Making enchiladas that are not soggy can be a challenge, especially when using a sauce like green enchilada sauce which contains a lot of moisture. However, with a few tips and tricks, you can ensure your green enchiladas come out perfectly crispy every time.
Use Corn Tortillas
Corn tortillas are less likely to get soggy than flour tortillas when baked in sauce. The corn tortilla has a firmer structure that holds up better to moist fillings and sauces. Flour tortillas tend to absorb more liquid and can turn into a gummy mess. For the crispiest enchiladas, always opt for corn.
Pre-Fry the Tortillas
Frying the tortillas briefly before filling and rolling them will help remove excess moisture and reinforce the structure of the tortilla. To fry, briefly dip each tortilla in oil or spray both sides with oil. Let it fry for about 10 seconds per side. The fried tortilla will be more rigid and less likely to fall apart or get mushy when baked.
Limit Wet Fillings
Excessively wet fillings like grated tomatoes, mushrooms, or anything that releases a lot of liquid as it cooks can make enchiladas soggy. Opt for drier fillings like shredded chicken, cheese, beans, etc. If using wet ingredients like spinach, make sure to press and squeeze out as much liquid as possible beforehand.
Pre-cooking moist fillings like ground meat or vegetables will help remove excess moisture before rolling them in the tortillas. Cook fillings until any liquid evaporates, then let cool slightly before assembling the enchiladas.
Make sure to roll the enchiladas as tightly as possible when assembling them. This helps prevent the seam from opening up and letting sauce seep in during baking. Tuck in the ends and roll them up nice and snug.
Lightly Oil the Pan
Before placing the rolled enchiladas in the baking dish, brush a thin layer of oil over the bottom and sides of the pan. This creates a barrier between the tortillas and the pan surface to prevent sticking and sogginess.
If layering multiple rows of enchiladas in the pan, place them seam side down and stack the next row seam side up. This prevents the tortilla layers from fused together, allowing steam to escape instead of making the tortillas gummy.
Don’t Overload the Sauce
Ladle just enough sauce over the enchiladas to moisten and coat them without submerging them. Too much sauce will make the tortillas fall apart and become a big mess. Pour extra sauce on top when serving instead.
Top the assembled enchiladas generously with shredded cheese like cheddar or Mexican blend before baking. The cheese helps protect the tortillas from getting soggy and gives them a crispy browned top when melted.
Cover with Foil
Covering the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil during the first half of baking helps to trap moisture and ensure the cheese melts. Remove foil for the last 15-20 minutes to brown the cheese.
Cool Slightly Before Serving
Let the finished enchiladas rest 5-10 minutes after baking before cutting and serving. This allows excess moisture to absorb back into the tortillas instead of spilling out onto the plate.
When reheating leftover enchiladas, add a drizzle of oil to the pan or plate first to create a moisture barrier. Cover and reheat at 325°F until warmed through to keep them from drying out.
Troubleshooting Soggy Enchiladas
If your enchiladas still turn out soggy, here are some common problems and solutions:
Problem: Watery sauce
Solution: Simmer the sauce uncovered until thickened before using.
Problem: Filling releases moisture
Solution: Wrap ingredients like tomatoes and spinach in tortillas first to absorb liquid.
Problem: Tortillas tearing and unraveling
Solution: Use fresh tortillas and handle gently when filling and rolling.
Problem: Enchiladas sticking to pan
Solution: Use a deeper dish and spray with non-stick spray before assembling enchiladas.
Problem: Sauce pooling at the bottom
Solution: Drain excess sauce from enchiladas after baking using a spatula.
Don’t have all the ingredients for green enchiladas? Try substituting:
- Tortillas: Corn or flour work fine. Flour absorbs more moisture so may get soggy.
- Sauce: Substitute red enchilada sauce, salsa verde, or green chile sauce.
- Cheese: Cheddar, queso fresco, Monterey jack all work.
- Veggies: Zucchini, mushrooms, onions, etc. Drain well before using.
- Protein: Chicken, ground beef, carnitas, beans, etc.
Complementary Side Dishes
Enchiladas are great paired with these flavorful sides:
- Spanish rice
- Refried or black beans
- Roasted corn
- Sliced avocado
- Pico de gallo
- Sautéed peppers and onions
- Chopped lettuce salad
Full Green Enchilada Recipes
Try these delicious green enchilada recipes that ensure crispy, non-soggy tortillas:
Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas Verdes
Loaded with chicken, cheese, and roasted veggies rolled up in corn tortillas and drenched in tangy green enchilada sauce.
Zesty Shrimp Enchiladas
Plump shrimp sautéed with bell peppers and onions rolled up inside tortillas with melty jack cheese and cilantro.
Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas
A meatless meal with toasty, caramelized squash, peppers, and onions wrapped in tortillas and blanketed in creamy salsa verde.
Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas
A healthy option with seasoned chicken, spinach, beans, and gooey cheese granting tons of nutrition in every bite.
Cheese and Corn Enchiladas
A vegetarian version overloaded with corn, cheese, and everyone’s favorite toppings for the ultimate comfort food.
Types of Enchilada Sauces
Not a fan of green sauce? Change up the flavor with these enchilada sauce options:
Red Enchilada Sauce
Made from dried chiles, tomatoes, and spices for a rich, slightly spicy flavor.
A complex sauce with toasted dried chiles, spices, and chocolate for subtle sweetness.
Made with tomatillos and green chiles for a tangy, bright taste.
Smooth, cheesy white sauce adds a decadent, creamy element.
Smoky, spicy flavor from pureed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
Non-Soggy Cooking Methods
Besides baking, you can also make crispy enchiladas by:
Quickly fry assembled enchiladas in oil until tortillas are crispy on both sides.
Place assembled enchiladas directly on a hot grill to toast the tortillas.
Use an air fryer to quickly crisp up enchiladas using little to no oil.
Broil enchiladas 4-5 inches from heat to melt cheese and brown tortilla tops.
Plate your crispy green enchiladas for a mouthwatering presentation:
- Garnish with sliced avocado, crema, cilantro, and queso fresco.
- Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over the top.
- Top with diced onions, cabbage, radishes, or pickled jalapeños.
- Sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds for crunch.
- Spoon extra sauce over the top when serving.
- Arrange over a bed of shredded lettuce for contrast.
Storing and Freezing Enchiladas
To enjoy your green enchiladas again later:
- Refrigerating: Store leftover enchiladas covered up to 4 days.
- Freezing: Assemble unbaked enchiladas, then freeze. Thaw in fridge before baking.
- Reheating: Microwave or bake enchiladas until heated through, adding some liquid to prevent drying out.
With these tips for crispy, non-soggy green enchiladas, you can enjoy this Mexican favorite any night of the week. Don’t be intimidated by the sauce – just fry those tortillas, limit wet fillings, and bake uncovered for the perfect enchiladas every time. Now go enjoy this delicious meal!