Thursday, January 13, 2011

Stacked Cheese Enchiladas

I love cheese enchiladas. This recipe is for the stacked version, because I find it a little easier, but you can also do them the traditional way. Also, you may notice a different pan in each photo. I was making one for us, one for a friend, so I was using a glass pan and a disposable one.

This is probably one of the more "unhealthy" recipes I'll share with you due to the cheese used. Please don't judge. :) I actually developed this recipe before we had to go gluten-free, but now that we eat GF, it's all the more delicious to me. We had a favorite local Mexican food restaurant that we enjoyed (we can't eat there anymore) and I always ordered cheese enchiladas. I knew they used American cheese in these enchiladas, so that is one of the reasons I use it in this recipe. I made these to taste like the ones I ordered. That being said, I can still guarantee these are, at a minimum, a tad healthier than the ones in that restaurant.

You may notice that I don't use a lot of aged cheeses in my recipes. This is because I'm allergic to them. I love cheddar, and so many more cheeses, but they give me migraines that will have me crumpled in a heap crying and demanding no light or sound until (hopefully) my migraine medication kicks in. This started at the age of 10, and aged cheese was the number one culprit. I still get occasional migraines, which my neurologist says are from other triggers like hormones or stress and a few other foods, but certain cheeses are the biggest culprit for me. I might go a few months without a migraine but if I eat certain cheeses, I'm guaranteed to have a migraine later. So, you'll see me using much milder cheeses like Colby-Jack and mozzarella most of the time. I even have two recipes that I use Velveeta. I cringe at the thought of all the processing American cheese & Velveeta go through -- they aren't even really cheese -- so save the preaching for another choir, but I admit I do use them for a very small number of things. Normally, though, you won't find American cheese in my refrigerator, or Velveeta, unless I'm planning on using them for one of these very few recipes. So indulge me, okay?

I may get brave and try out a few more cheeses for some of these recipes at some point -- praying I don't get a migraine, but I can't guarantee it. I know there are other cheeses out there I can eat, but many times they've been blended with others in a restaurant dish I eat and I don't know which one of them was the culprit for the migraine. If any of you also have this problem and would like to give me suggestions for safe cheeses you've had success with, by all means let me know!

Okay, now that I've got that confession off my chest, let's dive into the recipe. My mouth waters as I type.

Projected prep time (assuming sauce is already made): under 30 minutes; Bake time: 25-30 minutes
Enchilada Sauce (see recipe here)
Shredded Colby-Jack cheese
Sliced American cheese
Gluten-free white corn tortillas
1 chopped white onion (you may not use the whole thing, depending on how strong you like it)
Grapeseed oil
(Optional: You can add a few diced olives in each layer if you'd like)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour a little sauce in the bottom of an 8x8 pan (you can go 9x13 if you'd like).

Pour a little more sauce on a plate. This is what you'll be dipping the tortillas into after you soften them.

Heat a little grapeseed oil (it has a mild flavor that won't interfere with the other flavors, and it's healthy on top of that) in a small pan. Place a tortilla in it and let the oil soften it on each side for a few seconds. You'll need to put more oil in the pan every once in a while. If you don't do this step, your enchiladas will taste dry and crumbly.

Move tortilla to plate of sauce, and coat each side with sauce.

This recipe is for stacked, so you'll cut the tortilla in half and place in the pan on top of the sauce you've already poured into the bottom. If you want to make traditional ones, you'll put your fillings on the tortilla, roll it up and then place it in the pan. Don't use a whole slice of American per enchilada, either, if you go this route.

Repeat with another tortilla to cover the other sides, then another one quartered to cover the very middle. Go ahead and taste a piece of this one you just quartered. It's good with all that sauce on it, isn't it?

After you've covered the bottom with tortilla pieces, place four slices of American cheese over the bottom and ignore the voice in your head telling you it's not cheese and is processed nastiness. Sprinkle some Colby-Jack over that, then some onions. If you are using olives, sprinkle a few of them, as well.

Dribble a little sauce over this.

Repeat with another layer of softened and sauced tortillas, then repeat with the other ingredients.

Top again with another layer of tortillas. If you're using an 8x8 pan, you'll be needing approximately two and a half, two and a quarter, tortillas per layer.

After you've got two layers of ingredients and you've again topped it with the tortillas, pour the rest of your sauce over the whole thing, making sure to get the edges as well, so it can seep down. Generously sprinkle more Colby-Jack over the top, and some more onions. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes (cheese should be bubbly).


  1. Yummers!! Can't wait to try this!

    I had forgotten about your inability to eat aged cheese. That is TOO bad. I'm a major cheesehead. So I'll think about you the next time I enjoy a slice...I'll eat one for you.

  2. Does this recipe freeze well?

    1. The sauce does, but I haven't tried freezing the enchiladas. I'm thinking it probably doesn't freeze as well as I'd like it to.


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