Texans know good and well the bliss that comes from the first bite of a Tex-Mex Cheese Enchilada, and soon, you will too. These authentic Cheese Enchiladas are made with corn tortillas stuffed with a flavorful blend of Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese. The enchiladas come smothered in a creamy, Tex-Mex enchilada gravy made extra savory thanks to beef broth and the perfect blend of Mexican spices!
The whole shebang is topped off with even more cheese, baked until melty, and delivered to the table in casserole form for easy family dinners and simple entertaining!
THE BEST CHEESE ENCHILADAS
Imagine this: A plate of authentic, restaurant-style Cheese Enchiladas hits the table. Your fork cuts into them, and there’s that signature cheesy pull you were looking for. You make sure to scoop up a little extra sauce on the fork (making sure to leave just enough behind for the rice, of course) and as you bring that bite up toward your mouth, you know Tex-Mex comfort is coming your way.
Take your Rojo sauce (red enchilada sauce) and keep it. For the best Cheese Enchiladas, it’s got to be smothered in none other than a Tex-Mex enchilada gravy.
AUTHENTIC TEX-MEX VS RED ENCHILADAS
Tex-Mex gravy and Rojo Sauce are two very different things. Rojo enchilada sauce (a.k.a. red sauce) is made up of mostly tomatoes and often has sauteed onion, garlic, and spices added to taste.
On the other hand, the Tex-Mex Enchilada Sauce we’ll be using for these Cheese Enchiladas is actually a beef broth-based gravy all lit up with traditional Mexican spices, chili powder, and cumin.
Love cheesy sauces? You’ll adore our easy Tamale Sauce too!
HOW TO MAKE CHEESE ENCHILADAS
- Make the Sauce | Add the butter to a pan and allow it to melt. Sprinkle in flour and whisk. Add beef broth one big splash at a time, whisking after each addition. Then, add the spices and stir.
- Simmer | Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and simmer the sauce until slightly thickened. Once it’s ready, add a cup of sauce to the bottom of a greased 9×13″ casserole dish and set aside.
- Warm Tortillas | Working in batches of 4, wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave them for about 30 to 45 seconds, or until soft and pliable.
- Roll Enchiladas | As the tortillas come out of the microwave, add 2 generous tablespoons of shredded cheese to the center of each one, and tightly roll. Then, place them seam side down in the casserole dish.
- Assemble the Enchilada Casserole | Once all of the enchiladas are rolled, pour the remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
- Bake | Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375°F for 20 minutes. Then, uncover and bake them for 5 minutes more!
TOP TIPS FOR ASSEMBLING ENCHILADAS
- Have your ingredients prepared and ready to go!
- Don’t skip microwaving the tortillas and that whole “damp paper towel trick.” It is entirely necessary for infusing moisture into the tortillas!
- Assemble as the tortillas come out of the microwave to ensure they don’t get cold and crack.
- As tempting as it may be, try not to overstuff your Cheese Enchiladas! Two generous tablespoons are more than enough! You don’t want to overstuff and cause the tortillas to crack.
- If cheese spills out of the corn tortilla and into the casserole dish, don’t fret. It’ll be delicious!
MORE ENCHILADA RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE!
- Crock-Pot Chicken Enchiladas
- Sour Cream Enchiladas
- Chicken Enchiladas Verde
- Black Bean Enchiladas (Enfrijoladas)
INGREDIENTS FOR AUTHENTIC CHEESE ENCHILADAS
When it comes to the best Cheese Enchiladas, we can breaK the ingredients down into just three simple categories: Cheese, sauce, and tortillas!
THE BEST CHEESE FOR CHEESE ENCHILADAS
The best cheese to use for Cheese Enchiladas is a classic Mexican blend of Cheddar and Monterey Jack.
It’s best if you can use a mild to medium Cheddar cheese rather than a sharp Cheddar, as the milder Cheddars are softer, creamier, and therefore, better for melting.
It is important to know, especially when it comes to a recipe where cheese is truly the star of the show, that freshly grated cheese is best. It will always prove superior to anything you could get out of a package, with both better flavor and texture.
However, if time will not allow, sub in a high-quality bag of Mexican blend shredded cheese. An 8-ounce bag has about 2 cups of shredded cheese in it. You will need 4 cups total of shredded cheese for this recipe, so be sure to get two bags if taking this route!
TEX-MEX ENCHILADA GRAVY INGREDIENTS
This gravy comes together just like any traditional gravy recipe and as such, begins with a roux.
For this, you’ll need unsalted butter and all-purpose flour. If you only have salted butter, do not add any other salt to the sauce, and rather season to taste once your sauce has been assembled.
With the flour, on the other hand, there is no wiggle room. Stick with all-purpose flour only.
The base of this sauce is made up of unsalted beef broth. Similar to the butter, if you only have beef broth already containing sodium, omit any additional salt from the recipe, and season to taste with it once your sauce is ready.
The spice blend is really what puts the “Tex-Mex” in this gravy! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Chili Powder
ABOUT THE TORTILLAS
Traditionally, Cheese Enchiladas are made with corn tortillas; you can use white or yellow. I’ve personally found the ones labeled “super soft” are the easiest to work with.
If you are Team Flour Tortilla, feel free to sub them in, but know with this sauce, they’ll likely end up a bit soggy in texture. And note, if you are using flour tortillas, you will not need to wrap them in damp paper towels and microwave before using them.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH CHEESE ENCHILADAS
When it comes to serving up a plate of Authentic Cheese Enchiladas, we all know rice and beans are tradition, but why stop there?
Feel free to add salsas, dips, or even a side of jalapeño cornbread! And, if you really want to show up and show out for this dinner, the addition of a Mexican appetizer like quesadillas, nachos, or even empanadas would be amazing!
If you’re wanting to add toppings to your Cheese Enchiladas, add any of the following to the dinnertime lineup:
- Diced White Onion
- Sliced Pickled Jalapeños
- Pico de Gallo
5 MORE TEX-MEX | MEXICAN RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
Authentic, homemade Cheese Enchiladas made with corn tortillas, a flavorful blend of Monterey Jack and Cheddar, and a creamy, Tex-Mex enchilada gravy made extra savory thanks to beef broth and the perfect blend of Mexican spices.
- 1 (8-ounce) block of freshly grated Monterey Jack cheese (about 2 cups)
- 1 (8-ounce) block of Mild or Medium Cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cup unsalted or low-sodium beef broth
- 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 12 corn tortillas
Preheat the oven to 375°F and have ready a greased 9x13" baking dish. Combine both the Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese in a mixing bowl and set aside.
Add the butter to a large sauté pan over medium heat. As soon as the butter has melted, add sprinkle in the flour and whisk to combine. Add the beef broth in one big splash at a time, whisking well after each addition. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and paprika and whisk to combine.
Allow the mixture to come to a simmer, and reduce the heat as needed to maintain it. Simmer for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat, ladle a scant cup of sauce across the bottom of the casserole dish, and set the remaining sauce aside.
Working in batches of 4, wrap the corn tortillas in a damp paper towel and place them on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave for about 30 to 45 seconds, or until very pliable and soft.
As the corn tortillas come out of the microwave, stuff them with about 2 tablespoons of cheese, roll tightly, and place seam-side down in the casserole dish in two rows of six. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and top with the remaining cheese.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then serve and enjoy!