Best Chicken Enchiladas Ever!

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
4.9 from 200 reviews

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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1,398 comments on “Best Chicken Enchiladas Ever!”

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  1. 5 stars
    Absolutely love this recipe! Everyone else is 100% right: you have to make the sauce. It’s so easy to make and a lot of the ingredients you’ll need will probably already be in your pantry.

  2. Pingback: Classsic Pico De Gallo » Backyard Bohemian

  3. I made this dish last night and it was delicious. I will be making it again and again. Thank you so much!!

  4. 5 stars
    First time making this. My whole family loved the recipe (even 2 year old granddaughter!) Wouldn’t change a thing! I expect this will be part of my recipe rotation. Thanks!

  5. 5 stars
    Love this recipe, I’ve made it so many times and my husband loves it too!! Only thing I change is I make a double batch of the enchilada sauce because I like them smothered! Thank you!

  6. Love your recipes. Can I make these ahead and freeze ? Thanks

  7. Made this last night for the first time, and it was delicious! Even when I forgot to put cheese inside the enchilada (whoops!), I just dumped a bunch on top and it was yummy — sauce was super easy to make!

  8. I have made the real mexican enchiladas sauce .its made with a big red chile boiled to softness. Putting the red chiles in a blender with garlic and a onion piece.Then take seeds out by using a small snainer. Then dipping the corn tortillas in the red sauce and lightly fry the tortillas in oil. Then fill with mex cheese and onion or the chicken and roll the tortillas. With the remaining oil fix potatoes and carrots. top this on top of rolled tacos. Garnish with lettuce. Thats a true enchiladas dinner.

  9. 5 stars
    I have made these delicious enchiladas several times over the last few years and they always get compliments! The sauce really is the best!! Thanks for such a great recipe! 😋

  10. The tortillas in your video look like they have a very nice texture. The ones in my local supermarkets have a dull flavor and texture. Do you happen to remember what brand they are? Thanks!

  11. 5 stars
    Awesome recipe! Will do it again!

  12. 5 stars
    The name of the recipe fits perfectly. These ARE the BEST chicken enchilladas ever! And the fresh-made enchillada sauce really makes it. Both recipes rock! Two thumbs up!!

  13. 5 stars
    I am an Enchilada fanatic and I can throw out all other recipes now! These are INCREDIBLE! Thank you!

  14. 5 stars
    Holy moly these were fantastic!! I made the sauce too and would just recommend doubling the recipe as I didn’t have as much as I wanted to pour over the top at the end. But they still came out perfectly. Gracias!!

  15. Excellent recipe. I wanted the chicken to be shredded instead of cubed, so I cooked the chicken breasts in a jar of salsa and then shredded with a fork. Excellent recipe.

  16. Has anyone ever made the chicken combination portion of this recipe in the crockpot ? Thanks in advance !

  17. 5 stars
    New staple in my house!

  18. Looking forward to making these but I have a question: If you’re bringing a pan of these to a friend as a “food gift” in a disposable aluminum pan would you bake first at home and when you deliver it give instructions on reheating in oven? If so, what temp and how long should they bake to reheat?

  19. I made a big dish and they were so delicious! My husband and I are wondering if its possible to freeze them now since they’re already cooked? You said you can freeze leftovers but i wasn’t sure if that meant leftovers that hadn’t been baked yet? What do you recommend freezing them in?
    THANK YOU! love your stuff. :-)

  20. 5 stars
    This is a great dish for everyone. We love it!!!