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Here’s My FAQ On The Best Way To Reheat Enchiladas

Discover the best method for how to reheat enchiladas, featuring just a few simple steps, especially when compared to making the dish the first time around.

Once you have a recipe you love, the next step is to be able to properly reheat your leftover enchiladas so you can enjoy them as a great meal for days to come!

Depending on your mood as you browse your fridge for food, there are different methods of reheating for you.

There is a method if you are looking for saving time, warming up large batches, or keeping the original texture.

Chances are, one of the following different ways of reheating enchiladas will be a great option for you:

  • Reheating via Oven
  • Reheating via Skillet
  • Reheating via Air Fryer
  • Reheating via Microwave
  • Reheating via Toaster Oven

If the idea of warming up leftovers of your cheesy Mexican-style dish is what has been holding you back from cooking these, consider yourself in luck since we will be going over five methods that will help you get your dish back to the deliciousness it had the first time around.

Leftover enchiladas are an excellent easy meal for busy nights.

Some methods can even be used for frozen enchiladas, so be sure to follow the proper steps for your specific enchilada leftovers.

While this method is ideal for large batches of enchiladas as well as for maintaining the flavor and texture of the fillings, it does take more time than other methods so keep that in mind as you preheat your oven.

This process also doesn’t give you the crispy exterior other methods would, so if this is a deal breaker for you and your enchiladas, other ways of reheating may be better suited for you.

After following the oven method of reheating enchiladas, be sure to check that they have been warmed all the way through.

Tools:

  • Oven-safe baking dish
  • Leftover enchiladas
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Extra cheese and sauce (optional)

Instructions (From the Fridge):

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. Place your leftover enchiladas into an oven-safe container.
  3. Optional: Microwave your enchiladas for about a minute first.
  4. If you prefer additional cheesiness and sauce, add some on top of your enchiladas, but this step is optional, as well.
  5. Cover your dish with tin foil.
  6. Bake your enchiladas for 20 minutes, or 15 if you decided to microwave them in step three.
  7. Remove the foil and continue heating your enchiladas for five to ten minutes.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Instructions (From the Freezer):

  1. Defrost your frozen enchiladas overnight.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  3. Place the thawed enchiladas in an oven-safe baking dish.
  4. Add additional cheese and sauce, if you would like.
  5. Cover your dish with aluminum foil.
  6. Bake the dish for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove the foil from your dish and bake for an additional ten minutes.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Reheating via Skillet:

Although this method is more hands-on than setting it and forgetting it like other techniques, it will give you evenly reheated enchiladas with a crispy tortilla bottom, unlike the oven method.

This will also prevent the filling from becoming dried out.

Many will say that this method is the best way for maintaining the texture and flavor of your food!

This is a very effective way to get your enchiladas back to the freshness it had the first time around.

If your enchiladas have spent some time in the freezer, it is best to let it thaw in the fridge or to room temperature before following this method.

Tools:

  • Cooking oil
  • Skillet with lid
  • Leftover enchiladas

Instructions:

  1. Add a small amount of oil to your skillet and allow it to heat up on medium-high heat.
  2. Line your skillet with your enchiladas, being careful to not overcrowd them so they can heat up thoroughly all around.
  3. Heat your enchiladas for about two to four minutes so that the tortilla begins to crisp up.
  4. Add a few drops of water around your enchiladas and cover for about two minutes so they can steam up.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Reheating via Air Fryer:

Using an air fryer will yield results similar to using an oven but with a much quicker time and easier process.

It is important to make sure that your enchiladas are reheated all the way throughout when using an air fryer, just like you would with an oven.

Since air fryers work by utilizing hot air circulating through the basket, an important tip is to avoid overcrowding the basket with your enchiladas.

Air fryers are great at crisping edges, so anticipate that your enchiladas may come out with crisp ends. 

Tools:

  • Air fryer
  • Parchment paper
  • Leftover enchiladas

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 350F.
  2. If your enchiladas are extra saucy, line your air fryer basket with parchment paper before placing your enchiladas inside.
  3. Heat for three to four minutes.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Reheating via Microwave:

If you are warming up leftover enchiladas as a single serving or are in a rush, this easy way of reheating may be one of the better methods for you.

The tortilla may end up a bit firmer but if you separate out your fillings and opt for a corn variety, you can soften your corn tortillas easily.

This may be the fastest and easiest way to reheat your enchiladas but it leaves something to be desired for the texture it gives.

Eddie’s Mexican Restaurant recommends wrapping a damp paper towel (not soaking) around your tortillas if you decide to rewarm in a microwave to prevent too much drying out.

