Best Chicken Enchiladas Ever!

Seriously The BEST Chicken Enchiladas Ever! |

I know that food bloggers are never prone to hyperbole.  ;)

But with these enchiladas, I stand by the title that I gave to this recipe when I first blogged about it in 2009.  These seriously are the best chicken enchiladas ever!

Actually, I’m ok saying that because I actually learned how to make this recipe for enchiladas from my friend, Liisa.  She was my roommate for a few years back in my early twenties when I was learning how to cook.  And let’s just say that I won the foodie roommate jackpot getting to live with a friend like her.  She not only cooked breakfast, lunch, and dinner for herself almost every day, but she equally as obsessed with Mexican food as I was.  And these chicken enchiladas were her specialty.

Nowadays, most of my friends would probably tell you that these chicken enchiladas are my specialty.  I can’t even begin to count the times that I have made them.  They are my go-to dish to bring to friends in need, they are my favorite freezer meal, they are perfect for Cinco De Mayo, and they are the epitome of a crowd-pleaser whenever I bring them to a gathering.  Even just last night, I made a batch to take to a World Series watch party (#goroyals!), and when I went to grab the pan afterwards it was completely empty and washed and dried and waiting for me.  (Yes, my friends know that doing my dishes is my love language.)  ;)

So since this recipe has been buried in the archives for years, I thought I would pull it back up today to share the enchilada love with you.  Because I’m pretty positive you need these in your life now.


Seriously The BEST Chicken Enchiladas Ever! |

First off, here’s a photo of the enchiladas that I snapped back in 2009.  Fun fact, this was actually the third recipe ever posted on Gimme Some Oven.

Seriously The BEST Chicken Enchiladas Ever! |

And here they are today.  Same enchiladas, but I’m going through a garnishing phase now, so they get a little sprinkle of cilantro.  ;)

Really, these enchiladas are pretty simple.  They are filled with a chicken/onion/green chile mixture, black beans, and shredded cheese.  But the secret ingredient which is an absolute must is…

Red Enchilada Sauce |

The special sauce.  Oh, this sauce.  After the first time I tried it, I knew that my store-bought red enchilada sauce days were over.  It is a New Mexico-style sauce (where Liisa is from), and it basically turns any enchilada dish you make into pure gold.  And, it’s super easy to make using spices and ingredients that you probably already have on hand.

Trust me.  You won’t regret taking the extra time to make this red enchilada sauce.  (And while you’re at it, make a double or triple batch and freeze or can or giveaway the leftovers!)

Seriously The BEST Chicken Enchiladas Ever! |

So to make the enchiladas, just spread a generous amount of sauce on each tortilla, then add on some black beans (they are a great protein-packed “filler”), the chicken/onion/green chile saute, some shredded Mexican cheese…

Seriously The BEST Chicken Enchiladas Ever! |

…and then roll ’em up and place each enchilada in a large baking dish.  Then pour the extra enchilada sauce on top, and add on some extra cheese for good measure.  And gimme some oven!  I mean, bake it on up.  :)

Seriously The BEST Chicken Enchiladas Ever! |

20 minutes later, a steaming pan of delicious enchiladas will be ready to go.

Seriously The BEST Chicken Enchiladas Ever! |

You can garnish it with some fresh cilantro (a la 2014) if you’d like.  ;)

Seriously The BEST Chicken Enchiladas Ever! |

But you’re probably just going to want to dive right in.  Because as good as these puppies look, they smell and taste 10 times better.

Seriously The BEST Chicken Enchiladas Ever! |

Ok, actually enchiladas in a single serving aren’t the prettiest.  But hey, at least they taste good.

Seriously, I can’t recommend this recipe enough.  Biggest thanks to Liisa for teaching me how to make it so many years ago, and even though we now live half a country apart, I love that I still think of her whenever I make them.  That’s what happens when good food and friendship come together, right?

Enjoy everyone!

Best Chicken Enchiladas Ever!

No kidding. These seriously are the best enchiladas ever, and it's all due to a special (and easy) homemade enchilada sauce that will rock your socks off.


  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into small 1/2-inch pieces (*or see substitution below for using pre-cooked shredded chicken)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans or lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 8 large flour tortillas
  • 3 cups Mexican-blend shredded cheese
  • 1 batch red enchilada sauce, or 1 can store-bought enchilada sauce
  • (optional: 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare your enchilada sauce, if making homemade.

In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add diced chicken and green chiles, and season with salt and pepper.  Saute for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the chicken is cooked through.  Remove from heat and set aside.

