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Cheese Enchiladas with Chili Gravy

I love these Cheese Enchiladas with Chili Gravy.  The gravy is mild and a nice change from your average red enchilada sauce.  I probably make this recipe once every other month, but when I do make it I always make a double batch to feed my big family and haven’t ever had any go to waste.  We eat leftovers the following day for lunch.

One thing I really love about these enchiladas is that even though the cheese melts, the cheese actually stays inside the enchiladas.  The secret is pouring the hot chili gravy over the cheese rolled tortillas, putting a foil cover over the enchilada pan and only baking them 10 minutes at 350 degrees!  The cover is then pulled off and the enchiladas are returned to the oven and baked another 2-3 minutes.  Yum!

Cheese Enchiladas with Chili Gravy

The cheese is all melted and the enchiladas are piping hot.

Cheese Enchilada Chili Gravy

How to Make Cheese Enchiladas with Chili Gravy

Here’s what you will need to make this delicious pan of cheese enchiladas with chili gravy.  This recipe takes about two hours to make, it’s definitely a labor of love but so worth it.

  • 1.5 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium onion – chopped and divided into two pi
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garlic – minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • dash of cayenne powder
  • dash of garlic powder
  • 8 cups beef broth (I used Better Than Base Beef – one big teaspoonful per four cups of water)
  • 1 – 28 ounce can whole tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup corn starch
  • 6 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend or taco cheese
  • 20-25 corn tortillas
  • vegetable oil

In a large deep pot or a dutch oven brown the ground beef with half a chopped onion.
Cheese Enchiladas From Scratch

When the meat is browned drain off the grease and add the chili powder, paprika, ground cumin, minced garlic, salt, black pepper, cayenne and garlic powder.  Cook a few minutes or until the spices become fragrant.

Cheese Enchiladas Sauce

Crush the canned tomatoes with your hand and add the tomatoes with their juices to the pot, along with 8 cups of beef broth.

My pot is really full because I made a double batch of these cheese enchiladas with chili gravy.  Bring the chili gravy to a boil, reduce heat and simmer UNcovered for one hour, stirring occasionally.

Chili Cheese Enchiladas

After about 30 minutes of cooking the chili gravy, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare the corn tortillas.  Heat a little oil (1/4″ or so) in a skillet over medium.  After oil is heated, use tongs to cook one tortilla at a time for a few seconds per side, this is softening the tortillas and making them pliable so you can roll them without breaking.  Transfer the tortillas to a papertowel.

Corn Tortilla Cheese Enchiladas

Continue cooking all the tortillas until they are all draining on papertowels.  Here’s what my tortilla plate looked like.  Yep, I just stack them, four to a layer with paper towels in-between.

Fried Corn Tortillas for Cheese Enchiladas

Place the other half of minced onion in a bowl with a few splashes of water, cover the bowl and microwave for 40 seconds or so.  This semi cooks the onion.  After the onion has cooled, mix the onion in a big bowl with the shredded cheese.  This step of cooking the onion is optional, but I think the enchiladas taste better when the onion is cooked.

Microwave Cooked Onion

After the chili gravy has cooked an hour, combine 1/3 cup water with 1/3 cup corn starch in a bowl or cup.  Stir and make sure there are no lumps.  Pour this into the chili gravy pot.  Stir it in and cook the chili for another 10-15 minutes, stirring often.  The chili gravy will start getting a little thicker.

Thicken Chili Gravy with Corn Starch

Prepare a LARGE casserole dish with deep sides by spraying it with non-stick spray and adding a little chili gravy to the bottom of the pan.  Adding a little of the gravy to the bottom of the casserole prevents the cheese enchiladas from sticking.

Prepare Cheese Enchiladas Pan

Grab another plate, you’ll use this plate for assembling the enchiladas.  I put three corn tortillas on a plate at a time.  Put about 1/3 cup of cheese/onion mixture on each tortilla.  I don’t really measure, I just use a really big spoon to put a heap of cheese on each tortilla.  Put the plate on the counter next to the prepared casserole dish.  One at a time roll the tortillas and place them seam down inside the casserole dish.  Continue until you have all the tortillas stuffed with cheese.

