My Favorite Cheese Enchiladas. In light of Cinco de Mayo celebrations this weekend, I wanted to share my very favorite enchilada recipe that I’ve been making for years. My cooking skills started to improve significantly when I moved into my first home. Living alone for the first time in my life, I didn’t have anyone to cook for me so I had to learn to do it myself. To learn cooking techniques, I watched a lot of PBS cooking shows including Julia Child, The Frugal Gourmet, and Great Chefs, Great Cities. I also learned to keep weeknight meals simple and quick to prepare. One of my favorite quick dinners is baked enchiladas. Enchiladas are really versatile and can be filled with ingredients that you happen to have in your fridge or pantry. You can make enchiladas in a toaster oven if you don’t have a regular oven.
I always have some type of flour or corn tortillas in my fridge or freezer. Fill a tortilla or two, roll up in a pan, top with enchilada sauce, and bake, and you’ve got a fairly quick weeknight meal. You can even make stacked enchiladas with this recipe’s ingredients.
My Favorite Cheese Enchiladas are really very simple to make. Large flour tortillas are filled with shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses, caramelized onions, canned tomatoes and green chiles, and some spices. There’s some cooking involved for the filling and heating the enchilada sauce. If you don’t want to cook the filling, you can just finely mince raw sweet onion and mix the onion and the rest of the filling ingredients together in a bowl. And you don’t have to heat the sauce. Just fill the tortillas to make enchiladas, cover the enchiladas with sauce and bake.
The tortillas are rolled, placed in a 9 x 13 baking dish, and smothered with my homemade red enchilada sauce. You can certainly use your favorite enchilada sauce or you can make mine. Warm the enchilada sauce before using it unless you are in a hurry.
Saute some diced onion in olive oil until the onion is a caramelized golden brown.
Add the tomatoes and green chiles and a small amount of vegetable stock.
Reduce the mixture until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Stir in some chili powder and cumin and warm through.
Sprinkle some shredded Monterey Jack cheese down the middle of each tortilla.
Add some of the vegetable filling along with a sprinkling of both Monterey Jack and cheddar shredded cheeses. Save some of the cheeses for topping the enchiladas.
Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Cover the bottom of the baking dish with some of the warmed enchilada sauce.
Fold the enchiladas over their filling and place in the baking dish.
Cover the enchiladas with the rest of the enchilada sauce and the reserved cheeses for topping.
Bake the enchiladas for about 20 minutes in a preheated 400 degree Fahrenheit oven until their filling is bubbling and the tops are golden brown.
Remove the finished baked enchiladas from the oven.
Top with a dollop of sour cream and some cilantro if you want to be fancy. And serve with a side of cheesy refried beans.
And if you are a total sour cream lover, just smother this cheese enchilada with sour cream and dig in! I won’t tell anyone.
From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….
My Favorite Cheese Enchiladas
2 large burrito size flour tortillas
2 c red enchilada sauce (make a big batch and freeze in individual containers or use your favorite)
2 T olive oil
1 c diced onion
1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes and green chiles, drained
1/4 c vegetable stock/broth
1 T chili powder
2 t cumin powder
2 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided (set aside 1/2 c for topping)
1 c shredded cheddar cheese, divided (set aside 1/4 c for topping)
Sour cream or my Chipotle Cream Dressing for topping (optional)
Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Make the enchilada sauce or use your favorite enchilada sauce. Warm the sauce and set aside.
3. Warm the olive oil in a skillet over medium low heat.
4. Saute the onion in the olive oil until the onion is soft and caramelized.
5. Add the drained tomatoes and green chiles and vegetable stock/broth and stir to combine. Simmer and let most of the liquid evaporate.
6. Add the chili powder and cumin and warm through. Remove skillet from heat.
7. Take a handful of the 1.5 cups of shredded Monterey Jack cheese and sprinkle down the middle of the tortillas. Combine the remaining shredded Monterey Jack cheese and the 3/4 cup of shredded cheddar in a small bowl.
8. Using a slotted spoon, divide the spicy onion tomato and green chile mixture over the shredded Monterey Jack cheese on each tortilla. Sprinkle the remaining combined shredded cheese mixture over the vegetables.
9. Fold one side of each tortilla over its filling and then fold the other side over.
10. Spray a large rectangular baking pan with cooking spray.
11. Ladle in some enchilada sauce to cover the bottom of the pan.
12. Line up the folded enchiladas in the pan.
13. Cover the enchiladas with the rest of the enchilada sauce.
14. Sprinkle the reserved 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack and 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheeses over the enchiladas.
15. Bake the enchiladas for 20 minutes or until they are golden brown and bubbling.
16. Remove the baking dish from the oven and let the enchiladas sit a minute or two. With two spatulas, carefully transfer each enchilada to its serving plate.
17. Top the enchiladas with the optional sour cream or my Chipotle Cream Dressing and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.
18. And serve!
Makes 2 enchiladas. Serve My Favorite Cheese Enchiladas with a side of refried beans. Start with an appetizer of my Chile Con Queso Dip with Smoky Chipotles and My Favorite Guacamole with tortilla chips.
Variations: Add some black beans to the filling. For a meaty version, add some seasoned ground beef or smoky chipotle chicken to the filling. You can use less sauce if you like a crispier enchilada. Spread out the filling across four tortillas and then roll them tightly if you want to make thinner enchiladas. To make this a vegan recipe, substitute vegan cheeses and vegan sour cream.
Order some Hatch brand diced tomatoes and green chiles from Amazon.com:
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