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Ultimate Cheese Enchiladas Recipe


Ultimate Cheese Enchiladas Recipe – Enchiladas are an essential component of Mexican origin, while distinctly Tex-Mex at the same time, the dish adapts to its surroundings.

Ultimate Cheese Enchiladas Recipe – Each version of enchiladas is deeply local in Mexico and in the United States.

Ultimate Cheese Enchiladas Recipe – The style ubiquitous in Monterrey, Mexico, will be different from those found in San Antonio or El Paso or Mexico City.

Ultimate Cheese Enchiladas Recipe – But from enchilada to enchilada, the common denominator is deliciousness. In “The Enchilada Queen Cookbook,” Sylvia Casares notes, “for Tex-Mex-style cheese enchiladas, yellow cheese, such as Cheddar, is the traditional choice” yielding “the quintessential Tex-Mex enchilada.” 


Ultimate Cheese Enchiladas Recipe

Add garlic, chile powder, cumin, oregano and black pepper to the roux.

Whisk until smooth (some clumping from the garlic is fine), being careful to not let the spices burn, about 30 seconds.  

While whisking constantly, add beef broth 1/4 cup at a time, whisking after each addition, until smooth.

Reduce heat to low and simmer gently, whisking occasionally, for 10 minutes.

Then remove from heat, and allow the gravy to rest for another 10 minutes.

Taste the gravy and season with salt as needed for a savory sauce. 

Meanwhile, in another pan, lightly heat a tortilla over medium just until softened, about 30 seconds per side.

Transfer to a clean kitchen towel or sheet of foil and wrap.

Repeat with the remaining tortillas, stacking them in the towel or foil.

Be careful of overcooking: You’re softening each tortilla to prevent them from cracking as they’re filled and folded. 

Fill a softened tortilla with about ⅓ cup of cheese.

Roll shut and, with the seam side facing downward, place in the greased baking dish or skillet.

Repeat until you’ve filled all of the tortillas, setting the rolls next to each other. 

Slowly pour the gravy over all of the tortillas to coat.

Afterward, sprinkle the dish with the rest of the cheese and the diced onion. 

Bake until the gravy is bubbling and the cheese melted, 20 to 25 minutes. 

Garnish with parsley, if desired, alongside a sprinkle of salt and black pepper. Serve immediately.  

Ultimate Cheese Enchiladas Recipe – Pro Tip

You want ground dried chiles, not chili powder, which includes other spices and salt.

The choice of mild, medium or hot chile powder is up to you, but avoid using chipotle chile powder, which can end up bitter.

Ultimate Cheese Enchiladas Recipe Ingredients

3 tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola, plus more for greasing
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons ground red chile powder (see Tip)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more for sprinkling
2 cups beef broth
10 corn tortillas
1 pound shredded Cheddar (5 cups)
½ cup finely diced white onion
Fresh parsley or cilantro, for garnish (optional)


How to Make Red Enchilada Sauce

This sauce is so simple and delicious! Here are the ingredients needed to make it:

chili powder (we prefer Gebhardt’s)
garlic powder
chicken broth


The sauce is made by adding oil to a pot and heating on medium heat.

Pour in flour and create a roux by whisking together for 1-2 minutes.


Add chili powder, garlic powder, salt cumin and oregano and mix until clumpy.

Pour in chicken broth, whisking the entire time and until there are no more clumps.

Heat for about 15 minutes or until sauce is thickened.

Ultimate Cheese Enchiladas Recipe Pro Tip

You know the sauce is thick enough when it coats the back of a wooden spoon well.

If you see the picture below on the left, you can see that the sauce looks watery and doesn’t stick to the spoon.

The picture on the right shows that the sauce is thick and sticks to the back of the wooden spoon showing that it’s ready.

I stand by this sauce as is. It’s easy to make and has a great flavor.

However, experimenting in the kitchen is part of my DNA.

If that’s you too, here are a few suggestions you might try to adjust the taste and texture of this sauce.

Make it Creamy

Whisk in ½ cup of heavy cream. This is especially nice when you want to use the sauce as dressing for nachos or to dip quesadillas in.

Spice it up, or Not

You can easily adjust how spicy you want to make this sauce.

For a more mild sauce decrease the chili powder alternatively for a spicier sauce increase the amount you use.

You can also use a spicier brand of chili powder such as ancho chili powder or chipotle chili powder.


Should you wish to add a blend of tomato into the sauce, simply stir in 1-2 tablespoons of tomato paste, or to taste.

Note that this will thicken the sauce as well.


To thicken without changing the taste, use a cornstarch slurry.

In a separate bowl combine 1 teaspoon cold water and 1 teaspoon cornstarch.

Once smooth add it to the pot of sauce.

Simmer and stir for a few minutes to thicken.

Repeat if necessary.

Thinner: If the sauce is too thick you can add a little more chicken broth to thin it out to the desired consistency..

Ultimate Cheese Enchiladas Recipe – Traditionally, corn tortillas are slipped through hot oil or lard (but definitely not fried), then through a chili-based sauce before they are typically (but not necessarily) filled with other ingredients and baked.

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