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:


  1. Kayla — February 10, 2015 @ 5:33 pm (#)

    Just made these and they are so easy!! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Elizabeth — February 17, 2015 @ 6:47 pm (#)

    This recipe looks amazing and I am excited to try it when I get home from work. I do have a question though, have you ever substituted pinto beans for the black beans? My husband and I do not like black beans, and I wonder if that would throw off the favor profile. 

    • Ali — February 18, 2015 @ 4:33 pm (#)

      Pinto beans would be great! Enjoy!!

  3. Sandra — February 19, 2015 @ 6:38 pm (#)

    Never made enchiladas before. Tried them tonight with the homemade sauce. You were right they were Amazing. Best I every had and I made them  myself who knew! 

    Bon appetite! 

  4. Beth Gaines — February 20, 2015 @ 6:27 pm (#)

    This was the best ever and my family totally loved these…..thanks to you

  5. Michael K — February 24, 2015 @ 11:07 am (#)

    These are fantastic. The key for me is your sauce. I used my spice grinder to grind some various dried chilis I had laying around. I also added cayenne because we like it with a little kick. Other than than that, didn’t change a thing for the sauce and it came out so yummy and delicious..and authentic tasting. The only things I changed for the enchiladas was swap out pepperjack for the cheddar and I used a small can of sliced jalapenos that I chopped because that is what I had in the pantry. My wife and I agreed, any restaurant would be thrilled to serve these up. They are that good. And please, if you are going to make these, take the few minutes to make the sauce. It is seriously good eats. Definitely going into the rotation. Thank you for the recipes!

  6. Drema Jorgensen — February 24, 2015 @ 7:14 pm (#)

    It’s my husbands birthday, and this will be his Birthday Dinner tonight! I used to make Chicken Enchilada’s quite often, but have been disabled/battling a “terminal” illness for 17 years now, and the cooking has become his duty over all those years. I’m on a new course of medications now that includes some Biologic’s, and, while not officially in remission, I’m feeling much better than I have for many years. So tonight I’m ready to try cooking a meal again! And since it’s been so many years since I’ve made them, I don’t recall the recipe I used for Chicken Enchilada’s. I came across yours while searching on the internet, and it sounds OH-SO-YUMMY!! So this will be the recipe I use for my hubby’s first Homemade Birthday Dinner in 17 years. I already know he’s going to just LOVE them!! I’m so thankful to have found your recipe–Thank You So Much!! 

  7. Drema Jorgensen — February 24, 2015 @ 8:24 pm (#)

    Me again………back after reading all the Comments, which I hadn’t had time to do earlier. I just have a small suggestion for my fellow foodies who were so quick to take a “Critical Tone” in their comments regarding Traditional vs Non Traditional, or Authentic vs Non-Authentic Enchilada’s. Of course I’m referring to the comments criticizing your use of flour tortilla’s instead of the more frequently used (at least in the USA) corn tortilla’s.  Having been battling a rare disease that is usually terminal in an all-too-short amount of time for 17 years, one of the biggest things I’ve learned is “DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF!”  And believe me, when you and your family have been told (several times) that there is no hope, and your life will definitely come to an end in a matter of weeks, or a few months at best, you find that most things qualify under “THE SMALL STUFF” label! So whether someone chooses to use flour tortillas or corn tortillas in a recipe is simply a matter of personal taste. And to see that being brought up in a critical manner to someone who has taken time out of their day to share something with others in hopes to add some enrichment their lives, really hurt my heart. I think we can all (and I include myself in this) benefit from the slogan “Try A Little Tenderness”, and try to adopt a less-critical, and more-encouraging tone in our choice of words when we’re interacting with others. That’s something I consciously think about now every single time I have a conversation with/make a comment about others. As for me, I’m extremely grateful for other people who have taken the time to share a bit of knowledge they have with others-like the recioe’s I’ve found here-because it’s A HUGE HELP to someone like myself! I don’t have the words to explain just hiw grateful I was to find this Enchilada Recipe today, because having been too I’ll to cook a meal for so many years, I’ve literally forgotten ALL of the recipe’s I used to use.  And making a homemade meal for my husband on his birthday today, after he’s been taking complete care of me for the past 17 years, is a more meaningful gift than spending hundreds of dollars on some electronic gadget would have been! Thanks to people like Ali, I’m able to give something back to my husband tonight that money simply could never buy! So my suggestion is simply this: There’s absolutely nothing wrong with sharing that you do something differently than someone else does, but the tone we take by the choice of words we use, in any circumstance, makes A HUGE DIFFERENCE! And if we all try to keep that in mind each day, I think it will go a long way towards making this world a happier place. And Ali, once again, THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for this recipe-and the others you’ve taken the time to put up here! You have made such a big contribution to the lives of my husband and myself today, that the words “Thank You” are much too small to adequately express the happiness we feel tonight! Now, I’m off to take these wonderfully-smelling enchilada’s out of the oven, and watch my husband eat a delicious homemade dinner that HE didn’t have to make, for the first time in 17 years!!  :-)

  8. Vicki — March 4, 2015 @ 8:19 am (#)

    I have been making Beef enchiladas for years from a recipe of an old mexican woman who owned a business.  She taught me to make this sauce 30 years ago and it is one of our favorite recipes for enchiladas.  I made them last night again after a few months and he LOVES them.  You can use this sauce for just about any mexican recipe.  True, here in Texas we use corn instead of flour tortillas, but like the other lady said, it’s just a matter of taste.  Like most of you, I agree the sauce is the Key here, it’s great! 
    You can also use this sauce on Tostatos.  Thanks for sharing your recipe with us!

