Every Mexican knows that if you want an authentic red enchiladas, there are some clear do’s and don’ts for taking on the task. All you need are these next guidelines to rule out imposter enchiladas.

Do visit a Mexican grocery store for quality ingredients, like authentic Mexican cheese for the filling.


Photo by Sofia Gonzalez

Chances are that the produce will be less expensive and they will have authentic ingredients to make your enchiladas amazing. Most grocery stores have a variety of Mexican cheeses, either in the deli section or specialty cheese section. Plus, if you have extra leftover, you can make some tasty quesadillas.

Don’t EVER use cheddar cheese or cheese sticks.


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The thought of biting into a semi-solid tube of cheese is disturbing. If you can go to the grocery store and buy a pack of cheddar cheese, you are equally capable of picking out a good, Mexican cheese.

Do try and find a tortilleria for some fresh corn tortillas.


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Corn tortillas are very inexpensive and are perfect for frying, which is why they are choice for making enchiladas.

Don’t use flour tortillas.


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I agree, flour tortillas are glorious. They are perfect for your Taco Bell burritos, midnight quesadillas, and for some bomb soft tacos, but that’s it. Let’s not take it too far.

Do add onions to your filling.


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Whether you put cheese or chicken in you filling, adding onions really helps to add some flavor when you cook your enchiladas.

Don’t try and add weird fillings.


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If you find yourself adding kale or sweet potato to your enchilada filling, you are committing a heinous crime. Whether you are making green chicken enchiladas, enmoladas, moladas, or red chile enchiladas, I guarantee you that none of them contain spinach filling. Keep it simple, compadres.

Do top off your enchiladas with garnishes like avocado, crema mexicana and extra chile sauce.


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Adding a bit of cilantro or sliced avocados as a garnish is always a good idea. If you can’t find crema mexicana at your local grocery, sour cream works just fine. These are good to balance out the heat of the chile colorado while adding some extra flavor to the dish.

Don’t ever use chili beans to top your enchiladas.


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Whoever thought that chili beans made for a good enchilada sauce is completely demented. An enchilada isn’t a chili-cheese coney. No, just no.

Do fry your tortillas before dipping them in red chile sauce.


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If you try it the other way around, you will find that your tortilla has torn apart into itty bitty pieces. It’s quite frustrating. Trust me.

Easy & Authentic Red Enchiladas

  • Prep Time:15 minutes
  • Cook Time:30 minutes
  • Total Time:45 minutes
  • Servings:4 servings (of 3 enchiladas)
  • Easy


  • 1 doz. corn tortillas
  • 2- 10 oz cans of red enchilada sauce (or pkg. of chile colorado)
  • 1 pkg. of queso fresco/Oaxaca (or shredded Mexican cheese blend), crumbled
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • crema mexicana or sour cream, for garnish
  • sliced avocado, for garnish
  • cilantro, for garnish
  • Step 1

    Mix onion and crumbled cheese in a medium bowl. Set aside.

  • Step 2

    Over medium-low heat, heat the oil in a shallow frying pan. On a separate saucepan, heat up the enchilada sauce over low heat. Side note: I used El Pato brand’s enchilada sauce; if you want your enchiladas hotter, I would suggest adding a can of their spicy tomato sauce.

    Photo by Sofia Gonzalez
  • Step 3

    Fry corn tortilla for about 2-4 minutes, until it is able to be picked up without tearing. Don’t let it get crispy.

  • Step 4

    Transfer fried tortilla into the saucepan with warmed enchilada sauce.

  • Step 5

    Once well-coated with enchilada sauce, transfer tortilla to a casserole dish.

  • Step 6

    Add your desired amount of filling to the tortilla and roll it up like a burrito.

  • Step 7

    Repeat steps 3-6 until all the tortillas are filled, rolled, and lined up in the casserole dish.

  • Step 8

    Once all the enchiladas are filled, pour the remainder of the heated enchilada sauce atop the enchiladas in the casserole dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese mixture.

  • Step 9

    Optional: Add cilantro, sliced avocado, and/or drizzled crema mexicana (or sour cream) to your enchiladas for a more authentic taste.

  • Step 10

    ¡Buen provecho!

    Photo by Sofia Gonzalez