Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cheese Enchiladas - Tex Mex Style with Chili Gravy

Cheese enchiladas are a staple of Tex Mex cuisine - and for good reason! The gooey cheese and brown gravy create a perfect combination of feel good food. They also traditionally include chopped onions but I don't care for the bitter crunch it adds to my otherwise plate of goodness so I always leave them out.

I never was sure exactly what made that delicious brown sauce over top - it certainly couldn't be found in the canned enchilada sauces - so I was thrilled to find that The Homesick Texan knew. And shared it with the world.

If you're a Texan, or a fan of Tex Mex food, you'll want to make this - soon. Your family will love you. If you've never tried the Texas version of cheese enchiladas, you should. Your family will love you.

I'm a card carrying member of the I Love Processed Cheese Society so I went all high class and used good ol' Velveeta for the ultimate in cheesy goodness. If you're not a fan, feel free to use cheddar.

Oh - the gravy ended up being pretty salty so I would cut way back on the salt. You can always add it later to taste.

**you can make this vegetarian very easily

Chili Gravy
1/4 cup lard or vegetable oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt - I would cut way back, to maybe 1/4 teaspoon
1 teaspoon powdered garlic
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons chili power
2 cups beef broth, chicken broth or water (I used beef broth)

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and continue stirring for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it makes a light brown roux.

Add the black pepper, salt, powdered garlic, ground cumin, dried oregano and chili powder and continue to cook for 1 minute, constantly stirring and blending ingredients. Add broth or water, mixing and stirring until the sauce thickens. Turn heat to low and let sauce simmer for 15 minutes. Add water to adjust the thickness.

Cheese Enchiladas
1/2 cup vegetable oil
8 corn tortillas
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese (can make it with Velveeta for extra melting oomph and good ol' Tex-Mex authenticity)
1 medium onion, diced
2 cups chili gravy (recipe above)

Preheat the oven to 450 and grease a large baking dish.

Pour the oil in a small skillet, and heat the tortillas one at a time. Keep them wrapped in a cloth until all 8 are heated. (I just wrap mine in a cloth towel and microwave to soften them)

Pour 1/2 cup of chili gravy in a baking pan.

Take a tortilla, put 1/4 cup of cheese and 1 tablespoon of onion in the center and roll it. Place rolled tortilla in baking dish, seam side down.

Continue with remaining tortillas.

Take remaining chili gravy, and pour it over the rolled tortillas. Sprinkle remaining cheese and onions on top. Bake for 10 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted.


  1. Hi there! How long do you fry the tortillas in the oil? And you're saying you heat them in the microwave once they are all fried? Thanks! Can't wait to try this recipe!

    1. Hi Meagan! Yeah, I wasn't totally clear on that part. The original recipe calls for frying them lightly in oil to soften them but I opted to instead just wrap mine in a towel and microwave them.

      The oil method is tastier for sure but it's a bit messy and (obviously) less healthy :) You can do it either way!

    2. There turned out great! I didn't fry the tortillas and gal I saved myself the step because they didn't need it! Great recipe! Thanks for sharing!


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