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I love enchiladas. I almost always order them at a Mexican restaurant. I've made them at home a few times with a recipe that's delicious, but it's not the same as what I'm getting at a restaurant. The main difference seems to be that the recipes I've seen call for putting some sauce in a casserole pan, adding the enchiladas, and then adding more sauce and cheese before baking. This always comes out soggy. It's still good, but it's not the same as I'm getting in a restaurant (or on my recent trip to Mexico), which seems more like they just broil the enchiladas for long enough to melt the cheese.

I guess the question(s) fall a couple of different ways: Is this the right way to be making enchiladas? What are the restaurants doing that is different? Are there different styles of this dish that explain the discrepancy?

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do the restaurant ones have sauce on the top? Or do they just put some cheese on and whack it under the grill? –  Sam Holder Jul 27 '10 at 13:45
I've had them both ways, but I'm more interested in with sauce as it ends up being a more interesting and complex flavor. –  yossarian Jul 27 '10 at 14:11

5 Answers 5

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Usually when I've made them I just put sauce on top, not on the bottom, and just down the middle so the edges are exposed. And I make the sauce on the thick side so it is not too watery.

I bake them in the oven too, and they are never too soggy, but you could just grill to minimise the sauce absorption.

I've heard that corn tortillas are more resistant to going soggy than flour ones, but couldn't comment from experience.

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I do the same, just putting the sauce on the top, although it is helpful to lightly grease the dish that you are cooking the enchiladas in to avoid them sticking. –  Ian Turner Jul 27 '10 at 14:00
Doesn't do any good to put the sauce on top before baking cause it all runs down to the bottom of the pan while baking and gets soggy. –  user24391 Apr 14 '14 at 4:39

Two things: (1) Pass the tortillas through hot oil first, for just a few seconds. That will soften them and also "waterproof" them. It is the traditional technique. (2) Consider making them on a griddle instead of in the oven; preheat the sauce and the filling, soften the tortilla, fill, heat for just a few more seconds, place on top of the sauce on a preheated plate.

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This didn't work for me at all. :o( –  yossarian Aug 2 '10 at 17:32
Which, number (1) or (2)? –  Michael at Herbivoracious Aug 3 '10 at 5:29

For me the key is to use corn tortillas's, not flour tortillas. The flour ones break down and get very soggy, and the corn ones hold up much better in the casserole dish.

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Source/brand matters a lot too: I recently bought some yellow corn tortillas without noticing an 'extra soft' label on the package.They basically dissolved when I cooked them. -Disaster. –  Wayfaring Stranger Jul 25 '13 at 14:46

When I make enchiladas, I try not to soak the tortillas too much. I used to use do that, and it resulted in soggy enchiladas as well.

What I've done that has worked for me is to use just enough sauce to cover the tortillas barely, and then broil them for about 5 minutes to heat the sauce, and tortilla, and melt the cheese. This has resulted in more restaurant-esque enchiladas coming out of my own kitchen.

I've never had anyone complain!

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Catbert (evil director of HR): "I haven't listened to a single complaint." –  GalacticCowboy Jul 27 '10 at 16:24

what works good for me (when using flour) is to fill the enchiladas roll em put in pan and bake (without sauce on top) till the tortillias get a little brown on the edges and just barely starting to crisp. Then sauce the top and put on the cheese and bake till cheese is melted. They always come out perfect. With corn i do the same thing but lightly brush with oil before rolling. Hope this helps. Either way you get enchiladas YUM!

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