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Exactly How To Reheat Enchiladas – I Try 4 Methods [Pics]

Who doesn’t love enchiladas? Rich, saucy, and breathtakingly cheesy, this delicious meal is often too big to finish in one sitting.

So, what do you do with your leftovers?

To prevent soggy tortillas, rubbery cheese, and dried-out fillings, I’ve tested four different enchilada reheating methods.

In this post, I’ll share the results of my findings, including the best way to reheat your enchiladas and how to store, freeze, and thaw them.

Ready? Let’s jump right in.

A note on my experiment

I love serving up a big old casserole of cheesy enchiladas, but of course, I always end up with leftovers (queen of over-catering!).

Recently I’ve been wondering about the best way to reheat them to retain as much of their freshly baked taste and texture as possible.

Not one to back down from a challenge, I tried four different reheating methods, and I’m eager to share the results with you.

The techniques I tested included:

  • Reheating enchiladas in a skillet (best method and delivers the tastiest results)
  • Reheating enchiladas in the oven (good results for large quantities)
  • Reheating enchiladas in the microwave (convenient but worst results)
  • Reheating enchiladas in an air fryer (similar to oven method)

The skillet method was by far my favorite, and in my opinion, produced the tastiest results.

The bottom of the tortilla was crispy, the cheese was perfectly melty, and the filling stayed moist and tender.

I didn’t mind the enchiladas reheated in the oven, but I wouldn’t say they tasted 100% fresh.

The oven does work well for big portions, though.

The microwave method: don’t do it.

While it didn’t render my enchilada completely inedible, it impacted the dish’s texture, making the tortilla soggy and the cheese greasy and rubbery.

Not ideal.

The results from the air fryer were similar to the results from the oven, and it’s a faster method, but it did dry out the meat a little bit.

Reheating enchiladas in a skillet

Line a skillet with a fine layer of oil and set it on the stove on medium-high heat. Add your enchiladas to the pan and heat them for 2 to 4 minutes until the bottom starts to crisp. Add a few drops of water around the enchilada and cover with a lid to steam for 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

Steaming your enchilada after crisping their base will ensure that the center warms evenly and that your cheese stays gooey and delicious.

How to reheat enchiladas in a skillet:

  1. Cover the bottom of the skillet with a thin layer of oil.
  2. Set your stove to a medium-high heat and add your enchiladas to the pan.
  3. Heat them for 2 to 4 minutes, or until you notice the bottom of the tortilla turning crispy.
  4. Sprinkle a few drops of water around the enchilada (avoiding direct contact).
  5. Cover the pan for 2 minutes to allow the enchilada to steam.
  6. Once heated through, serve your enchilada immediately.

Whatever you do, don’t flip the enchilada over in the skillet, as this will cause the cheesy top layer to stick to the pan.

You can achieve a “hot-all-over” result by including the crucial steaming step during the reheating process.

It locks in moisture and prevents your meaty filling from drying out.

Finally, make sure not to crowd the pan and instead reheat smaller portions at a time.

This way, you know the enchilada will be heated through completely.

My verdict

I loved this method for the crunch it added to the bottom of my tortilla and the slightly charred taste from the skillet.

Best of all, my enchilada was warm throughout – nothing worse than a cold center.

This technique is far superior to the other reheating methods I tried.

Reheating enchiladas in the oven

Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Optionally microwave your enchiladas for 60 seconds before transferring them into a preheated baking tray. Cover the dish with foil and heat the enchiladas for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the foil and heat them for a further 3 to 5 minutes before serving.

If you don’t microwave your enchiladas first, you can warm them for an extra 2 minutes (7 to 9 minutes) before removing the foil for the last step.

How to reheat enchiladas in the oven:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. If you’re transferring your enchiladas to a baking tray, preheat it as the oven comes to temperature.
  3. Optional: warm your enchiladas in the microwave for 60 seconds.
  4. Place your enchiladas in the dish and cover it tightly with foil.
  5. Bake them for 5 to 7 minutes (or 7 to 9 minutes if you haven’t microwaved them first).
  6. Uncover the baking tray and heat the enchiladas for a further 3 to 5 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately.

