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

4.86 from 245 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 vegetable oil
  • 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp Gebhardt Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Mexican Blend 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.


Easy Cheese Enchiladas

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About Kristyn

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. 5 stars
    I love the simplicity of the recipe especially for a mom always on the go and with not alot of time on her hands.

  2. 5 stars
    I am late to the party here, but just wanted to say, THANK YOU for this recipe. As an American living abroad in Berlin, Germany (which is a Mexican food desert) this recipe – which doesn’t rely on canned sauce and uses ingredients I can actually easily find here – is a godsend. We sub out vegetable stock for chicken stock to keep it vegetarian. I also double the quantities for sauce usually, otherwise it’s too dry. This dish brings me back to my childhood and has become one of my and my partner’s absolute favorite dinners!

  3. 5 stars
    These are so delicious!
    The only thing I would change is instead of dipping the tortillas in the red sauce, dip them in hot oil for ten seconds and dry on a paper towel!!

  4. 3 stars
    These just didn’t do it for us. Not sure if it was the sauce or the cheese, but not a hit for our first try. We made these with the Spanish Rice, and that was a keeper for sure! We continue to make that whenever we have Mexican meals.

  5. 5 stars
    This was the best the second time around I made it. I made double the sauce. So it tasted like I went to Carmelita’s Mexican restaurant where I live.

  6. These enchiladas were absolutely delicious. That sauce is way more than the sum of its parts! Thank you so much for an easy, more affordable way (than takeout) to enjoy one of our favorite meals!

  7. 5 stars
    I was intimidated to make my own sauce, but was surprised at how easy it was! I used half the chili powder because I was afraid it’d be too spicy for kids. They liked them and we’ll definitely make this again. I might try adding in shredded beef too next time.

  8. I moved to Portugal and can’t find the chili powder you recommended here. Is there a generic type I can look for? In other words, what should my chili powder have in it so I know which kind to buy? Thank you!

    1. I just wanted to say, I never purchase chili powder since it’s made up of spices I always have on hand. Just mix it up and store in a jar, and I usually double the recipe. Here is the mix I use, from the Food Network:
      2 tablespoons paprika
      2 teaspoons oregano (use Mexican if you have it)
      1 1/4 teaspoons cumin
      1 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
      1 1/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper (ground)
      3/4 teaspoon onion powder

      1. That’s chili beans seasoning— chili powder is different. It’s red and made of chili peppers. It’s mild tasting and not spicy depending which one you buy. It’s not the same stuff as your recipe there though.

  9. What a disaster. Sauce got too thick and didn’t go very far. The tortillas broke – probably because the sauce was so thick it didn’t saturate. The mess was not worth the trouble.

  10. Love this recipe! We also use that brand chili powder.. have you of your family ever made chicken mole with that powder? I have a family friend make it but have yet to find a recipe

  11. 5 stars
    I made these a few weeks back for a Sunday lunch after church with friends and family. It’s always risky making something new for people, but OMGsh they were amazing. I tripled the sauce recipe and made over 30 enchiladas (half chicken and half cheese). There were ZERO left. My husband has just requested I make them again tonight. They were the absolutely the best. Thank you for this new family favorite!

  12. 5 stars
    So easy and super delicious! From start to finish, it took only minutes to make these delicious cheese enchiladas that left everyone begging for more. I usually make something non-traditional for Christmas Eve dinner, and I know these will be a big hit!

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