Homemade Enchiladas are always loved by the whole family, the combination of corn tortillas filled with seasoned shredded chicken and smothered in delicious green enchilada sauce and melty cheese rival our favorite Mexican restaurant. However, reheating leftover enchiladas can often result in soggy enchiladas or unevenly heated results, diminishing the original taste and texture. The air fryer is a great way to reheat leftovers perfectly every time quickly. I’ll walk you through the steps to perfectly reheat enchiladas in an air fryer, ensuring a satisfying, crispy, and delicious outcome every time.
For this tutorial, I’ll be reheating this easy Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas recipe, but you can use these directions for any enchilada recipe you like. Enchiladas are perfect for reheating in the air fryer and were inspired by Air Fryer Chicken Flautas, and Instant Pot Pork Carnitas and pair perfectly with Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice, Mexican Rice, refried beans, or black beans on the side.
Why Use An Air Fryer?
Air fryers have become a game-changer in the kitchen due to their ability to recreate the crispy texture of fried foods using significantly less oil. When reheating enchiladas, the air fryer’s hot circulating air will help revive the crunchy outer layer while preserving the moistness inside, making it an ideal choice for a perfect reheating method. Air fryers eliminate the need for heating up the entire oven, thus heating up your home and generally, they produce great results in a shorter amount of time compared to a full-size oven when reheating your favorite Mexican food.
Reheating Enchiladas in the Air Fryer
Step 1: Prepare The Air Fryer Basket
Start by lining the bottom of the air fryer with aluminum foil or parchment paper and placing the air fry basket on top. This will make clean-up much easier after air frying. If needed lightly spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray or brush it with a small amount of oil to prevent sticking. Skip this step if your air fryer basket is non-stick.
Step 2: Pre-heat
Select your cook time to 5 minutes and temperature to 350° (175°C) and allow the air fryer to pre-heat for 3-5 minutes or until it beeps to signal that it is ready.
Step 3: Air Fry Enchiladas
Carefully place the enchiladas in a single layer inside the preheated air fryer basket. Avoid overcrowding, as this can lead to uneven cooking. Air Fry for 5 minutes.
Step 4: Work In Batches
Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to reheat the enchiladas in batches. The exact time may vary depending on the thickness of the enchiladas and the strength of your air fryer. It’s essential to keep an eye on them to prevent overcooking.
Step 4: Check For Doneness
After the initial 5 minutes, check the enchiladas for doneness. If they aren’t heated thoroughly yet, continue cooking for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Be mindful not to overcook them, as this can result in dry enchiladas.
Step 5: Monitor The Edges
For those who love a crispy outer layer, you can achieve this by cooking the enchiladas for an extra minute or two. Keep a close eye on them to prevent burning.
Step 6: Serve and Enjoy
Once the enchiladas are perfectly reheated, carefully remove them from the air fryer basket using tongs or a spatula. Plate them, and garnish them with your favorite toppings, such as fresh cilantro, green onions, sour cream,, pico de Gallo, salsa, or sliced avocado. Serve immediately, and enjoy the revitalized flavors and textures of your reheated enchiladas!
Tips for Reheating Success
To achieve the best results when reheating enchiladas in the air fryer, consider these additional tips:
- Cover With Foil: If you notice the edges of your enchiladas becoming too crispy or dark, you can loosely cover them with aluminum foil during the reheating process to slow down browning.
- Temperature Adjustment: The recommended reheating temperature is 350°F (175°C). However, if you prefer a faster reheating process, you can increase the temperature slightly, but be cautious not to exceed 400°F (200°C) to avoid burning outside before the interior is warmed through.
- Be Mindful of Time: The reheating time may vary depending on the air fryer model and the thickness of the enchiladas. Always check the enchiladas regularly to prevent overcooking, optionally use a digital temperature probe to determine if the internal temperature has reached 165°.
Additional Reheating Methods
Conventional Oven- To reheat frozen enchiladas using the oven method, place them in an oven-safe baking dish. To reheat, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C), place the frozen enchiladas in the oven, and bake for 20-30 minutes until they are heated through and the shredded cheese is bubbly and slightly browned. To cut down on the baking time place let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Microwave– Reheating in the microwave won’t retain the crispy outer edges but can be done by placing the enchiladas on a microwave-safe plate and heating for 1-2 minutes. Adding an additional 30 seconds if needed.
Toaster Oven- Place enchiladas on an aluminum-lined tray or an oven-safe dish. Preheat to 350° or medium-high heat and cook for 12-15 minutes or until they’re warmed through.
How To Freeze Enchiladas
Making a large batch of enchiladas and freezing them is an easy way to stock your freezer full of easy individual portions for nights you don’t want to cook.
- Cool the Enchiladas: Place the enchiladas in the refrigerator to cool completely before freezing. This helps prevent condensation inside the container, which can lead to freezer burn.
- Wrap Individual Enchiladas: For easier portion control and to prevent them from sticking together, consider wrapping single-serve portions of enchiladas in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. Alternatively, you can place parchment paper or plastic wrap between layers of enchiladas in a single container to freeze a larger batch.
- Use an Airtight Container or Freezer Bag: Transfer the wrapped enchiladas to an airtight container or a freezer bag. Make sure to remove as much air as possible from the bag to minimize freezer burn. Label the container or bag with the date and use within 2-3 months.
- Vacuum Seal: Using a Food Saver or vacuum sealer will increase the longevity of frozen enchiladas by up to 6 months.
To ensure your enchiladas turn out just right:
- Proper Storage: If you have leftover enchiladas from a previous meal, make sure to store them appropriately in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This prevents the enchiladas from drying out or absorbing other odors.
- Choose The Right Air Fryer: Ensure your air fryer is large enough to accommodate the enchiladas without overcrowding, as this can result in uneven reheating. For best results, use a basket-style air fryer that allows for even heat circulation.
- Preheat The Air Fryer: Before reheating your enchiladas, preheat the air fryer to around 350°F (175°C). This ensures a consistent temperature throughout the cooking process, resulting in evenly reheated enchiladas.
- Separate The Enchiladas: If they are stuck together, carefully separate them before reheating to ensure even cooking and crispy edges.
Store leftover enchiladas in an air-tight container or casserole dish with a tight-fitting lid for up to 3 days and reheat them in the air fryer for a quick lunch or busy weeknight dinner.
Different brands and different sizes of air fryer models may alter your outcome. When air frying something for the first time watch it closely to avoid burning the food. I’m using the Instant Pot Vortex Plus 6 qt Air Fryer on the air fryer setting, but any countertop air fryer appliance can be used to make frozen corn dogs. If you are unsure, please refer to your owner’s manual for specific cooking times and directions.
The Samsung full-size air fry range or Frigidaire Range With Air Fry can also be used to air fry larger batches of food when you need to air fry large amounts of food for a large group. The large air frying ovens require a separate tray or air frying basket. When using the Samsung I prefer this one, when using the Frigidaire I like this one. The large air frying oven is my favorite way to make a family-sized meal.
Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don’t leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with a high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove