Red Cheese Enchiladas Recipe

Restaurant-Style Red Cheese Enchiladas - an old family favorite recipe that is simply the best.

I know I’ve mentioned this a gazilion times before, but in case you’re new here to Lil’ Luna you may not know that I’m half Mexican. My blinding white skin may suggest otherwise, but it’s true. My mom is full Mexican and has spoiled us with her Mexican food my entire life. :) I know I’ve posted a few of our favorite family Mexican dishes on here before, but one I have yet to share with you is our Red Cheese Enchiladas Recipe. This is a recipe my mom has had for years (my great-grandma Bean Burro used it!) and it’s the one we use whenever we have Red Cheese Enchiladas.

What’s great about this sauce is that it can be froze, which is great!! I actually just used my frozen sauce last week and you could never tell it hadn’t been made fresh. Oh, AND these are great reheated the next day. I feel like there are few foods that taste just as good the next day, but this one is just as yummy! If you like Restaurant Style Red Enchiladas, you must try out this recipe because it is so good and is perfect for your next Mexican food night. Here is the recipe for the Red Sauce:

5.0 from 1 reviews
Red Cheese Enchiladas Recipe
  • ⅔ cup oil
  • ⅔ cup flour
  • 14 oz. Chile Puree (Bueno Brand, MILD)
  • 4-5 cups water
  • 8 oz. can Tomato Sauce
  • Salt & Garlic Pepper season to taste
  1. In a pot, brown (roux) flour in oil. Add Chile Puree (which comes in Mild or Hot and is found in the frozen section and needs to be thawed out).
  2. Add 4-5 cups of water and tomato sauce.
  3. Add salt and garlic pepper. Season to taste.
  4. Bring mixture to a boil. Depending on thickness add more water. You know it's the perfect consistency when it coats the back of the spoon.
  5. After it comes to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  6. Keep lid on to prevent skin from forming on top.


1. After you have made your sauce, you will want to flash fry your corn tortillas in the sauce. I turn my sauce down and dip a corn tortilla into the sauce and immediately put it into the pan I will be baking them in (it’s usually a 9×13).

2. From there you will add cheese (I use the Mexican Blended Cheese), roll it up and push it to the end of the pan.

3. Continue doing this with your tortillas until your pan is full. From there you will pour the excess sauce over your tortillas. Sprinkle the top with more cheese. (You can also prepare this in advance and refrigerate until ready to cook).

4. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.


Since moving to Texas, I cannot find the Chile Puree anywhere. :(

Without the puree, I’ve had to rely on other recipes and my favorite comes from Gimme Some Oven.

Homemade Enchilada Sauce!! So good!

I basically keep the recipe the same, but wanted to share what I do with it to change it up:

Gimme Some Oven Red Enchilada Sauce recipe go HERE.

*I only use GEBHART Chili Powder – it is simply the best!!

*I use only 3 TB Chili Powder

*I use Chicken Broth (or 2 cups heated water with 1 cube chicken bouillon cube)

This recipe is great but makes enough for 10-12 enchiladas, so you may need to double. 😉

Restaurant-Style Red Cheese Enchiladas - an old family favorite recipe that is simply the best.

Restaurant-Style Red Cheese Enchiladas - an old family favorite recipe that is simply the best.

Eek! These are my favorite!! I actually love all sorts of enchiladas but this sauce just brings back so many memories of eating them as a child. My great-grandma Bean Burro (that’s what we called her but her last name was really Gutierrez) made them and my mom learned from her and my grandma Luna. 😉

Best of all, it really is an easy recipe and tastes like it came straight from the restaurant! DELISH!

Restaurant-Style Red Cheese Enchiladas - an old family favorite recipe that is simply the best.

Oh, so so yummy!

This is definitely one of my favorite Mexican food dishes and can be made so easily! For more Mexican food dishes, be sure to check out these favorites:

Restaurant Style Spanish Rice. The best and easiest recipe! The perfect Mexican side dish!

Spanish Rice

One of our favorite Mexican dishes - Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas recipe!!

 Las Palmas Chicken Enchiladas

Super delicious Mexican Lasagna that is simple to make too! Chicken, cheese, olives, tortillas, & a yummy sauce!

 Mexican Lasagna

For all Dinner ideas go HERE.

For all recipes on the site go HERE. :)

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Lil' Luna
Kristyn is passionate about sharing ALL things creative! From recipes and tips to crafts and DIY projects, Kristyn loves to share with her readers how to be creative and how to do things simply. When not creating, she is busy going on adventures with her 5 children (ages 7 to 6 months) and with her best friend/husband, Lorin.
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About Lil' Luna

Kristyn is passionate about sharing ALL things creative! From recipes and tips to crafts and DIY projects, Kristyn loves to share with her readers how to be creative and how to do things simply. When not creating, she is busy going on adventures with her 5 children (ages 7 to 6 months) and with her best friend/husband, Lorin.

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  1. 1

    I dont see the recipe….

  2. 3

    Wow, I had no idea making that red sauce could be done so easily. I am definitely trying it out. Thanks!!

  3. 4

    Hi !
    Just tried to click onto your Spanish Rice and Las Palmas chicken enchilada Recipes – no luck.

