These tasty, quick, and incredibly easy Cheese Enchiladas with red sauce are the weeknight Tex-Mex dinner you’ve been looking for! I make my own enchilada sauce and fill the enchiladas with lots of cheese so they’re the most perfectly flavorful enchiladas you’ll make!
My homemade Cheese Enchiladas are saucy, cheesy, and packed full of flavor!
My Cheese Enchiladas are a wonderful weeknight dinner that’ll bring that delicious restaurant-style flavor right to your home! This recipe uses my homemade enchilada sauce, which is quick, easy to make, and super flavorful. I mix a tangy tomato sauce with taco seasoning and more for maximum flavor and minimum effort!
These cheesy enchiladas are truly a family favorite! They’re delicious and wholesome on their own, but if you want you can easily add a protein like shredded chicken, pulled pork, brisket, or ground beef taco meat to make them more filling!
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe!
It’s a Classic! Who doesn’t love melty, cheesy enchiladas? This recipe is full of classic Tex-Mex flavors that you’ll be sure to love.
So Easy! My super straightforward recipe is so simple to make! You can finish this recipe in just under 45 minutes – isn’t that easy?
So Flavorful! My homemade enchilada sauce is super tasty and really elevates these enchiladas! You can easily make a double batch and save the remainder for the next time you’re craving enchiladas!
The enchilada sauce for these cheesy enchiladas calls for taco seasoning mix. You can make my super easy taco seasoning mix or use store-bought.
The Enchilada Sauce
- Tomato Sauce – Use canned tomato sauce for this recipe, as it is the base of this sauce. Be sure to use plain sauce, from a brand like Hunt’s, not marinara sauce.
- Tomato Paste – I like to buy a tube of tomato paste that’s easily resealable, so it can be used for multiple recipes.
- Lime Juice – Lime juice adds a bright, fresh flavor to the enchilada sauce. Try to use fresh lime juice, if possible!
- Reserved Green Chile Liquid – You’ll use green chiles in the enchilada filling and reserve the green chile liquid for the sauce. This liquid is full of earthy, tangy flavors from the chiles that’ll make the sauce divine.
- Taco Seasoning Mix – This will season your enchilada sauce and pack it with lots of flavor. You can use my easy recipe for homemade taco seasoning or use your favorite store-bought!
The Enchilada Filling
- Green Chiles – I love a good brand like Hatch chiles for this recipe. You’ll want to reserve the preserving liquid for the sauce, as noted above. You can also add additional jalapeños or serranos for more heat.
- Cheddar Cheese – You can use cheddar or a mix of cheeses for the enchiladas. Just be sure you have extra to put on top! (See Tips & Recipe Notes)
- Cilantro – We’ll use cilantro in the filling and save a little for a garnish, if desired.
- Flour Tortillas – You’ll want to get burrito/enchilada sized flour tortillas for this recipe. You can also use corn tortillas, if you prefer.
- Olives – Olives are an optional garnish but recommended! They add a beautiful color contrast and a salty bite that’s absolutely delicious.
- Queso Fresco – Queso fresco is another optional, but recommended garnish that adds a fresh, tangy flavor and beautiful color to the dish.
🔪 Step-by-Step Instructions
These enchiladas are the easy weeknight dinner you’ll be adding to the weekly rotation! Keep it simple by assembling a rolling station on your countertop where you have your filling, sauce, tortillas, baking dish, and a surface to roll up the enchiladas!
- Preheat. Warm your oven to 350°F (176°C).
- Make the sauce. In a mixing bowl, combine 15 ounces of tomato sauce, 2 ounces of tomato paste, 1 tablespoon of lime juice, and the reserved liquid from a 7 ounce can of green chiles. Then add 4 tablespoons of taco seasoning (or more or less, according to taste) and whisk until well-combined.
- Prep for the enchiladas. In a 9x13 baking dish, add enough of the sauce to coat the bottom. Then in another small bowl, add 16 ounces of cheddar cheese (save some for top), 7 ounces of diced green chiles, 1 bundle of chopped cilantro (save some for the garnish) and stir to combine (add any add-ons like jalapeños or meat here).
- Assemble the enchiladas. Spoon the cheese mixture into tortillas, roll, and place in the baking dish. Top with the remaining enchilada sauce, sprinkle cheese, some cilantro and some sliced olive (if desired) over the top. Bake at 350° F (176° C) for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
- Garnish and serve. Remove from the oven, and top with any preferred garnishes like extra cilantro, olives, and queso fresco. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
Wondering what to serve with enchiladas? I love to serve these easy and delicious cheese enchiladas for dinner just like at my favorite Mexican restaurant with a side of my tasty refried black beans and my restaurant-style Mexican rice.
They round out this delicious family dinner as the perfect accompaniment! Enjoy!
