mess another night.

From Scratch Enchilada Ingredients

1/2 Yellow onion chopped

1/2 Red pepper chopped

1/2 Green pepper chopped

1 Cup of frozen corn

1 Tsp of olive oil

1-2 Pounds of pulled chicken, pulled pork, ground turkey, ground beef, or pulled beef roast

2-4 TBSPs of taco seasoning

1/2-1 Cup of salsa

1 Full recipe of my homemade enchilada sauce

1 1/2 pounds of grated cheese – I like to use colby jack cheese

Salt and Pepper to taste

Butter

Corn Tortillas

sautéed corn, onion, and peppers in a cast iron skillet
one bowl with pulled mexican pork next to a bowl of shredded cheese on the counter
Fried tortillas filled and wrapped in a casserole dish

How to Make Enchiladas from Scratch

  1. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onions, peppers, and corn. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Make your enchilada sauce. See my homemade enchilada sauce recipe.
  3. In a second skillet, cook your meat. Once it is cooked through, add the taco seasoning and either 1/2-1 cup of salsa or the enchilada sauce. The salsa or enchilada sauce helps the taco seasoning fully incorporate into the meat. Set aside when done.
  4. Grate the cheese and set it aside in a bowl.
  5. At this point, your meat, opinions, peppers, and corn, cheese, and enchilada sauce should be ready. Set them all up in an assembly line.
  6. Prepare a 9×13 baking dish by covering the bottom in a thin layer of enchilada sauce.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  8. In a clean skillet, heat a slice of butter over medium heat. Once the pan is warm, fry your corn tortilla.
  9. Take a fried, warm tortilla and fill it with the meat, fillings, and cheese, close it up, and place seam side down in your baking dish.
  10. Repeat until your baking dish is full or you have run out of the fillings.
  11. Cover the top of the enchiladas with enchilada sauce and then sprinkle cheese over top.
  12. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover and broil for 1-2 minutes.
  13. Allow the enchiladas to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
enchiladas from scratch topped with sauce and cheese ready for the oven

How to Freeze Enchiladas

Since everything you’re putting into your enchiladas is already cooked, it makes enchiladas an excellent meal to make ahead and freeze. Simply follow the directions above, but instead of baking them in the oven once assembled, allow them to cool and then cover with two layers of foil, label and date, and then put them in the freezer. When you are ready to cook them another night, pull them out the day before and allow them to thaw in the fridge then follow the same baking directions in the recipe. You can freeze enchiladas for up to three months.

baked enchiladas in a glass casserole dish

What to Serve with Enchiladas:

Salad

Mexican Rice

Chips and dip

Refried Beans

Mexican Street Corn

Homemade Enchiladas

two enchiladas plated with salad

Enchiladas with an authentic Mexican taste the whole family will love! Adapt this recipe for your specific taste buds.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes 5 seconds
Total Time 1 hour 5 seconds

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Yellow Onion Chopped
  • 1/2 Red Pepper Chopped
  • 1/2 Green Pepper Chopped
  • 1 Cup of Frozen Corn
  • 1 Tsp of Olive Oil
  • 1-2lbs of Ground Beef, Ground Turkey, or Pulled Pork
  • 2-4 TBSPs of Taco Seasoning
  • 1/2-1 Cup of Salsa
  • 1 Full Recipe of my Homemade Enchilada Sauce
  • 1 1/2lbs of Grated Cheese - I use colby jack cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • Butter
  • Corn Tortillas

Instructions

  1. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute onions, peppers, and corn. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Make your enchilada sauce. See my homemade enchilada sauce recipe.
  3. In a second skillet, cook your meat. Once it is cooked through, add the taco seasoning and either 1/2-1 cup of salsa or the enchilada sauce. The salsa or enchilada sauce helps the taco seasoning fully incorporate into the meat. Set aside when done.
  4. Grate the cheese and set it aside in a bowl.
  5. At this point, your meat, opinions, peppers, and corn, cheese, and enchilada sauce should be ready. Set them all up in an assembly line.
  6. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish by covering the bottom in a thin layer of enchilada sauce.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  8. In a clean skillet, heat a slice of butter over medium heat. Once the pan is warm, fry your corn tortilla.
  9. Take a fried, warm tortilla and fill it with the meat, fillings, and cheese, close it up, and place seam side down in your baking dish.
  10. Repeat until your baking dish is full or you have run out of the fillings.
  11. Cover the top of the enchiladas with enchilada sauce and then sprinkle cheese over top.
  12. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover and broil for 1-2 minutes.
  13. Allow the enchiladas to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Notes

Additional toppings: black olives, green onions, green chilies, fresh tomatoes

two images of enchiladas separated by a green box filled with text

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