Tex-Mex Enchiladas

Rich red sauce and a Tillamook Sharp Cheddar filling make these enchiladas a crowd-pleaser

Frying the tortillas before dipping them into the warm red sauce makes all the difference in this recipe. And so does the Tillamook Sharp Cheddar filling: It melts beautifully in the oven, so you'll get lots of cheese in every spicy, gooey bite.

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Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Tex-Mex Enchiladas
4 from 2 ratings
Make Tex-Mex enchiladas with red sauce using Tillamook Sharp Cheddar Cheese.
Prep Time
Cook Time
to 10 servings
Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • For the Red Chile Sauce
  • 3 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 3 dried New Mexican chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 3 cups hot water
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved and finely chopped
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped garlic (4 garlic cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1¼ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1½ cups (one 14 ounce can) tomato sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • :::For the Enchiladas: :::
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • Twelve 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 1 small yellow onion, halved and finely chopped, divided
  • 5 cups (8 ounces) finely shredded Tillamook Sharp Cheddar Cheese, divided
  • 1 cup torn cilantro leaves
  • Tillamook Sour Cream, for serving
  • Pickled jalapeños, for serving
  1. Make the red chile sauce: Heat a large cast-iron pan over medium heat and toast both types of dried chiles, turning often until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer the chiles to a large bowl and cover with the hot water. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in the same cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onions and season with salt. Cook until soft but not brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until it turns golden brown around the edges, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Drain the chiles, reserving ¼ cup of the soaking liquid, and transfer both the chiles and the reserved water to a blender base. Add the cooked onion-garlic mixture, chili powder, cumin, oregano and cayenne, and purée on medium-high speed until smooth. Makes about 1 cup.
  4. Wipe the cast-iron pan clean and return to medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil, and when it begins to ripple, whisk in the flour to make a roux. Continue whisking and cooking until it turns a golden brown color, about 4 minutes. Slowly pour in the water, whisking simultaneously. Stir in the reserved chile sauce and tomato sauce, then reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring often, until thickened, about 20 minutes. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Keep warm.
  5. Make the enchiladas: Preheat the oven to 350° and line a sheet tray with parchment paper. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add the canola oil and heat until rippling but not smoking. Fry 1 tortilla at a time, flipping once with tongs until slightly crispy but still pliable, 6 to 10 seconds. Using tongs, remove the tortilla and allow the excess oil to drip off, then immediately drop the tortilla into the warm chile sauce. Use a spatula to gently coat the tortilla and place onto the parchment paper-lined sheet tray. Repeat until the sheet tray is full. Fill the tortillas in 3 batches: Fill each tortilla with ¼ cup grated Tillamook Sharp Cheddar Cheese and 1 tablespoon of chopped onion. (Note: There will be cheese and chopped onion left over.) Roll each tortilla into a cylinder and set seam-side down in a 9-by-11-inch baking dish.
  6. Pour the remaining red chile sauce over and around the enchiladas, and sprinkle the remaining Tillamook Sharp Cheddar Cheese over the top. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the cheese melts and begins to bubble, another 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the enchiladas from the oven and top with the remaining diced onion and cilantro. Serve with sour cream and pickled jalapeños.
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