If you’re wondering, “How long to reheat enchiladas in oven,” we’ve compiled everything you need to know into one step-by-step guide.
Enchiladas are a tasty, easy-to-make Mexican dish that dates back to Aztec times.
Enchilada literally means “to season with chili,” but has now become known as the entire dish. Initially, they were just tortillas dipped into chili sauce without any fillings.
There are numerous different kinds of enchiladas, ranging from enchiladas con chile rojo (red chili) to enchiladas suizas (Swiss-style enchiladas).
Despite the variety, enchiladas are easy to reheat in the oven, toaster oven, or even the microwave.
Generally, frozen enchiladas take about 30 minutes to reheat in the oven. They take approximately 2 minutes in a microwave.
However, several factors will determine which method you should choose.
How Long to Reheat Enchiladas in Oven, Microwave, and Toaster Oven
You’ll want to make sure your enchilada doesn’t become too dry, soggy, or mushy.
Dryness occurs when too little sauce or moisture within the enchilada and heating it up makes it dry out.
Too much sauce or filling will turn your enchilada into an inedible, or at least very unappetizing, entree.
Heating Times: Frozen
The most significant factor that time depends on is whether the enchiladas you’re heating up are frozen or refrigerated.
You can reheat frozen enchiladas directly.
Tip: Enchiladas can last up to three months in the freezer if stored right.
Ovens – 30 Minutes at 350ºF
Step #1: Preheat your oven to 350º Fahrenheit.
This temperature will warm your enchiladas thoroughly without burning the outside before the center is perfectly melty.
Step #2: Cover with a lid or foil.
Covering your enchiladas with foil or a lid creates a “heat shield” to prevent them from burning on the top.
Step #3: Bake for 30 minutes.
Check your enchiladas about halfway through the cooking time to ensure they’re on the right track.
Step #4: Remove the lid or foil and cook for an extra 10 minutes
There’s no set time they need to bake since they’re pre-cooked, so it’s okay to shorten or lengthen the time depending on your oven’s performance or preference.
Microwaves – 2 Minutes on High
Step #1: Vent the Enchilada
Microwaves are notorious for not heating foods consistently, so it’s best to let the food vent by poking a few holes on the top of your enchilada.
You can also cut it up into bite-sized pieces to distribute heat better.
Step #2: Cover with a Splatter Guard
Since air can get trapped in the enchilada and cause it to burst, be sure to cover the enchilada with a paper towel or napkin to prevent splattering in the microwave.
Step #3: Microwave on High for Two Minutes on High
Your microwave may also have a “reheat” option, which you can use instead.
Step #4: Check your Enchilada
If it’s not heated through, continue heating it in 30-second intervals.
Heating Times – Thawed/Refrigerated
Non-frozen enchiladas need less time to cook than frozen, so keep a close eye on them during the warming process in the microwave, oven, or toaster oven to prevent burning.
Microwaves – 1 Minute on High
Step #1: Vent the Enchilada
Venting helps distribute the heat better. You can also cut up your enchilada into smaller pieces to get better overall heating.
Step #2: Cover with a Splatter Guard
A splatter guard is especially important with refrigerated enchiladas. Heated air can get trapped inside the enchilada and then explode, causing a mess inside the microwave.
Tip: Keep any extra sauce separate from the enchilada to prevent unnecessary microwave messes.
Step #3: Microwave on High for One Minute & Check your Enchilada
If not fully heated through, continue microwaving in 10-20 second bursts.
If your enchilada seems too dry, you can add a teaspoon or so of water to encourage the even reheating.
Ovens – 20 Minutes at 350ºF
Step #1: Preheat your Oven to 350º Fahrenheit
If the dish your enchiladas are in is oven-safe, then you can put that directly into the oven.
The dish will reheat slowly and not crack or break due to the temperature change.
Tip: Cover with a foil lid to help maintain the proper moisture content in your dish.
Step #2: Bake for 20 Minutes
Again, since they’re pre-cooked, you can give or take a minute or so, depending on your preferences.
Step #3: Broil the Cheese Topping for a Minute or two
One of the best parts of enchiladas is the slight crispness of the outer shell to complement the soft, inner filling.
Toaster Oven – 10 Minutes
Step #1: Preheat your toaster oven to 350º Fahrenheit
Step #2: Warm the enchilada in the microwave for about a minute.
Reheating an enchilada in a toaster oven works better if the enchilada isn’t completely frozen.
Step #3: Cover the Baking Tray with Foil.
Although you can place some foods directly on the toaster oven rack, avoid doing so with enchiladas because of their high cheese and sauce content.
Step #4: Cook for 10 Minutes.
Again, cooking time depends on the toaster oven, but it should take less time than a regular oven and consume less energy.
Microwave or Oven?
Microwaves and ovens work very differently, and the way to heat them will depend on your preference.
Many will say there’s a noticeable difference between the two because, while both appliances cook food just fine, they use vastly different methods for cooking and reheating.
Microwaves work by using the moisture inside the food to cook. These short electromagnetic waves, hence the name “microwave,” are bounced around within the metal interior of the appliance.
These waves make the water inside the food vibrate, which heats the food.
Because of this, foods with high moisture content usually heat up quicker than food that doesn’t.
However, this also means that this moisture will often make the grub extra soggy.
Bread and tortillas, in particular, may become too mushy to eat.
Tip: Frying the tortillas before freezing them can prevent them from getting soggy!
Another issue, especially with dense foods like enchiladas, is that this method does not always heat foods evenly.
If you’ve ever been disappointed when you sink your teeth into a seemingly steamy hot enchilada, only to find a blob of half-melted, still chilly cheese, then you understand the issue with cold spots.
Ovens, by contrast, work by generating the heat directly.
The air inside the range warms up, and the food absorbs this air to cook it, making for a more evenly warm enchilada.
Ovens also can caramelize and crisp food, like cheese, whereas microwaves cannot.
Large dishes are better cooked or reheated in the oven since many large dishes won’t fit in the microwave.
So, if you’re planning on warming a whole pan of this Mexican delicacy, you’re safer choosing the oven.
With enchiladas, cooking them in an oven will prevent them from getting too soggy.
They also will be heated evenly.
Overall quality is preserved more with a range, but the sacrifice is time.
Ovens take time to preheat, and once you’ve preheated, they take time to cook. Despite this, if the quality is your concern, then go with an oven.
As we said earlier, you can expect a high-quality enchilada from your oven.
But between the preheat and cooking time, you’ll have to listen to your stomach grumbling for around 50 minutes before digging in.
If you heat a single enchilada, then a microwave is much more efficient.
If you’re heating an entire pan of them, the oven is the best choice to maintain the proper texture and ensure even cooking.
Enchiladas are especially easy to heat up because they keep their texture and flavor even after they’ve been frozen or chilled.
So, now that you know how long to reheat enchiladas in the oven, you can cook them in advance and enjoy them any time!
If you are planning to freeze them, it’s best to keep them in an airtight container.
You can keep single-serve portions in aluminum foil for a quick reheat, as long as you don’t microwave aluminum!
If you plan to keep the enchiladas frozen for longer than a week or two, then putting them in a plastic container is better. Enchiladas will occasionally take on a metal taste if they stay in foil for too long.