Best Chicken Enchiladas Ever!

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This is my all-time favorite chicken enchilada recipe, made with a simple homemade red enchilada sauce that my friends all love.

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. Debbie — May 29, 2016 @ 5:33 pm (#)

    Made the enchiladas and sauce  for dinner last night, the only change I made was adding some tomatoe paste as suggested in a previous comment…oh, I also added a little cayenne pepper, it was great.  We just ate the leftovers from last night, even better.  Thanks for the recipe.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 13th, 2016 @ 9:00 am

      Thanks for sharing Debbie — we’re so glad you enjoyed them! :)

  2. Lisa — June 3, 2016 @ 10:03 am (#)

    These were absolutely delicious! I LOVED the enchiliada sauce! My son did too and he is a critic! The only thing I did differently than this recipe is added some corn with the black beans. I will be looking up more recipes on this site for sure!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 16th, 2016 @ 9:41 am

      Thank you Lisa — we’re so happy you and your sun enjoyed both the sauce and the enchiladas! :)

  3. Pamela — June 5, 2016 @ 1:48 pm (#)

    This is. Amazing! I have put a few spins on it also. The sauce is what really makes it!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 15th, 2016 @ 10:58 pm

      Thank you Pamela — we’re so happy you enjoy the sauce and the enchiladas! :D

  4. Donna G. — June 7, 2016 @ 8:04 pm (#)

    Made the enchiladas this evening and they were delicious!  I used shredded rotisserie chicken and the homemade sauce.   My husband loved them.  Thank you for sharing your recipe.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 15th, 2016 @ 10:17 am

      We’re happy you and your husband loved them, donna! :)

  5. Kelly — June 9, 2016 @ 10:28 am (#)

    I just wanted to say that this recipe was easy and delicious. However, after 20 minutes some of the enchiladas in the center of the pan were just room temperature. I’d recommend maybe an extra ten minutes.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 15th, 2016 @ 8:25 am

      Thanks for your feedback Kelly, we appreciate it!

  6. theresa — June 10, 2016 @ 2:20 pm (#)

    These are amazing! I made them with the red sauce for a dinner party and everyone loved them. The sauce was spicier than I thought. I had in mind that it might be bland due to the lack of ingredients but it was not. A great recipe anytime for the cheap chicken breasts in your fridge.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 14th, 2016 @ 5:55 pm

      Thanks Theresa — we’re happy you enjoyed them! :)

  7. Mike F — June 13, 2016 @ 2:17 pm (#)

    These are awesome! Just bear in mind if you’re in the UK ease up on the chilli powder because it’s waaay hotter here! Blew my socks off first time so added tomato pasata and sugar. Put much less in 2nd time around and…bang on, amazing!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 14th, 2016 @ 7:31 pm

      Thanks Mike — we’re so happy to hear that! :)

  8. Jen G — June 18, 2016 @ 10:56 pm (#)

    This is one of my favorite dishes to make. People are always amazed when I say I make the enchilada sauce myself…I never tell them how easy it is! Thanks for the amazing recipe! 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 19th, 2016 @ 10:31 pm

      Thank you Jen — we’re so happy you’re a fan! :D

  9. Susie — June 22, 2016 @ 1:25 pm (#)

    Can you make the chicken mixture the night before and put it in the fridge overnight? 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 22nd, 2016 @ 9:51 pm

      Yes, you definitely can! We hope you enjoy!

  10. Laura — June 28, 2016 @ 2:46 am (#)

    Holy Moly!
    I put not even 1 tbsp of the chilli powder in, licked my stirring spoon and my face was on fire!
    No idea how you were able to use 4tbsps. The chili powder must be different here in Aus.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 1st, 2016 @ 10:05 am

      Hi Laura! Yes, that’s what we’ve been hearing — it sounds like the chili powders in Australia and New Zealand are much more potent! We’re sorry this was so spicy for you, and we hope you were still able to enjoy it!

  11. Kim — June 28, 2016 @ 6:59 pm (#)

    You mentioned that the Best Chicken Enchiladas Ever! is one of your go to freezer meals! At what point do you freeze them? Do you go all the way through baking them, then freeze?! Do you spread the sauce and cheese on top, then freeze before baking?! Please advise!

    Thanks, Kim

  12. Kim — June 29, 2016 @ 4:47 pm (#)

    You mentioned that this is one of your favorite freezer meals! At what point do you freeze them? Do you bake off, then freeze? Or freeze after adding the remaining sauce and cheese? Please advise. Thanks, Kim

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 5th, 2016 @ 6:09 pm

      Hi Kim! They can either be baked and then frozen once cooled, or assembled, (unbaked), then frozen and baked later. If you’re freezing them after assembling, just leave off the sauce and cheese that go on top. If you bake these and then freeze them (again, just make sure they’ve cooled completely before popping them into the freezer), top with the sauce and cheese, and bake (covered) for about 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for 15 minutes (or until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown). We hope this is helpful!

