Enchiladas are a delicious and easy way to make dinner for a large family. Packed with a delicious filling and topped with a flavorful enchilada sauce and cheese, how can you go wrong? You can’t! They are even still good cold and yes, I have been known to have cold, leftover enchiladas for breakfast. But, in the event you have leftovers and you would like to heat up your enchilada, I am going to tell you How to Reheat Enchiladas and a couple ways to store those leftovers!
There are many different methods for reheating food. Typically when reheating something, you are reheating from cold or from frozen. You can reheat in the oven (or toaster oven), in the microwave, air fryer, or on the stove top. I guess you could reheat it on a running car engine on a hot day, but we can’t exactly recommend that method and it’s a bit of a different way of reheating. When reheating enchiladas, we broke it into three different ways. Microwave, air fryer, and Oven/ toaster oven are what we will cover. Note: We found the toaster oven to be the most effective way and best method to reheat our enchiladas!
The main issue with reheating enchiladas is that they involve enchilada filling in a rolled tortilla with a lot of sauce and the sauce is the best part. But, this sauce can leave the bottom of an enchilada soggy and when reheating, that soggy bottom is made worse from the sauce liquid soaking into the softened tortilla even more. The type of tortilla you use and how you handle it can help. For example, a corn or whole wheat tortilla will stand up to sauce better than white flour tortillas. And, if you give tortillas a quick fry in hot oil they will stay crispy longer. But, not everyone has time for that so we will assume you have just rolled the tortillas and now have leftovers of your favorite Mexican dish.
When reheating food in general, you want to heat it to an internal temperature higher enough to make sure the food is safe to heat. The Centre for Food Safety recommends reheating food to a temperature of 165 degrees (source) to kill any possible bacteria that could form before the dish was put in the refrigerator or freezer. And when storing leftovers, you should store them within an hour or so of the dish being completed to keep that bacteria from growing.
One of the following pieces of equipment will be needed depending on your method to reheat your enchiladas:
Ways to Reheat Enchiladas
Some important tips and notes about reheating: We will cover how to reheat enchiladas from an airtight container in the refrigerator and from frozen. When frozen, you can either leave the enchiladas in the refrigerator overnight to thaw before you want to eat them or reheat frozen enchiladas directly. If you have any toppings on your enchiladas (like sour cream or cilantro), we recommend removing those as best you can before reheating.
Method 1: Microwave
Microwaving an enchilada is by far the quickest and most convenient way to reheat an enchilada, but as mentioned above, it does not yield the best results. If you are lazy like me however, you will still reheat them this way and they will taste delicious! Be sure to use a splatter guard of some type when reheating in the microwave!
How to reheat in the microwave from the fridge: To microwave enchiladas, place enchilada on a microwave-safe plate and reheat on high for 1 ½ minutes for a whole enchilada or 1 minute for a half enchilada. I did not test this method with a half tray of enchiladas as I feel that at that point it will take longer to microwave them all than to reheat them all at once in the oven.
How to reheat in the microwave from frozen: To reheat frozen enchiladas, microwave one frozen enchilada for 3 ½ to 4 minutes in the microwave to heat through.
Pros: Quick and efficient. Perfect for reheating one if you are not picky about texture.
Cons: Results in a soggy bottom, not efficient for reheating multiple enchiladas, and can be messy if the enchilada sauce starts to pop and explode in the microwave.
Method 2: Oven or Toaster Oven
The oven method is very easy. You simply place your leftover enchiladas on a lined tray and bake for 10 minutes for a single one. Even though you have to wait for it to reheat for a little longer, this method results in a slightly crispy exterior which pairs great with a fried egg for breakfast! If your casserole dishes are glass or porcelain, be careful not to put the very cold casserole dish in the oven - it may break from the extreme change in temperature.
How to reheat in the oven or toaster oven: To reheat, heat the oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If reheating 1 or 2 enchiladas, place them on a lined baking tray and place in the oven for 10 minutes to reheat through. If reheating a half tray of enchiladas, bake enchiladas for 20-25 minutes until heated through. We prefer to reheat a single enchilada in the toaster oven because it heats up nearly instantly so you do not need to wait for the oven to preheat. We always recommend only reheating the amount you plan to eat. If you reheat and cool and reheat and cool over and over because you do not eat the leftovers in a single sitting, a dish is more likely to develop bacteria.
How to reheat in the oven or toaster oven from frozen: To reheat from frozen, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes and then uncover and bake for 10 more minutes to get a crispy top and broiled cheese.
Pros: Easy and best texture, good for reheating a large quantity of enchiladas.
Cons: Takes much longer to reheat than the microwave.
Method 3: Air Fryer
Using the air fryer will also result in a nice crispy texture but it also takes longer than the microwave. To reheat in the air fryer, you will need a baking dish to place the enchilada in to air fry in. This can mean more clean up but it might be worth it for the great texture!
