A great idea for an easy to make, main meal in the microwave is the dish of enchiladas! You can have them for lunch or dinner, make them to serve later on in the day or to take with you to lunch at work. You can make enchiladas which are savory, spicy, or vegetarian. You can make enchiladas which are chili, tomato or cream based. You can even make sweet enchiladas. And you can make enchiladas from a variety of different fillings and toppings. There must be an enchilada to suit almost every taste bud. Making microwave enchiladas is a good choice for those looking for a quick and simple, but satisfying main dish. It’s easy to cook servings for multiple people. And to top it off, they taste great!
What is an Enchilada?
A lot of people get confused on the difference between a enchilada, a burrito, a taco, a fajita and any other meal usually involving tortillas of some sort. Basically, an enchilada is a tortilla which is wrapped and stuffed with some kind of filling. This may sound very similar to a burrito, but there are a few differences. An enchilada is often covered with some kind of sauce or topping and also placed in a sauce, and then cooked, unlike a burrito in which the tortilla is used more like a simple wrap, in which a cooked or uncooked filling is placed inside.
Types of Enchiladas and Ingredients:
The enchilada is traditionally a Mexican dish, which can taste quite savory or spicy. Most enchilada recipes you will find use corn tortillas, but occasionally you will find that flour tortillas are sometimes used as well.
There are lots of different types of enchiladas you can make. You will find many varieties of vegetarian enchiladas, but you can also find recipes which have meat in their fillings. One of the most popular enchilada recipes is made with corn tortillas, filled with green chilies, onions and cheese, and topped with a red chili or red enchilada sauce.
Tortillas You Can Use:
- Corn tortillas
- Flour tortillas
Filling Ideas (with many vegetarian options):
- many varieties of vegetables
- refried beans
- black beans and rice
- other types of beans
- cheese such as ricotta, mozzarella, Monterey Jack cheese, and cottage cheese
- potatoes – such as small potato cubes
- chilies – such as chopped green chilies
- green onions
- minced garlic
- sour cream
- meat such as ground beef, steak strips, shredded pork & shredded chicken
- seafood such as shrimp, crab meat
Topping and Sauce Suggestions:
- red enchilada sauce
- green enchilada sauce
- hot chili sauce
- green hot chili sauce
- melted cheese
- bean sauce
- top with refried beans
- creamy tomato sauce
- salsa – green or red
- cream based white sauce
- seafood & white sauce
- sour cream
- sprinkling olives and shredded lettuce on top
Enchilada Microwave Recipes:
- Chile, Cheese & Onion Enchiladas – These enchiladas are vegetarian, easy to make, and taste great. They can also be cooked entirely in your microwave oven. Green chilies, green onions, cottage cheese, sour cream and shredded Monterey Jack cheese make up the filling of these enchiladas. The filling is wrapped inside corn tortillas and placed in a homemade chile sauce or red enchilada sauce. Extra sauce is poured over the top, cooked well and then sprinkled with shredded cheese. Yum! See recipe below.
- Corn, Chile & Cheese Enchiladas – A tasty vegetarian enchilada in which corn, chopped green chillies and onion are cooked with Monterey Jack cheese and sour cream and wrapped into corn tortillas. Placed in an enchilada or ancho chile sauce, and covered with the same sauce and the topped with extra cheese and cooked in the microwave. Delicious! See recipe below.
- Blue Crab Enchiladas with Broccoli, Corn & Cheese – These enchiladas have a filling of broccoli, fresh corn, blue crab claw meat, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and enchilada sauce with oregano and cumin. Wrapped in flour tortillas, covered in enchilada sauce and cooked hot. This recipe can be made completely in the microwave oven. See recipe below.
- Bean, Beef & Onion Taco Bell Style Enchiladas – A mixture of refried beans, ground beef & onion, wrapped in flour tortillas and topped with enchilada sauce, shredded cheddar cheese and sliced black olives. See recipe below.
Recipe: Chile, Cheese & Onion Enchiladas
Serving Size: 4 (3 enchilada) servings or 6 (2 enchilada) servings
- 1 dozen corn tortillas
- 8 ounces of Monterey Jack cheese – shredded
- 1 cup of cottage cheese (small curd)
- 1 can (4 ounces) of green chilies (mild)
- ½ a cup of green onions – chopped (leave tops on)
- 2 tablespoons (half a packet) of dry onion soup mix
- 1 cup of sour cream
- Chile sauce (recipe shown below) or use 1 can (19 ounces) or 2 cans (10 ounces each) of red enchilada sauce
Directions for Microwave Cooking:
- Grab a small mixing bowl, and add in all of the cottage cheese, sour cream, onions, onion soup mix, and green chilies. Mix all together well, and set aside for the moment.
- Grab a large microwaveable baking dish (around 7 inch by 11 inch), and lightly grease it. Then pour in ½ a cup of your red enchilada sauce (or chile sauce) into the dish and spread across the bottom of dish. Leave for the moment.
- Next, soften your tortillas. Do this by wrapping them in microwave safe paper or plastic (or in a covered microwaveable dish or damp paper towels), and microwave for up to 1 minute on high setting. Be careful not to cook for too long, stop once they are soft.
