Chicken Enchiladas

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My all-time favorite chicken enchilada recipe — easy to make, totally customizable with your favorite fillings, and made with my favorite 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…

…these still are my favorite chicken enchiladas ever! ♡

At first glance, these enchiladas are pretty straightforward, made with 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 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:

To make this easy chicken enchilada recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 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

Homemade Enchilada Sauce Recipe

Red 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 my favorites.  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 a keeper.  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

Chicken Enchiladas

  • 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 my favorite 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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1,820 comments on “Chicken Enchiladas”

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  1. horrible. all he way around. totally a fail. no way this is the best. the sauce sucks and the recipe sucks

  2. Could you be more specific with ‘1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles’? This isn’t something in supermarkets in Ireland. Is it a specific kind of chili? Is there some alternatives? Thanks

    • I live in Dubai and I used small green chili’s from India – the spicy ones. There are no small cans of diced green chilies here either. I started with adding just one chili (seeds and all) chopped, this time making it I added 3. I think that’s the max I’d use. I like spicy though. Any chilis you like would add some flavor to the chicken and onion mix. Hope that helps.

    • You can use fresh Poblano Peppers. They are mild and you cook them with the onions.

    • Green chiles are a type of pepper. When they aren’t found in a can, they are usually roasted and chopped in a food processor. My boyfriend doesn’t like chiles so in the past, I’ve roasted bell peppers and chopped them to use in place of chiles. Just make sure to get the skin off after roasting, or it’ll taste bitter.

    • These are also known as Hatch chiles in the US. You can use any fresh chili pepper and sauté it with the other ingredients. Just be sure it’s a chili pepper and not a bell pepper, which has a very different flavor. I made this yesterday. Yum!

    • Have you tried Aldi or Lidl? You can get canned jalapenos (in jars), but I would recommend using them very sparingly. They’re HOT. Especially by Irish standards.

  3. My husband and I never used to eat enchiladas but this recipe is out of this world it’s delicious and easy to prepare

  4. Omg….these are amazing! Made these for a gathering and boy we’re they a hit. No leftovers!! I will definitely be making these again! Thanks for an awesome recipe!

    • This looks amazing! Could you specify what the can of diced green chiles are? Do you have a link? Thanks!

  5. Quick, easy, family friendly weeknight meal! I used canned sauce but the whole family enjoyed it.

  6. AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!

    • I bet I have made for immediate and extended family 10 times! Awesome recipe and would not make it without the homemade enchilada souse, beats any other ones I have tasted. And we are Mexican food lovers! I would like to have the nutritional information, I do not see it on your site.

  7. For corn tortillas, heat skillet to 350 deg, dip tortilla and flip after 3 to 5 seconds then remove. I place them on paper towels to absorb the oil. They are very flexible and easy to make enchiladas.

  8. Me and my fam love this recipe, and have made it multiple times. My husband requested I make it for his contribution to a week long field work trip, I know it will be a hit, especially after a long days work. It’s super yummy and filling. I add sautéed onion, red pepper and corn to the enchiladas as well.

  9. EXCELLANT……………………A KEEPER !

  10. Hands down the BEST I have ever made. Restaurant quality..topped with fresh cilantro, sour cream and avocado…worthy of any 5 star dining establishment!!

  11. Made it with corn tortillas for gluten-free!! What a wonderful dish-gone in seconds!!

  12. Making this again tonight. Thanks for this lovely recipe. I love that your edit is to add the beans to the onions and chicken. That’s what I have been doing already. Haha. Great minds think alike.

    This is a definite favourite in my home and the homemade enchilada sauce is the best. I’m using the 1/2 cup tomato sauce in the sauce today for the first time. I’m sure it will be amazing.

  13. Really delicious and easy to put together.

  14. I added corn to the mixture as well as the black beans. Sauce is killer good. I make this at least once a month using the traditional roasted chicken from the grocer. It saves time since the sauce whips up so quickly.

  15. This is so yummy! Have made with ground beef and soy crumbles and no meat and still wonderful! The enchilada sauce is the key and I usually double because my family likes this to be messy saucy!!!

  16. There’s not enough stars for this recipe. I’ve never made enchiladas and these were outrageously good. My husband ate 4. So much for leftovers…! Thank you for making me seem like a domesticated goddess!

  17. Over the years I’ve tried many enchilada recipes and this is by far the best! I added a 4oz can of chopped jalapeños because we like spicy, and I used corn tortillas that I heated on a comal to make them bendy. I didn’t use your sauce because I still had some La Victoria brand left to use up, but I will next time. Most Americans don’t realize that real enchilada sauce does not contain tomatoes, and La Victoria is the only brand I’ve found that doesn’t. A thousand thanks for this great recipe!

