Italian Sausage Enchiladas – Don’t be afraid to substitute ingredients

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Sometimes I make a recipe exactly as it’s written.  Maybe because I’m not familiar with the dish.  Or because it’s a baked good that will just work better if I follow directions.  Or because I like the results of that specific recipe.

But other times, I use recipes as a jumping off point.  I swap out ingredients for what I have in my pantry or fridge.  This is how I cook most often.  I love to read comments from readers that say something like, “I loved this recipe.  I used chicken broth instead of beef, added more veggies, skipped the green chilis and topped it with cornbread.”  It’s not the same recipe at all, but the reader loved it! She used her creativity and shopped her pantry to serve her family a meal that they all liked.  Success!

One reason I like enchiladas so much is that they are a prime candidate for substituting.  These enchiladas are a recent result of shopping my pantry and fridge for ingredients.  They are simple to make and my family loved them.

Here’s what you’ll need.  Feel free to substitute as needed.  The recipe makes about 9-10 enchiladas.  The picture above only shows part of the recipe.

Italian Sausage Enchiladas – Don’t be afraid to substitute ingredients

Serves: 6-8 servings

  • 1 lb. Italian sausage
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 8 oz Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
  • 9-10 flour tortillas
  • 10 oz enchilada sauce
  • 15 oz tomato sauce
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Brown sausage and onion in large skillet. Drain and rinse under hot water to remove extra grease.
  2. Mix ⅔ of the cheese with the meat, reserving some cheese for the top.
  3. Stir together enchilada sauce, tomato sauce and garlic powder.
  4. Spread some sauce on bottom of 9x13 pan.
  5. Fill tortillas with meat and cheese. Roll and place in pan.
  6. Cover with sauce. Top with cheese.
  7. Bake 30 minutes or till hot at 350 degrees.

Do you feel comfortable substituting ingredients or do you stick to the recipe?

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  1. I’m not a good substituter but I might cut back a little on that 12 tsp. garlic powder 🙂

  2. I am definitely one for substituting! It began as an attempt to work around my son’s food allergies, but as I’ve become more comfortable in the kitchen, substituting has taken over. My husband is not always a fan of my substituting ingredients, though. :-/ These enchiladas look yummy and so easy!

  3. I make thes also with what ever is in the fridge, I use Venison that has been cooked in a crock pot with taco season, they are a big hit, they taste just like shredded beef.

  4. This is how I most often cook… partly because there are certain ingredients that I simply will not use (yes, celery, I’m talking to you!) or because I forget to pick up something at the grocery store and don’t feel like going back out.

    These enchiladas look delicious and would never have thought about using sausage! Can’t wait to try them.

  5. I was given your website from a fellow homeschooler and I love it so far. I made this last night for my family and wanted to share. I have a 7 y.o. DD who has textural issues with anything “ground”…she will not eat ground meat, chicken, turkey, pork etc. so I substituted shredded chicken that I made. I also used a sweet onion as that is what I had on hand and the family had rave reviews! This is going in the “to make again” file. Thanks for the help planning and organizing the dinner time meals.

  6. Suzanne says:

    Would this freeze well, do you think? And if so, should I cook them before or after the freezer?


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