- Now, it’s time to fill the tortillas. For each tortilla, place along the centre, 3 tablespoons of the previously made mixture. Then sprinkle on top, 2 tablespoons of the shredded Monterey Jack cheese.
- Roll up each tortilla and place each one into your large microwaveable baking dish, making sure to place them with the open side facing downwards into the sauce in the dish.
- Using the rest of your enchilada or chile sauce, now pour over the top of the enchiladas.
- Next cover your dish using microwaveable plastic wrap (do loosely or leave a vent). Microwave your dish for approximately 10 to 12 minutes on the high setting, stopping at 5 minute intervals to rotate dish one quarter each stop. Stop cooking once thoroughly heated and hot.
- Carefully remove from microwave, and uncover. Then, use the rest of your shredded cheese to sprinkle over the top of the enchiladas.
- Recover, and leave to stand for 5 minutes, then serve.
Optional: If not using red enchilada sauce, try the homemade chile sauce below.
Ingredients for Chile Sauce:
- 1 can (8 ounces) of tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons of flour
- 6 dry and hot red chilies (New Mexican style)
- Salt to taste
Cooking Directions for Chile Sauce using Stove top:
- Over the stove, boil 6 dry hot red chilies with about 2-3 cups of water. This can take around 10 minutes, stop when chiles are soft. (Don’t discard the water).
- Place the cooked chilies in a blender with some of the chili water from your pot, around 1 cup. Blend together in the blender, stop once mixture is smooth. Optional: If you want to remove the seeds from the mixture, do so now by straining.
- Over medium heat, brown the 2 tablespoons of flour in a preheated skillet. Use a wooden spoon to stir the flour until it is quite brown.
- Then, pour into the skillet your blended smooth chili sauce. Stir well, mixing it altogether.
- Add in the tomato sauce and stir well.
- Add in salt to taste.
- To increase the amount of sauce made, you can add additional chili water from your first pot and stir and cook, until you have what you want.
- Pour over your enchilada dish (and a little at bottom of dish). Or you can use this sauce with other dishes.
Recipe: Corn, Chile & Cheese Enchiladas
Serving Size: Makes approximately 4-6 servings
- 12 corn tortillas
- 1 packet of frozen corn (plain) or fresh corn (cut from around 4 corn ears)
- 2 cans (4 ounces) of green chilies – chopped
- 1 chopped onion
- 1 ½ cups of Monterey Jack cheese – grated
- ½ a cup of sour cream
- ½ a teaspoon of cumin seed (whole)
- 2 cans (10 ounces) of enchilada sauce or 2 ½ cups of ancho chile sauce
- ¼ of a cup of water
- 2 tablespoons of canola or olive oil
- Sprinkles of salt to taste
Directions for Stove and Microwave Cooking:
- First, grab a pan and heat over a medium to high heat. When pan is hot, carefully add in the oil, enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Add in the chopped onion and sauté. This will take around 5 to 6 minutes. You need to move them around the pan often to cook all sides of the onions, so grab a spatula and get to work. The onions are done when they appear light brown in color and are soft.
- Next, add to your pan the chopped green chilies, the corn, the water and the cumin seed.
- Cover pan and simmer for about 5 minutes or until all of the liquid has evaporated.
- Sprinkle some salt on, taste and add more to your liking.
- Now over a low heat setting, add in half of your Monterey Jack cheese and all of the sour cream and stir well. Set aside when done.
- Now you need to soften the tortillas before rolling them so they don’t crack and split. You can do this in the microwave by wrapping them in microwave safe plastic wrap or paper, and microwaving for a few seconds (10-20).
- When cooking in the microwave, you may only be able to cook in lots of 2 (1 serving), unless you can fit more than one dish in your microwave. Grab some microwave safe serving dishes.
- Using a tablespoon, scoop 2 tablespoons of enchilada sauce or ancho chile sauce and place onto the serving dish/dishes and spread to cover where the rolled tortillas will go.
- Now it’s time to add in the filling of the tortillas and roll them up. Use approximately ¼ of a cup of the filling for each tortilla. Spoon it along the center of the tortilla, and roll each one up when done.
- Once tortillas and filled and rolled, place them face down (leaving the opening of the tortilla on the bottom) onto the sauce on your microwave safe serving dish. Place 2 (1 serving) on each plate, unless making larger servings (if so you may need to cook for longer).
- Before microwaving, use a spoon to dab the rest of the sauce over each enchilada.
- Also, use about one tablespoon of the rest of your cheese to cover each enchilada.
- Cook each serving dish of enchiladas in the microwave oven on high for approximately 3 ½ minutes.
Directions for Oven Cooking:
- Complete steps 1 through to 6. After making the filling over the stove, and softening the tortillas in the microwave or oven, you can cook the enchiladas in your oven. Grab a large baking dish, grease it, and preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Use about ½ a cup of enchilada or ancho chile sauce, and spread it across the bottom of your baking dish.
