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. Niki — September 29, 2015 @ 7:53 am (#)

    This sauce is easy and absolutely delicious! Made it yesterday, it was a quick, easy and tasty meal! Served with some fresh avocado and a side salad. Even my somewhat picky 7 year old ate it without wondering what was in it. A go to recipe for sure!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 29, 2015 @ 10:26 am (#)

      Thanks Niki, we’re so happy you and your kiddo enjoyed it! :)

  2. Yuliya — September 29, 2015 @ 5:38 pm (#)

    Baking them now.  Made the sauce and everything.  Using grass-fed ground beef instead of chicken.
    To me the sauce was a bit too spicy, but I mostly say this because I am concerned that my kid won’t like it. I can take the heat :)
    For those who cook for kids, I’d recommend cutting the chili powder by at least 1 Tbsp.

    Your website is stunning, and photos are beautiful and happy. Will be peeking again soon. Thanks for posting!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 29, 2015 @ 11:09 pm (#)

      Thank you for the kind words Yuliya! We’re happy you like the recipe too, and the heat is definitely adjustable, just depending on tolerance and preference. :)

  3. Chris Peroda — September 30, 2015 @ 9:13 am (#)

    Made these last night.very good and very easy to mske. We had a family assembly line going to get them in the pan. Thank You.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — September 30, 2015 @ 9:28 am (#)

      That’s great Chris, we’re so happy you liked them! :)

  4. Andrea — October 1, 2015 @ 8:18 pm (#)

    Seriously, these REALLY are the best enchiladas I’ve ever had, and I’m a Mexican food junkie!  I must have used extra large tortillas though, because my 9×13 dish only fit 5 enchiladas and I didn’t have as much enchilada sauce as I would have liked left to pour on top before baking.  Thank you for an excellent recipe!!!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — October 1, 2015 @ 10:21 pm (#)

      You’re so sweet to say that Andrea! We’re happy you enjoyed them so much! :D

  5. Lindsay — October 2, 2015 @ 9:40 am (#)

    Found this recipe on Pinterest a couple months ago and have made it three times already. I double the enchilada recipe and triple the sauce recipe (it’s so yummy that I needed more!) and put it in three 8×8 pans. That way I have two pans of enchiladas to freeze for later. Turns out delicious every time! 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — October 2, 2015 @ 3:48 pm (#)

      We’re so happy you like it Lindsay, thanks for sharing! :)

  6. Kim — October 3, 2015 @ 1:55 pm (#)

    I made these last night! They are so delicious! That sauce 😍!!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — October 4, 2015 @ 9:43 pm (#)

      Aww thanks Kim, we’re happy you liked them so much! :)

  7. Rhonda G — October 3, 2015 @ 6:15 pm (#)

    Love this recipe.  I made it layered style casserole.    The sauce is easy and tasty.  I added 1/8th tsp of smoked chipoltle powder to the sauce as well as 2 TBSP of  tomato paste. 

    • Ali — November 4, 2015 @ 2:36 pm (#)

      Awesome!! I love adding chipotle powder to mine too!

  8. Denise — October 8, 2015 @ 8:02 pm (#)

    Cook chicken then add chopped onion, green chiles, 1/4 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp chili powder in bowl and toss chicken in bowl.. All other steps same.. Excellent 

  9. Tammy — October 14, 2015 @ 7:55 am (#)

    These are so yummy!! But what is the best way to make ahead/ freeze them? Do you freeze sauce separate ?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — October 14, 2015 @ 11:18 am (#)

      Thanks Tammy! Here are our suggestions for making ahead/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! :)

  10. Matt — October 16, 2015 @ 10:56 pm (#)

    I don’t want to be weird but this and the sauce coupled together…we may be soul mates. If you’re ever in chicago, I’d love to cook you enchildas.

    • Ali — November 4, 2015 @ 2:35 pm (#)

      Ha!! Glad you enjoyed it, Matt! :)

  11. Lee Ann — October 17, 2015 @ 5:50 pm (#)

    We made this exactly as written except my husband pre-cooked the chicken breast on the grill. A delicious, healthy enchilada and an easy recipe to make- exactly 8 enchilada’s! We did use an extra cup of cheese. We used the red sauce. Even Better! Thanks again!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — October 18, 2015 @ 12:42 pm (#)

      Thanks Lee Ann, we’re happy you and your husband enjoyed these! :)

  12. Loula Gregg — October 19, 2015 @ 2:15 pm (#)

    I see lentils as an alternative to black beans, but the recipe does not indicate whether the lentils are cooked before putting them in the enchiladas.. I assume they would be cooked but want to be sure. If cooked, do you prepare them in any special way?

  13. Kristi Johnston — October 20, 2015 @ 4:24 pm (#)

    This is absolutely divine. I’ve made it twice in a week. I have it in the oven now. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe. Best enchiladas I’ve ever eaten, hands down. Bravo. 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — October 20, 2015 @ 8:56 pm (#)

      Thanks Kristi, that’s so nice of you to say! We’re happy you enjoy these. :D

  14. Kristi Johnston — October 20, 2015 @ 4:27 pm (#)

    I used the red sauce recipe with this. First time making my own sauce. It was easy and delicious. 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — October 20, 2015 @ 8:56 pm (#)

      Yay! Doesn’t the homemade sauce make such a difference?

