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
  • 8-10 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. Katy — April 20, 2015 @ 12:28 pm (#)

    Best dinner I have ever made ! Thank you thank you thank you ! 

    • Ali — April 20, 2015 @ 2:21 pm (#)

      Wow, thanks so much Katy! I’m thrilled you enjoyed them! : D

  2. Katherine — April 22, 2015 @ 3:51 pm (#)

    Hey! These look amazing and i plan on cooking them for my parents tonight, but i am a new cook and have to ask, can anyone tell me if you are supposed to cook the chicken breast separately before you cook them with the tortillas and everything else. Or do you cut the raw chicken and put it on the tortillas and it cooks with everything else?

    • Ali — May 1, 2015 @ 1:03 pm (#)

      Thanks Katherine! You dice the chicken (uncooked), then add it to a large skillet and cook it with the onion and green chiles (you’ll see the directions in the first paragraph (after preheat the oven). Alternatively you could use pre-cooked chicken, such as a roast chicken. If so, just cook the onion and green chiles for an extra minute, (leave the chicken out of that step), and add it after you’ve finished cooking the onion and chiles, and have taken that skillet off the stove. I hope that makes sense and is helpful!

  3. Kelsey — April 27, 2015 @ 8:41 pm (#)

    I love this recipe so much! We make it all the time. We made some changes though. Here is how we modified this recipe:

    – We normally use 3 chicken breasts to fill 10 tortilla’s. Cut them in half so that they cook faster, so you’ll have 6 thin breasts.
    – We use canned enchilada sauce 
    – We don’t put black beans in it
    – We add black olives on top before putting it in the oven
    – We cook the chicken breasts just with a little bit of oil, then shred them using 2 forks on a cutting board to pull it apart. (instead of doing cubed chicken)

    We cook the chicken in one pan, and the onion in a separate pan. Once the chicken is cooked through, then shred it. Make sure the onions are cooked through (not too crunchy), then add the green chilies and cook for a few minutes. Then add the shredded chicken, salt, and pepper and cook for a few minutes to marinate, then assemble the enchiladas.

    • Ali — April 30, 2015 @ 2:38 pm (#)

      Thanks Kelsey, happy to hear that, and I appreciate you sharing your tips!

  4. Ed — April 28, 2015 @ 12:14 pm (#)

    These enchiladas were fantastic.  I dipped the tortillas in hot oil to make them softer.  That is what my Mom used to do.
    The sauce was incredible.  I did add 3 tablespoons of chili powder and 1 tablespoon of Chipotle Chile powder.  I like spicy and these were perfect.  For company, I would probably reduce the amount of chili powder just to taper down the heat!
    Definitely a keeper recipe!

    • Ali — April 30, 2015 @ 2:27 pm (#)

      Thank you Ed! So thrilled you enjoyed both the sauce and the enchiladas. Also, thanks for sharing your tips! : D

  5. Jennifer — April 29, 2015 @ 9:29 pm (#)

    Made these for my boyfriend once and he has not stopped talking about them since. Finally getting around to making them again this weekend, and he is soooo excited about it! Thank you for sharing such a great recipe! Absolutely adore your blog.

    • Ali — April 30, 2015 @ 2:21 pm (#)

      Jennifer, that’s so awesome! And I’m happy you enjoy my blog, thanks for visiting. : D

  6. Stephanie — April 30, 2015 @ 1:19 am (#)

    I made these tonight and found the flavors were amazing and instructions were wonderfully direct. I think my next venture making them will be with shredded chicken versus diced, since I had the chicken cubes rip my tortillas when I was wrapping them. I also found that when I laid them in the baking dish,  seam down was more functional due to the tortillas not staying secured seam up. Still, with even these small adjustments, I look forward to making these many times to come. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    • Ali — April 30, 2015 @ 2:19 pm (#)

      Glad you liked these Stephanie, and thanks for sharing your tips!

