How to Freeze Enchiladas

How to Freeze Enchiladas for Easy Weeknight Dinners // SavvyEat.com

When I started brainstorming my list of dishes to freeze before the baby comes, enchiladas were one of the first new things I added. I’ve frozen lasagna and taquitos before, so those were naturally at the top of my entrees list. Enchiladas came immediately after. We love our tacos, and they are in a regular rotation on our menu, but enchiladas often have very similar flavor profiles to tacos. And while I could easily freeze some taco filling, it is going to be easier to reheat frozen enchiladas than it will be to assemble tacos when we’re taking care of a newborn (and probably less messy to eat one-handed, as well!). So I got to experimenting.

I couldn’t decide whether or not I needed to leave off the enchilada sauce before freezing. I was a little worried that the acidity of the tomato-based sauce would eat away at the aluminum foil, or that the sauce would pick up a “tinny” flavor in the freezer. So I tested two freezing methods, and froze half the enchiladas with sauce, and half without. Before I reheated the dish, I added enchilada sauce to the other half, and topped both sides with cheese.

(I definitely recommend freezing the enchiladas without any of the cheese that goes on top if you can. Cheese has a tendency to separate during freezing, so you could end up with a watery mess when you reheat them later. It only takes a few minutes to add shredded cheese before you cook up the enchiladas, and as a bonus, the cheese will brown more nicely if it wasn’t frozen first. )

Enchiladas frozen with and without sauce to see which works best // savvyeat.com

I did notice that the sauce separated a bit in the freezer, and developed some ice crystals that I didn’t see on the enchiladas that were frozen without sauce. It wasn’t a huge deal, and it wasn’t particularly noticeable after baking. However, I could see it becoming more of a problem as more ice develops if you freeze the enchiladas for a longer period of time. Plus, there was a faint metallic taste to the sauce that had been frozen, which likely has to do with the interaction between the aluminum foil and acidic enchilada sauce. In the end, I think I’d prefer to freeze any future enchiladas without sauce, and then just add it right before baking.

Which enchiladas fared better- those frozen with or without the sauce? // savvyeat.com

You have a few options for storage materials here. I’ve outlined each below.

1. Disposable aluminum pans.

These can be nice because they hold their shape well and are easy to use. However, if you are freezing a lot of meals, the cost can add up.

2. Glass, ceramic or metal baking pans.

These are great because they involve no garbage – no foil or disposable pans to get rid of after you’ve baked up your frozen dish. However, if you freeze enchiladas in your regular reusable baking pans, it means that those pans aren’t available for cooking other dishes for as long as your enchiladas are in the freezer.

3. Line a glass or ceramic baking pan with aluminum foil.

This is the method I typically use. It is far cheaper than buying a bunch of disposable pans, and keeps my glass baking dishes free for cooking other recipes. To freeze enchiladas this way, line your pan with aluminum foil before you fill it with your rolled enchiladas.

How to Freeze Enchiladas

Regardless of which storage materials you use to freeze your enchiladas, here’s how to do it:

1. Roll up your enchiladas.

Prepare the filling and assemble the enchiladas as directed, but don’t top with any cheese just yet – it will separate when it freezes, and won’t brown as well when you reheat your enchiladas. If you plan to freeze these for more than a few weeks and are using aluminum pans or foil, you may want to leave off the enchilada sauce as well, or it could take on a metallic taste over time.

Bake at 350°F for 7-10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

2. Freeze your enchiladas.

When the enchiladas are completely cooled, cover your enchiladas, pressing out as much air as possible. Be sure to label the dishes with what they are, when they were made and how to reheat them.

If you are using disposable aluminum pans or your regular baking pans without foil: Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the enchiladas, then cover with a lid or piece of foil. Freeze.

If you are lining a pan with aluminum foil: Cover the enchiladas with another piece of foil and pinch the edges of the top piece together with the edges of the bottom piece to create a packet, squeezing out the air as you go. Slide the entire pan in the freezer. When the enchiladas are frozen solid, lift the foil packet out of the pan and leave just the packet in the freezer. Now your pan is free to use again!

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat your oven to whatever temperature your recipe calls for. While the oven heats up, remove the foil and plastic wrap from the top of the enchiladas, and top with enchilada sauce and cheese as directed.

Bake as directed in your recipe, but add 5 minutes to the baking time.

NOTE: If you are using glass or ceramic pans, stick them in the cold oven before you turn on the heat. That way, the pans can gradually heat up and won’t crack from the shock of a big temperature change! Just add a few additional minutes to your baking time to adjust for the slow warm-up.

Looking for some great enchilada recipes? Try one of these:

Raisin Nut Granola

This raisin nut granola is chock-full of mixed nuts, giving it a bit more of a protein boost than you’d usually find in this breakfast and snack favorite.

Raisin Nut Granola // Savvy Eats

I think I’m in full-fledged nesting mode. I’m walking this fine line between wanting to DO ALL OF THE THINGS and you know, actually having the energy to do those things.  When you’re trying to not only get caught up on work, but ahead of schedule in anticipation of maternity leave, and also unpack a three-bedroom house, set up a nursery, take all the childbirth/infant care classes, stay active, build up a social network and actually enjoy your last few weeks as a family of two, things can be exhausting. So I’m trying to find balance in where I focus my energy.

The top priorities right now are spending quality time with Dan and our existing family and friends and prepping for the baby.  We’ve got the essentials unpacked and organized in the new house, so I’m turning my focus to setting up the baby’s room. If we get more unpacking done after the nursery is ready, that’s great, and if not…it can wait.

One of the easiest ways for me to get ready for the whirlwind that is coming in March is to double up a lot of my cooking. I make double or triple batches of a few dinner recipes each week, and freeze the leftovers. And I’ve been craving granola anyways lately, so I make big batches and freeze half as soon as the granola is cool. It’s a win-win – it doesn’t take any extra time for me, and it means we already have a few jars of raisin nut granola in the freezer, ready to go.

Raisin Nut Granola // savvyeat.com

This raisin nut granola is a favorite lately. It is based off of my nutty granola, but with fewer ingredients, all of which should be easy to find. We’re still restocking the pantry over here, so I wanted to keep things simple. Packed with nuts, two types of raisins and oats, it should be a healthy, hearty snack this spring!

Raisin Nut Granola

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Yield: Serves 12-16

Raisin Nut Granola

This raisin nut granola is chock-full of mixed nuts, giving it a bit more of a protein boost than you’d usually find in this breakfast and snack favorite.

Adapted from my nutty granola .

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 3 cups raw mixed nuts
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 11" x 13" baking pans.
  2. Stir the oats and nuts together in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk the brown sugar, coconut oil, honey and salt together in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low, whisking constantly, until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is beginning to bubble at the edges.
  4. Pour the coconut oil mixture over the dry ingredients and stir well to fully coat the oats and nuts. Divide the granola between the two prepared pans, spreading it into even layers.
  5. Bake the granola at 350F for 20 minutes, stirring the granola and rotating the pans between racks about halfway through.
  6. Stir in the dried fruit, and bake for another 10 minutes, until the granola is beginning to brown and toast.
  7. While the granola bakes, line a few wire racks with parchment paper. Spread the granola over the parchment paper to dry in even layers and cool.
http://www.savvyeat.com/raisin-nut-granola-recipe/

Here’s how to freeze granola for later!

 

Looking for more granola recipes? Try one of these!