The Best Homemade Enchiladas

Updated on January 29, 2020
lani81 profile image

As an athlete and mother of two young children, Lani is always looking for new ways to present her family with tasty and nutritious meals.

Carnitas and Cheese Enchiladas
Carnitas and Cheese Enchiladas | Source

A Savory and Flavorful Meal

Tender pulled carnitas (pork), warm corn tortillas smothered in a delectable sauce, and topped with melted cheese—these enchiladas are a savory and flavorful recipe with influence from south of the border. No doubt, this will be a welcomed meal at your dinner table any night of the week. This recipe features carnitas (pork) as the meat but the same process can be used for chicken or beef.

What You Will Need:

  • Slow cooker
  • Large saucepan
  • Oven safe baking pan (suggestion 9in x 12in)
  • Pan spray

Ingredients for enchiladas
Ingredients for enchiladas | Source


  • 2lbs carnitas
  • 9 corn tortillas
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 2 Tbsp taco seasoning, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp turmeric
  • 1/2 Tbsp nutmeg
  • 1 can Mexican spicy tomato sauce
  • 2 cups grated mild cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup oil (canola, vegetable, olive, etc.)
  • 3 Tbsp minced garlic

Chopped onions and minced garlic
Chopped onions and minced garlic | Source

Step 1: Prepare the Carnitas

  1. Add diced onions, minced garlic, and 2/3 cup oil to your slow cooker on low and let simmer until onions are soft and translucent.
  2. Add carnitas and tomato sauce. Then add water until it just begins to cover your meat.
  3. Add all your spices and let simmer until meat is easy to pull apart with a fork or tongs.
  4. Using tongs or two cooking spoons, remove as much of the carnitas from the water in the slow cooker as possible and place in a large bowl. Important Note: Do not discard the liquid in your slow cooker!

Enchilada sauce and carnitas
Enchilada sauce and carnitas | Source

Step 2: Make the Enchilada Sauce

  1. In a large saucepan, add 1/2 cup oil over medium heat. Once hot, add flour and stir into a roux (thick flour blob).
  2. Grab a whisk and add the liquid from your slow cooker to the roux. Whisk immediately until the consistency is smooth. If the sauce is not thick enough, continue adding flour and whisking until the sauce is to your liking.
  3. Bring sauce to a simmer, then remove from heat or place sauce in a large bowl.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Adding CarnitasAdding cheeseAdding enchiladas to panEnchiladas without sauceEnchiladas with sauce and cheese
Adding Carnitas
Adding Carnitas | Source
Adding cheese
Adding cheese | Source
Adding enchiladas to pan
Adding enchiladas to pan | Source
Enchiladas without sauce
Enchiladas without sauce | Source
Enchiladas with sauce and cheese
Enchiladas with sauce and cheese | Source

Step 3: Assemble the Enchiladas

  1. Take a stack of 9 corn tortillas and wrap in a damp washcloth. Place in the microwave for 30 seconds to soften the tortillas. Softening the tortillas is important else, they will be too stiff to roll and will break as you form your enchiladas. Thirty seconds may not be enough, return tortillas (or just those which need more softening) to the microwave at 12 to 15 seconds at a time.
  2. Prep your oven-safe baking pan with pan spray. Or add oil to a cloth and spread over the bottom and sides of your pan.
  3. Set oven to 400 degrees.
  4. One at a time add roughly 1/3 cup carnitas and some grated cheese. Fold over the edges of the tortilla into a roll and place in your pan.
  5. Once your pan if full spoon in a copious amount of enchilada sauce. You need a large amount of sauce to counteract moisture loss during cooking. Be sure to fill spaces and corners with sauce.
  6. Top with cheese and bake for twenty minutes.
  7. Remove and let sit for 5 to 8 minutes.
  8. Serve and enjoy.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Carnitas and cheese enchiladasSpanish Rice
Carnitas and cheese enchiladas
Carnitas and cheese enchiladas | Source
Spanish Rice
Spanish Rice | Source

Serving Suggestions

The pan I chose holds nine enchiladas, but you can do as large or small a container as you like. These enchiladas, alongside my homemade Spanish rice, is to die for! (My recipe for the rice is here: ground turkey black bean tacos and spanish rice.) That is my favorite way to enjoy these enchiladas. However, the meat is so tasty and versatile that I like to place it and the sauce into storage bowls before making enchiladas because I do not use it all on one round of enchiladas. I like to leave room for other meal options such as crunchy and soft carnitas tacos and wet burritos.

Experience the World in Your Own Kitchen

Around the World in 450 Recipes
Around the World in 450 Recipes
I have had this cookbook for years and it is so much fun. One of the easiest, and cheapest, ways to experience other regions and different cultures. Food is one of the most tangible and relevant representations of culture and this cookbook gives the average household the opportunity to experience the world through its food.

Did you try it? What did you think?

5 stars from 1 rating of Best Homemade Enchiladas

© 2019 Lani Morris


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    Post Comment
    • lani81 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lani Morris 

      8 months ago from Seattle, WA

      I use corn tortillas. Can you use corn tortillas? If not then uou can sub them out for gluten free tortillas:)

    • renee21 profile image

      Tori Leumas 

      8 months ago

      This looks really good. I will have to try this sometime. I'm gluten intolerant, though, so I'll have to use gluten free flour, etc.


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