  18. Aren’t these basically burritos? I was thinking I would just make a burrito and add sour cream inside and not add sauce and cheese on the outside.

    • These are really good no matter what you call them. I cooked them in my toaster oven and used Costco roasted chicken and it was awesome. The sauce is really the star in this recipe!

  19. Any idea what the nutrition breakdown is for this recipe, kcal ?

  20. I have never made enchiladas before, even though I cook frequently and love enchiladas! I was a little intimidated at first, but the whole family loved them. I used only 1/2 the amount of red sauce because my husband prefers his enchiladas not so wet. I served it with a side of homemade guacamole and salsa verde.

  21. Tasted good, but was way too much food. I made 6 enchiladas as opposed to 8. We also made the enchilada sauce. That was very easy to make, but we used only about a half cup of the sauce. Next time I will probably add an extra can of chiles.

  22. What size flour tortillas are you using for this recipe? You are only allowing one enchilada per serving? Who can just eat one enchilada?
    The red sauce is killer good and you are right, the dark chili just does not work as well.

    I’m asking about the flour tortillas as I’m making these for my family reunion!

  23. This was so delicious and filling! I used a red chili in adobo sauce, and it gave the enchiladas a subtly smokiness that was great! Even my parents, who dislike spice was liked this dish. 100% would make again! Thank you for making this recipe!

  24. Absolutely delicious! I made a tray for my adult son, too. He loved them!!!! I used large and small tortillas. One tray large, 2 trays small. The chicken mix makes a lot. Thanks for such a great recipe!

  25. The enchilada sauce is unbelievable and honestly I am not a big enchilada fan. I have made it with chicken or w= vegan for my son when he is visiting and it has always been a big hit! It is pretty easy to make. The only thing I have tweaked is to add a tsp of Agave to the sauce. I found it had a little bitter after taste from the chili powder. I tried different chili powders but still found the same thing. Otherwise the recipe is flawless.

  26. Some of my favorite enchiladas!! I’ve made it for many friends and they’ve made it as well! Making her enchilada sauce is what makes it so delicious!! Highly recommend!!!

  27. This recipe was awesome! Although it was a little spicier than we usually eat, we all found it tasty and delicious! I’m so glad we tried your recipe. Thank you for sharing it!

  28. The enchilada filling was fine but heres what i thought of the enchilada sauce. I followed the recipe to a T even though i’m really more of a wing it and it comes out pretty good kind of cook. Used the “mild” amount of chili powder and while i didn’t have the organic on hand i did have the same brand in regular form. I do appreciate some heat but my wife is pretty sensitive so i keep things mild for her. To that end i went and added the half and half at the end to make it creamy and tone down the heat a bit while keeping the flavor. Even to my spice appreciating taste buds this was a bit fiery, my wife was a total no go. Added a bunch more cream to try to mellow it out and somewhat succeeded. Dinner ended up being more soft tacos than enchiladas as i could still only put a drizzle on my wifes serving to keep it mild enough. I put more on mine but it would have still been to much to have them swimming in this. Good flavor and all but unless you are one of those crazy folks that sits around chewing on ghost peppers its gonna be spicy.

  29. Huge hit! I used corn tortillas and was delicious! Next time I’m going to add a bit more spice.

  30. Very much enjoyed this recipe. Easy, fast and used a good jarred enchilada sauce to rush it up. I plan to freeze the left overs for another meal. Thanks for a good 30 min meal recipe.

  31. This recipe is the bomb! I make is using pre-cooked chicken leftover from roast dinner night (I just add the cooked shredded chicken near the end of the frying time since it doesn’t need to brown.) I also make these in smaller casseroles and freeze them, and they are the perfect little delicious dinner that I can leave out for my boyfriend to heat up while I’m at work. I love having delicious meals in the freezer for when we have a busy week!

  32. It was ok. We found it was a bit too dry, which is unlike the enchiladas we have had in Mexico. However we didn’t want to add more of the sauce used in this recipe as it would just bring too much heat. Good flavor for sure, but I am going to keep looking

  33. Delicious! The sauce was a bit spicy. I added a can of mild store bought sauce to tame the heat. I poured the leftover filling and sauce right on top before baking. Using sour cream and avocado as toppings also cut the heat a bit and made it a keeper recipe for us. Really great recipe!