To assemble the enchiladas, set up an assembly line including: tortillas, enchilada sauce, beans, chicken mixture, and cheese. Lay out a tortilla, and spread two tablespoons of sauce over the surface of the tortilla.  Add beans in a line down the middle of the tortilla, then add in a spoonful of the chicken mixture, then sprinkle with 1/3 cup cheese. Roll up tortilla and place in a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.  Then spread the remaining enchilada sauce on top of the tortillas, and sprinkle on the remaining shredded cheese.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and serve immediately, garnished with chopped fresh cilantro if desired.

*If you are using pre-cooked chicken, just leave it out of the saute and cook the onion and green chiles for 1 additional minute (instead of 6-8).  Once you remove the onion and green chiles from the heat, stir in the chicken (which should be shredded or chopped into bite-sized pieces).

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

Seriously The BEST Chicken Enchiladas Ever! |

Leave a Comment:


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  1. Molly Irene — June 27, 2015 @ 8:21 pm (#)

    Found via Pinterest, and made these enchiladas (and the sauce) tonight. Delicious — especially the sauce! We paired with a few margaritas, and were so pleased with the results. Thank you for the tasty recipe!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 28, 2015 @ 9:19 pm (#)

      Thank you, Molly! We’re so glad you liked these!

  2. lucia — June 28, 2015 @ 9:02 am (#)

    very good

  3. Elise — June 28, 2015 @ 7:10 pm (#)

    These turned out awesome. I added the suggested amount of chile powder and then two tables spoons of Siracha powder. Yummy yummy. Oh, and did I mention this was the first meal I’ve cooked for my new guy and his friends so it’s awesome they liked it. Huge hit all around!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 28, 2015 @ 9:15 pm (#)

      Thank you, Elise! We’re so thrilled these were a hit with your fella and his friends! : D

  4. Gail Graham — June 29, 2015 @ 5:53 pm (#)

    I liked this recipe because it REALLY had most of the ingredients that I already had in my cabinets.  Thanks you for sharing!.  

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 30, 2015 @ 1:54 pm (#)

      We’re glad to hear that, Gail!

  5. Rania — June 30, 2015 @ 3:27 pm (#)

    I’m going to try this today!
    Do you think i could add or replace beans with avocado?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 30, 2015 @ 4:49 pm (#)

      Hey, Raina! Sure, we think you definitely could do that!

  6. karen — July 7, 2015 @ 11:38 am (#)

    I made this twice and it is so good. I put the sauce right on top of the shredded white meat chicken. The sauce is what makes this recipe and it’s so easy. I think it needs five or ten minutes more cooking time but I do put a lot of chicken in each enchilada. My husband loves this and it is better the next day.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 7, 2015 @ 7:36 pm (#)

      Thanks for sharing Karen, we’re so happy these were a hit with you and your husband!

  7. Tina B — July 7, 2015 @ 7:31 pm (#)

    AWESOME recipe!! My only suggestion is to back off of the salt in the sauce. Also I used Rotel tomatoes instead of the chilis. Will be a forever family favorite!!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 7, 2015 @ 8:07 pm (#)

      Thanks Tina, we’re glad you enjoyed these!

  8. Kandace Huston — July 9, 2015 @ 6:56 pm (#)

    Made this tonight, was wonderful. Thank you for sharing.
    Left out all salt, and only put 3 Tlbs of chili powder in red sauce ( I am a wimp) This will go on the make again list.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 11, 2015 @ 7:20 pm (#)

      Thanks Kandace, we’re so happy to hear that! :)

  9. Ken — July 13, 2015 @ 12:03 am (#)

    I made your Enchiladas with the special sauce. Those were the best enchiladas I have ever made. I added 1 can of olives. I diced the olives and mixed them with the cheese. I took some photos, but I am not sure how to hash tag them. Thank you for the great recipe

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 14, 2015 @ 3:06 pm (#)

      That’s awesome Ken, we’re happy to hear that! Do you follow gimme some oven on Instagram? (The handle is:gimmesomeoven) you can just tag us on there, or on Twitter! :)

  10. Dana — July 13, 2015 @ 6:41 am (#)

    OMG! These were AMAZING!!  My husband is a huge Mexican food fan, and this was my first time making enchiladas.  Followed the recipe to a T, and it was just perfect!! Of course, I made the sauce from scratch which was not only easy but to die for!!  Gosh, that sauce!! My husband said that these are restaurant quality :) thank you for a fabulous recipe that I will use for many years to come!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 14, 2015 @ 3:07 pm (#)

      Thanks Dana! We’re so happy these were a hit with your husband as well, what a nice compliment! :)

  11. Kandace Huston — July 13, 2015 @ 7:17 pm (#)

    Update: made recipe with leftover pulled pork butt and pinto beans . was delish. Could the red sauce be made ahead and froze or canned?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 14, 2015 @ 2:41 pm (#)

      Thank you Kandace, that’s awesome! And yes, you can make the red sauce ahead to freeze or can.