- Now it’s time to fill each tortilla. Use around ¼ of a cup of the filling for each tortilla, and then roll up each one when done. Once rolled, place each tortilla onto the sauce in the baking dish with the opened side of the tortilla facing downwards into the sauce.
- Once all of your tortillas are filled, rolled and placed in your baking dish, pour the rest of the enchilada (or ancho chile) sauce over the top of them.
- Also spread the rest of your grated cheese on top.
- Now the dish is ready to be cooked. Cover your baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in your preheated oven (set to 375 degrees) for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, carefully remove the foil cover and continue to bake for another 15 minutes.
- If you like you can cook this meal in advance, and reheat it at serving time.
Recipe: Blue Crab Enchiladas with Broccoli, Corn & Cheese
Serving Size: Makes 8 Enchiladas – about 4 servings, depending on serving size
- 8 flour tortillas – approximately 6 inches in size each
- 1 packet (10 ounces) of frozen broccoli (pre-chopped) – thaw before use.
- 1 pound of blue crab claw meat
- 15 ounces of enchilada sauce – to be used in both a 5 ounce serving and a 10 ounce serving
- 1 cup of whole kernel corn (fresh)
- 1 cup of cheddar cheese – shredded
- 2 teaspoons of oregano (ground)
- 2 teaspoons of cumin (ground)
- 1 cup of sour cream (non fat)
- Prepare the blue crab claw meat by removing any remaining shell or cartilage.
Directions for Microwave Cooking:
- Grab a bowl and add in all of the crab, broccoli, corn, cheese, oregano, cumin, and sour cream.
- Next add in only 5 ounces of your enchilada sauce. Mix all of these ingredients together well. Set aside for a moment.
- Soften the tortillas by placing them in a covered microwave safe dish or plate. Microwave them for 1 minute on the high setting.
- Next, get out each tortilla and place an equal amount of your crab and corn mixture onto each. (You can lay them all out together, or separate the mixture first into 8 servings). Once mixture is on your tortilla, roll it up, and repeat for each one.
- Grab a microwave-safe casserole or glass dish around 7 by 12 inches in size. Place all of the filled and rolled tortillas onto the dish, with the open seam side facing down.
- Pour the remaining 10 ounces of enchilada sauce over the top of the tortillas.
- Cover your dish with microwaveable plastic wrap, allowing for venting. Then microwave your dish for about 5-6 minutes on the high setting. Or until you can see the sauce is bubbling and very hot.
- When done, carefully remove your dish from the microwave and leave it to sit for about 2 minutes before serving.
Recipe: Bean, Beef & Onion Taco Bell Style Enchiladas
Serving Size: Makes 4-6 servings, depending on serving size
- 1 packet of flour tortillas – 10-12 inches in size each.
- 1 pound of ground beef
- 1 can (30 ounces) of refried beans
- 1 can (2 ounces) of black olives – sliced
- 1 can of enchilada sauce (La Victoria works well)
- 2 ½ cups of cheddar cheese – shredded
- ¼ of a cup of fresh onion – diced
- ½ a tablespoon of onion – minced and dried
- ¼ a teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of chili powder
Directions for Stove and Microwave Cooking:
- In a skillet over the stove, add in the ground beef and brown slowly. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to chop the ground beef into very small pieces (e.g. size of peas).
- Add to the skillet, the minced dried onion, the chili powder, and the salt, and mix it together. Stir and cook, then set aside.
- Next, beat the refried beans with a potato masher, or mixer, until mixture is smooth.
- Then heat smooth beans in the microwave (a few minutes on high should do it) or over the stove in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Heat and soften the tortillas. You can do this one at a time in a skillet, warming each side for 15-60 seconds, or do it quicker in the microwave, by wrapping them altogether in microwaveable plastic wrap or paper, or place them in a covered microwave safe dish. Microwave for around 40 seconds (20-60 seconds depending on your microwave) on the high setting, until soft. Don’t overheat.
- Now you can fill your tortillas. Place in the center of each tortilla, 3 tablespoons of ground beef pieces, then ½ a teaspoon of the diced onion, then 1/3 of a cup of the smooth refried beans.
- Fold and wrap up each tortilla and place on serving plates, with the open side facing down.
- Over each tortilla, spoon about 3 tablespoons of enchilada sauce on the top.
- Then sprinkle about ¼ a cup of shredded cheddar cheese over each tortilla, and finally top it off with around 3 slices of black olives.
- Heat up each plate of enchiladas in the microwave on high, just until the sprinkled cheese begins to melt (about 30-60 seconds).
There are plenty of microwave enchilada recipes all over the internet! There’s bean recipes, spinach recipes, chicken recipes of enchiladas and much much more. As well as the more common spicy main dish of enchiladas there’s also more unusual recipes such as sweet apple enchiladas, which is fresh apples and cinnamon, wrapped in a flour tortilla and topped with a brown sugar sauce, which is something a bit different.
After making some of these enchilada recipes, why not come up with your own recipe ideas. All you really need is some corn or flour tortillas and a enchilada sauce or topping. Your filling can be whichever vegetables, beans or meat you prefer, with some extra ingredients to complement it. Oh, and don’t forget the cheese! And you have a filling and delicious meal!