  15. Erin — October 21, 2015 @ 8:05 pm (#)

    You didn’t lie – best chicken enchiladas ever! The homemade sauce is the key.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — October 21, 2015 @ 9:51 pm (#)

      Thanks Erin, you’re so sweet! We’re happy to hear you enjoyed the sauce and the enchiladas. :)

  16. Katie — October 22, 2015 @ 3:34 pm (#)

    I had to take the time to comment… These are AMAZING!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe!!!! :)

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — October 22, 2015 @ 4:03 pm (#)

      Thank you Katie, that made our day — we’re so happy you love them! :)

  17. Doris — October 25, 2015 @ 8:37 pm (#)

    No tomatoes or paste?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — October 29, 2015 @ 2:02 pm (#)

      That’s correct Dorris :) We hope you enjoy!

    • Ali — November 4, 2015 @ 2:35 pm (#)

      Nope, not in this recipe. Enjoy!

  18. Tara — October 29, 2015 @ 6:59 pm (#)

    Yes, I made your sauce from scratch & I’ll do it again! Oh my! This enchilada is da bomb diggity! I had one bite and I had to stop just to report my glee. Thank you for an awesome , no, two awesome recipes!!!! Ok. Gotta get back to eating.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — October 30, 2015 @ 10:10 am (#)

      Thank you Tara, we’re so glad you liked it! :D

  19. Kristine — November 2, 2015 @ 7:10 pm (#)

    I did NOT like this at all!! Ths sauce ruined it. I made it exactly right. It was grainy and powerful. We love spicy, that was not the issue. It was a taste that I don’t want to live with! But with only two of us, I have two more dinners and what to do with the leftovers. Sorry, what a waste of time.

    • Ali — November 4, 2015 @ 2:41 pm (#)

      Hi Kristine, I’m so sorry to hear that you didn’t like the sauce. Most of our readers love it, but some haven’t cared for it. Hope that you can find another recipe you enjoy more!

  20. anne fischer — November 3, 2015 @ 12:10 pm (#)

    I love to eat and cook…….this encchilada recipe with sauce has the dubious distinction of being the worse thing I have ever in my life prepared…..even the dog wouldn’t eat it!!!!

    • Ali — November 4, 2015 @ 2:31 pm (#)

      Hi Anne, sorry to hear that you didn’t like the recipe. Hope you can find a different recipe that you enjoy.

  21. boone — November 4, 2015 @ 11:11 pm (#)

    Well done delish very filling added a tbsp of shiracha to the chilies 
    We like the heat
    Thanks u

    • Ali — November 4, 2015 @ 11:31 pm (#)

      Awesome! Glad that you enjoyed the enchiladas!

  22. Carolyn — November 8, 2015 @ 3:58 pm (#)

    We loved this recipe!! The homemade enchilada sauce was much tastier than the store bought! Thank you for sharing! 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — November 8, 2015 @ 6:29 pm (#)

      We’re so glad to hear that Carolyn, thanks for letting us know!

  23. Marcia — November 12, 2015 @ 6:43 pm (#)

    I just finished making (and eating) this and I just wanted to tell you how much my husband and I loved it! I made your homemade enchilada sauce to go with it because I always feel like I can’t review a recipe unless I make it as written the first time. I’m so glad I did! Oh, I did reduce the chili powder in the sauce to 2 tablespoons because I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to spicy foods, so I guess technically I didn’t follow it completely…but close enough. Everything about this recipe was perfection! My husband said this was better than anything he’d had at a Mexican restaurant…I’d say that’s pretty high praise. Thank you for sharing it…it’s a keeper!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — November 15, 2015 @ 7:44 am (#)

      Thanks for taking the time to share Marcia, we’re so happy you and your husband enjoyed these! :) What a nice compliment!

  24. Becky — November 17, 2015 @ 7:14 am (#)

    Just wondering if anyone has tried canning this sauce…I’d love to make a big batch for gifts! 

  25. Speedy MacFly — November 19, 2015 @ 10:30 pm (#)

    I am looking to making this in the future. I am wondering if it is possible to make this the night before and then cook it?

    If so, what would you say is the baking time coming out of the refrigerator? Thanks for your work!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — November 20, 2015 @ 12:56 pm (#)

      Hi there! Yes, you could assemble these the night before, refrigerate and then bake at the normal temp – you shouldn’t need to bake them too much longer than what the recipe says.

  26. Ashley — November 20, 2015 @ 7:07 pm (#)

    ive made so many enchiladas from various recipes that made me want to give up on making them. This is by far the best recipe ever!!!! Will definitely be saving this one 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — November 20, 2015 @ 8:11 pm (#)

      That’s such a nice compliment Ashley, thank you! We’re happy you liked this recipe so much!

  27. Emily — November 20, 2015 @ 11:08 pm (#)

    What an AWESOME recipe. Made this for the first time tonight and everyone loved it. Also made the sauce from scratch as you suggest. Great recipe and easy to follow instructions! Thanks!! 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — November 21, 2015 @ 4:23 pm (#)

      Thanks Emily, we’re glad you like it! :)

  28. Melissa — November 23, 2015 @ 10:39 pm (#)

    I made this tonight and absolutely LOVED them! I was fearful of the heat, so I used 2 1/2 T chilli powder in my enchilada sauce, but I think I will up that next time to at least 3. That sauce makes this recipe, if you ask me. 10/10, will make again. 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — November 24, 2015 @ 10:53 am (#)

      We’re so glad to hear that Melissa, thanks for sharing! :D

  29. sarah — November 26, 2015 @ 12:41 pm (#)

    Just made these and the sauce and will definitely be making again.

    • Ali — November 26, 2015 @ 4:46 pm (#)

      Awesome, so glad to hear it! :)


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