Mexican food is the best thing ever; I could live off of beans & rice and chips & salsa. One of the easiest dishes to make (& cheapest) is enchiladas. It’s also one of the most versatile recipes that is easy to change according to who you are cooking for. Enchiladas can easily be a vegetarian dish and any of the ingredients used can be switched in for something of your preference.
Very rarely do I make a dish such as this one where almost all of my ingredients come straight out of a can… Enchiladas are the exception!
Here’s what you need & substitutions
- 1-2 cups cooked, shredded chicken – omit meat, or use beef/pork instead
- 1-2 Tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 can refried beans – use whatever kind of beans you like
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 1 can diced tomatoes – use fresh tomatoes if you have them
- 1 can green chilies, drained – use mild or hot, whatever you prefer
- 1 large onion, sauteed – I actually caramelize the onion, but go for raw if that’s what you like
- 1/2 can olives, chopped – sometimes I use these, sometimes I don’t
- 1 large jar enchilada sauce – I always prefer the green chile kind
- 8 medium tortilla shells
- 2-4 cups shredded cheese – I use the mexican blend from Costco, but pepper jack and cheddar are great too
These enchiladas are so simple to make and taste delicious! This recipe makes 8 enchiladas which means I make two pans, each with 4 enchiladas. I always freeze one for a later day and then cook one pan up that same day.
First, dice up the onion and saute it. Jesse and I don’t really like the crunch of a raw onion so I always cook mine up well before I add it to the rest of the ingredients. While the onions are cooking open up all your cans.
When I use chicken in the enchiladas I boil the chicken until no longer pink then shred it using two forks when it cools down. Add in about 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning and black pepper then mix it up with the chicken. Don’t worry about adding any water to the mix, you want to really flavor the chicken well.
Grab a large mixing bowl and dump in the refried beans and the drained black beans. Add in the can of tomatoes (I usually drain about half of the juice) and then the can of mild green chiles.
Chop up half a can of olives and add those in to the bowl. Add your onion, and about 1-1/2 cups of shredded cheese. Give the ingredients a good mix and add more cheese if necessary.
If you split up the recipe, get 2-8×8 dishes or 2-9×9 dishes, or one 13×9 dish and spray them lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Take a tortilla and fill it with your enchilada filling, roll it up and then lay it down in the pan. I like to put a thin layer of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of the pan before I put the enchiladas in, this helps with not sticking and also gets the sauce underneath as well.
When you fill up your pan(s), cover the enchiladas with shredded cheese and then pour the remaining sauce over top. At this point I covered one dish with saran wrap and then with foil and stuck it in the freezer. Then with the other I preheated my oven to 375*F and covered it with foil and let it bake. Once the sauce begins to boil I remove the foil and let it bake until it begins to turn a golden brown along the edges. It should bake about 30-45 minutes total.
If you’re using a large dish, pull the dish out of the oven and check the very center enchilada to make sure they’ve been heated thoroughly. If not, just stick the pan back into the oven and cover with foil if necessary.
Serve them up immediately. They’re a little messy, and aren’t the prettiest lookin’ things, but they are very yummy! Serve them up with a dollop of sour cream, sliced avocado and garnish them with cilantro leaves.