Best Chicken Enchiladas Ever!

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My all-time favorite chicken enchilada recipe — easy to make, totally customizable with your favorite fillings, and made with the hands-down best homemade enchilada sauce!

Chicken Enchiladas

This year will mark the tenth (!!!) anniversary that my favorite chicken enchilada recipe has been hanging out here on the blog.  And all of these years later — including dozens and dozens of batches baked up in my own kitchens, thousands more in yours, and literally now millions of pageviews on this little corner of the blog later — I stand by my original title.

These really are the best chicken enchiladas ever! ♡

I was first introduced to the magic of this enchilada recipe by my good friend, Liisa, back when we were living together as roommates in Kansas City.  Liisa hailed proudly from New Mexico — and even had a string of chiles hanging from our kitchen ceiling to prove it — and was equally as obsessed as I was with all forms of Mexican food.  And once she introduced me to her favorite chicken enchilada recipe, I instantly adopted it as my new favorite as well.

At first glance, these enchiladas are totally typical — just sautéed chicken and onion and green chiles, rolled up with beans and cheese in your choice of tortillas.  But the second anyone takes a bite, they come to find that the magic lies completely in this extra-special homemade enchilada sauce.  It packs the most delicious, rich and complex flavors that make these enchiladas taste like you’ve been working on them all day.  But in reality, this simple sauce only takes a few extra minutes to prep, and it’s made with a handful of everyday ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.

I memorized this recipe long ago and make it regularly for dinner in our house.  (Or for my vegetarian husband, I’ll make this roasted cauliflower version.)  And while I’m at it, I usually make a double batch as well to freeze, or to bring to whatever friends might be needing a hand that week.  And I can vouch — over the course of a decade, no less — that people go crazy for these enchiladas.  I always get requests for the recipe.  And I always point people back to this post.

So with Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, I thought it was time to bump this one back to the top of the blog.  Because if you’re looking for a killer chicken enchilada recipe to add to your repertoire, this one won’t let you down.

Chicken Enchilada Recipe | 1-Minute Video

Chicken Enchilada Ingredients:

As I mentioned above, this easy chicken enchilada recipe is extremely flexible when it comes to ingredients.  So feel free to get creative and customize your chicken enchiladas however you like!  In general, you will need:

  • Chicken: I typically just use diced boneless skinless chicken breasts.  But feel free to use pre-cooked chicken (such as a shredded rotisserie or any leftover baked chicken) if you would like to save time.
  • Onion and diced green chiles: Which we will add to the filling for seasoning.
  • Beans: Black beans, pinto beans, white beans, or lentils would all work great here.
  • Tortillas: Corn tortillas are traditional in enchiladas, but I typically use flour tortillas since they are much easier to roll.  Any of your favorite tortillas will work though.
  • Cheese: I like to use either Pepper Jack or Mexican-blend shredded cheese for these enchiladas.  But cheddar, Monterrey Jack, or other shredded cheeses would also do.
  • Toppings: Chopped fresh cilantro, sliced avocado, diced red onion, sour cream, crumbled cotija, or whatever else sounds good!  When it comes to enchilada toppings, the more the merrier.

Finally, there is one more very important ingredient we must discuss…

Enchilada Sauce Recipe

The BEST Enchilada Sauce Recipe

The Best Enchilada Sauce:

this homemade enchilada sauce. ♡♡♡

It is my all-time favorite enchilada sauce, and it is quite literally the secret sauce that makes these enchiladas the hands-down best.  It tastes a million times better than anything in the can.  It’s quick and easy to make on the stovetop while you prepare the rest of the enchiladas.  And it’s made with super-simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry — oil, flour, a handful of spices, salt and stock.

Thousands of our readers have made this enchilada sauce over the years and agree that it’s the best.  So it’s definitely worth the extra few minutes to whip up a batch from scratch.

How To Make Chicken Enchiladas

How To Make Chicken Enchiladas:

Alright, now that we have our ingredients all ready to go, let’s talk about how to make enchiladas.  For this recipe, simply…

  1. Prepare your sauce.  Get your homemade enchilada sauce simmering in a separate saucepan while you prepare the rest of the enchiladas.
  2. Prepare your filling.  Sauté the onion, followed by the diced chicken and green chiles.  Season with salt and pepper.  Then (recipe update!) go ahead and stir in the black beans to complete your filling.
  3. Assemble your enchiladas.  Lay a single tortilla on a flat surface.  Spread a generous spoonful of enchilada sauce over the surface of the tortilla.  Then spoon your filling mixture in a line down the middle of the tortilla, roll it up, and…
  4. Arrange the enchiladas in a baking dish. You can either place the chicken enchiladas seam-side-up or seam-side-down.  Then pour any remaining sauce on top of the enchiladas and sprinkle on some extra cheese.
  5. Bake the enchiladas. Bake uncovered until the enchiladas are cooked through and the edges of the tortillas get slightly crispy.  Remove from the oven, sprinkle with your favorite toppings, and…
  6. Serve warm.  And enjoy!