  12. Tina Gyulasarian — July 14, 2015 @ 6:53 pm (#)

    Where is the sauce recipe? I can’t seem to find it on the page? Help! I want to make these tomorrow! :)

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 15, 2015 @ 7:26 pm (#)

      Hi Tina, there are links to the sauce recipe both in the post and in the ingredients, and they are working for us. But here is the link again — we hope you enjoy!

  13. Marilyn hickey — July 17, 2015 @ 12:08 pm (#)

    Can I make thesense ahead of time like the night before?  They look great!

  14. Marilyn hickey — July 17, 2015 @ 12:58 pm (#)

    Anyone know if this can be made ahead of time?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 17, 2015 @ 4:04 pm (#)

      Hey Marilyn! We think it’s fine if you assemble them (without the sauce and cheese on top, so they don’t get soggy) and leave them in the fridge (covered tightly with plastic wrap) for up to a few hours before baking, but if you plan on doing this more in advance, I would just assemble them (again, without the sauce and the cheese), and freeze them, then add the sauce and cheese and bake them (you’ll just need to allow an extra 30-40 min. of baking time at least). Otherwise, I’m afraid if you let them sit unbaked in the fridge for too long, the tortillas will dry out. I hope this all makes sense/helps. Good luck, and we hope you enjoy!

  15. Justin jones — July 17, 2015 @ 3:16 pm (#)

    I made these about 5 times already and I will never go back to any other enchilada recipe. The first time I tried this, I bought he can enchilada sauce just in case this wasn’t up to par. I’ll tell you, I did a family taste test to see which one as better. Every single person said this sauce was amazing. The can tasted so watered down and flavorless, I couldn’t imagine this is what I’ve been using all these years. I will never go back….. Ever. As I’m writing this I have another batch on the stove to let my dad try, he will go crazy over this. Can wait to “gimmie some oven” so I can eat

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 17, 2015 @ 3:57 pm (#)

      Thank you Justin, that’s so nice to hear! We’re really happy you and your family like these so much! :)

  16. Lane — July 19, 2015 @ 12:57 pm (#)

    I made these enchiladas and the sauce a few months ago…This recipe was a HUGE hit with my husband and 2 year old little girl! So simple and SO delicious! Somehow, we forgot all about this recipe until my husband requested these for dinner tonight! So glad he remembered! I saved this recipe so we won’t forget again! So excited to make these again tonight! :)

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 19, 2015 @ 8:15 pm (#)

      Thanks Lane, that’s so nice to hear! We’re glad these were a hit with your husband and your little one – that’s impressive! Thanks for giving the recipe a try, and for your sweet comment! :)

  17. Rosie — July 22, 2015 @ 9:35 pm (#)

    Just wanted to say I made these tonight, my first ever enchiladas!!! Wow, they were a huge hit, thanks so much for sharing.

    Now in the recipe you mentioned that these can be frozen … What are the steps to freeze and reheat thses? Id love to make a few batches and keep in my freezer for busy nights.


    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 23, 2015 @ 10:57 am (#)

      Thanks Rosie, that’s great to hear! So to freeze and reheat these: We suggest assembling them without the sauce and cheese, then covering them tightly with foil, and putting them in the freezer. When you’re ready to bake them, remove the foil, top with the sauce and cheese, re-cover with the foil, and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for about 15-20 minutes until bubbling and golden brown (with the cheese melted completely). We hope this helps! :)

  18. Susan Cameron — July 27, 2015 @ 5:06 pm (#)

    I have attempted to make enchiladas in the past with no success. Thought I would try again as I love them and this recipe looked great and easy. It was delicious, really really great. My husband doesn’t usually like enchiladas but he loved these as much as I did. One question, I saw that you like to freeze them-do you freeze them before or after you have baked them?Thanks so much for my new favorite recipe :)     

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 27, 2015 @ 10:04 pm (#)

      Thank you Susan, that’s so nice to hear! For freezing, we suggest assembling them without the sauce and cheese, then covering them tightly with foil, and putting them in the freezer. When you’re ready to bake them, remove the foil, top with the sauce and cheese, re-cover with the foil, and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for about 15-20 minutes until bubbling and golden brown (with the cheese melted completely). We hope this helps!


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