  9. E.Milam — March 5, 2015 @ 9:44 am (#)

    I have never cooked anything Mexican (which I love) from scratch before…You , kind sir, are absolutely right…these are the “Best Enchiladas Ever”… My husband LOVED them…so did I… I will be making them again in the near future..We have leftovers for tonight.. So “THANK YOU” for making me a “GREAT COOK” last night…I will be trying MORE of YOUR RECIPES… Bon Appetite…  

  10. Lea — March 5, 2015 @ 6:28 pm (#)

    This recipe is delish…can you prepare/assemble  them the night before??

    • Ali — March 21, 2015 @ 12:09 pm (#)

      Sure thing. Then just refrigerate them, and bake the next day when you’re ready.

  11. Rose — March 6, 2015 @ 8:33 pm (#)

    This looks amazing!  I am not a big fan of flour tortillas.  Do you think I could use corn?

  12. Abby — March 10, 2015 @ 6:34 pm (#)

    Oh. My. Word. These taste do amazing! I’ll make this again a million times! Thanks for posting and I love how simple and easy the recipe is without cutting too many corners! Also I  used flour because it’s all had! Hahaha! 

    • Ali — March 18, 2015 @ 1:36 pm (#)

      Thanks so much Abby!

  13. Fanny Castellanos — March 14, 2015 @ 6:05 am (#)

    I absolutely loved these enchiladas! I was also raised in Mexico and live in Texas, so I can tell you about authentic Mexican cousine.  I liked the idea of trying to make the sauce from scratch so I though I’d give it a try.  It’s true, we use corn tortillas for regular enchiladas, but that was another reason I was interested in this recipe.  I wanted something DIFFERENT!  After a long day, by the time I was making dinner we were both very eager to eat. My husband kept asking if dinner was ready and I let him know I was trying a new recipe, so it would take a little longer.  By the time dinner was served he actually said these enchiladas were actually better and was worth the wait haha.  THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING!!

    • Ali — March 18, 2015 @ 1:17 pm (#)

      Thanks so much Fanny, I’m so happy you enjoyed these! : )

  14. Carole Ladedorf — March 16, 2015 @ 11:56 am (#)

    I have looked all over and I cannot find the recipe for the special sauce for the best enchiladas.

  15. D_Marie — March 16, 2015 @ 8:54 pm (#)

    This is the first time I have read or cooked anything from this blog…  I just wanted to say that this recipe was DELICIOUS!

    • Ali — March 17, 2015 @ 9:19 pm (#)

      Thanks so much for your kind words, and for checking out my blog!

  16. Kenzie — March 17, 2015 @ 7:54 pm (#)

    This was my first time making chicken enchiladas myself and I have to say this recipie is amazing! They turned out perfect and even the homemade sauce was very easy to make! Thank you so much for this awesome recipie!

    • Ali — March 17, 2015 @ 9:03 pm (#)

      Hey Kenzie, thanks for checking it out, I’m glad they were a hit! : )

  17. Dice — March 20, 2015 @ 9:46 am (#)

    I stumbled upon this recipe a few years ago when I was pregnant with my son. I was constantly craving Mexican food. However, Taco Bell just wasn’t cutting it anymore. It was Cinco de Mayo and I needed Mexican food STAT! BEST. ENCHILLADAS. EVER. I made a batch with chicken and a batch with beef. Initially I had intended to send some off with some family and friends but after hubby and I dove in we decided we weren’t giving ANY away. The sauce is definitely key. I used the Spice Island chili powder which I believe you initially recommended. I won’t use anything else now. Thank you for the wonderful recipe and I love the new design to your site :)

    • Ali — March 21, 2015 @ 10:59 am (#)

      Thank you so much, that makes my day! : D

  18. Kim — March 21, 2015 @ 5:26 pm (#)

    I just made these enchiladas 

    • Ali — March 21, 2015 @ 5:30 pm (#)

      Awesome! Hope you liked them!

  19. Beatrice Robbin — March 21, 2015 @ 11:15 pm (#)

    This recipe was so yummy! I liked the crunchiness around the edges and the inside was delicious. For my first try, I used your recipe for the chile sauce, but unfortunately, this sauce turned out too spicy and watery for my taste, even though I added 2 tbs of chile powder and less vegetable stalk. 

