How Long To Bake Or Cook Enchiladas?

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Enchiladas are one of the most loved Mexican dishes—virtually everyone loves enchiladas! It's hard to beat the tastiness of ooey gooey cheese, your choice of protein, and your favorite toppings. However, as you're preparing your yummy meal, you may wonder how long you need to pop the dish in the oven. For your convenience, we have brought you the answer.

While it depends on the recipe you follow, the temperature of the oven, and how large/full the pan is, it typically takes between 20 and 45 minutes to cook enchiladas in the oven.

While the cook time is just one factor in preparing the best enchiladas, there are other things to consider to help turn out a tasty dish. Should you cover enchiladas when they're cooking? How do you know when they're done? Is it possible to prevent the tortillas from splitting open? Continue reading to learn more about how to cook delicious enchiladas.

Mexican enchiladas with chicken, vegetables, corn, beans, tomato sauce and cheese, How Long To Bake Or Cook Enchiladas?

How Long To Bake Or Cook Enchiladas

As mentioned earlier, it takes between 20 and 45 minutes to cook a pan of enchiladas. There are three main factors that have the most influence on how long it takes to bake enchiladas:

  • The recipe you follow
  • The temperature of your oven
  • How large and full your pan is

Mexican enchilada in a baking dish with the ingredients on the table

The Recipe

The recipe you follow will largely determine the required bake time. The more loaded the enchiladas, the longer the required bake time will be, and vice versa.

Temperature Of The Oven

The temperature of the oven is the key factor. The standard cook temperature for enchiladas is 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You'll pop the enchiladas in when cooking at this temperature for 15-30 minutes. While it seems backward, the higher the oven temperature, the longer you'll cook your enchiladas.

For example, these cheesy enchiladas require a total cook time of 45 minutes while at a temperature between 400 and 425 degrees F. You'll cook these Old El Paso beef enchiladas at 375 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes.

How Large And Full The Pan Is

The larger the pan (and thus the greater the number of enchiladas), the longer the required bake time. If you're baking a lot of enchiladas in a large pan, expect them to take longer to bake. Always plan ahead accordingly for how much time you'll need to bake your dish.

How Do You Keep Enchiladas Warm In The Oven?

Turn your oven to 200 degrees F and cover the pan with aluminum foil to keep your enchiladas warm in the oven. Keep the oven temperature as low as it can go to prevent your dish from burning or overcooking while you wait to serve them.

Do You Cover Enchiladas When Baking Them In The Oven?

Traditional Traditional Mexican enchiladas dinner served with rice and refried pinto beansMexican enchiladas dinner served with rice and refried pinto beans

You do not need to cover enchiladas while they're baking in the oven. However, if you notice that the top of the enchiladas is getting pretty crispy early on, you can opt to cover the pan with aluminum foil. Doing so ensures that the enchiladas will bake through without burning the top layer of cheese and tortillas.

Why Are My Enchiladas Soggy?

Nothing is worse than taking a bite of your freshly baked enchiladas only to find that they turned out soggy. Soggy enchiladas may be the result of coating them in too much sauce prior to baking them. It's a balancing act of adding sauce; too much can make your enchiladas soggy while too little can make them crunchy and overdone.

How Do I Prevent My Enchiladas From Becoming Soggy?

As mentioned, the first thing to do to prevent soggy enchiladas is to not put too much sauce on them. If you found that your enchiladas turned out a little too soggy for your liking, try taking the sauce down a notch next time. This is a surefire way to guarantee that your enchiladas turn out a little more crispy.

Second, you can very briefly fry your tortillas before filling them. Doing so prepares the tortilla for being stuffed, rolled, and cooked. This is a traditional Mexican step in this dish preparation.

Try out the following assembly steps for the perfectly cooked pan of enchiladas:

  1. Pour a thin layer of sauce into the bottom of your pan.
  2. Quickly fry each side of the tortillas then dip each side into the sauce.
  3. Fill each tortilla with your toppings (protein, cheese, and whatever else you want) and roll it.
  4. Place the rolled tortillas into the pan in a single layer. Top with a tad more sauce, and sprinkle it with some shredded Mexican-blend cheese.

Read more about frying your tortillas here: Should You Fry Flour Tortillas For Enchiladas?

How Long Can Enchiladas Sit Before Baking?

Since the meat that goes inside enchiladas is precooked, you don't want to leave it sitting out for too long prior to baking. To prevent bacteria growth, ensure that you don't leave uncooked enchiladas out for longer than 2 hours.

Leaving unbaked enchiladas out for longer than 2 hours puts you in the danger zone of potential bacteria growth. If you need to wait longer to bake your enchiladas, it's recommended to refrigerate or freeze them. Enchiladas can last for a few months if properly stored in the freezer!

How Do You Know When Enchiladas Are Done?

Rolled Tortilla Stuffed with Shredded Chicken

Bubbling and browning cheese is one of the best indicators that your enchiladas are done. An additional clue is when the sauce starts to bubble as well. When you notice that the cheese is nice and brown and the sauce is bubbling, it's time to remove the enchiladas from the oven and enjoy them!

How Long Should Enchiladas Sit After Baking?

Just like with any baked meal, it's recommended to allow enchiladas to sit before serving and enjoying them. Let enchiladas sit for 5-10 minutes prior to serving them. This will allow them to cool enough to comfortably enjoy. Doing so will also help the flavors settle, leading to a perfectly balanced flavor profile.

How Do You Roll Enchiladas Without Breaking Them?

Mexican croquettes stuffed with cabbage and mushrooms

There's no doubt that it's frustrating when your tortillas split or burst as you're filling them. Of course you want your enchiladas to stay intact as you prepare and cook them. Luckily, the process is identical for preventing the dish from getting soggy and keeping them intact.

Dipping each tortilla into the sauce before rolling it will help prevent it from breaking apart as you roll it. Additionally, using fresh tortillas will make a big difference.

Can You Reheat Enchiladas In The Microwave?

Yes, you can reheat enchiladas in the microwave. If you have any leftovers from your meal, reheating enchiladas in the microwave is a quick solution.

In order to prevent them from drying out, cover them with a microwave splatter-proof cover or place a damp paper towel over the plate. Doing so will help keep the moisture locked in.

This 10.5-inch microwave food plate cover is a great way to prevent making a mess while heating your leftover enchiladas. It features a collapsible design for easy storage.

Click here to see this cover on Amazon.

While microwaving leftover enchiladas never yields a bad result, if you have the time, reheating them in an oven or toaster oven will make them that much more delicious.

If you have the time to reheat your enchiladas in the oven, do so. This method is best for ensuring that all the flavors and textures are maintained as the dish is slowly reheated.

In Closing

Mexican enchiladas with chicken, vegetables, corn, beans, tomato sauce and cheese

In 45 minutes or less, you'll be able to enjoy your freshly cooked enchiladas! It all depends on your recipe, the temperature of your oven, and how large and full your pan is. We hope this guide taught you all you need to know to make some amazing enchiladas!

Before you go, you might also like reading these other related posts:

How Long Does Queso Fresco Last After Opening? [And How To Make It Last Longer]

How To Properly Store Refried Beans

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