Red Cheese Enchiladas Recipe

Restaurant-Style Red Cheese Enchiladas recipe - an old family favorite recipe that is simply the best. Corn tortillas filled with cheese, tomato sauce, chile puree, salt & garlic pepper and topped with more cheese!

My mom is full Mexican and has spoiled us with her delicious Mexican food my entire life. πŸ™‚ 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 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:

The best cheese enchilada recipe

Restaurant-Style Red Cheese Enchiladas recipe - the best enchiladas!

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. πŸ˜‰

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

For more enchilada recipes, check out:

For video instructions, check out:

 

 

How to make Red Cheese Enchiladas:

Red Cheese Enchiladas

4.75 from 16 votes
Restaurant-Style Red Cheese Enchiladas - Corn tortillas filled with cheese, tomato sauce, chile puree, salt & garlic pepper and topped with more cheese!
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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  1. Add oil to pot and heat on Medium. Pour in flour and whisk together and cook for 1-2 minutes.

  2. 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 15 minutes or until thickened.
  3. 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.
  4. From there you will add cheese (I use the Mexican Blended Cheese), roll it up and push it to the end of the pan.

  5. 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).
  6. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Adapted from Gimme Some Oven.

Restaurant-Style Red Cheese Enchiladas - an old family favorite recipe that is simply the best. Corn tortillas filled with cheese, tomato sauce, chile puree, salt & garlic pepper and topped with more cheese!

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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 β€œLil’ 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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Comments

      1. Is there supposed to be tomato sauce in the new recipe? The recipe card I went off of doesn’t show it, but I notice it is in the description. Made for some very strong chili powder sauce.

          1. Really want to try the Red Cheese Enchiladas recipe but don’t see how much tomato sauce to add or when to add it. Can you advise?

  1. 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.

  2. 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!!

  3. 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!!

    1. 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.

        1. 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.

        2. That is what I use making mexican food, either Longhorn or the mild cheddar cheese, or sometimes the Mexican blend with Cheddar & monterey jack.

  4. 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. πŸ™‚

    1. 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. :/

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

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

  8. 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.

      1. Would the chili puree be anything like the chili brick that is sold in the deli section? That’s all I could find. Thank you. I can’t wait to try this recipe!!

  9. 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.

      1. 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?

    1. That is Definitely not true about Arizona, We are actually Very Very know for Mexican food here, Great authentic Mexican food, Just as New York is known for Italian food. I don’t know if you have food city in your town but that is where I find alot of my seasonings & sauces I need for Mine, even at walmart. But do agree with you if you can’t find the items you need for the sause I say Macayo’s red enchilada sauce is the best out of all of them, it doesn’t have that Very Dark Color & Very Strong over powerung kinda burn flavor that others do, like for instance the Las Palmas red enchilada sauce does. I will only use that one for my chilaquiles. Just because of the different flavor it needs to be. I am White but make all kinds of Mexican food was taught by first loves mom, & Most of my friends are Mexican & have tough me alot, others I just did on my own, Such as my awesome homemade “Very Soft” Tortillas , Homemade Green Chile for burritos, Red Chile Beef, Or Green Chile Chicken Enchaladas. Spanish rice. List can go on & on, On food I cook. But you can also look up recipes for some good ways to make red Enchalada sause. Like doing from scratch with blending red chile’s in blender, Good Luck & i hope you have fun in your kitchen learning these great Mexican food dishes. Have a Great Day!

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. You can find Bueno Red & Green chile at Albertsons grocery stores!!! I’m from New Mexico but living in Dallas now and am so happy that I finally found my Bueno red chile!!! I LOVE your website Lil’ Luna!!!

  14. Hi, this might be a silly question, but do you buy a certain kind of corn tortillas to keep your enchiladas from falling apart?! I feel like I’ve tried all kinds of methods of preparation – flash frying in oil, sauce, steaming, heating in a pan, etc – but my enchiladas never seem to hold up once they’ve been cooked. It’s always sooo annoying because I feel like I spend endless time rolling. I’ve even fried them so much that they are almost crispy (not to mention I have to roll while they are still scalding so that they are still bendable) and still no dice. I’d love any suggestions you have!

    1. The only suggestion I can give is buy fresh corn tortillas. If they are older they are more likely to crack. I don’t flash fry mine in oil for any of my enchiladas. I just dip them in the sauce to make them soft and it works out great. πŸ˜‰

    2. When I make enchiladas I don’t roll them I layer them with like a Casserole It’s so much faster , I put just a little sauce them my corn tortillas layered in my baking dish . I use hamburger meat I mine but just cheese is fine . After my tortillas are on bottom I put my hamburger meat in sauce cheese and onions if you like then more tortillas and continue your layers till pan is full with tortillas on top then poor sauce over them and top with cheese . Then bake in oven till Bubbly and hot . I just buy can enchilada sauce and use lots of it the more sauce the better.

