Enchiladas are a delicious Mexican dish that has become popular all over the world. There are many recipes out there and you can use any type of meat be it beef, chicken, or pork. It is also easy to make vegetarian or even vegan enchiladas. Beans, be it black or kidney, are usually added and there is a nice spicy tomato sauce.
Enchiladas can have melted cheese on top and can be served with sour cream, guacamole, and Mexican spiced rice. However, what if you want to make a big batch of enchiladas so that you can have easy meals when you get in from a hard day at work? Can you freeze them? The simple answer is yes, and in this article, we will tell you how to freeze enchiladas and how to defrost them.
How To Freeze Enchiladas
You can freeze enchiladas either cooked or uncooked. If you are freezing them uncooked, all you have to do is wrap the entire tray of enchiladas in aluminum foil or cling film. Make sure that you wrap the tray securely so that freezer burn doesn’t occur. Freezer burn will ruin the taste and texture of your food.
If you are freezing enchiladas after cooking them, follow these instructions:
1. Cool down the enchiladas
Take the enchiladas out of the oven and leave them to cool down at room temperature. Transfer the enchiladas to a cold pan to speed up the cooling process. You don’t want to leave the enchiladas out for longer than two hours as after this time, bacteria starts to form and you could become sick eating them. On the other hand, you don’t want to put the enchiladas in the freezer while they are still warm as they will become soggy. In addition, they will bring the temperature up in the freezer and other food may start to defrost and spoil.
2. Wrap the enchiladas in cling film.
It is a good idea to wrap the enchiladas individually as you can then defrost only as many as you need. Make sure that they are tightly wrapped so that freezer burn doesn’t occur. You can wrap the enchiladas in aluminum foil if you prefer.
3. Put the enchiladas in an airtight container.
It is better to use a container rather than a freezer bag to prevent the enchiladas from being squashed. Put a label on the container with the date and contents.
4. Put the container in the freezer.
Tips For Freezing Enchiladas
- Wrap the enchiladas tightly as freezer burn will ruin the quality of your enchiladas. Chances are that they won’t be as flavorsome, and they might become soggy.
- Drain out any extra liquid from the enchiladas before you freeze them. This will stop them from becoming mushy.
- When you come to reheat your enchiladas, add some salsa on top and sprinkle grated cheese over them. This will give them that added flavor boost. Then serve with guacamole and sour cream.
For How Long Can You Freeze Enchiladas?
You can freeze enchiladas for up to three months, whatever the filling is and whether they are cooked or uncooked. If you keep them in the freezer for much longer, ice crystals will start to form and the enchiladas will start to become mushy.
How Do You Defrost Enchiladas?
If you have frozen cooked enchiladas, put them in the fridge until they have thawed out. This should take around 12 hours. Don’t defrost them at room temperature as this can encourage bacteria to form and you could end up with food poisoning.
If you have frozen uncooked enchiladas, you can put them straight into the oven without defrosting. You will have to adjust the cooking time because they are still frozen. They will take around 45 minutes on medium heat to get heated through.
Can You Refreeze Enchiladas?
No, it isn’t a good idea to refreeze enchiladas especially if they have meat in them. Refreezing encourages bacteria to form and anyway, the enchiladas will become soggy with a second freeze. This is why it’s a good idea to wrap the enchiladas individually so that you only defrost what you need. If you defrost too many, it is sensible to throw away the ones you don’t use, and this is a waste.
Is It A Good Idea To Freeze Enchiladas?
As long as you don’t keep the enchiladas in the freezer for longer than three months, you should be able to successfully freeze enchiladas whether they are cooked or uncooked. The most important thing is to wrap them securely so that freezer burn doesn’t occur.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you now know all there is about freezing enchiladas but in case you still have questions about freezing them or about enchiladas in general, we have answered a few questions here.
You can but they will only last for a few days before they start to spoil, so if you don’t plan to eat them within this time frame, you are best off putting them in the freezer.
How can you stop enchiladas from becoming mushy after freezing?
If you drain away any excess liquid from the enchiladas, they shouldn’t end up being soggy. If you want juicy enchiladas, add salsa, cheese, and sour cream when you have defrosted them.
Yes, you can, but be aware that freezing can cause sour cream to split and even become a little gritty. It is far better to add sour cream when you come to reheat the enchiladas.