I’ve shared how to make an enchilada bowl and a single serving of chicken enchiladas both in the microwave, but did you know you can make a whole casserole dish of enchiladas and cook them in the microwave? Here’s how to make a pan of Chili Con Carne Cheese Enchiladas in the microwave.

How to make Chili Con Carne Cheese Enchiladas with a pan of cheese enchiladas

My mom has done this for years with her Cheese & Onion Enchiladas. I love making a big dish of enchiladas because they are perfect to keep in the fridge and eat all week or take to work.

You are going to love how simple these are to make and how they taste just like what you can get at a Mexican restaurant.

What kind of cheese do you need for Chili Con Carne Cheese Enchiladas?

Most TexMex places make cheese enchiladas with sharp cheddar cheese. But, if you want real authentic Mexican enchiladas, then you can try Chihuahua cheese, Cotija Cheese, or Oaxaca Cheese. You just want something that melts well.

My mom likes to use monterrey jack cheese. I tend to prefer sharp cheddar, especially a Vermont cheddar. But, in a pinch, I will also use colby or colby jack cheese.

What kind of tortillas do you use to make cheese enchiladas?

Enchiladas are traditionally made with corn tortillas. Corn tortillas hold up much better as enchiladas. I prefer corn tortillas and think they taste way better. Plus, flour tortillas can get slimy in the sauce.

However, there are people who just do not like corn tortilla enchiladas, like my husband. When I make enchiladas, I do indulge him and make him a separate pan of flour tortilla enchiladas every time I make enchiladas.

Top view of a spatula holding 3 chili con carne cheese enchiladas over a pan of enchiladas

What is chili con carne?

If you’re not a big Mexican food lover, you might not know that chili con carne means chili with meat.

When making enchiladas with chili con carne, it’s typically more like a gravy, which can be runnier than traditional chili.

I make my own chili con carne from scratch using shredded meat, but that takes a stove and an entire day of cooking and simmering. I make it in a huge batch using 4-5 lbs of stew meat, and then I freeze it in small portions to make enchiladas over a couple months.

If you’re cooking with just a microwave, making your own chili con carne is not something you can probably do. I recommend buying a 15 oz can of chili with no beans. My personal preference is Hormel.

When using a can of chili, I add a couple tablespoons of water or beef broth (or even chicken broth) to the chili before heating it up to make it runnier and more like a gravy to cover the enchiladas.

If you want more a shredded beef style chili, you can always add shredded beef like chopped brisket to the chili.

A pan full of chili con carne cheese enchiladas

How do you make Chili Con Carne Cheese Enchiladas?

I recommend using a 8 x 8 or 7 x 11 baking dish. They fit in a microwave and can turn on the turntable. Using corn tortillas, I can get 10-12 enchiladas in the 7 x 11 in baking dish size. I’ll put 10 across and tuck 2 sideways along the top of the dish.

It’s important to add a spoonful or two of the chili to the bottom of the baking dish. This prevents the enchiladas from sticking to the dish.

Traditionally, you warm up some vegetable oil in one bowl and a can of red enchilada sauce in another bowl. After warming up the tortillas, you’ll dip a tortilla in the oil and then immediately in the enchilada sauce. Then, add the cheese, roll up, and place seam side down in the baking dish.

After you’ve added all the enchiladas, spoon the chili over the top. You don’t want the enchiladas swimming in the chili, but you want every enchilada to be covered without a dry spot.

How do you Spice Up Your Chili Con Carne Cheese Enchiladas?

Half my kids don’t like too much spice, and the other half love to spice it up. This recipe does have a little bit of heat, but here are a few ways you can make your enchiladas even spicier:

You may want to dice some onion and add it to the cheese before rolling up the enchiladas.

I’ve found Old El Paso red enchilada sauce is the spiciest sauce and will add some heat when you use it to dip the tortillas. If you want to keep the heat down, Rosarita’s red enchilada sauce is the mildest sauce I’ve found. Las Palmas and La Victoria red enchilada sauces seem to be in between these two.

My mom creates her own version of “chili con carne” enchilada sauce by mixing an entire 10 oz can of red enchilada sauce with the can of chili before spooning it over the top of the enchiladas. This will definitely create a spicier dish.

Add pickled jalapeno slices over the top of the chili before cooking.

How do you cook Chili Con Carne Cheese Enchiladas?

I add a little shredded cheese to the top and then microwave for about 5 minutes.

My mom usually covers her baking dish with plastic wrap, but I’ve read too many studies that say the plastic wrap melts into your food. So, I don’t cover it when I microwave. If you’re worried about splatter, just lay a couple paper towels over the top.

Chili Con Carne Cheese Enchiladas
Yield: 12 enchiladas

Chili Con Carne Cheese Enchiladas

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 10 oz can red enchilada sauce
  • 2 cups cheese
  • 15 oz can chili with no beans
  • 2 tablespoons of water or beef broth

Instructions

Combine the water (or broth) with the chili and heat it up for about 2 minutes in the microwave.

Spread a couple tablespoons of chili in the bottom of the 7 x 11 baking dish.

Pour the oil into a bowl big enough to dip a corn tortilla.

Pour the enchilada sauce into a bowl big enough to dip a corn tortilla.

Heat the oil for about 30 seconds in the microwave.

Heat the enchilada sauce for about 30 seconds in the microwave.

Wrap 12 corn tortillas in paper towels and heat for 1 minute in the microwave.

Dip a corn tortilla in oil, then dip in enchilada sauce, then lay on a plate.

Add about a tablespoon of cheese to the tortilla and roll it up.

Place the rolled up tortilla in the baking dish.

Continue doing this until you've placed 10 rolled up tortillas in a row in the baking dish. Then tuck two additional rolled up tortillas sideways (like the photo) at the top of the row of the enchiladas.

Spoon chili over all the tortillas so that each tortilla is covered and doesn't have any dry spots.

Sprinkle a little bit cheese across the enchiladas.

Cook for 3 minutes in the microwave.

Serve immediately.

Store leftovers in a sealed container for up to 5 days in the fridge.

Notes

If you want to kick up the spice of your enchiladas, use Old El Paso red enchilada sauce for dipping. Then, mix a couple tablespoons of the enchilada sauce into the chili before spooning it over the enchiladas.

You can also add diced onions to the cheese when you roll up the enchiladas and sprinkle extra over the top before cooking.

Store leftover enchilada sauce in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week, to use it again.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 288Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 642mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 10g

Any nutritional information on justmicrowaveit.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate.

Follow Me!

Liked this article and want more? Follow along on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, and YouTube!