You can cook enchiladas for your quick dinner and leftover turkey or chicken can also be used to prepare them. The question is whether or not enchiladas can be frozen. We can confirm that leftover enchiladas can actually be frozen. Enchiladas are known popularly as a meal that can be made ahead and then frozen to use later as lunch or dinner. This same can as well be done for leftover enchiladas. Since your enchiladas have been cooked which is the work, freezing them is quite easy.
How To Freeze Enchiladas
Whenever you have leftovers of enchiladas, the first thing is to ensure that they are properly cooled before you proceed to freeze them because you might risk the freezer’s temperature increasing by placing hot enchiladas inside it and this may spoil some other foods that you stored.
- Once the enchiladas are cool, scoop them into your disposable foil container or freezer-safe plastic bag. Ensure you have enough space for your enchiladas to have room to expand inside the freezer.
- After placing them in your freezer container, you can use either aluminum foil and plastic wrap to cover them or a suitable cover or lid.
- Place them in your freezer once they have been covered.
If you want to freeze them in smaller portions for your quick lunches, follow the steps below:
- Wrap them individually in your plastic wrap. Ensure it is tight so that the sauce will not spill out. Air should also not be allowed left inside.
- Proceed to cover the plastic-wrapped enchiladas with aluminum foil, a layer is enough so that the enchiladas will be protected inside the freezer.
- You can then place them in your freezer drawers just like those you use containers to freeze them.
Tips For Freezing Enchiladas
There is a tendency for the enchiladas wrapped in tortillas to turn soggy when they are frozen and then thawed. This is among the few issues that may spoil the texture or taste of your enchiladas when they are defrosted to be eaten again. Check out some of the tricks and tips below that will help keep your enchiladas delicious even after being frozen and thawed:
- Ensure all air is removed when you are freezing the enchiladas in a plastic wrap. If not, it could result in freezer crystals that can cause the ruining of the texture and taste.
- Ensure that excess liquid is drained from your enchiladas so that you can prevent the occurrence of freezer crystals and burn when they get frozen. You can do this either by removing excessive watery sauce away from your container or you cook down your sauce, making it thicker in the process of cooking so that there won’t be too much of moisture when the enchiladas get frozen.
- You should add a little bit of fresh cheese on top of your enchiladas before you place it inside the freezer. Your cheese must have melted in your oven and spread unevenly. When you add extra cheese, you are sure that you will get your gooey goodness back when you defrost and reheat your enchiladas.
- For you to avoid your enchiladas getting soggy, quickly fry your tortillas before you cook or place them inside your container prior to freezing. The tortillas have the barrier that will prevent them from soaking up too much liquid or sauce that may break them down and then become soggy when you fry them in a little quantity of oil. The tortillas are not exposed to sogginess and the enchilada contents are also protected this way.
- Ensure that the extra sauce is allowed to be frozen separately from your enchiladas whether or not you have to scoop some of them into your separate bowl before you fill your enchiladas. Allow your extra sauce to freeze inside an extra freezer bag so that you will not put too much of your sauce in your enchiladas before you freeze that could result in the tortilla becoming soggy. It is usually much better when the sauce is too much than when there is too little.
- Your enchiladas with the sauce are quite better frozen in your plastic container because the sauce may end up taking a metallic taste when you use an aluminum wrap to freeze them along with the enchilada.
- Ensure your enchiladas are not left in your freezer for too long. This will result in ice crystals forming in your sauce or tortillas after a certain time. Though they will disappear when you are reheating, they may destroy the meal’s texture after some time.
How To Reheat Frozen Enchiladas
To reheat the enchiladas, you must ensure that it is done right by keeping the taste of the enchiladas moist and fresh. To thaw your enchiladas, the best method to use is to allow it to be inside your fridge overnight. This will allow them not to warm too much so that they can be prevented from any growth of bacteria as they are thawing.
Allow your oven to preheat to a temperature of 350°F, remove the aluminum foil or plastic wrap that may have been used to cover your enchiladas and put them inside your oven-safe container. In case you have extra cheese or sauce, top your enchilada with either or both of them. Allow the enchiladas to bake in your oven for about 25 minutes just before you check. You can heat them further for five minutes increment until they are ready if you realize they are needed to be heated further. You may also use your microwave crisping tray that is quite perfect to quickly reheat your enchiladas whenever you cannot wait for up to the 25 minutes stipulated.
The materials used to freeze the enchiladas will affect their quality. You must make sure they are kept in such a way that they are protected in your freezer. Check below for some materials you may decide to use to freeze them:
Aluminum Foil Lining
You may use aluminum foil to line your glass or ceramic baking pan and this is less costly in comparison to aluminum disposable pans. It will also keep some other dishes very free to cook. The lined pans can also be placed inside your oven when you want to reheat your enchiladas and that makes it very easy. You also only need to do a little cleaning once you are done using the pan after you remove the foil.
Metal, glass, or ceramic baking pans are allowed to be used to freeze your enchiladas but you must ensure that they are safe in the freezer before you use them. This type is cost-effective because you could use them all over again. You must also ensure that you do not allow the enchiladas frozen in the pans you often use because they obviously will already be in use inside the freezer and this will limit how often they can be used.
Disposable Aluminum Pans
This type is very useful because you don’t need to wash the aluminum pans after you have used them. They also hold their shapes well inside your freezer and they can also be used when you want to warm your enchiladas in the oven. However, in case you want to use aluminum containers to freeze several meals, it may become too expensive for you.
You can free your enchiladas when you have leftovers from cooking too much or you intentionally cooked extra to be frozen and eaten during the cause of the week. If you store them and freeze right, they can stay up to three months in your freezer still retaining the delicious taste when you thaw and bake again. You can either freeze them in a big batch for the family to eat or you can freeze them in smaller amounts to be eaten little by little. Use fresh cheese over your enchiladas before you bake to get your meals as delicious as it should be.
What can I serve with enchiladas?
You can eat enchiladas alone because they taste great but you also serve them alongside some side dishes and the best to serve them with are usually already found inside the fridge. You should serve the enchiladas with guacamole, salsa, and sour cream. They all are fresh flavors and they pair quite excellently with the melted cheese and baked taste of enchiladas. You can also serve jalapenos as an extra kick.
Should I cover the enchiladas while warming?
You may use aluminum foil to cover the enchiladas when you are baking between 20 and 30 minutes if you will like the enchiladas to be kept moist. Remove the aluminum foil in the last five minutes to ensure the crisping up of the cheese so that the enchiladas will bake evenly more.
How long can enchiladas stay in the freezer?
The texture and taste of enchiladas can be held in your freezer for about three months if they are correctly stored. They can still be eaten if stored longer than that, but there may be ice crystals and freezer burn that could end up ruining the quality. Freeze your enchiladas separately if you are only taking smaller meals from a large leftover pan and ensure they are labeled with their cooked dates as well as frozen dates for you to monitor when they can be eaten.