  7. Shauna — May 1, 2015 @ 2:39 pm (#)

    I gave these a go last night for dinner, and everyone loved them! Amazing recipe! Thank you and I can’t wait to make them again.

    • Ali — May 1, 2015 @ 4:58 pm (#)

      Thank you Shauna, I’m happy to hear that!

  8. Sarah — May 1, 2015 @ 3:34 pm (#)

    Am making these tonight for a test run.  Want to make them for cinco de mayo dinner party!  What is your advice for making them in advance?  I was thinking about assembling them, and not pouring the sauce over until I was ready to bake.  Have you made them in advance before?  
    Thanks so much!

    • Ali — May 1, 2015 @ 4:57 pm (#)

      Hey Sarah, how fun! How far out were you planning on assembling them before baking? Were you planning on just keeping them in the fridge, or freezing them?

  9. Amar — May 1, 2015 @ 5:08 pm (#)

    If I have to prepare this a couple days in advance, i.e make sunday and eat tuesday, can the enchiladas be refrigerated for so long? And can they be microwaved?


    • Ali — May 3, 2015 @ 10:02 am (#)

      Hey Amar! I think it’s fine if you assemble them (without the sauce and cheese, 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!

  10. Janita — May 1, 2015 @ 9:36 pm (#)

    Hi! I am also having a cinque de mayo party tomorrow night and want to make and assemble them in the morning so just bake them in the evening? Is that ok? What do you suggest? I don’t want to be trying to assemble them while I should be cleaning up and getting organized…. Thanks! So excited to try this for tomorrow! Any tips on assembling them in the morning and cooking them in the evening for a party? Yum and thanks!

  11. Janita — May 2, 2015 @ 11:08 am (#)

    I can’t wait to make these but need to assemble them before hand for a dinner party tonight. I will cook them just before serving. Is it ok to leave them in the fridge assembled until I cook them or will they go soggy? Thanks so much!!

    • Ali — May 3, 2015 @ 9:59 am (#)

      Hey Janita, I’m sorry I’m just now seeing this. I think it’s fine if you assemble them (without the sauce and cheese, 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!

  12. Tiffany — May 5, 2015 @ 7:10 am (#)

    Happy cinco de mayo! Making these tonight 

    • Ali — May 5, 2015 @ 11:18 am (#)

      Happy Cinco de Mayo Tiffany, hope you enjoy these! : D

  13. Terry — May 5, 2015 @ 9:15 am (#)

    I am making the enchilada sauce right now and I’m going to make these tonight I will let you know!

    • Ali — May 5, 2015 @ 11:17 am (#)

      Awesome, please do! Hope you enjoy!

  14. mark melek — May 5, 2015 @ 12:31 pm (#)

    making these tonight as well … ever tried with corn tortillas??

  15. pam — May 5, 2015 @ 12:56 pm (#)

    I always thought enchiladas were made with corn tortillas and if it was flour it was more of a burrito ? just a question.

    • Ali — May 11, 2015 @ 10:16 am (#)

      Traditionally, yes. But I love making enchiladas with flour tortillas because they are larger and more forgiving when it comes to breakage.

  16. Donnie — May 5, 2015 @ 3:43 pm (#)

    I would recommend poaching the boneless skinless chicken breasts. Bring pot of water to a boil then put in chicken breasts and bring back to a boil, then boil on medium heat for approx. 20 minutes or until the chicken floats. Do not over boil. Then remove chicken and dice or shred and it is ready for the recipe. Chicken is a meat you have to make sure is done and watch cross contamination (raw meat juices on table, utensils, or hands that contaminate the finished product (cooked chicken). The chicken comes out really nice like this and can be used in many other recipes requiring cooked chicken. Love the recipe, wonderful !!!

    • Ali — May 5, 2015 @ 9:18 pm (#)

      Thanks Donnie and thanks for sharing your tips!

  17. Terry — May 5, 2015 @ 4:32 pm (#)

    I am making these tonight already have my chicken mixture and my enchilada sauce made this morning. I will let you know these look so yummy!