How to reheat in the air fryer: To reheat in the air fryer, preheat your air fryer to 375 degrees and place your enchiladas in a baking dish. Bake for 12 minutes and ensure it is heated through before enjoying. You can flip it over half way through the bake time for an even better exterior crust. If you are reheating more enchiladas, you can also put the baking dish directly in the air fryer if it will fit.
How to reheat in the air fryer from frozen: We do not recommend reheating from frozen in the air fryer as a lot of moisture will be released and inhibit the ability to air fry. We recommend placing the enchiladas in the fridge the night before to thaw and then reheating as noted above from the fridge.
Pros: Set and forget method, once it is in the air fryer you can leave it alone for 10 minutes. Results in great texture.
Cons: Requires special equipment, takes longer, and not ideal for reheating multiple since the air fryer basket is so small.
Common Facts and Questions:
What temperature to reheat enchiladas?
This depends on how you are reheating them. Reheating in the oven and the air fryer require different oven temperatures. If reheating in the oven or toaster oven, reheat at 350 degrees and if reheating in the air fryer, reheat at 375 degrees. If reheating in the microwave, microwave on high heat.
Do enchiladas reheat well?
Yes! Enchiladas absorb more flavor through the sauce as they sit. And because enchiladas rely on sauce on the bottom and top, it doesn’t matter all that much if the leftovers are a little soggy. Although we do try to retain as much of the original texture as possible and therefore recommend reheating in the oven or toaster oven.
What is the best way to reheat enchiladas?
This depends on what you value most. Do you value texture or time. If you value time, the microwave is the best way to reheat enchiladas because it only takes 1 and a half minutes. If you value texture and have the time, using the toaster oven is the best because it heats up quickly, results in a crispy tortilla and broiled cheese, but takes about 10 minutes to reheat. Just be aware that the bottom of the tortilla will still likely be soggy.
How do you keep leftover enchiladas from getting soggy?
Unfortunately, soggy enchiladas are governed by how they are made and not how they are stored. If you have made or are making homemade enchiladas, you have some options to avoid a soggy bottom. You can do a quick fry of the corn tortillas or flour tortillas before rolling them or make sure the sauce you are using or making is thicker to help keep the enchilada from getting soggy. Once they are made, the best way to keep them from getting soggy is to freeze them, rather than refrigerate them, right as soon as they have cooled. This keeps the sauce from soaking in any more while it is stored.
Can you heat up enchiladas in the microwave?
Sure can! Check out the description above for how to reheat them in the microwave when you are ready to enjoy this delicious meal the next day.
How long are enchiladas good for in the fridge?
Vegetable or beef enchiladas can last 4-5 days in the refrigerator and chicken enchiladas can last 2 days in the refrigerator. Any type of enchilada can keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.
How to Store Enchiladas
Enchiladas can be kept in the fridge or in the freezer. We recommend freezing them if you will not be eating them in the next 3 days to avoid a soggy bottom. But, if you will be eating them within 3 days, storing them in the fridge is just fine! Important tip - before storing, we recommend letting enchiladas come to room temperature before covering. If they are still hot, there will be too much liquid released From the steam created from a hot dish being trapped.
How to store in the refrigerator: Enchiladas should be stored in a sealed container either all together or individually. We love to bake ours in an oven-safe container that comes with a lid (like this one) so we can simply cover and pop in the fridge. You can also cover the dish in plastic wrap, tin foil, or reusable type of cover. If we have a lot left over, we will store them pre-portioned out to make for an easy grab and go lunch for the week. We also always try to store enchiladas in glass or metal tins because the red sauce will stain any plastic containers you have. These are our favorite meal prep containers!
How to store in freezer: To store in the freezer, cover enchiladas tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil or with a well fitted lid. You can store them with just the lid of a container but they will only last 1 month (rather than 3 months) in the freezer before becoming freezer burnt. We often will just put them into glass meal prep containers with the lids to keep in the freezer for a month, at most, for easy lunch and dinner. If we have a lot of enchiladas, then we will wrap in plastic wrap in addition to the lid. You could also wrap the enchiladas in plastic wrap or foil and then place in a ziplock freezer bag to ensure they are secure and keep the full 3 months.
Quick Tips for Storing
- Enchiladas last 3-5 days in the fridge
- Enchiladas last up to 3 months in the freezer
- Use glass or metal containers to avoid staining plastic containers
- Store in sealed containers for the fridge or for up to 1 month in the freezer
- Store wrapped in plastic wrap and with a lid or aluminum foil to store in the freezer for up to 3 months
Quick Reference Guide to Reheating Enchiladas
Try these tips with some of our great recipes!
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