Red Cheese Enchiladas

Restaurant-Style Red Cheese Enchiladas are an old family favorite recipe that is simply the best!! They are cheesy, saucy, and so yummy.

These are the BEST red cheese enchiladas. Serve them with Pinto Beans, Spanish Rice, or maybe even some Beef Empanadas to make an entire tasty meal that is sure to be a family fav!!

Red Cheese Enchiladas in a glass baking dish

Red Enchiladas

My mom is full Mexican and has spoiled us with her delicious 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.

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 Cheese Enchiladas. Trust me, the homemade enchilada sauce in this recipe is a MUST.

We’ve tried canned red enchilada sauces and they don’t even compare. They aren’t authentic and don’t have the delicious flavor you can find in restaurant-style cheese enchiladas. And don’t be scared – this enchilada sauce recipe is simple and can be made ahead of time! We also use it in our famous Beef Empanadas recipe.

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. 😉

Dipping corn tortillas in a red enchilada sauce

How to Make Cheese Enchiladas

Making your own red sauce may seem difficult, but we promise it’s not. It doesn’t take long either. The only thing that may need changing is the amount of chili powder you use, so test that out and see what you like best.

*Tip*: we are huge fans of Gebhardt Chili Powder and only use that when making our red sauce. 😉

SAUCE. To make these enchiladas, you have to begin with the red sauce (be sure to check out our red enchilada sauce recipe for more tips and tricks). This is made by adding oil to 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, 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.

Once the sauce is done you are ready to start making the enchiladas. NOTE: Our favorite kind of tortillas to use are the Kroger yellow corn tortillas – they work like a charm.

DIP, FILL + ROLL. Get your pan close to your sauce, along with a bowl of cheese, and your tortillas. Dip each tortilla into the sauce until soft and put into greased dish. Add ¼ cup cheese and roll up and push to the end of the pan.

BAKE. 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, then bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Red Enchiladas with cheese on top in baking dish

Storing + Serving info

I like to make them in the morning or even the day before if things are crazy. I will typically make the enchiladas and stop before adding shredded cheese on top. I store in the fridge by covering tightly and when ready to bake, I top with cheese and bake. I may need to add a few minutes to the cooking time.

We FREEZE enchiladas all the time. We often double the batch and will place the second batch in a freezer safe pan and then cover with foil tightly and place in a freezer bag. This can keep for up to 2 months. Just take out to thaw overnight in the fridge before baking.

What to serve with cheese enchiladas:

Cheese Enchiladas topped with red sauce and cheese in a glass baking dish

For more enchilada recipes, check out:

Cheese Enchilada Recipe

4.73 from 151 votes
Restaurant-Style Red Cheese Enchiladas are an old family favorite recipe that is simply the best!! They are cheesy, saucy, and so yummy.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 7 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 47 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 64 kcal
Author Lil' Luna


  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp Gebhardt Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Mexican Cheese


  • Add oil to pot and heat on Medium. Pour in flour and whisk together and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt and oregano and mix until clumpy. Pour in chicken broth, whisking the entire time and until there are no more clumps. Heat for 15 minutes or until thickened.
  • After you have made your sauce, you will want to dip your corn tortillas in the sauce until they are soft and immediately put it into a greased 11x7 pan.
  • From there you will add cheese (I use the Mexican Blended Cheese), roll it up and push it to the end of the pan.
  • 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).
  • Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.


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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 3 stars
    We already talked about the tortillas falling apart it’s taste was ok but it seemed to be missing something. I would try it again if the tortillas problem was solved
    PS the tortillas were purchased today so a new package was opened

    1. Thanks for letting me know how it went! I try to use the Kroger brand of yellow corn tortillas for this recipe because they seem sturdier and don’t fall apart as easily. They can be found at grocery stores such as Fry’s and Smith’s but I don’t know if those stores are found in your area. It’s hard to find a good sturdy tortilla that is also soft. I’m sorry it didn’t work out as well as you had hoped. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Made this sauce yesterday, looked good , but too much chili powder! My mom also made a sauce but less chili powder, no cumin , and no oregano, which was much better taste. Just thought I’d try something different , but think I’ll stick to the one I have.