  18. Terry — May 5, 2015 @ 6:38 pm (#)

    Those were absolutely the best chicken enchiladas I’ve ever made, you were right. That’s a keeper recipe even for my picky eater over here ( my boyfriend). Thank you! If I Iwere to make them with beef would I use the same ingredients??Thanks again! The enchilada sauce was out of this world!

  19. Samantha Diaz — May 6, 2015 @ 1:35 am (#)

    I made your Best Chicken Enchiladas for my Bunco group tonight along with the enchilada sauce.  They were awesome!  I was concerned about what the sauce would taste like.  I made it last night and wasn’t crazy about the flavor, but I put it in a mason jar and refrigerated it until today.  When I took it out to use it in my enchilada assembly line, I could tell it was already better.  It was darker and thicker; the flavors had really come together.  I look forward to trying more of your recipes.

    • Ali — May 6, 2015 @ 7:04 pm (#)

      Thanks Samantha, I’m glad you liked everything!

  20. Kathy Carter — May 6, 2015 @ 5:42 am (#)

    Made these for dinner last night for Cinco de Mayo.  Also made the enchilada sauce.
    Everyone loved them!  Easy to make and delicious!

    • Ali — May 6, 2015 @ 7:03 pm (#)

      Thanks for sharing Kathy, so glad to hear that!

  21. Mark — May 6, 2015 @ 9:11 am (#)

    I feel like the lone person here. Recipe sounded great and made them last night. I used the can sauce and I thought they were very dry and lacking in taste. I will try again with your sauce recipe and minus the beans. Maybe some black olives and sour creme on top.

  22. Ally — May 6, 2015 @ 3:22 pm (#)

    I made these last night and was scared to make a sauce from scratch due the the fact it’s always a hit or miss with homemade sauces. Luckily, while my boyfriend shopped for the ingredients, i refrained from asking to buy a back up enchilada sauce because you definitely don’t miss it after this homemade one! it was so amazing. I think people are buying the wrong kind of chilli powder thinking that it’s too spicy. I bought the McCormick one and I needed to actually add some cayenne pepper for a higher kick. I brought some leftovers for my brother to try and he ended up eating mine! guess i’ll have to make another batch but we definitely do not mind! Thanks for sharing these! 

    • Ali — May 6, 2015 @ 6:51 pm (#)

      Thanks for sharing Ally, I’m so happy you liked the sauce and the enchiladas! : D

  23. Ben — May 10, 2015 @ 10:07 am (#)

    Hello Ali,

    1) Thanks for sharing the recipe, I used to live in NM, so I think this recipe will be closer to what I remember for enchiladas.

    2) Go Royals!

    • Ali — May 11, 2015 @ 7:28 am (#)

      Hey Ben! Of course, I hope you enjoy these! And YES, go Royals!! : D

  24. Shelby Wells — May 11, 2015 @ 12:15 pm (#)

    Made these last night and they were phenomenal! I made the enchilada sauce to go with and it was so good and easy, the only thing I added was some Cayenne because we like spicy. Had to use olive oil instead of vegetable oil and it tasted fine. Also added some corn inside and squeezed some lime juice on top, would have taken pictures but we ate them all before I could snap some! As a beginner in cooking this recipe was totally do-able and quick- thank you!

    • Ali — May 11, 2015 @ 9:07 pm (#)

      Thanks Shelby, I’m so glad to hear that! I be the fresh lime juice was an excellent addition! : )

  25. Dona — May 11, 2015 @ 4:24 pm (#)

    My kids keep coming inside from playing and telling me how good it smells – and that is just the enchilada sauce and the chicken! Wonder what they’ll say when it all comes together! Thanks!

    • Ali — May 11, 2015 @ 8:52 pm (#)

      Thanks Dona! I hope they enjoyed them!

  26. Jaime — May 12, 2015 @ 7:56 pm (#)

    These look fantastic, I want to try them this weekend. But i need to make them gluten free….have you ever tried making them with corn tortillas instead of flour, and do you have any tips to make them not dry out? Thanks so much!

