What to do with Leftover Enchilada Sauce

What To Do With Leftover Enchilada Sauce: 10 Ways

Last Updated on March 17, 2024 by Shari Mason

Create your own homemade enchilada sauce and experience its superior taste compared to store-bought versions. Whether you prefer red or green, customize it to suit your family’s preferences for a cherished meal! #HomemadeEnchiladaSauce #FamilyFavorites 👨‍🍳🌮

If you have an extra enchilada sauce and want to save it, you can use it by cooking many enchilada recipes instead.

Read on to learn what to do with leftover enchilada sauce with these delicious recipes you must try.

10 Delicious Recipes With Leftover Enchilada Sauce

1. Chicken Tamale Casserole

Chicken Tamale Casserole on a Plate

This recipe is a traditional Mexican chicken dish packed with flavors of tamales. 

  • Chicken breast (cooked)
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Ground cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Cream style corn
  • Corn muffin mix
  • Green chiles (chopped)
  • Red enchilada sauce

Combine the cheese, milk, eggs, ground cumin, chili powder, cream-style corn, corn muffin mix, and green chiles and stir in a large bowl.

Bake in a preheated oven at 400° until it sets. Pour the red sauce and top with chicken and the remaining cheese. Continue baking at 400° for 15 minutes or until the cheese melts.


2. Beef Enchilada Mac & Cheese

This recipe is beef enchiladas and mac & cheese blended into one.

  • Ground beef (cooked) 
  • Pasta shells (cooked)
  • Heavy cream
  • Cheese
  • Red enchilada sauce 
  • Ground cumin
  • Kosher salt 
  • Tomatoes (chopped)
  • Green onions (chopped)

Combine the cream, red enchilada sauce, cumin, and salt in a large pot and cook on medium-high heat. Whisk until the mixture bubbles.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the cheese. Once it smoothens, add the cooked ground beef and pasta shells and top with tomatoes, green onions, and cheese.

Read: Why Are My Tamales Taking So Long To Cook?

3. Vegetarian Wet Burritos

This recipe combines grains and beans, wrapped and rolled into burritos, and daubed in green enchilada sauce.

  • Grain Medley
  • Ground cumin
  • Adobo seasoning
  • Oregano
  • Kosher salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Red kidney beans (rinsed, drained)
  • Large burrito-size flour tortillas
  • Cheese (shredded)
  • Green enchilada sauce

Mix the grains, water, adobo, cumin, oregano, salt, garlic, and onion powders in a large pot. Cover and simmer to boil. Remove from heat and add the beans to the pot.

“If it was enchiladas, it was – tortillas, beans and meat. If it was burritos, it was still – tortillas, beans and meat.”

— Felipe Esparza, Mexican Comedian, Actor

Stuff the tortillas with the mixture and add shredded cheese. Roll them into burrito wraps, place them in a pan, and fill with remaining green sauce.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Add more cheese and bake for another 10 minutes or until it melts.

Read: What To Do With Chicken Stock Leftovers?

4. Beef Enchilada Lasagna

It is a regular spaghetti sauce recipe but only made more special with red enchilada sauce.  

  • Ground beef
  • Onions (chopped)
  • Garlic cloves (minced)
  • Stewed tomatoes (tomato sauce or tomato paste)
  • Red enchilada sauce
  • Ground cumin
  • Egg
  • Cottage cheese
  • Mexican cheese blend (shredded)
  • Flour tortillas
  • Cheddar cheese (shredded)

Heat the beef, onions, and garlic until the meat is cooked. Add in the cumin, stewed tomatoes, and enchilada sauce. Once it boils, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Mix the egg and cottage cheese in a separate bowl.

Lay the meat sauce in a baking dish and layer it with tortillas, egg/cottage cheese mixture, cheese blend, and meat sauce. Repeat layers until it piles up.

Sprinkle with cheddar cheese on top. Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for another 10 minutes.

5. Poach Eggs with Enchilada Sauce

It is the easiest recipe with your homemade sauce which can be perfectly paired with Mexican rice for breakfast.

  • Eggs
  • Homemade enchilada sauce (salsa roja)

Pour the enchilada sauce into a large pot and bring it to a low boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium-low.

Drop the eggs with spaces in between them. Simmer until the white portions of the eggs are set.

6. Chicken Salsa

Chicken Salsa on a Pan

This recipe is sure to please everyone at your next party or get-together.

  • Vegetable oil
  • Chicken breast (sliced)
  • Black beans (rinsed, drained)
  • Corn kernels
  • Flour tortillas
  • Cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • Homemade enchilada sauce
  • Green onions (chopped)

Cook the chicken in a large skillet over medium heat. Set aside once cooked. Combine the enchilada sauce, beans, and corn. 

Pour the sauce/bean/corn mixture into tortillas and add chicken, cheese, and green onions. Fold it up and place it into the pan to cook. Repeat this process.