The length of time it takes to heat your enchiladas may vary slightly depending on portion size and oven speed. I used the timeframes above for a single portion.

Microwaving your enchiladas first is a great way to ensure the center is fully reheated (microwaves cook from the inside out).

It also means less time in the oven and less chance of drying out the filling.

Also, preheating a fresh baking tray will alleviate the risk of the bottom of the tortillas becoming soggy.

Using a toaster oven instead of a conventional oven will speed up the reheating process if you’re in a hurry.

My verdict

While my enchiladas tasted really good, I could definitely tell they were reheated.

The tortillas weren’t exactly soggy, but they didn’t have any bite to them, and the meat filling was a little on the dry side.

I would, however, recommend the convenience of this method for large portions.

Reheating enchiladas in the microwave

Place your enchilada on a microwave-safe plate. Poke some holes in the tortilla, or better yet, cut it into quarters for even heating. Cover the dish with a splatter guard. Warm your enchilada on medium heat in 30-second increments until piping hot. Serve immediately.

Optionally place it under a broiler for 2 minutes to crisp.

How to reheat enchiladas in the microwave:

  1. Place your enchilada on a microwave-safe plate.
  2. Make some holes in the tortilla (for steam to escape) or cut it into quarters.
  3. Cover the plate with a splatter guard.
  4. On 50% power, warm your enchilada in 30-second intervals until piping hot.
  5. Optional: crisp your enchilada for 2 minutes under your broiler.
  6. Serve immediately.

Cutting your enchilada into smaller pieces (or poking holes in the tortilla) allows steam to escape and prevents it from getting too soggy.

Microwave time will vary depending on the size of your portion (and the power of your microwave).

I advise cutting large portions into smaller sections for even heating.

My verdict

I won’t lie. This was hands down my least favorite result from all of my enchilada reheating experiments.

The enchilada was just about edible, and the filling stayed moist, but the cheese became rubbery, and the tortilla went all soggy.

Only use the microwave if you have absolutely no other option.

Reheating enchiladas in an air fryer

Set your air fryer to 350°F (180°C). If your enchiladas are saucy, line the fryer basket with parchment paper before placing them inside. Heat your enchiladas for 3 to 4 minutes or until heated through. Serve immediately.

Monitor the reheating process closely so as not to burn the tortilla.

How to reheat enchiladas in an air fryer:

  1. Set your air fryer to 350°F (180°C).
  2. To save on mess, line your fryer basket with parchment paper.
  3. Place your enchilada in the basket.
  4. Heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until warm to the center.
  5. Serve immediately.

Timing is everything with this method. Too short, and your enchilada will have a cold center. Too long, and you risk drying out the filling.

Optionally, blast your enchilada through the microwave for a few seconds before placing it in the fryer basket to ensure it heats up evenly.

Also, don’t crowd the fryer basket. Smaller portions are more likely to heat evenly.

My verdict

The results of this method are very similar in taste and texture to the results from the oven, with just a slightly dryer filling.

While it is faster and more convenient than the oven, it still retains that’s “warmed-up food” flavor.

How to store enchiladas

When storing enchiladas, first wait for them to cool to room temperature. Then, transfer them to an airtight container lined with a piece of paper towel. Seal the container tightly and store them in the fridge. You should consume refrigerated enchiladas within three days.

It’s best to allow your enchiladas to cool down before storing them, as heat will cause a build-up of condensation on the walls of the container and turn your enchiladas soggy.

Lining the container with a paper towel absorbs excess moisture, helping to retain the texture of the enchiladas upon reheating.

An alternative way to store enchiladas is to cover the container you baked them in tightly with foil. Make sure the edges are closed so that air cannot enter the dish.

