Bake up homemade tortillas filled with chicken, cheese, and enchilada sauce in a 3D pan to create these creepy Enchilada Skulls. Your Halloween party guests or Day of the Dead dinner guests will be amazed.
How cool are these Enchilada Skulls?
They look so real. I can't wait to serve them this year at a Halloween dinner.
I have a group of food bloggers who will be visiting me in October and I want to serve a super impressive meal that is fairly easy to prepare but has a definite WOW factor to it.
I decided to revisit an idea I used a few years ago to make Stuffed Pizza Skulls. They were so popular and so easy to make but I decided to change them up a bit to go with my Day of the Dead themed dining room. Turning them into enchilada skulls worked perfectly.
The pizza skulls were made using store-bought pizza dough and were filled with pepperoni, sauce, and cheese. They were made in a Wilton Skull Pan which is sadly no longer available.
Being I wanted to be able to share this fun holiday recipe idea with you I decided to purchase a new Nordic Ware skull pan. I love it. It creates amazingly realistic looking skulls.
To make the enchilada skulls I knew I'd have to put in a tiny bit more effort because I don't have access to store-bought tortilla dough. It's been years since I made homemade tortillas and I wasn't even sure if the dough would work well in the pan. I was so excited that it did.
In 2018 I used the same dough to create Burrito Skulls.
Once baked the tortilla skulls looked like an aged skull. The off white color was perfect. They have a perfectly crispy texture. When you cut into the skull its cracks open and the red enchilada filling oozes out. It's so cool!
I personally love chicken and cheese in my enchiladas so that's what I used, but you can stuff your enchilada skulls with your favorite fillings
I used homemade enchilada sauce because I can control the spice. I have wimpy taste buds so I make my sauce really mild.
Like things hot? Then throw in more spice. Want to keep if easy, use store-bought sauce.
Here is a video tutorial of the process including how I made the homemade tortillas. The recipe is below.
You can find the skull pan and other items used to make these enchilada skulls at Amazon.com (commission earned for sales).
Enchilada Skulls Recipe
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup lard or shortening
- ¾ – 1 cup water
- 1 ½ cup shredded chicken
- 1 recipe enchilada sauce OR 1 ⅔ cups of your favorite sauce
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon water
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl and blend with a fork or whisk.
Add half of the lard and use a pastry cutter to cut the lard into the flour.
Add the remaining lard and continue to cut it into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs.
Slowly pour in the water stirring as you go until the dough comes together.
Add at least ¾ of a cup of the water then only add any remaining water as needed.
You want the dough to come together in a cohesive ball and not be sticky.
Cover the dough and set aside for 10-20 minutes.
Stir together the chicken, enchilada sauce and cheese.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut the dough into 6 equal portions.
Dust your work surface with flour.
Roll out a portion of dough thinning out the edges.
Drape the dough over one skull in a 6 cavity non-stick pan allowing the dough to form the skull shape.
Spoon in ⅙th of the chicken mixture.
Whisk together the egg and water.
Brush the top edge of the dough that hangs over the edge of the skull.
Fold the dough over the chicken, cutting off any excess dough and pinching the seams together.
Brush the top with egg wash.
Repeat filling all 6 skull cavities in the pan.
Bake for 24-26 minutes until the top crust starts to turn light golden brown.
Remove and let cool in pan for 5 minutes.
Place a cutting board over the skulls and carefully flip the pan and board upside down so the skulls gently fall out onto the cutting board.
Serve and enjoy.
- 1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large shallot finely chopped
- 2 medium cloves garlic minced
- 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder*
- 1 ¼ teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 ¼ teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 ½ cups tomato sauce
- *for a spicier sauce add more chili powder
Heat oil in a skillet set over medium high heat just until shimmering.
Add shallot and stir occasionally until light golden brown.
Stir together garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, salt, and sugar.
Add to cooked shallots and stir constantly for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
Pour in the tomato sauce.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook for 8 minutes, stirring as needed.
Remove from heat and use in your favorite enchilada recipe.
If you are hosting a Dia de Los Muertos party or want some skull-shaped food ideas for your Halloween party, be sure to check out all these fun Day of the Dead Recipes.
Have fun making your Enchilada Skulls. If you take any pictures to share online be sure to mention Hungry Happenings, link back to this recipe post, and use the hashtag #hungryhappenings . If you'd like to be featured in my Readers' Gallery, send your picture to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click on this link to find more of my great Halloween recipes!