  13. Charity — July 1, 2016 @ 8:01 am (#)

    The recipe was SO good. I made it with hamburger instead of chicken because that’s what I had, and my husband doesn’t like onions in ANYTHING because he says they bother his stomach, so I didn’t use onions, but it still worked out just fine. We threw some Rice-a-Roni Mexican rice on top, which really added to the enchiladas; and we did agree it needed a little more spice, either that or some salsa and sour cream on top of the rice. We also thought it would be better to cook the beans with the meat like you do the peppers; indeed, I used canned beans, but neither of us likes hard beans and ours still turned out a little hard. I don’t think I did the sauce quite right either because it never did thicken up, but I’m sure it’ll come out better next time; plus my mom gave me some organic chili powder which is more brown, so I’m assuming that’s why the sauce did not turn out as brown as yours.

    At any rate, thanks for the recipe! Very satisfying, and I will DEFINITELY log it away in my recipe folder.

    Thanks. :)

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 2nd, 2016 @ 7:15 am

      Thanks for sharing with us Charity! We’re so glad you enjoyed these! :D

  14. Terry Parrish — July 5, 2016 @ 2:53 am (#)

    I took your recipe, to the next level. It is now the Greatest Chicken Enchiladas Ever.
    Since I had just made a batch of fresh salsa, from home grown cherry tomatoes the day before. I was able to omit the onion and peppers, since the salsa had onion and peppers in it along with cilantro. I mixed the salsa with the chicken and black beans.
    Then followed the recipe. This would not have worked with salsa made in New York City, or any store bought brand for that matter. And with lisa’s, enchilada sauce. These are now the Greatest Enchiladas Ever.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 6th, 2016 @ 9:42 pm

      That salsa sounds amazing Terry, and we’re glad you enjoyed these!

  15. Isabel Matta — July 5, 2016 @ 6:22 pm (#)

    This was GREAT. I’m not a fan of enchiladas but decided to give this a try because it had great reviews and I’m glad I did! My family is glad I did as well especially my oldest son he asked me to make more and said he wants me to make lots for his birthday 😆 definitely a recipe I’ll keep and continue to use for a lifetime. Thank you!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 5th, 2016 @ 9:37 pm

      Thanks Isabel — we’re so glad you and your family enjoyed these! We appreciate you giving them a try! :D

  16. Farzan — July 6, 2016 @ 10:59 pm (#)

    WOW !!so delicious -so good-scrumptious I couldn’t believe it .i made this chicken enchilada tonight for my family.and I followed the recipe step by step ..every body live it and nothing left 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻thank you 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 7th, 2016 @ 9:20 pm

      Thank you — we’re so happy to hear you and your family loved these! :)

  17. Stephanie Lewis — July 7, 2016 @ 11:28 am (#)

    I have made these enchiladas multiple times now and my family LOVES them. I have coworkers who eat the leftovers and want me to make them their own batches. This is a big hit in my life.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 7th, 2016 @ 9:12 pm

      We’re so glad to hear that Stephanie! :D

  18. Bob Newhart — July 7, 2016 @ 9:54 pm (#)

    Great enchilada recipe. Thanks. I just added a few things. I used pollo asado instead of plain chicken. I also added some sliced black olives and a little bit of diced green olives. I sprinkled some thinly sliced pickled hot garlic on top as well. Oh, and I added some chopped ancho chiles to the chicken mixture as well – and more garlic like I do in every recipe. They tasted great!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 10th, 2016 @ 9:22 pm

      Thanks for sharing with us Bob — we think your additions sound awesome and we’re so glad you enjoyed these! :)

  19. Brian — July 10, 2016 @ 9:14 pm (#)

    I have been trying different enchilada recipes (my teenager loves enchiladas!) and your recipe is my favorite!
    I made them tonight for the third time. No more canned sauce for me.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 11th, 2016 @ 7:59 am

      Thanks for sharing Brian — we’re so happy you enjoy the sauce and the enchiladas! :)

  20. Tammy Goldenberg — July 11, 2016 @ 6:15 pm (#)

    Absolutely, hands down the best Enchilada dish ( + sauce) ever!!!!! Thank you!!!!

