Mexican food is one of my all-time favorites. There are so many delicious meats, sauces, cheeses, and spices that blend together for incredible dishes. Enchiladas are one of those foods that’ll make your stomach warm and full. The ultimate comfort food, I would say!
An enchilada is a soft corn tortilla rolled around some sort of filling; chicken, ground beef, shredded cheese, vegetables, black beans or a combination of these.
It’s then covered with a savory sauce. It’s very similar to a burrito, though burritos are made with a flour tortilla and you can eat it with your hands (typically). Because enchiladas are smothered in sauce, you would (should!) eat it with a fork.
As you’d guess, enchiladas originated in Mexico, but date back to the Mayans. Corn was a staple crop at the time, making corn tortillas common. They were originally called tlaxcalli, and the Spanish conquistadors changed the name to tortilla upon their arrival to the Western Hemisphere. The dish was also originally an empty corn tortilla dipped in chili sauce. It developed over time to create the beautiful dish it is today.
Now, the problem with enchiladas is that they’re so delicious, it’s easy to get carried away. More than once I’ve made far too many to eat in one sitting – though I certainly tried!
So, how can you enjoy leftover enchiladas a bit later? By properly reheating them. There are actually several ways to reheat enchiladas, you just need to make sure they’re cooked all the way through! You don’t want hot tortilla ends and a cold middle.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about how to reheat enchiladas.
How to Reheat Enchiladas in the Oven
The beauty of the oven is that you’ll be able to get a nice texture when reheating the enchiladas and you’ll be able to do it whether the enchiladas have been stored in the freezer or refrigerator. The only dilemma is that it may take a little longer to reheat, so you’ll need to be patient!
First, preheat the oven to 350 °F.
Next, remove your enchiladas from their storage container and place them into a casserole dish or any heavy-bottomed oven tray. Even aluminum throwaway ones will work.
Cover the dish or tray with a lid or aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes are up, remove the covering from the dish and allow it to bake for another 5-10 minutes.
If you’re reheating frozen enchiladas, you’ll need to increase the cooking time. Periodically check that the enchiladas are cooked through and the middle is piping hot.
How to Reheat Enchiladas in a Toaster Oven
A toaster oven will get the job done, but will take slightly longer. However, there will be less hassle, time, and cleanup, so that’s something to consider.
If the enchiladas were in the refrigerator, remove them from their storage container and place them all onto a microwave-safe plate and microwave them for 1 minute.
This just helps to warm up the center.
Once that’s done, add some foil to the bottom of the baking tray and place your enchiladas down. Pop them in the toaster oven for 10 minutes. You can put a layer of foil over them if you’re worried about burning the tortilla.
How to Reheat Enchiladas in a Dutch Oven
The Dutch oven has a few extra steps, but the results are worth it.
Begin by preheating the Dutch oven on medium-low. You do not want it too hot in the beginning. Next, wrap the enchiladas in aluminum foil. Place them in the Dutch oven for 10 minutes and then turn them over. After another 10 minutes on the other side, use tongs to take the enchiladas out and unwrap them from the foil.
You’ll then turn the heat up to medium-high so they will crisp up the outside. You can use a little cooking spray to help crisp it up.
Put the enchiladas back for about 2-3 minutes on each side. If you want to proceed to add more enchilada sauce for more flavor, add 1 cup enchilada sauce to coat the bottom of the Dutch oven.
Cook for another 5-8 minutes and your dish will be ready.
How to Reheat Enchiladas in a Skillet
You won’t get that oven crispness with a skillet, but it’s still a great way to heat up enchiladas.
Line a skillet with a fine layer of oil and set it on the stove on medium-high heat.
Add your refrigerated enchiladas to the pan and heat them for 2-4 minutes until you see the bottom start to crisp.
Add a few drops of water around the enchilada and cover with a lid to steam for 2 minutes. Once done, be sure to serve them immediately.
How to Microwave Enchiladas
A microwave is definitely the most convenient method to heat up enchiladas. Although it doesn’t achieve the perfect temperature, it’s still a great way to make sure you get your delicious food even sooner.
If you took a leftover enchilada from the refrigerator, place your desired serving size onto a microwave-safe plate and poke a couple of holes into it so that the heat can penetrate through to the center (you can slice up the enchilada into manageable slices for a more even reheat if you’re feeling it).
Cover your enchilada and plate with a microwave-safe cover to stop the splatters and trap the steam and stop your enchilada from drying out. I usually cover it up with a paper towel and it gets the job done.
Then heat on high for 1 minute and check to see if it has heated all the way through. If it needs some extra heat, you can do 30-second increments.
What is the Best Way to Reheat Enchiladas?
The best method to reheat is a personal preference. Sometimes if I’m feeling impatient and hangry, I’ll just reheat an enchilada in the microwave. The texture isn’t crispy, but there’s something about the enchilada sauce soaking in to the tortilla that makes it extra flavorful.
Other days, if I’m not super hungry yet and want to take my time, the oven is a great method to ensure I get that crispy texture.
To put it simply – the fastest method is the microwave whilst the best quality results are obtained by using the oven.
Reheating Frozen Enchiladas
Some of you might’ve stored your enchiladas to eat at a later date, meaning you need to know how to reheat frozen enchiladas. Don’t worry; there are methods for that, too!
You can thaw out your enchiladas by leaving them in the refrigerator overnight. Or, you can reheat them straight from their frozen state.
You’ll start again by preheating the oven to 350 °F. Transfer the enchiladas to an oven-safe container, different from the one they were stored in.
Even if your enchiladas were stored in an oven-safe container, the drastic temperature change can cause the dishes to crack or even explode. If you want to, add extra shredded cheese (I recommend Monterey Jack cheese)before baking. Then cover with a lid or foil and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the covering and bake for another 10.
Microwaving Frozen Enchiladas
Microwaving frozen enchiladas is very similar to microwaving them from the refrigerator.
The only difference for a frozen enchilada would be to microwave it at 2 minutes after poking holes through it, instead of the 1 minute, and proceed to reheat in 30 second increments until it’s heated all the way through.
How Long Do Enchiladas Last?
All good things must come to an end, so be sure to know when your enchiladas will take a turn for the worst.
If properly stored, enchiladas will last in their best condition for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. Make sure to tightly cover the container with foil or an air-tight lid before storing.
They may still be good after a few days, but be sure to check the packaging for any tell-tale signs such as a funky smell or mold.
When frozen, enchiladas will last for up to three months. To store in the freeze, tightly wrap them in foil and place in an airtight container or freezer bag to prevent freezer burn.
If you keep them in the freezer much longer than 3 months, you could risk the enchiladas losing their texture or them going bad.