How To Make Enchiladas

What To Serve With Chicken Enchiladas:

Looking for some delicious side dishes to round out your meal?  Any of these Mexi faves would be delicious served with these easy chicken enchiladas.

Or as always, feel free to check out our Mexican recipe archives here on the blog for more inspiration.

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

More Favorite Chicken Enchilada Recipes:

Easy Chicken Enchilada Recipe

¡Buen provecho, everyone!  

Best Chicken Enchiladas

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Chicken Enchiladas

Best Chicken Enchiladas Ever!

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Description

My all-time favorite chicken enchilada recipe — easy to make, totally customizable with your favorite fillings, and made with the hands-down best homemade enchilada sauce!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into small 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
  • sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8 large flour tortillas
  • 3 cups Mexican-blend shredded cheese
  • 1 batch red enchilada sauce
  • optional toppings: fresh cilantro, chopped red onions, diced avocado, avocado, sour cream, and/or crumbled cotija cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Prepare your enchilada sauce.
  2. In large sauté pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add diced chicken and green chiles, and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper.  Sauté the mixture for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the chicken is cooked through.  Add in the beans and stir until evenly combined.  Remove pan from heat and set aside.
  3. To assemble the enchiladas, set up an assembly line including: tortillas, enchilada sauce, chicken mixture, and cheese. Lay out a tortilla, and spread two tablespoons of sauce over the surface of the tortilla.  Add a generous spoonful of the chicken mixture in a line down the center of the tortilla, then sprinkle with 1/3 cup cheese. Roll up tortilla and place in a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
  4. Assemble the remaining enchiladas.  Then spread any remaining sauce evenly over the top of the enchiladas, followed by any extra cheese.
  5. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, until the enchiladas are cooked through and the tortillas are slightly crispy on the outside.  Remove pan from the oven and serve the enchiladas while they’re nice and warm, garnished with lots of toppings.
  6. Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.


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Chicken Enchiladas from Gimme Some Oven

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1,639 comments on “Best Chicken Enchiladas Ever!”

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  1. First time trying. Surprised and delighted how easy it was snd how delicious this dish is! Homemade Enchilada Sauce is out of this world!

  2. SO TASTY and SO EASY! It was so fun to make this, but even better to eat. :)

  3. This was DELICIOUS. I will never ever use store bought sauce again!

  4. Sounds delicious

  5. The whole family loved these enchiladas. I’ll use the sauce forever!

  6. These chicken enchiladas and sauce were very good. Thank you for the recipe.

  7. Are the green chiles spicy? Usually when I cook food at home, I have to give my mom is she really can not have alot of spicy foods. Any ideas?

  8. Just got finished making and eating it! Delicious!! My family loves it. I thought they would complain about the enchilada sauce but they did everything but lick the pan! A definite go to from now on!

  9. Loved this recipe. I added hot and sweet jalapeños in the filling and on top. I also minced some habanero garlic for the chicken. I ended up cooking in the crockpot for an hour and turned out very delicious!

  10. Yum yum yum. We have made this several times and it’s a big hit every time. LOVE your homemade sauce. We’ll be trying the roasted cauliflower version next. THANK YOU!!

  11. Super fantastic and super easy. A family favorite! Thanks.

  12. Great recipe …easy to follow and an absolute tasty dish my family love. The secret really is with the homemade enchilada sauce

  13. Hi I was wondering, what should I substitute for black beans (legume allergy)? Or if there isn’t something to substitute with how should I alter the recipe to ensure they are full and just as good? Thank you!

  14. I have made this recipe twice in the last 2 weeks. The first time I used a can of Enchilada sauce, the enchiladas came out pretty good, but nothing to write home about. The next time, I tried making the linked Homemade Enchilada Sauce that she uses and OMG I will never buy enchilada sauce again! This will forever be my go-to enchilada recipe! Love love love!!

  15. Excellent and easy enchiladas recipe! Only change I will make next time is to make/use a double batch of sauce. (or not let it reduce as much as I did this time)

  16. My boyfriend and I made this tonight, low carb version, and it was absolutely incredible! I have never left a review but felt I had to with this one. Absolutely amazing.

  17. The family loved it!

  18. Great!

  19. Made these tonight and they are seriously AMAZING! The sauce is just perfect. This will be a regular in my house, thanks so much for the recipe!

  20. I’ve made all kinds of enchilada recipes that are very good and my family especially loved this recipe!

  21. Made these tonight! Very simple, and tasty!! Will use this recipe again! Thanks 😊!

  22. question: do u add the beans with our without the liquid in the can?

  23. I used a rotisserie chicken and that made it even easier. I used both breast and thigh meat just to make it a bit juicier.

  24. I followed the recipe exactly. My husband lost his mind immediately

  25. This recipe is INCREDIBLE. A Tex-mex style modification I made was that I poached pre-seasoned and brined chicken that I got from H‑E‑B, then I pulled it while veggies were cooking. I added it to the onion, chile, and bean mixture last minute to prevent overcooking. Hatch brand red enchilada sauce is more than fine, so I wouldn’t go through the hassle of making your own. (Time is your greatest currency.) Also, I don’t believe in putting cheese in the filling unless you are indeed making true cheese enchiladas. Just a personal preference! The cheese gives the sauce body and texture. Lastly, putting the beans in the filling instead of the sauce is just an AMAZING departure from the norm. What a brilliant idea!