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Love, love , love the idea!!!!
Costco actually sold fresh organic tortilla dough. I used that and canned enchilada sauce which made this recipe much easier for me. It was a big hit at our Halloween dinner this year. My oldest son said it was the best enchilada he has ever had! Thanks for the recipe! PS I used the big skull pan from Nordicware; just doubled your recipe and it worked great!
I am so happy to hear this recipe worked out so well with store-bought fresh tortilla dough and enchilada sauce and that your son loved it so much. I am excited to hear that you baked your enchilada skull in the large pan and that it worked out so well. To help out other readers who might want to bake it in the large pan can you tell me how long it took to bake?
I'm planning on making these this Halloween, and I have a question for you regarding amounts. Your enchilada sauce recipe makes 1 1/2 cups of sauce. You call for " 1 recipe enchilada sauce OR 1 2/3 cups of your favorite sauce", and I am wondering if there is a reason for the different amounts. I will most likely use canned or jarred enchilada sauce and I want to make this right.
I'm happy you are planning to make these for Halloween this year. I'm glad you asked about the quantities. The recipe for the homemade sauce does actually make about 1 2/3 cups so I corrected that amount in the recipe. So go ahead and use 1 2/3 cup of jarred sauce. You can serve your enchiladas with more sauce too. Just warm it up before serving. Enjoy!
I don’t have a skull pan can I just put the tortilla out flat and then wrap it around filling out can I use another Silicon pan for a different shape or a brownie pan that is already divided into smallish rectangles.
Yes, you can use this recipe in any small baking pan or silicone mold. The indentations might not be as pronounced using a silicone mold but that will depend on how deep the indentations are in the mold. The brownie pan would work great. Have fun and enjoy!
I made several batches. Loved both the burrito and enchilada skulls. I was wondering if you had any ideas what I can use to make the eyes black or brown.
I'm so happy to hear that you have enjoyed both the burrito skulls and enchilada skulls!!! You can use a black food coloring marker to make the eyes black or you can brush them with some melted butter and sprinkle on chili powder or any other spice to darken the eyes. Enjoy!
Have wanted to try this since first seeing it but have a question. The Nordicware pan says one should grease the pan but I dont see this step here. Should we grease? Thanks!
I did not grease the pan and the skulls came out perfectly. I think there is enough fat in the dough that it won't stick to the non-stick surface in the pan. Have fun making your skulls!
Can you make corn masa tortillas instead of flour ones for this recipe? I bought the Nordicware pan already. The filling looks good and I will use. I make my enchilada sauce differently using dried whole chilies which are easily accessed here in NM.
I have not tried using corn tortillas with this recipe. The corn tortillas that I have eaten have all been quite a bit drier and more brittle than flour tortillas so I'd worry the wouldn't hold up well in this recipe, but perhaps with a homemade corn tortilla, you can make them a bit thicker. I'd love to hear how it works if you give it a try. I'm sure they will taste amazing with your homemade enchilada sauce. Enjoy and have fun!
With corn masa they may turn out more like skull shaped tamales! 😂 Not terrible but not the look I’m going for!
That is a good point. The corn tortilla will definitely have a different look than the flour tortilla. The taste would be good but I'm not sure I'd like the yellowish skull.
Can these be frozen after or before they are baked?
Yes, you can freeze them once they are baked. If you tried to freeze them prior to baking you'd need to leave them in the pan in order for them to retain their skull shape. I would personally bake them, then remove them from the pan, then reheat them before serving. I have refrigerated them and reheated them at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. If you heat them from frozen it would probably take about 25 minutes to reheat them, maybe more.
Can you make these and freeze them to bake later?
You would need to freeze them in the pan so when they are baked they will have the shape of the skull. I would personally bake them, then remove them from the pan, then reheat them before serving. I have refrigerated them and reheated them at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. If you heat them from frozen it would probably take about 25 minutes to reheat them.
Sure wish this recipe could work with store bought flour tortillas What do u think ?
Sadly store bought tortillas won't sink down into the skull pan well enough to form the skull shape. You need fresh dough. You can use prepared pizza dough or crescent dough if you don't want to make your own dough.
These are so creepy and cool at the same time, maybe I should have a party just to serve them!!
I definitely think you should have a Halloween party!