Tools:

Instructions (Fridge):

  1. Place your leftover enchiladas on a microwave-safe plate.
  2. Either poke holes into your enchiladas to allow the food to vent or cut it into smaller pieces to let it cook more thoroughly.
  3. Use a splatter guard over your food and place it in the oven.
  4. Heat for one minute on high power and check the temperature of your enchiladas.
  5. If it hasn’t had enough time, continue for 30 second increments, checking each time before continuing to warm it up more.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Instructions (Freezer):

  1. Prep your enchiladas similar to above, by placing it on a microwave-safe plate, venting or poking holes or cutting it into smaller portions, and placing a splatter guard on top.
  2. Heat for two minutes on high power and check the temperature of your food.
  3. Continue rewarming for 30 second intervals, as needed.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Reheating via Toaster Oven:

The toaster oven is a great way to reheat your enchiladas when you don’t want to wait for the oven to preheat but also want to avoid a chewier texture.

This gives you a middle ground between convenience as well as texture.

It is important to use only as much time as necessary.

Too much time and they will dry out.

Too little time and they will not reheat all the way through to the center.

Tools:

Instructions (Fridge):

  1. Place your enchiladas onto a microwave-safe plate and microwave for one minute for a quick reheat (it is not necessary to vent the food for this).
  2. Line the bottom of your baking tray with aluminum foil and place your enchiladas on top.
  3. If you are worried about the top of your enchiladas burning, you can place some foil on top, as well.
  4. Toast for ten minutes.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Instructions (Freezer):

  1. Thaw your enchiladas overnight.
  2. Place your enchiladas on a microwave-safe plate and microwave it for two and a half minutes.
  3. Continue with the same process for steps 3-5.

Can you reheat enchiladas with sour cream?

Yes, you can. 

Because there are so many different kinds of enchiladas, most of the steps above would apply to sour cream too. 

I’ve noticed that sour cream enchiladas sometimes come out of the fridge with cracks in the sour cream from drying out quite a bit. 

So you’ll want to soften and rehydrate the sour cream sauce that’s layered on the enchiladas for sure.

And you’ll want to use a plate or cover instead of a paper towel because the paper may absorb the moisture that you are trying to keep in your sour cream enchiladas. 

To reheat sour cream enchiladas in the conventional oven, skillet, or air fryer, follow the above directions, just remember to add a bit more moisture and cover while reheating to help revitalize the sour cream back to its original softened state. 

It will appear less thick, but the flavor will still be there.

Here are the steps for reheating sour cream enchiladas in the microwave.

Steps for reheating enchiladas with sour cream in the microwave:

  1. Whether using a stovetop or microwave, drizzle one tablespoon of water over top of each enchilada. 
  2. Cover in the microwave with a splatter guard (not a paper towel, because it will absorb the water and some of the sour cream)
  3. Use the reheat setting on your microwave and warm your covered plate of enchiladas on high for one minute. For 2 to 3 enchiladas, 1.5 minutes. 
  4. Remove from the microwave and turn the enchilada(s) over with a fork or spatula. 
  5. Cover and heat for another 30 seconds. For 2 to 3 enchiladas, 45 seconds. 
  6. Use the CookingChew Time, Turn, Test, Taste method to help reheat these evenly. 
  7. It is better to heat anything in the microwave a little at a time than to overcook and create a chewy, burned, or inedible meal.
  8. If you have sour cream in the house, add an extra teaspoon of cool sour cream to the top of your warm enchiladas.

How to store leftover enchiladas

Since leftover enchiladas have already been cooked and just need to be stored for your next meal, there are a couple of good options for you.

The two ideal methods for storing your enchiladas are:

  • Store in the refrigerator (short-term)
  • Store in the freezer (longer-term)

Storing leftover enchiladas in the fridge

Storing your enchiladas in the fridge is best for up to two days, according to the USDA.

After this, the quality will start to deteriorate and it will be at risk of spoiling.

This timeframe may seem short but it’s best to follow to ensure food safety.

The best plan of action is to wrap your dish or pan in aluminum foil and place in the fridge, or to place the leftovers inside an airtight container before putting it in the fridge.

Hot foods in small containers can be placed right in the fridge, or rapidly cool your pan or storage container in an ice bath before putting away for storage.

FoodSafety.gov says that food should not be left out for more than two hours at room temperature.

Storing leftover enchiladas in the freezer

Freezing enchiladas is better for longer term storage since they can last up to three months for peak quality, but can last longer in the freezer if needed (USDA).

Freezer burn may occur, but this is not dangerous and just a sign of air coming in contact with the surface of the food.

To prevent this, wrap your enchiladas individually or tightly crimp foil around the outside of the entire pan before placing in the freezer.

Some will use both plastic wrap and aluminum foil to wrap their enchiladas.

If you end up thawing all of your enchiladas but decide to re-freeze some of it, this is safe to do but there may be a decline in food quality due to the loss of moisture that comes from the thawing process.

To safely thaw your enchiladas, you can place it in a leak-proof plastic bag or leave it in a freezer bag, and submerge it in a bowl of cold water.