  15. Found your recipe on Pinterest. Looks good. Can’t wait to try it. On your site you said since moving to Texas you can’t find Bueno Chile Puree. I live near Fort Worth, and Albertsons is a major store in the DFW metroplex area. Bueno’s store locator website shows it to be sold at Albertsons and some Brookshires. Plug in your zip code and see if any is near you. Hope this helps.

    https://buenofoods.com/store-locator/

    1. Thanks Kathy!! I’m back in Arizona, so I can find it now πŸ™‚ If you love enchiladas, you’ll love this recipe! Thanks so much for checking it out!

  16. This looks great, but there are a few things that are a bit confusing, and or missing. You don’t say how many tortillas you’ll need, or how much queso. It’s good to know quantities before heading to the store. Also, you use the term “fry” the tortillas in the red sauce. When I think frying, higher heat and oil, and you mention turning down the heat on the sauce before you do this. Again, when I think frying, I think of a higher temp, and oil. I quess you mean “dip” the tortillas in the red sauce? Not picking on you, just want to get it right.

    1. The amount of tortillas vary. I use a 9×13 pan and can fit 9-11 tortillas. It just depends on how tight you roll them up. As for the frying, it’s called flash frying, where you dip the tortillas in the sauce, before adding however much cheese you’d like. After you’ve rolled all your tortillas, you pour the excess sauce on top. There isn’t queso in this recipe. Hope this helps and hope you enjoy them!!

      1. OK, so your response explains why I was confused. If you look up the definition of flash frying, you will see that it is the process of frying something at a very high temperature in oil, not dipping something in a sauce at at low temperature. That is not flash frying. The literal translation of queso is cheese, and does not necessarily mean queso fresco, which is what I believe you’re referring to when you said there isn’t queso in this recipe. All that said, your recipe still sounds great, I will try it this weekend, and I’m sure it’ll be delicious! Thanks.

  17. I think your food must be Tex-Mex because traditional Mexican food does not use tomato products the way you use them here. Must be U.S. influence. Canned enchilada sauce uses tomatoes. It was designed for people who are not Mexican.
    I make Enchiladas (make my own sauce), Mexican rice (does not have tomato products), and hubby makes chile rellenos according to Mexican tradition handed down from his mother from Mexico.
    I have been to Mexico many times and the food there is not made this way.
    I don’t know any Mexican family who makes their food like this, nor have I been to any restaurant that makes food like yours except in Texas. Ours family doesn’t.
    Sorry I cannot support your recipes. I feel bad for you but I am sure your family and friends like your cooking but please title it Tex-Mex.

    1. Wow, seriously? Your comment was incredibly rude and incorrect.
      My husband and his family immigrated here from Guadalajara. My father-in-law owned a restaraunt in Jalisco for many years before coming to the US. He still, at 84 years old, cooks daily. He uses tomato products in many of his dishes, including his rice, and it is by far the BEST rice, far superior to anything in a restaurant here.

      So before spouting out your rude opinions, be sure you know what you are talking about first.

    2. I don’t know anything about you or your family but I do know how ignorant you are about mexican food.There are many and different ways to cook food and Mexico has a great variety of ways depending on the region .There is no such thing as one certain way.Like I said you are either ignorant or limited in what you know.So, keep your comment to yourself.

      1. Since my family is Mexican, I can speak with authority. I did not resort to name calling here and if opinions and comments are not wanted then the blog to should be closed to them.
        I think there is no need for name calling. I did not call you ignorant. I am aware that there are different regions with different styles of cooking in Mexico. The traditional Mexican food I am aware of has been the only kind that I ever had in several various regions of Mexico and in California, in particular, and at home. Tex-Mex food uses tomatoes in their recipes. Sorry if you think my opinion is rude.
        A lot of people think that about a differing opinion. Sorry, I really get tired of people mis labeling their recipes and therefore feel compelled to offer my opinion. If opinions are not welcome on this blog, then it should be closed to comments. If you like the recipes, it is fine with me. If people like Tex-Mex food that is o.k. too. Tex-Mex is not a dirty word it just is not traditional according to, in particular, Northern and mid Mexican and Californian cooking or cooking in our family which is very extensive. You are entitled to your opinion and I am entitled to mine. If you don’t agree, fine. Perhaps you and others might learn that not everyone has to agree with you or accept *your* opinion. Perhaps you should point the finger at yourself. And, since when are you appointed an authority.?

        1. There are many different ways to cook Mexican food. My mom is Hispanic & her grandma came from Mexico & this is how they were taught, which is how I cook my Mexican recipes. I am sure they are all great recipes & none of them are the wrong way. That is what’s great about cooking, you can add, take out whatever you like & make them your own. πŸ™‚

  18. Kristyn, I your red cheese enchiladas tonight along with your Mexican rice!!!! Omg it was so delish!! My family loved it! It was like eating at a restraunt but a lot cheaper! I love your food and I follo your boards! Thank you so much for helpingthis white girl cook so good!!!!!