    Can’t wait to make these for friends in the future and show off a little bit! Amazing!

  26. I make this dish every other week. We love it! Wondering how far in advance can I prepare the enchiladas?

  27. Delicious! Perfect amount of sauce. Used rotisserie chicken. Will definitely make again!

  28. I did baked these in my Air Fryer. My air fryer is a GoWISE Deluxe 12.7quart, 1600 watts. I cooked five 10 inch stuffed flour tortillas in a 9 x 9 Pyrex baking (Brownie) dish. It was a delicious! My husband absolutely loved it. I did add some adobo sauce from a can of Chipotle paste, (1 TBS) and not the actual pepper, along with a heaping TBS of tomato paste to the sauce in the final simmering cook time, stirring well to combine. I thought the sauce needed a bit of a richer, deeper more authentic enchilada sauce taste. Strictly my preference. The recipe is one of the best I’ve made and though I usually use the traditional corn tortillas, I loved the idea of the flour and my husband raved about them, truly. I air fried the assembled dish for 20 minutes on 330, rotaing mid cook time. I will use remaining chicken mix for tacos today. I also suggest you adjust the recipe to 3 cups of broth. I wish there had been more to ladle over after baking. The chicken filling is so good. I did poach 1 large boneless, skinless breast, along with half a sliced white onion, a tbs of granulated garlic, salt and pepper, poaching to 170. I then used this broth in the sauce.

  29. I love your recipes and this Chicken Enchilada was no different. The sauce was super easy and delicious. I made fresh corn tortillas but had left over filling so I filled a couple of flour torillas I had on hand from the store. Both tasted awesome. Another keeper.

  30. I love your recipes and this Chicken Enchilada was no different. The sauce was super easy and delicious. I made fresh corn tortillas but had left over filling so I filled a couple of flour torillas I had on hand from the store. Both tasted awesome. Another keeper. Forgot the stars so had to repost.

  31. Can this be frozen? Any suggestions on what to leave off and add before cooking from frozen?

  32. Thanks for recipe! I made both the sauce and the enchiladas. The sauce was so delicious and savory! I’m counting macros, so it was easy to adjust the recipe for my needs (I removed the beans, subbed whole wheat tortillas instead of flour, reduced the cheese to 1 cup).

  33. Great recipe. Super easy. The sauce was amazing!

    We added refried beans in the tortilla and actually even as base for the baking dish for more refried bean goodness. I’m actually quite surprised you didn’t call for refried beans in this recipe. What’s an enchilada without them :)

    Thanks!

  34. Oh, I had such high hopes for this receipe because we love chicken enchildas and my receipe is good but wanted to try something new. Oh NO, NO, NO, NO these are NOT good and i am upset i wasted some good rotisseri chicken on these. No one wants to eat them. Back to my receipe

  35. You nailed it with this chicken enchilada recipe! And it’s red sauce… I’m in your debt! I made this yesterday for the second time. I ate one, refrigerated one for in a couple of days and the others I cooled and then froze them naked on cookie sheets until solid, then wrapped them individually for future freezer-to-oven meals because I tried that the first time and it worked great. While you said the red sauce separates if frozen, I had scraped up the caramelized blobs from the bottom of my baking dish the first time and froze those, and they did great so I am now baking the rest of the sauce of this second make to semi caramelize it and then will freeze it in a slab so I can break off pieces to set atop my “thaw-and-reheat” enchiladas or just thaw and warm them enough to spread on top of those frozen enchiladas when plating.
    Thank you SO MUCH! These are delicious.

  36. Best enchiladas ever! We love this recipe and crave it when we haven’t had for awhile. Tastes just as good after freezing and is so easy to make especially if you prepare sauce and even chicken mixture earlier in day.
    This really is a no fail one! We add a thin lay of refried beans but you would never know it is even there if not a fan of them! Thanks for this amazing recipe!

  37. This was a huge hit with my family.

  38. Awesome and delicious

  39. I have to say these were the BEST enchiladas! If I wanted to freeze these, how would I go about reheating?

  40. Easy to make and was very popular with the family. The chicken made enough for 10 portions but needed a lot more cheese – esp. to sprinkle on top. By the end I was heaping the chicken into the enchilada to use it up. I also added tomato sauce to the enchilada sauce and a bit of cream as it seemed very spicy. It was perfect though.

  41. This was wonderful! I normally make green chili chicken enchiladas and not only was this delicious it was a heck of a lot easier as I make my own green chili. My son and husband loved it as well. I had more filling for which I was grateful as now there is enough for a second meal. I did a mix of American chili powder and chipotle chili powder which was perfect for out taste.

  42. Not authentic at all. You do NOT use flour tortillas for enchiladas.

  43. If you start your sauce with dried chilis, simmered in chicken broth (from cooking the chicken used in the recipe) the issue becomes thinning, not thickening. Why add unnecessary, flavor diluting ingredients, like flour?