Freezing food makes life so much easier! Sometimes our lives are just far too disorganized and chaotic to base them around the volatile nature of food. Some foods last longer than others, and some last for no time at all until they begin to spoil.
However, as tempting as it might be to just throw all of our perishable food into the freezer to keep it longer, not all foods hold up to the freezing process so well.
Some foods can be ruined by the freezing process, and some can just not be frozen whatsoever! So where do cooked foods stand? Can cooked foods even be placed into the freezer?
One of the most popular cooked foods is enchiladas, packed to the brim with sauces, cheeses, meat, and spices. Can you place these into the freezer as one whole thing? And can you place them into the freezer once they have already been cooked through?
If you’ve made a massive batch of enchiladas that you now need to find something to do with, you might be wondering whether you can place them into the freezer. Before you do, let’s take a look at whether you should!
Can You Freeze Cooked Enchiladas?
Yes! You definitely can freeze enchiladas after they have been fully cooked. Enchiladas take surprisingly well to the process and will come out tasting and feeling mostly the same after a quick reheat.
If you are planning on freezing some cooked enchiladas, you should aim to only freeze them for up to 3 months at a time. This is the optimal time to aim for in order to keep the enchiladas at their absolute best. If you were to keep your enchiladas in the freezer past this time frame, you will likely experience a change in texture and flavor.
Whenever food is frozen, the very molecular structure of said food is altered, as the molecules bond closer together.
Thus, when food is thawed, it bounces back to its original form, and it will be slightly, but not noticeably, changed. Leaving food frozen for too long leaves it susceptible to freezer burn, which ruins the taste and texture of certain foods.
Can You Freeze Non-Cooked Enchiladas?
You can definitely freeze non-cooked enchiladas, though it may not necessarily be worthwhile. Provided you have prepared each of the separate ingredients that go into enchiladas, you can store each ingredient separately in order to save on space, and maintain freshness.
There is no inherent benefit to freezing the enchilada ingredients in one combined form before cooking, but it most certainly can be done, if it is more convenient for you.
How Should You Freeze Enchiladas?
If you are planning to freeze a set of enchiladas, you should make sure to place them into an appropriate container, so as to keep them air-tight.
However, the absolute best thing to do is to wrap them up in plastic wrap. Wrapping your enchiladas in plastic wrap will help to prevent them from unfurling in the freezer, regardless of whether they’ve been cooked or not.
Plastic wrap also deals well with the freezing process, unlike certain materials, which can be ruined in the freezer.
If you are freezing non-cooked enchiladas with the ingredients separated, you should try to put each element into separate plastic containers or bags, to keep them fresh and isolated, which helps to keep their tastes consistent.
For anything that can’t be placed into a freezer bag, ensure that any container you do use is freezer safe.
Can You Refreeze Enchiladas That Have Been Allowed to Thaw?
Provided your enchiladas have been allowed to thaw in the fridge, it is totally safe to refreeze them. If your enchiladas have been thawing within the fridge, they won’t have been susceptible to developing mold or bacteria, as they cannot thrive in such cold conditions.
However, if your enchiladas have been allowed to thaw at room temperature, while you can place them back into the freezer, it may be slightly risky, as bacteria will have been able to develop.
You should also be aware that you might notice minor changes or problems with your enchiladas, should you choose to refreeze them once thawed. As we mentioned earlier, the freezing process involves warping the molecules of food, which is then reversed once a portion of food is thawed.
If you were to put a bit of food through the freezing and thawing process multiple times, the warping of the molecules could cause irreparable changes to the flavor and texture of the food. Thus, you should aim to only ever freeze something once.
You can also refreeze non-cooked enchiladas that have thawed, however, you should check that each individual ingredient can be safely refrozen, as some may, and some may not.
Freezing enchiladas can certainly make the delicious and wholesome meal last a lot longer, however, it may also bring a bevy of problems, if not done properly.
Whether placing cooked or non-cooked enchiladas into the freezer, you should ensure that they are wrapped firmly in plastic wrap, so that they do not unroll during the freezing process, which can occasionally cause foods to expand.
You should also make sure to remove and consume your enchiladas within three months of placing them into the freezer, so as to keep them at their absolute best quality. Leaving them longer can leave them susceptible to freezer burn, which can ruin foods massively.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Reheat Frozen Enchiladas?
Luckily, reheating enchiladas that have been frozen is just as easy as cooking them the first time. Simply place them into the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, for around 20 minutes, or place them into a microwave oven.
You want to be careful that you don’t end up cooking them more than you did the first time, and instead aim to simply heat them up, so that they don’t burn.
How Long Does Cooked Enchiladas Last In The Fridge?
Cooked enchiladas can last in the fridge for upwards of three days, at most. Past this amount of days, you may notice that they have spoiled slightly, or that the tastes have changed for the worst. Generally, you should aim to eat leftover enchiladas as quickly as you can.
How Do You Keep Enchiladas From Getting Soggy?
Enchiladas become soggy when they soak up the enchilada sauce. In order to prevent this from happening, you should quickly fry your tortillas in hot oil before filling them up with the ingredients. This helps to prevent too much of the enchilada sauce from being absorbed!