💭 Tips & Recipe Notes
You can use cheddar cheese, a Mexican blend of cheeses, or a Mexican cheese like queso quesadilla or queso Oaxaca for this recipe!
- Cheddar is my recommendation for this dish, but as long as the cheese melts well and is flavorful, you can use it!
Green chiles are usually found in the Mexican or Tex-Mex aisle in your grocery store.
- Typically these are found canned and either at a hot or mild spice level. You can also find fire-roasted chiles and Hatch chiles to vary the flavor. Pick whichever suits your spice preference!
- They also can come in cans of whole chiles or diced chiles. You’ll want diced for this recipe, but if you can only find whole, chop up the chiles into a half-inch dice!
You can find queso fresco either in the Mexican dairy section of your grocery store’s dairy, or a local Mexican grocery.
- Queso fresco is a crumbly, tangy cheese similar in texture to feta that’s a fabulous garnish for this dish. It adds a cool, fresh flavor and a nice contrast to the melted cheese. You won’t regret using it!
🥡 Storing & Reheating
These cheese enchiladas work great in the fridge! If you happen to have leftovers, cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap or transfer them to an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
You can also easily freeze these delicious enchiladas for dinner another night! You can freeze leftovers or freeze the assembled dish of enchiladas before baking.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and/or foil and they’ll stay good in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you're ready to bake, the entire frozen dish of enchiladas can be baked as directed above.
Allow for an almost doubled cooking time to bake from frozen. ***Be sure that your baking dish is safe to go from freezer to oven, double-check on anything that is glass or ceramic!!***
These enchiladas reheat great! Whether you’re reheating enchiladas from the night before or baking off some you made two months ago, the oven is the best way to do it. Preheat your oven to 350°F (176°C), cover the baking dish with foil, and bake for 25- 30 minutes until golden and bubbling.
Absolutely! If you prefer, go ahead and use corn tortillas. Microwave or heat them in the oven before you’re ready to assemble so they’re warm and don’t break when rolling them.
Yes, you can but I recommend freshly shredded cheese for best results. While the Mexican blend shredded cheese is a wonderfully convenient option (that includes Monterey Jack, Queso Quesadilla, Asadero, and Cheddar cheeses) there are additives to keep the cheese from clumping together.
This means that your cheese doesn't melt as well as freshly grated cheese. Also, prep-packaged shredded cheese often results in a more oily melted cheese which makes these enchiladas greasy once baked.
While my enchilada sauce doesn’t take long to whip up, you can use store-bought if you prefer! If you’re trying a brand for the first time, try tasting it beforehand and adjusting the seasonings to make sure it’s perfect for you!
If you want to bulk up these enchiladas and add meat, I’d recommend shredded chicken (try using rotisserie chicken to save time), ground beef seasoned with a little taco seasoning or other Mexican spices, or even a meat substitute like Beyond or Impossible to give these enchiladas a little extra protein!
Quick Red Enchilada Sauce
- 15 oz tomato sauce
- 2 oz tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp lime juice (½ of a lime juicied)
- reserved green chile liquid
- 4 Tbsp taco seasoning mix (or store bought)
- 7 oz diced green chiles (canned, reserve the liquid for the sauce)
- 16 oz cheddar cheese (or any mix of cheese, plus a little extra to put on top)
- 1 bundle chopped cilantro (reserve a little for garnish if desired)
- 16 oz flour tortillas (8 burrito/enchilada sized flour tortillas)
- 20 olives (1 small can, optional, garnish)
- ¼ cup queso fresco (optional, garnish)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).
- In a mixing bowl combine tomato sauce, tomato paste, lime juice, reserved green chile liquid, and taco seasoning mix. Whisk till well combined.15 oz tomato sauce, 1 Tbsp lime juice, reserved green chile liquid, 4 Tbsp taco seasoning mix, 2 oz tomato paste
- In a 9 x 13 baking dish add enough of the sauce to coat the bottom.
- In another small bowl add cheddar cheese, green chiles, and cilantro then combine all ingredients. (Add any other add ons like jalapenos or meats here.)7 oz diced green chiles, 16 oz cheddar cheese, 1 bundle chopped cilantro
- Spoon into tortillas, roll, and place in the baking dish. Top with remainder of the enchilada sauce, sprinkle cheese, some cilantro, and some diced up olives (if desired) over the top.16 oz flour tortillas, 20 olives
- Bake at 350°F (176°C) for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
- Remove from oven and top with any desired garnish. Allow to cool a few minutes, serve, and enjoy!¼ cup queso fresco
- Adjust taco seasoning up or down by taste.
- Add jalapenos or serranos for more heat.
- Corn or flour tortillas work. For corn tortillas microwave a few seconds before handling to warm them or they will break when rolling.
- Use my quick enchilada sauce in the recipe card, my homemade enchilada sauce, or store-bought.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!