    • Ali — May 13, 2015 @ 10:25 am (#)

      Sure, you can definitely make them with corn tortillas. I find it helps to dip the corn tortillas in enchilada sauce first and then let them sit for a minute before rolling them into enchiladas.

  27. VJ — May 15, 2015 @ 2:30 am (#)

    Hey Ali, these chicken enchiladas look incredible. The recipe, thankfully, does not seem to be overly complex, which seems to imply that I can actually pull these off without too much trouble. I’m going to have to give these a try on taco Tuesday, instead of the tacos. See what kind of deliciousness I can concoct with your enticing recipe.

    • Ali — May 15, 2015 @ 7:53 am (#)

      Thanks Victor! I really hope you love them. : )

  28. Kristen — May 15, 2015 @ 9:55 am (#)

    I hadn’t made enchiladas in a while and had almost an entire rotisserie chicken left, so I thought this would be good. She’s right! These were the best enchiladas I’ve ever made, and I will NOT buy another can of enchilada sauce again. It was so easy and SO GOOD! I served them with guacamole, sour cream (actually plain greek yogurt), and cilantro.

    • Ali — May 15, 2015 @ 1:07 pm (#)

      Thank you Kristen! I’m so thrilled you like them!

  29. Swalley — May 17, 2015 @ 5:49 pm (#)

    Love this receipe!!!

    I have modified it to use ground beef. Amazing! I will usually make one pan of each (chicken and beef) and see which disappears first. If it is my guy friends over with their dates, the beef goes first. If it is the wife’s dinner party guest then it is the chicken. Both are always finished by the end of the night which is fine by me. Makes cleaning up even easier. 

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Ali — May 18, 2015 @ 7:23 am (#)

      Thanks, Matthew! I’m happy to hear these are a hit with you and your wife and friends! Thanks for making them! : )

  30. kale — May 18, 2015 @ 3:27 pm (#)

    Hi there! Just wanted to drop a note to thank you for the recipe. I made it tonight, (including your enchilada sauce!) I had to rif a bit with the ingredients cause I didn’t have exactly what was called for, but my hubby said the kitchen smelled like Mexico so I’d say it was a success!! many thanks to you for that :) 

    • Ali — May 18, 2015 @ 4:14 pm (#)

      That’s awesome, thank you for sharing! I’m happy you and your husband liked them! : )

  31. Daniel Vaughn — May 18, 2015 @ 8:45 pm (#)

    I made these tonight, incredible!  My wife’s family is from New Mexico (but most are in Texas now) and I can’t wait to make this for them!  I did do one thing differently… I used boneless skinless trimmed chicken  thighs.  They are more tender and juicer than chicken breast.  But again, incredible recipe, our whole family enjoyed it as we will again tomorrow night finishing off the leftovers!  

    • Ali — May 19, 2015 @ 7:56 am (#)

      Thanks for sharing, Daniel — so glad you and your family enjoyed these! : )

  32. Liz Mack — May 20, 2015 @ 7:01 pm (#)

    Can you make them ahead of time and freeze them? 
    The throw in oven the day you eat them?

    • Ali — May 20, 2015 @ 9:54 pm (#)

      Hey Liz, I think it’s fine if you assemble them (without the sauce and cheese, 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. However, 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!

  33. karen fritz — May 22, 2015 @ 8:30 pm (#)

    I made these and they turned out great. You are right about the sauce, it’s what makes this dish. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Ali — May 22, 2015 @ 10:19 pm (#)

      Thanks, Karen! Glad you liked both the sauce and the enchiladas!

  34. Mallory — May 23, 2015 @ 3:53 am (#)

    Man, these were so delicious!!! I’ve never made enchiladas before, and I made these along with your “special sauce” and I’ll never make another recipe for them again. So so good!

    • Ali — May 25, 2015 @ 8:32 am (#)

      Thank you, Mallory! So happy you liked them!


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