Low-Oil No-Fry Enchiladas

I recently devised a way to make the enchiladas pliable so they don’t break or tear, but without frying them.


Typically, recipes for enchiladas require quickly frying the corn tortillas in oil, which can make quite a mess and also adds unnecessary fat to the enchiladas. So I recently devised a way to make the enchiladas pliable so they don’t break or tear, but without frying them. Rather than frying the tortillas, I spray one side lightly with vegetable or canola oil cooking spray and then heat them briefly in a hot skillet on both sides. The result is perfect tortillas for enchiladas that aren’t messy or greasy. I stuffed my enchiladas with cooked leftover chicken that I had on hand. But you could use beef, pork, shrimp, veggies, or even tofu as the main stuffing.   


  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 10-oz shredded cooked chicken or turkey
  • 1 4-oz. can diced green chiles
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • corn tortillas (This recipe makes 8-10 enchiladas, but have some extra tortillas on hand since some inevitably break and fall apart.)
  • vegetable or canola oil spray
  • 1 can enchilada sauce. Here I used red enchilada sauce, but green sauce is also good. Or, you could use mole sauce for a richer, deeper flavor.
  • 8-oz. shredded cheese, such as cheddar, pepper jack, or a Mexican cheese mix
  • 2-3 chopped scallions


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. F.
  2. Saute the sliced onion in a teaspoon of oil over medium heat in a non-stick skillet, just enough to soften them. Don’t brown the onions.
  3. Add the cooked chicken and chile peppers to the pan and heat through, stirring. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
  4. Heat a dry skillet over medium-high heat. Working one at a time, spray one side of a tortilla lightly with cooking spray and place it into the skillet, oiled side down. Cook for a few seconds until the tortilla begins to bubble, flip it and cook the tortilla, unsprayed side down, until it bubbles and has a few dark spots. Keep the cooked tortillas warm wrapped in a cloth kitchen towel and repeat with the remaining tortillas. 
  5. Working again with one tortilla at a time, put a prepared tortilla on an empty plate. Place some shredded chicken and a tablespoon or so of shredded cheese on one side of the tortilla. Roll the tortilla up and place into a lightly oiled, oven-proof baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and stuffing.
  6. At this point, you could cover and refrigerate the enchiladas to cook later. Before cooking, top the enchiladas with enchilada sauce, and remaining shredded cheese. 
  7. Cook in the oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. I like to lightly brown the enchiladas by turning on the broiler for that last couple of minutes of cooking.
  8. Remove the enchiladas from the oven, top with chopped scallions and serve.

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