If there are any holes in the bag, or air or water is able to get in, bacteria can reach your food so inspect the bag before placing your food in the water.

If you have a vacuum sealer, this would be a great opportunity to use it to ensure no air or bacteria reaches your food, and it can help prevent freezer burn!

One of the best things that comes with storing enchiladas in the freezer is that with the low temperatures, microbes are unable to grow meaning that it will last longer.

Want to know some great sides for enchiladas?

How to tell if enchiladas have gone bad

The best way to tell if enchiladas have gone bad is to look for mold and sniff the container of enchiladas.

If they smell sour or have any kind of white, green, yellow or black “fuzz” along the top, edges, or bottoms, throw them away. 

Old food also has a tendency to release more runny liquid than when it was placed in the refrigerator. 

If you see a lot of liquid in the container and it smells “off” or more acrid, pungent, or stronger than usual, it is safer to just throw them away.

The red sauce may inhibit the growth of mold but the meats may have turned and gone bad, so if you know that your leftover enchiladas have been in the refrigerator for more than three days, it may be safest to throw them away, since all of the ingredients are technically even “older” than the enchilada meal itself. 

For example, how long ago was the chicken cooked? If your leftovers were from a restaurant, you probably aren’t sure. And if they were homemade by a friend, you don’t really know then, either. 

Better to be safe than sorry. 😊

How to prevent enchiladas from getting soggy

Despite how delicious your enchiladas may be, seeing and tasting the sogginess that can arise can be unappetizing.

Following are a few tips and tricks can help prevent soggy enchiladas:

  • Fry your tortillas
  • Use corn tortillas
  • Dip your tortillas in sauce
  • Apply sauce as you serve

Here’s our recipe for Easy Mexican Tortilla Casserole

Use corn tortillas

Corn rather than flour tortillas are more authentic for Mexican style enchiladas but flour is often used for a Tex-Mex version of enchiladas.

If they are heated (or fried a little) ahead of time, they become more pliable and easier to roll without breaking down.

They also maintain their structure better than flour tortillas so there is less risk of the fillings and sauce causing sogginess.

Fry your tortillas

Frying your tortillas, very briefly, makes them gain a little bit of a barrier that will prevent too much sauce from absorbing into them causing soggy tortillas that will break down.

All you need to do is heat up some vegetable oil on your stove and fry your tortillas for about ten seconds on each side.

This is also a more traditional method so it will give you a bit more authenticity with your enchilada meal.

Dip your tortillas in sauce

After frying or warming up your tortillas, a quick dip into the enchilada sauce will ensure that the sauce is evenly distributed and lead to you using less on the bottom of your baking dish, which is often the culprit for soggy enchiladas.

This is also done for traditional enchiladas to prevent sogginess.

Some will do a quick fry after dipping their tortillas to allow the sauce to stay on the tortillas better.

Apply sauce as you serve

The last thing to keep in mind to prevent soggy enchiladas is, if you have already dipped your tortillas into sauce, there is less need for more sauce on top of the enchiladas.

If you set aside some of the remaining enchilada sauce as you serve the meal, those who are eating can serve themselves if they feel that they need more sauce.

This also decreases the amount of time the enchiladas are sitting with the sauce on top, meaning it will delay the process of seeping into the tortillas.

The bottom line

Reheating enchiladas can be as quick as plating them to a microwave-safe dish and covering with a lid like this one.

So even though microwaves have a way of heating foods unevenly sometimes, it’s still my favorite way to reheat enchiladas.

How To Reheat Enchiladas

How To Reheat Enchiladas

Discover the best method for how to reheat enchiladas, featuring just a few simple steps, especially when compared to making the dish the first time around.

Ingredients

  • Leftover enchiladas
  • Microwave-safe plate
  • One T of water for every enchilada you are reheating
  • Splatter guard or another plate to cover
  • Fork or spatula
  • Optional: fresh spoonful of toppings like cheese or sour cream

Instructions

  1. Whether using a stovetop or microwave, drizzle one tablespoon of water over top of each enchilada. 
  2. Cover in the microwave with a lid (not a paper towel, because it will absorb the water and some of the sour cream)
  3. Use the reheat setting on your microwave and warm your covered plate of enchiladas on high for one minute. For 2 to 3 enchiladas, 1.5 minutes. 
  4. Remove from the microwave and turn the enchilada(s) over with a fork or spatula. 
  5. Cover and heat for another 30 seconds. For 2 to 3 enchiladas, 45 seconds. 
  6. Use the CookingChew Time, Turn, Test, Taste method to help reheat these evenly. 
  7. It is better to heat anything in the microwave a little at a time than to overcook and create a chewy, burned, or inedible meal.
  8. Remove plate with hot pads or finger protectors like these.
  9. Garnish with a bit of queso, fresh shredded cheese or sour cream, if desired.

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