Fill the folded enchiladas with the remaining sauce and cheese in the skillet. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese melts.

7. One Pan Enchilada Pasta

It is an easy-cooked, delicious meal perfect for busy weeknight dinners.

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Onion (diced)
  • Garlic (minced)
  • Chicken (cooked, shredded)
  • Red enchilada sauce
  • Chicken broth
  • Pasta (short-cut)
  • Cheddar cheese (shredded)

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and cook the chicken, onion, and garlic over medium heat. Pour the red enchilada sauce and add the broth and pasta. 

Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, but stir every 5 minutes. Remove the cover and cook for another 5 minutes or until the liquid lessens.

Turn to low heat and add cheese. Cover and cook for another 3 minutes or until the cheese melts.

8. Enchilada Breakfast Casserole

It is an all-in-one recipe that encompasses enchiladas and breakfast casseroles.

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Salt
  • Salsa
  • Green enchilada sauce
  • Sour cream
  • Corn tortillas
  • Tater tots 
  • Sausage (cooked, pounded)
  • Bacon (cooked, pounded)
  • Cheese (shredded)
  • chives

Cook eggs, milk, and salt together and whisk over medium heat. Once the egg is cooked, add salsa and continue whisking. Set aside. 

Mix green sauce and sour cream. Set aside

Lay the green sauce/sour cream mixture in a baking dish and layer it with tortillas, eggs/milk/salt mixture, bacon, sausage, tater tots, green sauce/sour cream mixture, and cheese. Repeat layers until it piles up.

Cover with nonstick foil and bake at 350° in the oven for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and add some more cheese. Bake for another 10 minutes or until the cheese melts.

9. Chicken Enchilada Soup

This recipe incorporates chicken enchiladas’ flavor notes into a thick, delicious soup.

  • Chicken breast
  • Chicken stock
  • Ground cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Cayenne powder
  • Onions (chopped) 
  • White rice (long grain)
  • Salsa (fresh or jarred)
  • Black and pinto beans
  • Red enchilada sauce

Cook the breast, stock, cumin, chili, cayenne powder, and onions in a large Dutch oven. Partially cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.

Pull the bones out of the chicken meat and cut the meat into small, thin pieces. Cook the rice, salsa, beans, and sauce with the small and thinly-sliced chicken in the Dutch oven and simmer for 45 minutes or until the rice is cooked.    

10. Corn, Chicken & Bell Pepper Enchilada 

Chicken & Bell Pepper Enchilada in an Aluminum Foil Pan

It is an improved chicken enchiladas recipe featuring corn and green bell peppers. 

  • Onion (chopped)
  • Green bell pepper (chopped)
  • Salt
  • Garlic (crushed)
  • Cream cheese
  • Milk
  • Homemade red enchilada sauce
  • Whole-kernel corn (rinsed, drained)
  • Chicken (cooked)
  • Cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • Large soft flour tortillas

Cook the onions, garlic, green bell pepper, and salt until softened. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the cream cheese, milk, and enchilada sauce.

Cook until the cream cheese is melted, and then add the corn, chicken, and shredded cheddar cheese.

Stuff the tortillas with the mixture and roll them into burrito wraps. Place the burritos in a pan and pour the remaining enchilada sauce. Sprinkle it with cheese and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted.


u003cstrongu003eHow long is leftover enchilada sauce good for?u003c/strongu003e

Your leftover enchilada sauce is good in the fridge for up to a week, provided it is properly stored in an airtight container. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eWe must note that your leftover sauce will thicken while stored in the fridge, and you can thin it out by adding water or chicken broth.

u003cstrongu003eCan you freeze unused enchilada sauce?u003c/strongu003e

You can freeze your unused enchilada sauce for up to three months. However, if left frozen for longer than three months, the sauce will decline in quality and flavor.

u003cstrongu003eCan enchilada sauce spoil?u003c/strongu003e

It will spoil if left at room temperature for over two hours u003ca href=u0022[u003c/au003eu003ca href=u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopeneru0022u003e1u003c/au003eu003ca href=u0022]u003c/au003e. Therefore, you must refrigerate or freeze it if you’ll no longer use it.

u003cstrongu003eHow do I know if my leftover enchilada sauce is bad?u003c/strongu003e

Your leftover enchilada sauce has already gone when it gives off some rancid odors, has a sour taste, watery texture, and discoloration due to mold growth u003ca href=u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopeneru0022u003e[2]u003c/au003e.

Key Takeaways

Homemade enchilada sauce will always be a cut above any store-bought or canned enchilada sauce, given it is made according to your taste and preference.

More importantly, you now have many recipes to work with, and you have to ensure that your leftover enchilada sauce is stored properly in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

This way, you won’t have to deal with a spoiled and wasted enchilada sauce; instead, you will enjoy it with the abovementioned recipes.


Shari Mason

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