These easy vegetarian enchiladas are cooked entirely in the air fryer, perfect for a small batch on a weeknight! The refried bean and cheese requires no pre-cooking – just assemble and bake. This recipe is so versatile, you can choose your favorite ingredients and follow the same steps to make the perfect air fryer enchiladas for your own family.
👩🍳 Christine’s Notes: An easy way to make enchiladas on a weeknight
Enchiladas are one of my favorite meals, but they can be intimidating. The sauce, the filling, the assembly, the baking – making them from scratch is time consuming, no way around that. This recipe is designed to be extra simple. We use ready made ingredients, prepare the enchiladas cold, then bake them in the air fryer. Easy as that!
🛒 Ingredient Notes & Variations
My super simple combo for today is:
- Prepared enchilada sauce. Enchiladas are really all about the sauce! A rich red sauce is my pick for this recipe.
- 6in (15cm) Corn tortillas. Gotta be corn! Good corn tortillas won’t get too soggy, and they have a delicious flavor they bring to the dish. I find this size fits nicely in the small pan for my air fryer. These are easily available in America but less so in the UK (I get Mexgrocer corn tortillas on Amazon) but you could probably squeeze the larger Old El Paso corn tortillas into a small pan if you need to, even if it means cutting them down or rolling the sides in.
- Cheese. Because of course. I’m not too picky with the cheese here, but I do like a cheddar-mozzarella blend for a good mix of flavor + melty stretchiness.
- Refried beans. If you don’t want to use canned refried beans, you can make this with 100% cheese or you could use the black bean filling from these burritos which will have a fresher taste.
- Toppings. Whatever floats your boat. I use sour cream, some onions and cilantro (fresh coriander).
⚠️ Adapting This Recipe?
Great! My goal here is just to give you a template to prepare delicious enchiladas in the air fryer, so while I am using beans and cheese for a Tex Mex classic, feel free to adapt this to your liking! But it’s important to note that my recipe assumes that you are using cold fillings. The cook time reflects the fact that we have to cook the enchiladas entirely through from cold.
If you pre-cook a filling, it won’t take nearly as long. Reduce the cook time in Step 5 to 10 minutes and that should do just fine.
📌 Essential Equipment
- Obviously an air fryer, but I’d also point out that you need one on the larger side, something that can fit an 8×8 square pan inside. Otherwise you’ll need to scale the recipe down. My Instant Vortex is just the right size.
- An 8×8 cake pan is what I used for this recipe. It makes 10 enchiladas (6in / 15cm sized tortillas).
- Ideally you’ll want a silicone mat to place in your air fryer basket, just to stop yourself from placing the pan directly on the air fryer basket where it could scratch.
- And your life will be a lot easier if you have some silicone mitts to use to grab the hot pan out of the air fryer basket at the end.
🍽️ Serving Suggestions: Making an easy meal out or air fryer enchiladas
- Paired with a packet of microwave rice, you’ve got a great dinner for four. That’s 2 x adult portions and 2 x kid portions.
- Call me crazy but add some fried eggs if you want something brunchy.
- A big salad as a side dish is always a wise choice. While the enchiladas cook, you would have time to put together something like this Chickpea Salad with Avocado, Mozzarella & Tomato or something leafy with a creamy dressing (try this Smoky Yogurt Ranch Dressing).
- You can also use your air fryer to make some epic broccoli – it doesn’t take very long to cook, so just set this going as soon as the enchiladas come out. Squeeze a little lime over the broccoli if you like.
Ideas for your leftover beans
It’s worth mentioning that whether you use refried beans or a can of plain black beans for this recipe, if you’re starting with a full sized can, you’re going to have a little left over at the end. They can be worked into any of these recipes, either as a core component or a side dish:
Easy Air Fryer Enchiladas with Beans and Cheese
- 10 6in (15cm) corn tortillas
- 2 cups (200 g) grated cheese
- 14 oz (400 g) canned enchilada sauce
- 14 oz (400 g) canned refried beans
- Brush an 8×8 inch pan with oil, then pour a thin layer of enchilada sauce over the bottom.
- Get rolling! On each tortilla, smear a little enchilada sauce over one side and then top with a couple dollops of beans and a few pinches of grated cheese. (If your corn tortillas are quite firm you will need to warm them on a hot frying pan before you can roll them without breaking.)
- Roll, place in the pan, and repeat until you have 10 enchiladas (if you have more tortillas available and can fit more around the sides, go for it).
- Pour the remaining sauce over the top.
- Cover the tray with foil. Make sure it can tuck in under the bottom of the pan so that the air fryer fan doesn't blow it upwards where it can catch on to the heating element. Bake at 180C (360F) for 20 minutes.
- Remove the foil and cover the enchiladas with cheese. Return to the air fryer for a further 5-8 minutes, until the cheese is melted and browned.
- Let them sit for 5 minutes or so before slicing in and serving.