    • Ali — March 22, 2015 @ 12:07 am (#)

      So glad you liked it, Beatrice! And yes, everyone’s spice preferences are definitely different with this sauce. If it’s too thin next time, just simmer it for awhile longer to thicken. Enjoy!

  20. Vicky K. — March 22, 2015 @ 5:29 pm (#)

    This was my first effort at making enchiladas. We all thought they were good, but I did not make your sauce. Next time I will, the store-bought left something lacking. I also think I will try some sauteed peppers. Overall I was pleased, thank you for initiating me to this dish!

    • Ali — March 22, 2015 @ 8:52 pm (#)

      Thanks Vicky, I’m glad you enjoyed it! Definitely give the sauce a try! : )

  21. Patty Wardlaw — March 24, 2015 @ 11:00 pm (#)

    I’m sooo very excited to try these!! I’m takins dinner to a friend and her husband after she had a horrendous back surgery. I don’t usually try NEW recipes on friends, you’ve convinced me and I will certainly make a double batch so that I, living alone, can try them over and over again!!  Much as gracias!!!!

    • Ali — March 25, 2015 @ 12:42 pm (#)

      Thanks Patty, I hope you and your friends enjoy them! Cheers!

  22. BILLY — March 26, 2015 @ 4:57 pm (#)


    • Ali — March 26, 2015 @ 9:54 pm (#)

      Thanks Billy, I hope you enjoy!

  23. Jess — March 26, 2015 @ 7:47 pm (#)

    Just made these for my husband. I have been making enchiladas for him for a while.  I wanted to find a different recipe. I’m so glad I found this one!!!! He says they are the best ever! 

    I did use ghost peppers in the black beans.  And Jalepenos instead of green chiles (fresh Jalepenos).  Then I added more fresh chopped Jalepenos instead of cilantro because I was out…… 

    Thank you for posting the recipe! We love it!!!! 

    • Ali — March 26, 2015 @ 9:50 pm (#)

      Jess, I’m so glad your husband liked these so much, that’s awesome! And I like your additions. : )

  24. Erin — March 28, 2015 @ 11:47 am (#)

    Love this! Making it right now in fact! I moved to Denmark almost two years ago and miss Mexican food so much! Thanks so much for the recipe. I prefer cubed chicken to shredded and that enchilada sauce, amazing. I (and my picky 3year old) thank you!

    • Ali — March 29, 2015 @ 10:07 am (#)

      Thanks Erin, I hope you enjoyed it! : ) And wow, Denmark! I’d love to go there someday…

  25. Sherri — March 28, 2015 @ 6:26 pm (#)

    Found your recipe tonight! Was craving enchiladas, and did not want to go out,soooo,I had all the ingredients and decided to try this myself….the sauce recipe is awesome!! I will use it again and again!! I did add a little chipotle to the sauce to kick it up a notch, and we also like pinto beans, so I mashed them up with a little chipotle and added them in the filling!!! Oh my, this was a very good recipe, super simple to put together if you already have a lot of the spices already in the cabinet….Saved this as my GO TO recipe…Thank you!!

    • Ali — March 29, 2015 @ 9:54 am (#)

      Thanks Sherri, I’m so glad you liked this recipe! And I’ll definitely have to try it with pinto beans next time I make it! : )

  26. Sherri — March 28, 2015 @ 6:37 pm (#)

    My husband just finished his enchiladas, his comment…THAT WAS GOOD!!! Probably the best I have ever had!!!

    • Ali — March 29, 2015 @ 9:51 am (#)

      Thanks Sherri, what a wonderful compliment! Glad it was a hit. : )

  27. Pat — March 29, 2015 @ 4:11 pm (#)

    I definitely want to make this but would like a recommendation for a good chili powder.  They all seem so mediocre at the grocery stores and can have such a big effect on taste.  Thanks.

  28. Kendra @ Prepping Parties — March 30, 2015 @ 7:07 pm (#)

    Made these and your homemade enchilada sauce last night – oh my YUM!  You are right, they are the best enchiladas ever!  I doubled the sauce recipe and can’t wait to make them again, I’ll never use the canned stuff again

    • Ali — March 30, 2015 @ 10:11 pm (#)

      Thanks Kendra, so happy you liked them!

  29. Jessie — March 30, 2015 @ 7:37 pm (#)

    These are seriously good! I’ve made them with black beans and pinto beans and it’s hard to decide which is better but the enchiladas turn out great both ways. I usually season some bone-in chicken breasts with cumin and chili powder and bake for about 40 minutes, then shred and use in the enchiladas. It makes it much easier to make these on a weeknight when I cook the chicken and shred the cheese ahead of time! The leftovers are good too, although not pretty to look at!

    • Ali — March 30, 2015 @ 10:08 pm (#)

      Thanks Jessie, I’m glad you liked them!


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