  21. Leslie L. — July 24, 2016 @ 6:03 pm (#)

    Nice recipe…I doctored it a bit and the red sauce…..the red sauce was a little bland to me so I added two tblsp. tomato paste, a few hits of Texas Pete, and a dash of sugar. I did not have green chilis so I chopped up jalapenos I had in a jar in frig, added those to the shredded chicken (leftover roast chicken), onions; then added the black beans and one ear of corn lightly microwaved and cut off cob. Used up a package of spinach flour tortillas (8″).(This was clean out the frig nite!) Followed recipe pretty much as stated otherwise….very nice dish!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 25th, 2016 @ 11:54 am

      Hi Leslie! We’re glad you were able to adapt the sauce to your liking and that you enjoyed the enchiladas! We appreciate you giving the recipes a try! :)

  22. Kelsey Larson — July 28, 2016 @ 11:07 pm (#)

    Ali, I love all of your recipes that I’ve tried and OMG these are amazing!! It was my first time making enchiladas. Super simple and quick! As a teacher, this will be a perfect meal for the school year. I can have everything chopped and ready so I can be eating in under 30 minutes!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 29th, 2016 @ 8:18 am

      Hi Kelsey! Thanks for your sweet words — we’re so glad you enjoy the enchiladas! :)

  23. Teal — August 1, 2016 @ 11:30 am (#)

    Hi Ali,
    I have been meaning to tell you for months how delicious this recipe is!  I’ve made it several times now, and it’s been a HUGE hit with every friend, family, and crowd I’ve made the enchiladas for!  More recently, I adapted your recipe by using a double batch of your enchilada sauce (mmm… more sauce makes everything better!) and I’ve started cooking the chicken in the crockpot with the beans, onion, and some of the extra sauce.  It shreds with a fork and is perfect for filling up the enchiladas.  Loving your blog, thank you!  Your recipes are easy to follow thanks to your great directions and photos.  Keep the yummy recipes coming!  -Teal

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 3rd, 2016 @ 11:42 am

      Hi Teal! Thanks for sharing all of this with us — we’re so happy to hear you and your loved ones enjoy the enchiladas! And we’re so glad you enjoy the blog — thanks for being here! :)

  24. Danielle V — August 6, 2016 @ 11:50 pm (#)

    Recipe and sauce was delicious.  I used white corn tortillas instead of flour, more commonly used in the Tex-Mex dishes that I grew up eating. 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 7th, 2016 @ 6:34 pm

      Thanks Danielle — we’re so glad you enjoyed them both! :)

  25. Amy — August 8, 2016 @ 2:21 am (#)

    These really were the BEST enchiladas! I made them last night. I used corn tortillas because I have celiac, but I doubt that made any difference in flavor. I had a bit of chicken and beans left, so I just sprinkled them on top with the sauce and cheese. And speaking of the enchilada sauce, I’d no idea it was so easy to make! There’s no comparison to the canned sauce. Thanks for the awesome recipes, Ali!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 10th, 2016 @ 12:25 pm

      Thanks Amy — we’re so happy you loved these! :D

  26. Denny Woerner — August 11, 2016 @ 8:50 pm (#)

    I made this tonight and the sauce turned out perfect, I even have two children that are spice sensitive and neither complained. Family loved it. 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 12th, 2016 @ 7:05 pm

      We’re so happy to hear that Denny — thanks for sharing this with us and for giving the recipes a try! :)

  27. Joanne — August 17, 2016 @ 8:56 am (#)

    These are really delicious. I decided to add Mexican rice (cooked from a package) which made them more substantial as I have a big guy for a husband. My sauce did take a bit longer to thicken…not sure why. And I think I would make a little more of it next time. My husband said they were delicious and that’s a ringing endorsement in my book.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 17th, 2016 @ 5:04 pm

      We’re so happy you and your husband enjoyed them, Joanne! And don’t worry about the sauce, sometimes it takes longer to thicken than others.

  28. Kate — August 17, 2016 @ 1:50 pm (#)

    I followed this recipe last night. I made a double batch of the sauce (I was afraid of not having enough) and replaced one of the tablespoons of chili powder with a tablespoon of cayenne. The sauce wasn’t spicy for me and my other half but we like spicy things. I thought the flavor of the sauce paired with the flavor from the green chiles in the chicken mix exquisitely. I’ve never made enchiladas before and they were better than any restaurant enchiladas I’ve ever had so I can attest to the fact that this recipe was named precisely as the BEST chicken enchiladas ever! They were seriously so good and so fresh tasting. Easy and quick too!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 17th, 2016 @ 4:47 pm

      Thanks for your sweet words Kate — we’re so happy to hear you guys enjoyed the sauce and the enchiladas! We appreciate you giving them a try and taking the time to comment! :)

  29. April — August 19, 2016 @ 9:22 am (#)

    Could these be made in a slow cooker? We don’t have air conditioning at the moment, and are trying to not use the oven!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 19th, 2016 @ 12:20 pm

      Hi April! Hmmm, that’s a good question! We actually haven’t tried these in a slow cooker, but we have seen recipes for slow cooker versions online. We would suggest following this method here. Definitely let us know how they turn out! :)

  30. Tyson — August 21, 2016 @ 5:17 pm (#)

    This really is the best chicken enchilada recipe, I’ve made it several times now. I make a huge batch of the red sauce and freeze the extras so I always have some on hand!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 21st, 2016 @ 8:43 pm

      Thanks, Tyson! We’re so glad you enjoy the sauce and the enchiladas! :)


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