  3. 2 stars
    I don’t recommend this recipe to any enchilada lover considering that there is a lot of problems with this recipe. The first problem has to do with the roux. In her pictures, its obvious that she uses more flour and oil than she states in the ingredients. When making the roux, it clumps up very quickly (much quicker than the time she says to mix it for) and you are basically rushed into adding the rest of the ingredients. This red sauce does not take fifteen minutes to clunk up like the recipe states, at best five minutes.

    Requesting people to dunk a tortilla raw into the sauce is just asking to get bad reviews, because they are very delicate and will break from the weight of the sauce. For people who want to follow this recipe, I recommend taking your corn tortillas and wrapping them in a damp paper towel before putting them in a ziplock and popping it into the microwave for a minute. You can stack them two at a time, and it preps them beautifully. Just be careful when taking them out because they get very hot this way. Next I recommend to be safe and not dunk them inside this sauce, but continue to the next step on the recipe. Stuff them in cheese and/or chicken/beef and roll them into the pan. (Make sure to spray it with cooking spray first). After your pan is stuffed and full, pour on your sauce that you have made and pop it into the oven at the time and temp it states.

    Personally, I might follow this recipe again in my own way and after this I’ll probably stick to the can from the store when wanting red sauce or try my hand at a different recipe.

    1. Sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy the recipe. Thanks for your feedback and for giving it a try.

  4. 5 stars
    I like this recipe. The tortillas, I heat in the microwave for a minute, and this keeps them from breaking. Also, I found it very difficult to dip these into the chili sauce, so i slather the sauce on the tortillas, add some diced onions, then put the cheese, roll up. After all are rolled up, I pour the remaining sauce on top, topped with onion and more cheese. Good recipe for the red sauce.

    1. I usually get about 7-8 enchiladas from one recipe, depending on how large you fill your enchiladas. So I’d suggest doubling the recipe (change to 12 servings).

  5. My family loved this recipe. I made a separate sauce for my mom with half the chili and it was still too spicy for her. So I added a small amount of tomato sauce which smoothed it out. But this recipe is awesome the way it is. Unless you’re my mom haha

    1. Haha! I’m glad you all enjoyed the recipe and yes, certainly feel free to adjust the heat for those who like more mild flavors. 😉 Thanks for sharing!

  6. 5 stars
    Made this recipe exactly as stated tonight except added sliced black olives & scallions. It was sooo good! Sauce had great flavor, was plenty thick, and the enchiladas were so cheesy! Sounds like some folks had trouble rolling the tortillas without breaking them. I slathered a scoop of sauce in the bottom of my Pyrex pan and rolled the tortillas right in the pan. Reduces mess and the possibility of breakage. This recipe tastes 100% authentic & is definitely a keeper – Kristyn, thanks so much for sharing!

    1. You’re welcome!! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe. The addition of olives and scallions sounds delicious! Thanks for your kind words and review. Happy to hear the recipe was a hit!

  7. 5 stars
    Ahh…I should have read the comments to see the trick about softening the tortillas in the microwave, first! I used Tom Thumb store brand. They broke when I tried to roll them. I tried leaving them in the sauce for a while, but then they broke apart when I tried to lift them out. I will try again with Kroger tortillas! I doubled the recipe and made one pan of (broken) rolled tortillas and one pan of stacked tortillas (tear apart tortillas into pieces and layer with sauce and cheese). I figured they would both taste the same. 🙂 The taste is great, family loved them, and we will make again!

    1. Yes, different brands crumble and break more than others. Not sure why? Kroger brand is my favorite! But how clever to layer it like a casserole too. Glad to hear they tasted yummy and that your family enjoyed! Thanks for sharing!

  8. 1 star
    Really was excited when I saw I could have a serving of Corn Tortilla Enchiladas, or even just one enchilada with only 4 carbs. I needed to double check the carb count so I looked up Kroger Corn Tortillas and they have 18 Net Carbs. I guess I need to wait for a cheat day to actually try this recipe. I hope it comes up to a 5.

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