Rolled Cheese Enchiladas

Now top the cheese enchiladas with the hot chili gravy.

Chili Gravy Cheese Enchiladas

Top with cheese.  Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake in preheated oven @ 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  When 10 minutes is up, remove foil and return to oven for 2-3 minutes.

Cheese Enchiladas with Chili Gravy Casserole

Remove from oven and let the enchiladas sit at least 5 minutes before serving

Cheese Enchiladas with Chili Gravy

This recipe was adapted from Luby’s Cafeteria’s 50th Anniversary Cookbook.

Cheese Enchilada with Chili Gravy

Cheese Enchiladas with Chili Gravy

Shelly
Delicious made from scratch cheese enchiladas with chili gravy.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Entrees
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 1.5 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium onion - chopped and divided into two pi
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garlic - minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • dash of cayenne powder
  • dash of garlic powder
  • 8 cups beef broth I used Better Than Base Beef - one big teaspoonful per four cups of water
  • 1 - 28 ounce can whole tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup corn starch
  • 6 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend or taco cheese
  • 20-25 corn tortillas
  • vegetable oil

Instructions
 

  • In a large deep pot cook ground beef and half a minced onion. When beef is cooked, drain fat.
  • Add chili powder, paprika, ground cumin, minced garlic, salt, black pepper, cayenne, and garlic powder to meat pot. Cook a few minutes or until fragrant.
  • Crush canned tomatoes with your hand and add to meat pot along with juices. Stir in the beef broth too. The chili gravy will be very thin.
  • Bring to a gravy pot to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for one hour, stirring occasionally.
  • After 30 minutes of the chili gravy simmering, prepare the corn tortillas.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Heat 1/4" oil in a skillet over medium heat. Fry both sides of tortilla for 2 seconds a side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat until all tortillas are cooked.
  • Place the other half of the chopped onion in a microwave safe bowl with a few splashes of water. Cover and microwave 40 seconds or so. When the onions cool down, toss them with the shredded cheese in a large bowl.
  • After the chili has cooked for one hour, combine 1/3 cup water and 1/3 cup of cornstarch in a bowl, stir to combine, making sure there are no lumps. Pour cornstarch mixture into the chili gravy and continue cooking gravy 10 -15 minutes stirring often. The chili gravy will begin to thicken.
  • Prepare a large deep casserole dish by spraying it with non-stick spray. Transfer a thin layer of chili gravy to the casserole dish.
  • Roll tortillas by filling them with 1/3 cup cheese/onion mixture. Place the tortilla rolls seam-side down in the prepared enchilada casserole dish.
  • Top tortilla rolls with the hot chili gravy.
  • Top enchiladas with some more cheese.
  • Cover the casserole dish with foil.
  • Bake @ 350 for 10 minutes.
  • Remove foil and return to the oven for 2-3 minutes.
  • Let enchiladas sit on the counter for at least 5 minutes before serving.

 

Disclosure:  This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

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Recipe Rating




Cindy

Thursday 20th of July 2017

Can the gravy be made ahead and frozen? If so should it be thickened with the cornstarch before freezing or when thawed?

Wolf of Words

Sunday 10th of April 2016

These look so good. I just ate lunch and I think I'm hungry again! Very thorough recipe too, I think I can actually handle this.

Shelly

Sunday 10th of April 2016

They are really great and nice change from regular cheese enchiladas. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

Lisa Bregant

Monday 4th of April 2016

This look amazing! I'm defiinitely going to have to try to make if for my family soon!

Shelly

Monday 4th of April 2016

Lisa they are delicious! Thanks for visiting and commenting!

Mary Burris

Monday 4th of April 2016

Well darn it! I did eat before coming to your page, but now my brain is saying... You can fit this in, too! Cheese Enchiladas are one of my favorites, and this looks absolutely delicious!

Shelly

Sunday 10th of April 2016

Thanks Mary!

Ellen Pilch

Monday 4th of April 2016

Thank you for the recipe. These look amazing.

Shelly

Sunday 10th of April 2016

They are very tasty! Thanks for visiting Ellen!

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