Best Chicken Enchiladas Ever!

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!

5 / 5 (17 Reviews)
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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 saute pan, 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).

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If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

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Seriously The BEST Chicken Enchiladas Ever! |

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1,046 comments on “Best Chicken Enchiladas Ever!”

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  1. Pingback: 40 Easy Cinco De Mayo Recipes - Food Lovin Family

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  3. Can you make this aday ahead for about 20 people. Just cook in the morning?

  4. This is my go to enchilada recipe. My partner loves them. The homemade red enchilada sauce is so good too! I always make it when making the enchiladas. Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  5. Seriously the best enchiladas ever!! I think I make this once a month. My family loves it!!

    Rating: 5
    • That’s so sweet of you, Jenny! And we’re so happy you and your family love them! :)

  6. Can I make this a day ahead? Leave for a day before cooking?

    • Hi Sarah! We think you could assemble these ahead of time, for most of the day, but any longer and they might get soggy or dried out. They might take a little longer to bake after being in the fridge (unless you take them out and get them to room temp first). We hope this helps, and that you enjoy them!

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  8. This was pretty good, followed the recipe as presented. Will make again.

    Rating: 4
  9. This was really yummy. I made it casserole style with corn tortillas. I made the homemade sauce and it was a hit. Super easy and very good. I will make it again.

    Rating: 4.5
  10. I made these last night and they were delicious! I made the homemade enchilada sauce, wouldn’t use bottle after making it from scratch. My husband loved them (ate two) and I paired mine with a side of Greek salad.
    As summer is just around the corner and I’m trying to drop a few pounds, just wondering if you have an estimate of the calories and nutrition breakdown in one serving?

    Thanks ;))

    Rating: 5
    • Thanks for sharing, Pauline, we’re so glad you and your husband enjoyed the sauce and the enchiladas! :D Unfortunately though we do not have the calorie or nutrition breakdown for these. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!

  11. Yuck, lots of work and all I taste is chili powder?

  12. Tonight marks the fourth time making these and the tenth time making your sauce. I refuse to buy canned enchilada sauce ever again. Thank you for these recipes!

    Rating: 4.5
    • Thank you for sharing, Jason, we’re so thrilled you love the sauce and the enchiladas! :)

  13. I make this recipe all the time. I love it!! It is even better the next day! I make big batches of the sauce and freeze it.

    I am trying to cut my carbs at dinner so tonight I made it without the beans and tortillas- just put the mixture in a casserole dish with a little cheese on top and baked it. Delish!!!
    Thank you Give Me Some Oven for the recipe ❤️

    Rating: 5
    • Thank you so much for sharing, Heidi! We’re thrilled that you enjoy the recipe, and that’s great that you were able to make a lower-carb version!

  14. I made this last Saturday and it was absolutely delicious. I made the sauce also and the kind you buy in the store can’t even come close to this sauce!

    Rating: 5
    • Thanks for sharing, Dee, we’re so happy you enjoyed both the sauce and the enchiladas! :)

  15. I’ve made these before and they’re delicious! is this an easily make ahead and freeze meal? if so, what would be the cooking instructions from the freezer? thank you!

    • Thanks for sharing, Kirsten, we’re so glad you enjoy them! 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!

  16. This was absolutely delicious. I usually used rotisserie chicken and canned sauce, never again. The homemade sauce was phenomenal and using diced chicken breast gave it better taste and texture. Topped mine with sour cream, avocado and cilantro. Amazing!

    Rating: 5
  17. I would really like to make this but I don’t have black beans. Any suggestions for substitute. Such as retried beans or chick peas which I do have on hand. Thanks

    • Hi Beth! You could use refried beans or pinto beans, but we wouldn’t really recommend chickpeas for this. We hope you enjoy these!

  18. I made these the other night and they were delicious. Substituted the black beans with retried beans as that is all I had in the house. Yum. Question now is that I made so many and would like to freeze the leftovers for another time. Before doing that I was wondering how long you would recommend safely keeping them in The fridge for before freezing them. My son is coming home from Nunavut for the summer and I am sure he would love these. Thanks

  19. Hi! I’ve made these enchiladas a few times now and love them! Would this freeze well?

    Rating: 5
    • Hi Kate! Yes, 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!

  20. This is even better with roasted poblano peppers and and a chipotle pepper or two!

  21. The best enchiladas ever!!! This week will be the fifth time making them. Everyone in my house LOVES these, from my teenage daughters to my 6yr old son, to my 87 year old mother in law to my picky husband. The homemade sauce is the only way to go. Never will I buy store-bought sauce again! Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

    Rating: 5
  22. I made this recipe with canned enchilada sauce and it was still incredible! I’ve been looking for the perfect enchilada recipe for ages and just found it. We loved that the enchiladas weren’t soggy and swimming in sauce.

    Rating: 5
  23. I made these last night and they were SOOO delicious! I’m excited to eat the leftovers for breakfast this morning! :)

  24. I served this at a neighborhood dinner tonight. It became the ⭐️ of the potluck. Only one piece left from the corner to take home for lunch tomorrow. Everyone raved. It’s my new go-to potluck takealong. I served it with fresh cilantro and chopped green onions on top with sour cream. Thank you!!!! 😊

    Rating: 5
  25. I made the red enchilada sauce last night and it was amazingly delicious and easy to prepare!
    I am passing your recipe to family and friends. Thank you so much! Alice in Phoenix, Az

    • Thanks for sharing, Alice, we’re so happy you enjoyed the sauce and we hope your family and friends do as well! :)

  26. This is excellent. I made it last year for the first time, and I am having a group over on Sunday and they requested this dish again. I am doubling the recipe as I need more servings but one caveat – – I am NOT making the home-made enchilada sauce this time; I purchased a large can at the store. Last time it took forever to make the sauce in order to get it to thicken up, and I just do not have that much time to spend on it. I actually ended up buying a can of the sauce at the store so I could finish the dish; obviously it was fine as the dish was bit hit!

    Rating: 4.5
  27. This was a delicious and easy recipe to make. My family loved it! Thank you for sharing!

    Rating: 5
  28. WOW. That’s all I can say. I am sitting here staring at my empty plate. This was amazing. I added some seranos to the top for extra heat… and these enchiladas are to die for. Better than any restaurant, hands down! And so surprisingly easy to make! Thank you for the wonderful recipe. I am in enchilada heaven!!!

    Rating: 5
  29. About how many cups of chicken is this?

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  31. Delicious: I used I can of retried black beans.
    Flavor was perfect.

    Rating: 4.5