There are a few great alternatives to frying tortillas that can help make deliciously crispy and flavorful enchiladas without all the added fat and calories of deep frying. Here are some of the best options:
One of the easiest and healthiest ways to prepare tortillas for enchiladas is to bake them. Simply preheat your oven to 400°F and place the tortillas directly on a baking sheet. Bake for 5-10 minutes, flipping halfway through, until lightly browned and crispy. The oven’s dry heat will crisp up the tortillas nicely without the need for any added oil.
Broiling is very similar to baking and can also create delicious crispiness without frying. Place tortillas on a baking sheet and broil for 2-3 minutes per side, checking frequently to avoid burning. Keep a close eye on them as broiler temps can quickly burn tortillas if you don’t watch them.
Believe it or not, the microwave can also be used to prepare tortillas for enchiladas! Simply place tortillas between paper towels and microwave for 30-60 seconds until warmed and pliable. This quick method steams the tortillas, allowing them to become soft and flexible for rolling without making them crisp.
Heating tortillas on a hot griddle or skillet is a great way to lightly toast them and make them perfect for enchiladas. Place a dry nonstick pan over medium heat and cook tortillas for 30-60 seconds per side. The quick contact with the hot surface will warm them up while adding a bit of color and crunch.
Oven roasting is a hands-off approach to crisping up tortillas. Toss tortillas with just a teaspoons of oil, spread on a baking sheet in a single layer, and roast at 425°F for 5-10 minutes until crisped and lightly golden brown. The small amount of oil gives great crunch without the hassle of frying.
Brushing with Oil
For a very light crispness, simply brush tortillas lightly with a teaspoon or two of olive oil or canola oil per side. Bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking, until lightly browned and crisped. The thin coating of oil gives a nice crunch without excess grease.
Nonstick cooking spray can be used to mimic the crisping effects of frying while using way less oil. Spray both sides of tortillas lightly with oil, then bake or broil until crisp on the edges. The light mist of oil crisps up the tortillas beautifully.
Comparison of Frying Alternatives
|2-3 minutes per side
|Crisp, browned spots
|30-60 seconds per side
|Crisp, lightly browned
|Brushing with Oil
|Mimics fried texture
Benefits of Tortilla Frying Alternatives
The options above provide several advantages over traditional deep frying:
- Lower in fat, calories, and grease compared to deep frying
- Allow you to control the level of crispness
- Most alternatives are quick and simple
- No need to heat a pot of oil on the stovetop
- Less mess and safety concerns than frying
- More budget-friendly since you use little to no oil
- Can be more flavorful by allowing seasonings or sauces to soak in
Tips for Frying-Free Tortillas
Here are some useful tips to ensure tortilla crispness without frying:
- Make sure tortillas are at room temperature before cooking
- Brush both sides lightly with oil for added browning if desired
- Watch closely to avoid burning
- Stack baked tortillas with parchment between for crispness after cooking
- Cut before cooking for taco bowl shells or chips
- Use corn tortillas for the best crispness and texture
- Flavor as desired with spices like cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, etc.
With a variety of easy baking, broiling, griddling, and roasting methods, it’s simple to achieve deliciously crispy tortillas for enchiladas and more without the hassle and unhealthiness of deep frying. Next time your recipe calls for fried tortillas, give one of these healthier alternatives a try for crispness without all the excess grease.