  4. 5

    Yummy!! I can’t wait to try these!! Thanks for the recipe :)

  5. 6

    I think I could live on Mexican food. I’m totally making these!
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  6. 8

    So all my store carried today was ‘hot’. Is that going to make the enchiladas super spicy? I hate to go to all the work and then have them be so hot my family won’t eat them.

  7. 14

    What part of the country do you live in? I live in Utah and I have looked in every market within a 20 mile radius of my house and I can’t find chile puree. I have even went to Mexican markets. Any help to find it or an alternative suggestion would be great! thank you!!

  8. 15

    I have a question about the cheese you use for the red enchiladas. I look in the Mexican cheese section and there are so many different kinds. Do you use a Mexican brand for the cheese and if so, which one works best? If you use a regular brand is it like Kraft Mexican blend? The cheese is so important in making these taste really good. I have tried for many years and have not quite found the correct one. Please help. Thanks for sharing your recipes!!

    • 16

      Longhorn cheese is what most Mexican dishes use in San Antonio. I have tried others but they aren’t the same.
      Every region of the country is different but I think our area has the most flavor.

      • 17

        Hmmm, don’t think I’ve tried that kind of cheese just yet.

        • 18

          The brand our family used is hard to find but a real close one is made by boars head in the Deli section. I used about 3/4 of a pound sliced. I sprayed the pan with Pam. Put a tortillla that was flashed in olive oil, ran out of corn oil. Split the slice in half and with diced onions and a chicken gebhart chili mix roll the tortilla. Makes about a dozen. I used the extra cheese to put on top with a few diced onions and sauce. Then bake. They were very good, and I’m not a enchilada fan. Don’t over bake or they get dry and hard.

  9. 19

    This might be a dumb question, but what isle do you find Chile Puree? Is it something frozen? Canned? I have never heard of it. I didn’t know where to start looking. :)

    • 20

      Not a dumb question at all, but it’s in the freezer section… sometimes near the cool whip, but it’s never in the same spot at the grocery stores. :/

  10. 21

    I’m more than happy to uncover this great site. I want to to thank you for ones time just for this fantastic read!! I definitely loved every bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new things on your blog.
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  11. 22

    What can I substitute chile puree with because I can’t find it anywhere. I asked workers at the store and non of them have heard of it.

  12. 23

    I have been looking everywhere for the Chili Puree! I cannot find it! I even asked the employees. I saw you mentioned walmart, but I was there today and had no luck. Any suggestions on a substitution?

    • 24

      Do you have any Hispanic Stores around where you are? If so, I would check there first. Wish I could be more help. :(

  13. 25

    I can’t wait to try all your recipes. They look so yummy and real Mexican food.

  14. 26

    I have made these three times and they are better than anything I have ever
    Had/made. I use to use canned sauce and could never find one that seemed
    To spicy to me. This recipe is just right and it is the only way I make them anymore.

  15. 29
    Virginia Callister :

    This made me smile. Your famly’s mexican food recipes are so similar to what my family makes. I was reading your reader’s comments and actually was thinking about this while I was reading your chile recipe. There are lots of places around the country that mexican food items are not available. My grandparents have lived back east and found it is even hard to find good tortillas in some places. Obviously, Arizona and Texas are no such places. If I might suggest to your readers who don’t have access to the chile puree’, they could sub a canned red chile enchilada sauce from the grocery store. I like Macayo’s and Las Palmas okay. It’s not as tasty as sauce from scratch but its an alternative. It is also an alternative if you want to speed up the process a bit. Just heat the canned sauce on low in a sauce pan and use the same process as you do of flash frying the tortilla then dipping it immediately in the chile and then to the baking pan. I personally spent too much time as a teen flash frying for enchiladas and frying taco’s and taco shells that I almost never make enchiladas. Too much time and energy for me, and my dang kids don’t even like them. Hah.

    • 30

      LOL! Too funny!! Using canned enchilada sauce is definitely easier but I have yet to find one I REALLY like. I have tried this recipe from Gimme Some Oven, and I think it’s pretty good if you can’t find the puree – – Have you tried it before?

      • 31

        Hi Lil’ Luna,

        I have personally made the recipe from Gimme Some Oven, but I found it was a little smokier than I would have wanted. It tasted like more of a New Mexico kind of thing than Tex-mex, if that makes any sense. Any tips for making it more savory and less smoky? Do you think adding some canned tomato sauce or tomato paste would help?

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  19. 35

    Can you clarify what you mean by “flash fry in the sauce”? Are you ONLY dipping the tortilla into the sauce? Or are you flash frying it in oil, then dipping it into the sauce? Thank you! I am really excited to try this recipe. We moved from Tucson to up north in AZ, and have yet to find really good Mexican food. =( Probably what we miss most about Tucson.

  20. 36

    Can this meal be frozen?

  21. 37

    OMG! I found this on pinterest and made it tonight and it got rave reviews! I never knew it was that easy to make a red enchilada sauce. I’m never buying cans of that stuff again! Thanks for the awesome recipes!

  22. 38

    I’m assuming it’s from too many ads but I’m unable to look at your site or read the recipe. It keeps freezing which is an unfortunate thing that happens w/ many otherwise good blogs due to excessive pop ups. So you are losing traffic even making this comment my computer keeps freezing so I just have to “X” out of your site.