How to freeze enchiladas

Cool your enchiladas to room temperature, and then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. To avoid freezer burn, add a layer of foil around the wrapped enchiladas, or place them in a zip-lock bag with the air removed. Alternatively, you can freeze them in foil trays and reheat them in the oven.

It is crucial that you don’t wrap your enchiladas while they are still hot, as condensation build-up will make them soggy and unpleasant.

How to freeze enchiladas:

  1. Allow your enchiladas to cool to room temperature.
  2. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap, making sure there are no air bubbles.
  3. Wrap a layer of foil around them or place them in a zip-lock bag.
  4. Alternatively, bake, cool, and then freeze them in foil trays that are tightly covered.

Removing any air pockets from the plastic wrap will help to prevent freezer burn.

To remove excess air from the freezer bag, press down on it as you seal it, or use a straw to suck the air out. If you have a vacuum sealer, you can use that.

If you are freezing enchiladas in foil trays to reheat directly in the oven, you should cover them tightly with foil to prevent air from entering the dish.

Reheat frozen enchiladas within three months of storing them.

How to thaw enchiladas

The best way to thaw enchiladas is to let them defrost in the fridge overnight. This way, you retain as much of the flavor and texture of the meal as possible. For larger enchiladas, you may want to zap them through the microwave for 60 seconds after thawing to ensure the centers aren’t frozen.

Once thawed, you can reheat your enchiladas using any of the methods listed above.

How to reheat frozen enchiladas

To reheat frozen enchiladas, set your oven to 375°F (190°C) and warm the enchiladas, covered with foil, for 30 to 45 minutes. Then, remove the foil cover and heat them for a further 10 to 15 minutes. If they are not yet warm, consider raising your oven temperature to 400°F (200°C).

To speed up this process, you can microwave the enchiladas for 2 minutes on 50% power before placing them in the oven.

The duration of this reheating process will vary depending on the speed of your oven. To quicken the process, use a toaster oven.

Similarly, you can warm smaller portions at a time, as they will heat up faster.

Another option for reheating enchiladas from frozen is to warm them in the microwave.

Heat individual portions for 2 to 3 minutes on high, or until piping hot, and serve immediately.

Of these two methods, however, I would recommend the oven technique for best results.

How long do enchiladas last?

To keep your enchiladas fresh and tasty for as long as possible, use the guidelines below for storing.

Room temperature: Bacteria grows quickly, especially on hot food that is left standing out. For this reason, it is advisable to store your enchiladas within two hours of cooling them to room temperature.

Refrigerated: Stored in the fridge, enchiladas are good to eat within three days.

Frozen: You should reheat and consume frozen enchiladas within three months.

The Best Way To Reheat Enchiladas

I've test four different reheating methods to find the one that prevents soggy tortillas, rubbery cheese, and dried-out fillings.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 0 mins
Cook Time 6 mins
Total Time 6 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 1 person
Calories 168 kcal

Equipment

Skillet

Ingredients
 

  • 1 spray cooking oil
  • 1 portion enchiladas
  • 1 tsp water

Instructions
 

  • Cover the bottom of the skillet with a thin layer of oil.
  • Set your stove to a medium-high heat and add your enchiladas to the pan.
  • Heat them for 2 to 4 minutes, or until you notice the bottom of the tortilla turning crispy.
  • Sprinkle a few drops of water around the enchilada (avoiding direct contact).
  • Cover the pan for 2 minutes to allow the enchilada to steam.
  • Once heated through, serve your enchilada immediately.

Notes

Whatever you do, don’t flip the enchilada over in the skillet, as this will cause the cheesy top layer to stick to the pan.
You can achieve a “hot-all-over” result by including the crucial steaming step during the reheating process.
It locks in moisture and prevents your meaty filling from drying out.
Finally, make sure not to crowd the pan and instead reheat smaller portions at a time.
This way, you know the enchilada will be heated through completely.

Nutrition

Serving: 100gCalories: 168kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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