  19. Having grown up in California, these dishes are home cooking to me.

    I try never to use anything prepared but from scratch. The first recipe for red sauce is terrific. Easy for new cooks but there aren’t many things easier than a rich tasty red sauce. When the recipe calls for garlic powder I prefer using minced garlic and saute to bring out the flair.

    When my sauce has everything in it I use a stick blender to make it velvety smooth
    Appearance is everything.

  20. thank you. I made these tonight. But i had trouble dipping the tortillas in the sauce; they fell apart. So I resorted to the microwave. Iguess they were too dry (i just bought them today) Anyway, i smeared the tortillas with the sauce, front and back, microwaved them for 25 sec each, and they were perfect to put the cheese on and roll up. Can’t wait for dinner. I’m also making the rice.

  21. My family browned the flour, used Eagle Brand Chili, and fresh garlic. But other than that your recipe is the closest I’ve seen to what we do. Of course, I have been trying to find the measurements since my family taught me to use a handful of this and a bit of that, until it tasted ‘right’. I appreciate your recipe. Thank you.

    1. I have never added beef. If you want to, I would add it as you are rolling them up. I would have it browned, ready to go. Hope that helps! Good luck!

  22. The top recipe doesn’t have any tomato sauce or tomato component. I noticed at the last minute and added tomato paste because that’s all I had πŸ™

  23. When I make cheese enchiladas I saute some chopped onions, cool them and add to the cheese
    which I put in the enchiladas. Gives them more body and add the onion which is a good addition.

  24. Have you tried it with the new recipe? Is it as good as the recipe with chili purΓ©e? I plan to make this tonight unless it isn’t as good. thanks!

    1. I made these tonight, and they are incredible! They taste better than anything I’ve ever had an a Mexican restaurant. They are phenomenal and my new favorite enchilada recipe. Thank you!

  25. You are my hero! These were the best enchiladas ever! I made it just as your recipe indicated – the upper recipe without the chile purΓ©e. I also made your Mexican Rice, and it too was delicious – and so much better than out of a box. And no preservatives! I want to make again them tomorrow they were so good, but I’ll wait a week! It will take me a couple of times before they look as pretty as yours. I had a few tortillas that split and had to be very careful not to split the rest. But they did hold together, and the taste was fantastic. I’m looking forward to trying your other recipes!

  26. When I make my red enchiladas I fry ground beef n onions n drain then I mix a LG can of tomato sauce n enchiladas pkg to gather with one can of hot water. I dip my corn tortillas In the sauce n roll with mixed cheese n beef mixture till all are rolled then I pour the rest of aside over n bake when done about 30 min I add shredded cheese n heat til melted. Yummy

  27. I made these for my family with the new recipe and everyone loved it! Will definitely be making them again. πŸ™‚

  28. So glad I found this recipe! I’m not a fan of canned enchilada sauce so I thought I’d give this one a shot. It’s seriously the bomb! My husband loved it so much and requested that I make it again tonight. I had shredded chicken on hand so I added that to the inside with the cheese and it did not disappoint! Thanks for sharing! Saving this one forever.

  29. Love this recipe but holy crap at the salt. I did exactly the recipe and the spice is great but it’s very salty and that’s even with me accidentally forgetting to add the salt to it lol

  30. how do you go about reheating these from frozen? I noticed in another enchilada post that you freeze them to give to new moms. I was thinking of making a triple or quadruple batch and freezing for easy summer dinners.

      1. Cool, thank you.

        I was just wondering if it tasted better with homemade chicken broth vs. canned.

        This recipe looks amazing; will try it soon. Thank you.

  31. Hi,
    I Am looking for a cheese enchilada recipe and your dish LOOKS amazing. However I don’t see how 2 c of thickened chicken stock produces the lovely red sauce shown in the picture . No tomato based product?

    The new recipe seems quite different from the old.

  32. The new recipe for Red Cheese Enchiladas does not use tomato sauce in the sauce, but the original recipe does. Doesn’t the tomato sauce make a difference in the flavor? Just wondering.

  33. Hi there! Excited to try these! I don’t see the amount of cumin listed in the new recipe so wanted to check on that! Thanks!

  34. I added chipotle chiles to my sauce. I also like to mix diced onion with the cheese that is rolled inside the tortillas. That is how they do it where I grew up in San Antonio. I now live in Utah and in answer to the question about the Mexican cheese. It is pretty much just colby jack or cheddar. Winco has a brand that has some authentic Mexican cheeses that I really like. One is called Oxaca. I can’t remember the name of the other one.

  35. This recipe was very close to authentic restaurant style cheese enchiladas; however the enchilada sauce was not red as the pictures indicate!

  36. I used tomato paste on accident in the new recipe, and it was a hit. I tried it without the next time I made it, and my kids did not care for it. I am making it again tonight and will go with the tomato paste. My kids like spicy foods, but I think the tomato paste made it a little less hot and overall more familiar in taste.

  37. We do like mexican food! Its tuff to say what our favorIte is but for me it would be red enchilAdas. Actually anything with red sauce. Its a great dish to make ahead and put in the oven whEn ready.