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Enchiladas are pure comfort food!  They can also be pretty greasy and unhealthy.  These cheese and veggie enchiladas have plenty of cheese, but also pack a nice amount of veggies which both lightens them up and adds a lot of flavor.  I also cut waaaay down on the “greasy” factor by not frying the tortillas first in oil, which is a traditional step.  I find if I use good quality corn tortillas and warm them first, they are plenty pliable for stuffing.  The sauce is quick and easy and so much better than canned.  Plus, it uses ingredients you probably already have on hand.  We love these enchiladas served either with a spicy coleslaw or a simple tossed salad.  An ice-cold beer or margarita wouldn’t be a bad accompaniment either!


Here’s What You Need to Make Cheese and Veggie Enchiladas

  • 3 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp. ancho chile powder
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 cups finely diced onion, divided
  • ¼ cup olive or grapeseed oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tsp. tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • salt to taste
  • 16 corn tortillas
  • 4 cups shredded cheese (divided), such as Pepper Jack or Mexican Blend
  • 2 cups diced sautéed veggies such as zucchini, corn, bell pepper, etc. (this is the blend I use)

Ingredient Notes

  1. If you don’t have Ancho chile powder, just sub in more chile powder.  It does add a nice flavor and is easy to find at the supermarket, so it’s worth picking up.
  2. Store bought corn tortillas can be really awful.  However, Goya and la Banderita both make really good white corn tortillas.  If you can find Goya, that’s my first pick.  In my area “regular” tortillas are shelved with the bread, but all the Goya products (they make everything!) are on their own aisle.
  3. Cheese Enchiladas are pretty bland by nature.  Make sure the cheese you use has lots of flavor (now is not the time for Colby or plain Monterey Jack), and that you season the sauce and your veggies well.
  4. Speaking of veggies, when I make these enchiladas I always use leftovers of my Summer Succotash, which I highly recommend.  Or, you can just saute up some mixed veggies of your own and season them how you like.

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Here’s What to Do to Make Cheese and Veggie Enchiladas


Make the Sauce:

Preheat oven to 400.  Combine chile powders, flour, oregano, and black pepper in a small bowl and set aside.  Place ¼ cup of the onion in a small bowl of water and set aside.

Saute remaining onions in oil in large saucepan.  When onions are tender and translucent, add garlic and saute one minute.  Stir in tomato paste and saute another minute.

Add seasoning and flour mixture and stir.  You may need to add a bit more oil if necessary to make sure all the flour and seasonings are incorporated into a paste.  Saute a minute or two to “bloom” the flavors.  Your mixture should look like this:

aromatics for enchilada sauce

Add broths and whisk to combine.  Bring sauce to a boil and cook 5 minutes or so to thicken and develop flavors, whisking occasionally.  You’ll have a lovely, rich “gravy”, and flavor like that does not come in a can!  Season the sauce to taste with salt.  Don’t skimp!  Corn tortillas are very bland and they will soak up a lot of the sauce.  So if your sauce is underseasoned, the whole dish will be “meh”.  And that would be sad 😔

enchilada sauce boiling

Pour a thin layer of sauce in a 13 x 9 casserole dish.   You don’t want your enchiladas drowning, but you don’t want them parched, either. 😉

enchilada sauce in pan

Stuff the Enchiladas:

Place tortillas in tortilla warmer (or wrap in a damp paper towel and then a clean kitchen towel) and microwave until hot (30-60 seconds).  I highly recommend the Imusa Tortilla Warmer.  This thing is crazy-amazing.  It will keep tortillas, flatbreads, whatever, hot for ages.  Bonus:  I sometimes snuggle it over my teapot because it will also keep a pot of tea hot!  I probably got mine at Walmart, but you can find it online too.

Back to our recipe…

Lay a tortilla, one at a time on the counter, keeping the others warm.  Place 2 Tbsp each of the shredded cheese and veggies down the center of each tortilla.

filling for Cheese and Veggie Enchiladas

Fold edges over the middle and place in pan, seam side down.  You will have to continually “scooch” the enchiladas around to snuggly fit them all in the pan.  Traditionally when you make enchiladas you fry the tortillas and dip them in sauce first.  Y’all, that is both fussy (I hate fussy) and messy (I really hate messy).  As long as you have good, fresh tortillas and they are steamy-warm, they will roll just fine.  Yes, you’ll have to be a little more careful transferring them to the pan so stuff doesn’t fall out, but you’ll get the hang of it.  If your tortillas refuse to roll, just make a layered thing out of it, lasagna style.  No worries!

Cheese and Veggie Enchiladas rolled into their pan

When all the enchiladas are in the pan, cover with remaining sauce…

Cheese and Veggie Enchiladas covered in sauce

and the remaining cheese.

Cheese and Veggie Enchiladas ready to bake

Cover pan with foil and bake 15 minutes.  Uncover and bake 10 minutes more, or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling around edges. Tip:  if your pan is shallow and the foil might touch the cheese, spray the underside of the foil with non-stick cooking spray.  No lost cheese!

Baked Cheese and Veggie Enchiladas

Serve with reserved onion sprinkled over top.

Cheese and Veggie Enchiladas ready to eat

Enjoy!


Elizabeth

pinnable image for Summer Succotash

Here’s the veggie blend I use for these enchiladas – it’s a succotash recipe that can be served as a side or even as a light vegetarian supper.


Cheese and Veggie Enchiladas

These quick and easy Cheese and Veggie Enchiladas have plenty of melty cheese and a flavorful sauce, but they also pack a healthy amount of veggies.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword Enchiladas
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 8
Author Elizabeth at thewildolive.org

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp. ancho chile powder
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 cups finely diced oniondivided
  • ¼ cup olive or grapeseed oil
  • 4 cloves garlicminced
  • 4 tsp. tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 16 corn tortillasGoya or la Banderita
  • 4 cups shredded cheese such as Pepper Jack or Mexican Blenddivided
  • 2 cups diced sautéed veggies such as zucchini, corn, bell pepper, etc.

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • Combine chile powders, flour, oregano, and black pepper in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Place ¼ cup of the onion in a small bowl of water and set aside.
  • Saute remaining onions in oil in large saucepan. When onions are tender and translucent, add garlic and saute one minute. Stir in tomato paste and saute another minute.
  • Add seasoning and flour mixture and stir. You may need to add a bit more oil if necessary to make sure all the flour and seasonings are incorporated into a paste. Sautee a minute or two to “bloom” the flavors.
  • Add broths and whisk to combine. Bring sauce to a boil and cook 5 minutes or so to thicken and develop flavors, whisking occasionally. Season to taste with salt.
  • Pour a thin layer of sauce in a 13 x 9 casserole dish.
  • Place tortillas in tortilla warmer (or wrap in a damp paper towel and then a clean kitchen towel) and microwave until hot (30-60 seconds).
  • Lay a tortilla, one at a time on the counter. Cover with 2 Tbsp each of the shredded cheese and veggies. Fold edges over middle and place in pan, seam side down. You will have to continually “scooch” the enchiladas around to snuggly fit them all in the pan.
  • When all the enchiladas are in the pan, cover with remaining sauce and top with remaining shredded cheese.
  • Cover pan with foil and bake 15 mins. Uncover and bake 10 minutes more until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling around edges. Tip: if your pan is shallow and the foil might touch the cheese, spray the underside of the foil with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Serve with reserved onion sprinkled over top.